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Syria denies using chemical gases against rebels

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Wed, Aug 21, 2013 11:20 hrs

Damascus, Aug 21 (IANS) Syrian state media Wednesday denied reports circulated by opposition activists about the army's use of chemical gases against rebels in the suburbs of Damascus.

The news circulated by the activists' media outlets, "which are partners in shedding the Syrian blood", are totally "baseless", Xinhua reported quoting the state-run SANA news agency.

The claims aim to divert the attention of the visiting UN chemical inspection team from the original target of its mission, SANA added.

Earlier in the day, Syrian opposition activists posted online videos of dead people who they claimed were the "victims of the chemical attack", accusing the army of using "poisonous gases" in Damascus.

The accusation came at a time when the UN mission is in the country to investigate the possible usage of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict.

The probe was requested by the Syrian government, who accused the rebels of using "sarin agent" in the northern town of Khan al-Asal.

The Syrian government welcomed the arrival of the UN inspectors Sunday, pledging to cooperate with them and facilitate their work.

Syria is fulfilling "what we have agreed on with the international mission", Syrian Prime Minister Wael Al-Halqi said.

"Our colleagues in the foreign ministry have prepared all the procedures in order to make their work a success", he added.

The prime minister also accused Turkey of providing armed rebels with chemical weapons that were used in Khan al-Asal, near the city of Aleppo.

The US and several European countries have expressed fears that Syria's chemical weapons may "fall into the wrong hands" if the Syrian administration falls.

Israel also said that it has intervention plans to secure the arsenals in case of a "regime collapse" in Syria.




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