Syria’s foreign minister Walid Moallem categorically denied his government used chemical weapons in the attack this week in Idlib province, echoing the claims of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad that Israel is assisting terrorists fighting his regime.

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Moallem is categorically denying that his government used chemical weapons in the attack this week in Idlib province or in any other attack, expressing wonder over Israel’s denouncements of the Syrian regime.

“It’s strange to see Netanyahu almost crying over what happened in Khan Shaykhun (the place of the incident). Israel helps the rebels both medically, and by supplying them with armaments,” Moallem told a press conference in the Syrian capital on Thursday, echoing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s claims.

Syria's foreign minister Walid Moallem (Photo: Reuters)
Syria’s foreign minister Walid Moallem (Photo: Reuters)


Moallem accused Israel of attacking targets in Syria every time the rebels are forced into a corner, adding that they are destroying Hezbollah armaments and weapon supply lines.

“Every shot that’s fired against the Syrian army serves Israel’s interest,” Moallem argued, claiming that Israel is the “main beneficiary” of the rebellion and what people call the “Arab Spring.”

Walid Moallem insisted during a press conference in Damascus on Thursday that “the Syrian Arab Army has never used chemical weapons and will not use chemical weapons against Syrians or even against terrorists.”

He says the Syrian army bombed a warehouse for al-Qaida’s branch in Syria that contained chemical weapons, repeating the Russian defense ministry’s claim.

He denounced the “chorus” of accusations against Syria, which he says was being conducted by countries known for their hostility.

The Syrian foreign minister says Damascus needs assurances that any fact-finding mission into Idlib’s attack would be impartial and not politicized, adding that Syria’s experience with past missions is “not encouraging.”

He then said that any investigative mission would need to take off from Damascus and be far from the sphere of Turkish influence.

Photo: EPA
Photo: EPA


Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes says he is unconvinced by Russia’s claim that Syrians killed in a northern town were the victims of toxic agents that were released by a Syrian airstrike which hit a rebel chemical weapons arsenal.

Turkes spoke in an interview with Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency on Thursday. He described the Russian explanation as “unsatisfying,” noting that “if the Syrian regime knew that there were chemical weapons in the warehouse, it should have also known that it should not have attacked it.”

He stated that there is “no excuse. To me, this is evidence that strengthens the fact that it was the work of the (Syrian) regime and that it was an attack against civilians.”

When Moallem was asked if Syria would accept an international investigation, he said that “when we are sure we have convincing answers to these questions, we will give you an answer.”

As reported by Ynetnews