French Presidential Candidate Asselineau Doubts Damascus Behind Idlib Attack

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French presidential hopeful Francois Asselineau questioned the truth of mainstream media reports about Damascus' role in the Idlib chemical incident.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — French presidential candidate Francois Asselineau questioned on Wednesday Damascus' role in the suspected deadly chemical attack in the Syrian province of  Idlib.

"We are told that Bashar Assad allegedly poisoned the children with gas. And I say that we do not know anything about this," Asselineau told FranceInfo radio.

He added that he was not trying to defend Assad but to tell the truth.

Cars drive past the Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow on May 5, 2016. - Sputnik International
Fake News: Moscow Refutes Reports of Knowing Idlib Chemical Incident Was Coming
On April 4, a chemical weapons incident in Syria's Idlib province claimed the lives of some 80 people and inflicted harm on an additional 200 civilians. The Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, as well as a number of Western states, accused the Syrian government troops of carrying out the attack, while Damascus refuted these allegations, with a Syrian army source telling Sputnik that the army did not possess chemical weapons.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on April 5 that the airstrike near Khan Shaykhun by the Syrian air force hit a terrorist warehouse that stored chemical weapons slated for delivery to Iraq, and called on the UN Security Council to launch a proper investigation into the incident.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said April 6 that groundless accusations in the chemical weapons incident in Syria's Idlib were unacceptable before the investigation into the matter had been carried out.

However, the incident was used as pretext for a US missile strike against the Ash Sha'irat airbase carried out late on April 6. US President Donald Trump characterized the strike as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government troops while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it was a violation of the international law. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described the US missile strike against the Syrian airfield as a strategic mistake.

Men salvage a motorbike amid the damage inside a medical point at a site hit by airstrikes on Tuesday, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, Syria April 5, 2017 - Sputnik International
Premonition of War? Alleged Idlib Chemical Attack Seen as 'Modern Casus Belli'
In an exclusive interview with Fox Business on April 12, US President Donald Trump blamed the current situation in Syria on Moscow's support for country's Assad, calling the Syrian leader "an animal."

Earlier this year, Syrian President Bashar Assad said that the country’s government had never used weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, against the Syrian people. Besides, under a Russian-US deal after the east Ghouta sarin gas incident in 2013, Damascus joined the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and agreed to destroy its stockpile under Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) oversight. In January 2016, the OPCW announced that all chemical weapons in Syria had been destroyed.

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