WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The West has accused the Syrian government of carrying out the chemical weapons attack in Idlib province on April 4. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem denied the government's involvement in the Idlib incident, saying it had never used chemical weapons on either civilians or terrorists operating in the country and will never do so.
"[In] accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 USC 1622(d), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared with respect to the actions of the Government of Syria," the release stated.
The Syrian army has said it does not possess chemical weapons.
On April 6, despite Russia's call for a thorough investigation into the incident, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the military airfield in Ash Sha'irat, located in the vicinity of the Homs city. US President Donald Trump said the strike was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use.
Damascus joined the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons after a major sarin gas attack in Syria's East Ghouta in 2013, agreeing 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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