MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Allegations of a chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun in Syria's Idlib province is part of a campaign to demonize the country's authorities and a cover for the US intervention in Syria, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Belarus’ ONT channel on Thursday.
The Syrian president added that the chemical attack was also "a cover up for the American intervention in Syria" as US President Donald Trump was facing conflicts within his administration as well as with other forces, lobbies, media and corporations in the United States.
"So by doing that, he wanted to present his credentials to these groups. The chemical attack issue is also a justification for this intervention," Assad said.
He also noted it was a "planned process" aimed to achieve a number of goals at the same time.
"Russia and Iran presented a draft proposal to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and they refused to approve an investigation, because it will prove only one thing, that they were lying," the Syrian president said.
On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces blamed the Syrian government for the incident in Khan Sheikhoun, which allegedly involved the use of chemical weapons. Damascus denied any involvement in the incident and the Syrian army said it did not possess chemical weapons as they had been destroyed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The incident was used by the United States as pretext for a missile strike against a Syrian military airbase on April 7.