WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Syrian opposition claimed Tuesday forces loyal to President Bashar Assad had used a chemical gas on people in the northwestern province, killing nearly 80 and injuring 200. Assad argued his government has no chemical weapons after agreeing to have them destroyed in 2013. He also ruled out having used chemicals against own people.
"Secretary Tillerson has been in touch with Lavrov since the attack. Yesterday there was a phone call in which they discussed what had happened, and we sought the Russian analysis or readout of what they thought had happened," the official stated.
Opponents of President Bashar al-Assad have claimed that the Syrian Arab Army had used chemical weapons against civilians intentionally, something Syrian authorities strongly deny. No evidence has been provided to support the claims.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier in the day that the US-UK-France-backed draft resolution on the chemical weapons in Syria is based on fake reports mosty from the White Helmets and the SOHR "which cannot be called reliable."
The Russian Defense Ministry said early Wednesday the airstrike near Khan Shaykhun was carried out by Syrian aircraft, which struck a terrorist warehouse that stored chemical weapons slated for delivery to Iraq.
In 2013, the Syrian authorities agreed to transfer its stockpiled chemical weapons to international control for their subsequent destruction, so as to prevent them from falling into the hands of militants operating in the country.