MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, the Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces reported a chemical weapon attack in Syria's Idlib province. According to recent data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), 84 people, including 27 children died in the suspected chemical attack.
The Syrian foreign minister has denied the government’s involvement in the Idlib incident, saying it had never nor would it ever use chemical weapons on either civilians or terrorists operating in the country.
"Prime Minister Dr. Haider Abadi received a phone call from US Vice President Mike Pence… Dr. Abadi confirmed that Iraq considers the use of chemical weapons in Syria to be a crime, deserving condemnation…. We [Iraq] are calling for a rapid and accurate international investigation and condemnation of the party who committed [the attack]," the statement read.
Abadi also expressed solidarity with the Syrian people, stressing that Iraq "had also been a victim of the chemical attack committed by the dictator regime."
The prime minister highlighted the importance of defeating the Daesh terrorist group, outlawed in many countries, including Russia.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday 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.
On Thursday night, the United States carried out a cruise missile attack on the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha'irat, located in the vicinity of the Homs city. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the reported chemical weapon use in Idlib, for which Washington put the blame on the government of President Bashar Assad.
Earlier this year, 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.