Syria rejected on Friday remarks by United States Secretary of State John Kerry, who said earlier that U.S. intelligence had concluded that the regime was behind a chemical attack last week which killed more than 1,400 people.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry said Kerry’s claims were fabricated.
An official source at the Foreign Ministry quoted by the official Syrian SANA news agency said that after days of media exaggeration about what the U.S. administration described as decisive evidence, Kerry had only produced material based on old stories which were published by “terrorists” and are full of fabrication and lies.
When the Syrian government uses the term “terrorists”, it refers to the rebels fighting to oust President Bashar Al-Assad.
The source quoted by SANA said that the ministry is surprised that one of the bigger countries in the world is attempting to deceive its public opinion in such a naïve manner by relying on non-evidence, and that the Ministry denounces the U.S. act of basing its positions on war and peace on what was published on social networking sites, which the ministry views as a desperate attempt to talk the world into accepting upcoming U.S. aggression.
The source said that the numbers quoted by Kerry are fictional and produced by armed groups in Syria and the opposition abroad, both of whom instigate the U.S. aggression, adding that this scene brings to mind the lies promoted by former Secretary of State Colin Powell before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The source said that the Foreign Ministry confirms that all the accusations leveled by Kerry against the Syrian state are lies and devoid of truth.
Syria, claimed the Foreign Ministry, never impeded or restricted the international investigation committee into the chemical attack. According to the source quoted by SANA, the UN Secretary-General “has lauded the Syrian cooperation with the committee in his most recent call with the Foreign and Expatriates Minister on 30/8/2013, asserting that Syria permitted the committee to move exactly as per the agreement signed by the two sides.”
“The Syrian government affirms that Kerry’s allegations that the Syrian Army knew about chemical weapons use three days prior to the incident are lies, as proven by the fact that Syria requested the investigation committee to visit al-Baharia area where Syrian Army soldiers were exposed to toxic gas, and the committee met the affected soldiers in the hospital,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry said.
“If the aggression on Syria, as Kerry claims, intends to halt the use of chemical weapons, we would like to remind Kerry and the United States that Syria was the first to propose a draft resolution at the Security Council to make the Middle East free of all forms of weapons of mass destruction, and that the United States was the one who prevented the draft resolution from being passed,” the Ministry said.
The remarks were made as Syria prepares for a possible military strike. The Syrian opposition said on Friday that the Syrian government was moving its political offices to schools and universities to seek safe haven in case of a military attack by the West.
Assad’s armed forces have also moved their scud missiles and launchers from a military base in northern to Damascus to unidentified regions, the opposition added.
President Barack Obama repeated on Friday that he has not made a final decision about a military strike against Syria, but added he is considering a limited action in response to the chemical weapons attack last week.
British lawmakers have rejected any involvement in military action in Syria, but French President Francois Hollande gave a boost on Friday to U.S. hopes of forging an international coalition for possible strikes against Syria, saying the British vote would not affect his government’s stance.
Nevertheless, Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke on Friday and agreed they would continue to work closely together on a wider response to the Syrian crisis and try to find a solution.