Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks to Russia’s Sputnik news agency in an exclusive interview in Damascus, Syria, on April 21, 2017.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has slammed neighboring Turkey for the supply of chemical agents to foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants fighting to topple the Damascus government, stressing that he has no doubt that Ankara is in cahoots with the terror groups.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Friday, Assad stated that Syrian officials are 100 percent certain that terrorists get chemical weapons as well as financial and military support directly from Turkey.
“There was evidence concerning this; some of which went viral on the Internet a few years ago. Scores of politicians and lawmakers in Turkey have questioned the government about it. So, it’s not something secret,” he said.
The Syrian leader further noted that Turkey is providing terrorists with financial, military and logistic support.
“They don’t have any other way to come from the north. So, it’s a hundred percent Turkey,” Assad pointed out.
‘Fateh al-Sham behind bombing on Syria evacuees’
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Syrian president blamed the Takfiri terror group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, for the bombing that struck near several buses carrying people from two Shia-majority villages in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, killing at least 126 people.
Assad said Fateh al-Sham members carried out the April 15 bombing attack in the al-Rashideen district on the western outskirts of Aleppo.
He added that several buses sent to transport the sick and injured civilians from Kefraya and al-Foua villages were also torched by foreign-sponsored and al-Qaead-linked militants a few months ago.
Still image shows a cloud of black smoke rising from vehicles in distance in what is said to be Aleppo’s outskirts, Syria, on April 15, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
Terrorists said at the time that they will not allow the residents of the two militant-besieged villages to leave for Aleppo, vowing to kill anyone who gets on the evacuation buses. The recent bomb explosion was carried out in that spirit, Assad pointed out.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 68 children were among victims of the bomb attack.
‘Damascus, Moscow holding talks on more air defense systems in Syria’
Assad also said Damascus and Moscow are engaged in negotiations to put into operation more air defense systems inside Syria.
“Damascus has always been interested in the latest generation of military hardware, but that depends on the accessibility of the systems – Russia’s policies as the supplier and prices,” he said.
The Syrian president also warned of new allegations of chemical attacks in Syria similar to claims following the suspected chemical incident in the town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib Province, which reportedly left over 80 people dead on April 4.
On April 7, the Pentagon said 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from two warships in the Mediterranean Sea at Shayrat airfield in Syria’s central province of Homs.
In this image released by the US Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter conducts strike operations while in the Mediterranean Sea on April 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
US officials claimed that the alleged chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun had been launched from the military site. Syrian has vehemently dismissed the allegations of being behind the attack.
Syria’s official news agency, SANA, reported that at least nine people were killed in the early morning strike on the Syrian airfield.
Assad also said the US will intensify its efforts to overthrow the Syrian government and install a puppet regime in the Arab country.
“Their aim is to destabilize Syria. Their aim is to topple the government and bring their puppets. So, they will do anything possible. For them the end justifies the means. No values, no morals at all. Anything could happen,” he commented.
Mattis unable to change realities on ground: Pundit
Meanwhile, an investigative journalist has dismissed the latest remarks by US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that Syria still possesses chemical weapons, emphasizing that the Syrian government has relinquished possession of them all.
“I do not know if there is anybody in the world that would actually believe that (Syrian government owning chemical weapons). What is quite clearly being created is totally a fiction or narrative meant to demonize the Syrian government once again,” Tony Gosling said in an exclusive interview with PressTV on Friday.
He added, “Both Britain and the United States have started to realize that President Assad is going to stay. He is a legitimate president. He has got the support of the vast majority of ordinary people in Syria, so we have no right to get rid of him…”
“Mattis is not a man I would trust. Many people consider him a war criminal after the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004 … Mattis should be on trial. He should not be given the credibility of an international spokesperson on what happened in Khan Shaykhun,” Gosling underlined.
“The international body that oversees the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has stated that Assad’s government has no chemical weapons… Fanatical James Mattis cannot simply alter realities,” the analyst said.
The US Defense Secretary alleged in Israel on Friday that Syria still possesses banned chemical weapons, warning that the Pentagon would launch another missile strike against the war-ravaged country if the munitions were used again.
He made the remarks during a press conference with Israeli minister for military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, in Tel Aviv.
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