Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Maj. Gen. Konashenkov said on Friday that the US State Department has finally admitted that the Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at or the Levant Liberation Board) that is in control of Syria’s Idlib province has chemical weapons and used them against civilians.
“The Al-Nusra Front, which uses ‘small and heavy arms, improvised explosive devices, and chemical weapons’, operates in that province (Idlib). This is the first official recognition by the (US) State Department not simply of the presence, but, I emphasize, the use of chemical weapons by Al-Nusra terrorists in that part of Syria to commit terrorist attacks, about which we repeatedly warned,” Konashenkov said.
Igor Konashenkov also recalled that in Idlib province, “only one case of the use of chemical weapons is known — in Khan-Sheikhoun.”
“However, the US accused government troops of (conducting) the chemical attack. And those who (actually) organized it, they called a “moderate opposition,” Konashenkov said.
On April 4, media and news sources affiliated to opposition released news about chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, accusing Syrian government of carrying out the attack via its Sukhoi 22 fighter jets that left tens of people dead or wounded.
Meantime, a senior Syrian military official underlined that the Al-Nusra Front is the only side in Syria which had access to chemical weapons, raising speculations about certain western spy agencies’ role in chemical attack against Idlib.
“The Syrian army has not used any chemical gases against the citizens in Idlib and it is not logical for the army to kill the residents of a city that it is trying to set free,” the official said.
He underlined that the Syrian army had no chemical weapons since 2012 when the terrorist groups stole and transferred its chemical weapons to their caches.
Stressing that Al-Nusra Front was the only side which possesses chemical weapons, including toxic gases, the source raised the possibility that certain western spy agencies also played a role in the chemical attack which killed dozens of people in Idlib province.
The General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces categorically denied allegations and claims circulated by media outlets about the use of chemical substances in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib countryside.
“The armed terrorist groups used to accuse the Syrian Army of using toxic gases against them or against civilians at anytime they fail to implement the targets of their sponsors and operators or when they are unable to achieve any advantages on the ground in an desperate attempt to justify their failure and to maintain the support of their masters,” the Army’s general command said in a statement.
It categorically denied any use of chemical or poisonous materials in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib countryside, affirming that it didn’t and would never use those materials in any place or time, nor in the future.
The army’s general command held the terrorist groups and those behind them responsible for the use of chemical and toxic substances and the disregard for the lives of innocent citizens to achieve their goals.