The Syrian Foreign Ministry has stressed that Western states are using claims of chemical weapons usage as an excuse to violate the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“Syria has lately seized, after liberating a number of regions in Hama countryside from terrorism, more than 40 tons of chlorine gas in the presence of the Chemical Weapons convention’s inspectors,” said a statement released by the ministry on Tuesday.
It noted that the United Nations and Chemical Weapons Convention had been informed about the trucks loaded with poisonous substances entering the country and a terrorist stockpile of Sarin gas in an archeological region in Idlib province.
“The Syrian Arab Republic, which has repeatedly affirmed its non-possession of any form of chemical weapons, and its non-use of chlorine gas as a weapon, reiterates that it is the first meant side in defending its citizens and in preventing the use of poisonous materials on its territory,” added the statement.
Earlier in the day, Russia rejected allegations that the Syrian government is using chemical weapons, stressing that only an international body can rule on the issue based on an “impartial” probe.
Last week, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is sympathetic to the militants operating against the Damascus government, claimed a suspected chlorine attack had taken place in the militant-held al-Shifuniyah village of the Eastern Ghouta region on February 25.
Syria turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States back in 2013.
Syrian army advances in Eastern Ghouta
Meanwhile, the Syrian army has made a series gains in Eastern Ghouta following heavy clashes with terrorists groups.
Large areas including farms and villages have been liberated from the terrorists’ grasp over the past few days.
Eastern Ghouta, a besieged area on the outskirts of Damascus, has witnessed deadly violence over the past few weeks, with Takfiri terrorist outfits, one of which is made up of militants from al-Qaeda’s ex-affiliate, have been launching mortar attacks on the Syrian capital in the face of an imminent humiliating defeat, killing over 20 civilians in two weeks.
The Syrian army is making steady advances in the enclave, but it is facing a hostile West, which is threatening airstrikes to stop the push. President Bashar al-Assad vowed on Sunday that Syrian forces would continue the latest campaign until the whole area is retaken.