Al-Moallem Reiterates ‘Syrian Army Hasn’t Used and Won’t Use Chemical Weapons Even against Terrorists’

DAMASCUS, (ST)-The Syrian Arab Army has not used and won’t use in the future any kind of chemical weapons in any Syrian area even against the terrorist groups who are killing the Syrian people, Deputy Premier, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Walid al-Moallem has reiterated, clarifying that Syria joined the Chemical Weapon Convention (CWC) in 2013 and since then it has presented successive documents to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) regarding this issue, and by mid 2016, the OPCW verified that all the Syrian documents were correct.

 In a press conference on Thursday, Al-Moallem questioned about the timing of the ongoing unfair campaign against Syria in which Syria’s enemies and affiliated media accused the Syrian army of attacking Syrian areas with chemical gases.

 He said that “over the past weeks there was an active reconciliation movement in different Syrian areas. Besides, the Syrian army has been able to regain all the points that were gained by the terrorist groups in their recent attacks in Jobar district of Damascus countryside and in Hama northern countryside.”

 “As you know the terrorist groups didn’t attend the recent Astana meeting because Turkey asked them not to attend and that Turkey also impeded the outcomes of the Astana conference. In addition, the Fifth round of Intra-Syrian talks in Geneva was preceded by the terrorists’ attack on Jobar district and Hama countryside and the Riyadh delegation had only one demand in Geneva which is to be handed over power in Syria,” al-Moallem went on to say.

“When all these attempts failed they resorted to the lies that the Syrian army used chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun,” he clarified.

He further clarified that the anti-Syria campaign started at 06:00 am on April 4th, while the Syrian army’s airstrike against a Jabhat al-Nusra ammunition depot with chemical weapons inside in Idleb was launched at 11:00 am. Besides, if there were an airstrike with chemical weapons, it would have caused a hole with a diameter of 1 km, he said, pointing out that this international campaign was launched by some countries known of their conspiring role against Syria.

Al-Moallem affirmed that “Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra continued to store chemical weapons in residential areas and that the Syrian army hasn’t used and won’t use this kind of weapon even against terrorists who are targeting the Syrian people.  

Al-Moallem expressed astonishment over the US Envoy at the Security Council’s remarks that she doesn’t have information about the attack in Khan Sheikhoun, yet she accused the Syrian government.

He said Syria has sent several messages on violations and airstrikes by the warplanes of the US-led Coalition that killed dozens of Syrian civilians in several areas, most recently in Raqqa. So, if the US officials want to apply humanitarian standards they should start with themselves, because it is not enough to say sorry we committed this act by mistake.

Al-Moallem urged the international community and the Security Council, particularly permanent members, to assume its responsibility in preserving international peace and security in accordance with the UN Charter and this means that unilateral action must not be allowed.  

The Syrian top diplomat said that the Russian envoy proposed forming an unbiased inquiry committee with wide representation to investigate the incident, noting that Damascus’s experience with investigative committees is not encouraging, because they come out with specific data in Damascus and when they leave the country these data changes.

He said “when we condemn using chemical weapons, we condemn all who use them,” noting Syria’s full coordination with the Russian side to reach a conclusion in this respect.

The terrorists are getting orders from their masters and the terrorist attacks in Jobar and northern Hama countryside indicate a clear role by the Turkish and Qatari regimes which aim at aborting the entire political process to find solution to the crisis in Syria, according to al-Moallem.

Regarding the goals of the current anti-Syria campaign, al-Moallem said " the first goal may be to change Trump's views on Syria, and this was unfortunately achieved. The second goal may be to pressure the Russian side which provides honest and true assistance to Syria in its struggle against terrorism. The third goal may be to pressure Damascus to change its principled stances, a goal that can't be achieved because Damascus never changes its principles be they on fighting terrorism or reaching political solution that satisfies the Syrian people."

According to al-Moallem the second goal was not achieved also because the Kremlin announced in a statement two days ago that Russia will continue supporting the Syrian army in the fight against terror and  will keep backing the legitimate government in Syria.

He asserted that all what is going on in Syria and the entire region serves only the interest of the Israeli entity.

The top Syrian diplomat pointed out that Astana process is very important for fixing the cessation of hostilities in Syria and for discussing key military issues that may lead to separating the participating armed terrorist groups on the one hand and Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations on the other. He affirmed that Syria is very serious about participating in Astana meetings because it is keen on stopping the shedding of the Syrian blood.

Concerning the Turkish regime's preparation for a new military aggression after ending the so-called "Euphrates Shield" operation, al-Moallem said Turkey has been conspiring on Syria since the eruption of the crisis in the country and it won't hesitate to take any measures that harm Syria. He believes that Turkey is experiencing a state of confusion right now, but this doesn't mean that it will give up its conspiracy on Syria or stop sending terrorists to the country and supplying them with weapons.  

Al-Moallem pointed out that Syria has informed the United Nations about chemical materials that entered Syria from Turkey and were delivered to the terrorists, clarifying that in eastern Aleppo, in particular, some Jabhat al-Nusra workshops with equipments to manufacture chemical materials to be used in terrorist shells, were discovered.

Regarding the Syrian government's stance on the so-called "democratic Syria Forces", Al-Moallem asserted that "the Kurds are a basic component of the Syrian people. They want to have presence within the Syrian Arab Republic which means that there is a ground for future dialogue between us and them to figure out their demands and to explain to them our position."
"Today, we are fighting a common enemy, namely Daesh, when we finish with this battle we can sit and talk within the framework of their recognition that they are one of the Syrian people's component and are part of the Syrian Arab Republic," al-Moallem added.

Hamda Mustafa