Assad denies his forces conducted chemical attack
WASHINGTON (AP) - Syrian President Bashar Assad said a United Nations report finding "clear and convincing evidence" that sarin nerve gas was used in Syria painted an "unrealistic" account, and he denied his government orchestrated the attack.
In an interview with Fox News Channel conducted in the Syrian capital of Damascus and aired on Wednesday, Mr Assad said terrorists were to blame for the chemical attack, which the US says killed more than 1,400 people, including hundreds of children. He said evidence that terrorist groups have used sarin gas has been turned over to Russia and that Russia, through one of its satellites, has evidence that the rockets in the Aug 21 attack were launched from another area.
While the US report did not lay blame, many experts interpreting the report said all indications were that the attack was conducted by Assad forces. US, Britain and France jumped on evidence in the report - especially the type of rockets, the composition of the sarin agent, and trajectory of the missiles - to declare that Mr Assad's government was responsible.
"The whole story doesn't even hold together," Mr Assad said. "It's not realistic. ... We didn't use any chemical weapons in Ghouta," a Damascus suburb.