Anonymous sources in the Syrian Foreign Ministry said yesterday that the intelligence assessment the Obama administration presented to prove the use of chemical weapons was based on “terrorist lies” and “media exaggeration.”
A source within the Ministry Sana, Syria’s state-run news agency, that “[Secretary of State] Kerry’s allegations that the Syrian Army knew about chemical weapons use three days prior to the incident are lies.” As proof, the source said that the government requested U.N. investigators to visit a-Bahaia, an area where “Syrian Army soldiers were exposed to toxic gas, and the committee met the affected soldiers in the area.”
The source also said the United States did not provide “one piece of true and logical evidence” that proved the government was behind the chemical weapon attacks in the outskirts of Damascus on August 21, referring to the U.S. government’s intercepted calls about chemical weapons among Syrian government officials “too ridiculous to be discussed.” Instead, apparently, the United States presented “fabricated images from the Internet.”
The Ministry also accused the United States of pushing for a limited mandate for the team of United Nations inspectors, alleging that the U.S. was trying to sideline the Security Council.
Secretary of State Kerry argued yesterday that the inspectors would only determine whether or not chemical weapons had been used, not who had deployed them. The inspectors, he said, “can’t tell us anything . . . that we don’t already know.”