Tabnak – More than two weeks after the US conducted a missile airstrike against a Syrian airbase with the pretext of "punishing” Damascus over an alleged chemical attack, American officials are continuing their allegations in this regard. This is while, anti-terrorist operations are still going on in Syria and the situation on the ground is still evolving.
In the latest allegation against the Syrian government, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday that the Syrian government has retained an unspecified amount of chemical weapons and dispersed its aircraft after a US cruise-missile attack this month.
"There can be no doubt in the international community’s mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all. There is no longer any doubt,” the Washington Post quoted Mattis as saying.
The US official declined to reveal how many chemical weapons Syria has held on to, but said that the issue would have to be taken up diplomatically.
This is while, according to the Los Angeles Times, even an Israeli army officer told local reporters earlier this week that most of the Syrian chemical weapons stockpile was either removed or destroyed after 2013. The Syrian government itself has persistently declared that it has no more chemical weapons after an international body monitored their transfer outside the country.
At the same time, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview to the Sputnik News that the Western media deliberately exaggerate the number of people killed in the Syrian conflict to create a "humanitarian pretext” for a possible intervention in the war-torn country.
Moreover, speaking about chemical weapons allegedly possessed by terrorist groups, Assad said that he is "100 percent” sure that the extremists receive them "directly from Turkey.” He added that "there was evidence regarding this” and "many parties and parliament members in Turkey… questioned the government regarding those allegations.”
Speaking about the US strike on the Shayrat airbase that followed the chemical incident in Khan Shaykhun, the Syrian president said that government forces' ability to defend against such attacks had been reduced by terrorist assaults, which destroyed more than 50 percent of the country’s air defense systems.
In another development regarding Syria, Fox News reported that in the wake of increased airstrikes and pressure applied from three directions by US-backed Syrian forces, ISIS terrorist group has essentially moved its capital in Syria. Fox cited US officials as saying that ISIS is now centered in Deir ez-Zur, roughly 90 miles southeast of Raqqa.
All in all, with these developments underway both on the ground and in the political arena, it’s still hard to predict how the whole situation regarding the Syrian Crisis will become in a mid of long-term time-table.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.