Syria denies US accusation of 2013 chemical attack

Damascus: The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday criticized the recent statement by the US State Department accusing the Damascus government of carrying out a chemical attack in a former rebel-held area in 2013.

The ministry called the department’s statement “baseless allegations … through which the United States attempted to distort the facts and spread lies” about the alleged chemical attack in the Eastern Ghouta countryside of the capital Damascus, reports the Xinhua news agency.

The State Department made the accusation in a recent statement alleging that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used “nervous agent sarin” in the Ghouta district of Damascus to kill more than 1,400 people.

The Foreign Office, in its response, said the statement clearly reflected “the United States’ continued hostile method against Syria which covers up its failure in Afghanistan and its support for the terrorism facing Syria.”

“The government of the Syrian Arab Republic once again reaffirms its opposition to the use of this type of weapon anywhere, anytime and under any circumstance and by any camp because it is about ‘a question that conflicts with the principles and morals of Syria,’ the ministry said.

The attack, during the Syrian civil war, took place in the early hours of August 21, 2013, when opposition-controlled areas in Ghouta were struck by rockets containing the chemical agent sarin.

Estimates of the death toll range from at least 281 to 1,729.

The attack was the deadliest use of chemical weapons since the Iran-Iraq war.

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