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SYRIA DENIES USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN BATTLEFIELDS

DAMASCUS, -- The Syrian Foreign Ministry has denied the government forces' use of chemical weapons during the ongoing battles in the war-torn country, according to the state news agency SANA.

The ministry statement denied what it said "accusations" made recently in a report inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which blamed the Syrian forces for carrying out a gas attack against rebels in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib in March 2015.

"The Syrian government, while denying all accusations in the report, stresses its commitment to all its pledges made when it joined the treaty of chemical weapons convention.

It said the Syrian government repeatedly denied all "allegations circulated by some western departments and their tools" about the use of chemical weapons in the fight against the rebels.

Chemical weapons are believed to have taken place in several areas in Syria in the past years, with the government and the rebels trading accusations.

As many as 1,400 people were killed when several opposition-controlled areas in the suburbs around Damascus were struck by rockets containing the chemical agent sarin on Aug. 21, 2013.

In the same year, a chemical attack hit the then government-controlled town of Khan al-Asal in the countryside of Aleppo, in which several Syrian soldiers and civilians were either killed or suffered from suffocation. The government accused the rebels, who, in turn, denied the accusation.

In October 2013, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) officials arrived in Syria to monitor the dismantlement of the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal, after Damascus officially joined the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Convention.

The OPCW later said the government has made its chemical weapon production facilities inoperable.

The dismantlement of the Syrian chemical weapons was due to a U.S.-Russian understanding, the first sign of a consensus between both powers on the Syrian conflict.

Since then, reports of poisonous gas attacks kept emerging once in a while.

Source: Nam News Network