In an interview with AFP (Agence France-Presse) on April 13, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the suspected chemical attack blamed on his government in Khan Shaykhun was a “100 percent fabrication”.
The Syrian government doesn’t have chemical weapons, he said, having given away the arsenal in 2013. Assad also claimed that the videos and photos from the attack were fabricated, as Nusra Front controls the media in Khan Shaykhun. But, he said, the government is willing to work with an international investigation into the attack.
Assad denied Russian knowledge of the US attack on Shayrat airbase in response to the Khan Shaykhun attack, saying that Russians didn’t have the time to warn the Syrian government because the US informed them a few minutes before launching its attack.
He also said that the suffering of the Syrian people and the humanitarian interactions with the Syrian families deprive him from sleep from time to time.
Syrian Arab News Agency released a transcript of the interview. See here. Credit: Syrian Presidency via Storyful