Syria has categorically denied that it used chemical weapons against its own civilians in the wake of worldwide condemnation over the attack.
Horrific images from the town of Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria showed dead bodies of women, children and babies and has provoked world leaders to speak out against the Assad regime.
However, Syria’s foreign minister Walid Moallem (above) has claimed that his country has not – and will not – use chemical weapons in the war-torn country.
He told reporters in Damascus: “The Syrian Arab Army has never used chemical weapons and will not use chemical weapons against Syrians, but even against the terrorists that attack our civilians with mortar rounds.”
His denials were made despite Turkish justice minister Bekir Bozdag saying that “it was determined after the autopsy that a chemical weapon was used”.
Vladimir Putin, a close ally of Assad, called the accusations that the Syrian government was behind the attack ‘groundless’.
Reports of the chemical attack were also reinforced by humanitarian workers on the ground and both US and Russian forces.
Turkish officials say that nearly 60 of the 86 victims of the attack were brought to Turkey for treatment and three of them died.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has warned that the Trump administration would take action in Syria if the Security Council did not.
Two US officials claim that chlorine gas and traces of the nerve agent sarin were used in the attack, while victims showed signs of nerve gas exposure, according to the World Health Organisation and Doctors Without Borders.
Victims were said to be foaming at the mouth and were suffering convulsions, while medical teams also reported smelling bleach on the bodies.
Top pic: PA