Syria Foreign Ministry dismisses use of chemical weapons in Latakia
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Syria Foreign Ministry dismisses use of chemical weapons in Latakia

An official source at Syria's Foreign and Expatriates Ministry on Sunday reaffirmed a statement by the general command of the armed forces who has denied such claims as completely baseless, the official news agency SANA reported. The statement added that Syria had fully cooperated with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which declared Syria free of any chemical weapons. The source emphasized that Syria has never used chemical weapons in the past and would never use them in the future because the Arab country does not possess such arms in the first place while it also considers the use of toxic weapons against its moral and international obligations. These recurring, hollow and barefaced media fabrication will never dissuade Syria from fighting terrorism until the full restoration of security and safety across the country, the source said. Earlier in the day, a military source quoted the general command of the armed forces as saying that Syria is going ahead in fighting terror until the last grain of the Syrian soil is cleared from the scourge. In the past several years, militants have launched dozens of chemical attacks in Syria. Damascus has called on the United Nations to take action in this regard. Syria surrendered its stockpile of chemical weapons in 2014 to a joint mission led by the United States and the OPCW, which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry. It has also consistently denied using chemical weapons. The OPCW, a global watchdog, has documented systematic use of nerve agent sarin and chlorine during Syria's eight-year conflict. On April 7, 2018, an alleged chemical weapons attack hit the Damascus suburb town of Douma,  just as the Syrian army was about to win the battle against the militants there. Western states blamed the Syrian government for the incident, but Damascus firmly rejected the accusation. One week after the suspected gas attack, the US, Britain and France launched a coordinated missile strike against sites and research facilities near Damascus and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government’s capability to produce chemicals.

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