DAMASCUS, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Syrian state media denied Wednesday reports circulated by opposition activists about the army's use of chemical gases against rebellious suburbs of the capital Damascus.
The news circulated by the activist media outlets, "which are partners in shedding the Syrian blood," are totally "baseless", state-run SANA news agency said.
The claims aim to divert the attention of the visiting UN chemical inspection team from the original target of its mission, SANA added.
Earlier in the day, Syrian opposition activists posted online videos of dead people who they claimed were "victims of the regime chemical attack," accusing the army of using "poisonous gases" in Damascus' countryside overnight.
The report, the first of its kind in activist coverage, showed bodies tossed on the ground in the eastern Gouta and the western Muadamieh suburbs of the Syrian capital.
The accusation came amid the UN mission here to investigate possible use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict. The probe was requested by the Syrian government, who accused the Western- backed rebels of using sarin agent in the northern town of Khan al- Asal.
The Syrian government welcomed the arrival of the UN inspectors on Sunday, pledging to cooperate with them and facilitate their work.
Syria is fulfilling "what we have agreed on with the international mission," Syrian Prime Minister Wael Al-Halqi said. "Our colleagues in the foreign ministry have prepared all the procedures in order to make their work a success."
The prime minister also accused Turkey of providing armed rebels with chemical weapons that were used in Khan al-Asal, near the northern restive city of Aleppo.
The United States and several European countries have expressed fears that Syria's chemical weapons may "fall into the wrong hands " if the Syrian administration falls.
Israel also has said it had intervention plans to secure the arsenals in case of a "regime collapse" in Syria
While Washington warns the Syrian forces' use of chemical weapons would be "a red line," the violation of which would trigger military intervention, Damascus repeatedly stressed "even if we had such weapons, we would not use them," and alleged the rebels might use chemical bombs against civilians to frame the government.
DAMASCUS, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Syrian opposition activists on Wednesday posted online videos of dead people who they claimed were "victims of the regime chemical attack," accusing the army of using "poisonous gases" in Damascus' countryside overnight.
The report, the first of its kind in activist coverage, showed bodies tossed on the ground in the eastern Gouta and the western Muadamieh suburbs of the Syrian capital. Full story
DAMASCUS, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- With the arrival of UN chemical weapons inspection team in Syria, many Syrians began to wonder: whether the international community is searching for a pretext to intervene in Syria militarily, similar to that in 2003 when America invaded Iraq over the chemical weapons pretext?
One of the sub-reasons behind the uncertainty was also the appointment of Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom, who served as the former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, as the head of the inspection team in Syria. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday told reporters that a group of experts had begun an investigation into alleged use of chemical weapons in at least three locations during the Syrian conflict.
Ban said as agreed with the Syrian government the group would conduct its activities in the country for up to 14 days and that could be extended upon mutual consent. Full story