MOSCOW, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Western accusations that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons are "an insult to common sense," President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Russian newspaper Izvestia published Monday.
"Such accusations are political, and the reason for this was the series of victories by government forces over the terrorists," he said in the interview, posted on the newspaper's website.
"We are accused that the army has used chemical weapons in an area that is under the control of the alleged gunmen," Assad said, stressing that in fact, there is no clear line between the army and rebel militants in this area.
"How can the government use chemical, or any other weapons of mass destruction, in a place where its troops are concentrated. This is contrary to elementary logic," Assad said.
As for some western countries' ongoing preparation for a possible response to the alleged use of chemical weapons, Assad said it was not the first time the issue of military incursion into Syria was brought up.
"From the very start of the crisis, the United States, France and Britain tried to carry out a military invasion, but unfortunately for them things took a different turn," he added.
Though tried hard to persuade other nations to stand on their side, they "failed to convince their people and the whole world that the policy they pursued in the Middle East was clever and useful," said the president.
The president also warned the United States of failure if it dares to invade Syria, "as in all previous wars waged by them, from Vietnam to the present day."
The United States "was not able to convince his multi-ethnic people in the righteousness of the war, as well as to instill their ideology to other countries," he said.
Israeli DM: Assad gov't "routinely" uses unconventional weapons
JERUSALEM, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Sunday evening accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad 's government of routinely using unconventional weaponry against insurgents and civilians in the Syrian conflict, according to a statement issued by the minister's office.
"There are many events taking place in our region, especially the use of unconventional weaponry by an unconventional regime -- a move that caused the tragic death of hundreds of innocent civilians," Ya'alon said when meeting visiting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, referring to an alleged chemical missile strike on the outskirts of Damascus on Wednesday.Full story
Obama discusses Syria response with military, security advisors
WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. PresidentBarack Obamaconvened a meeting of his national security team on Saturday to review options of responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Obama and his military and security aides met at theWhite Houseto assess the latest intelligence concerning the alleged chemical attack by Syrian government troops last Wednesday, and discuss the options of a U.S. response, the White House said in a statement. Full story
Syrian opposition calls on West, Arabic countries to intervene in Syria
ISTANBUL, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition (SNC), the main opposition umbrella group in exile, called upon Saturday the West and Arabic countries to intervene to stop the bloodshed in Syria.
Ahmad Al-Jarba, the president of the SNC, said "We ask U.S. President Barack Obama and the leaders of other Western countries and Arab world to be responsible at personal level and intervene to stop the 'massacre' in Syria." Full story