Syria dismisses “unfounded” British report on chemical weapons

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The Syrian information minister dismissed on Sunday a recent British report that a soil sample from Syrian territory has proven the use of chemical weapons in the war-torn country.

“The testing of Syrian soil, if not performed by an official and international organization and done without the consent of the Syrian government, has no political or legal value,” Omran al-Zoubi said, adding that the report was unfounded.

Zoubi accused Turkey, Britain and France of supplying the Syrian rebels with chemical weapons.

"Where did those who brought the rockets into Khan al-Assal get them from? Where did they get the chemical weapons from? They should ask Turkey, Britain, France and the other states about the source of these chemical weapons," he said.

The Times newspaper reported Saturday that British military scientists discovered forensic evidence that chemical weapons have been used in the conflict in Syria.

A soil sample thought to have been taken from an area close to Damascus and smuggled back to Britain has provided proof that “some kind of chemical weapon” had been fired, the newspaper quoted defense sources as saying.

The tests were carried out at the British Ministry of Defense’s chemical and biological research establishment at Porton Down, it added.

Diplomats at the United Nations said on Thursday that Western Nations have “hard evidence” that chemical weapons have been used at least once in the Syrian war, without giving details, AFP said.

The British teams were unable to discern whether the weapons had not been fired by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime or by the rebels fighting him, nor could they say if there had been widespread use, The Times said.