Published time: September 02, 2013 17:45
Edited time: September 02, 2013 20:06
French Prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault,Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.(AFP Photo / Jacques Demarthon / SANA)
At least three chemical attacks were staged in Syria between April and August, a declassified French intelligence report claims, while President Bashar Assad said it was “illogical” for the government to launch a chemical weapons strike.
The declassified nine-page French intelligence report, issued by the country’s external and military services, suggests government forces loyal to President Assad were behind the attack, which took place on August 21 in eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus.
The report alleges the strikes were directed from government-controlled areas to the east and west of Damascus and targeted rebel zones; the intelligence also describes “massive use of chemical agents” involved in the attack.
“Unlike previous attacks that used small amounts of chemicals and were aimed at terrorizing people, this attack was tactical and aimed at regaining territory,” government sources commented to Reuters.
The source added that since then Assad’s forces had subsequently bombed the areas to erase evidence of strikes.