Syrian leader resorts to ‘fake news’ claim

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Facing the outrage of world leaders for launching a chemical weapons attack on his own people, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad claims that reports of the attack are a “100 percent fabrication.”

Assad insisted that news reports of the attack, which human rights groups say killed 87 people, cannot be verified. “The story is not convincing, by any means,” he said, noting that footage showing people foaming at the mouth could be fake. “We don’t know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Shaykhun. Were they dead at all?”

The Daily Mail reported that Assad made these comments on Thursday, less than 24 hours after world leaders argued over a UN resolution condemning the attack. Russia vetoed the resolution, saying it wants a full investigation launched.

The UN Security Council learned on Wednesday that the presence of Sarin gas or a similar chemical compound was detected by tests conducted at the site of the attack.

However, Assad said that his army “gave up” all of its chemical weapons in 2013 but that he will allow an “impartial” probe into the chemical attack by an “unbiased” nation. He also confirmed that the U.S.’ strike against a Syrian airfield did not affect his military’s firepower.

The U.S. is “not serious” about finding a political situation to end Syria’s civil war, said Assad, accusing U.S. Sec. of State Rex Tillerson of “hallucinating” when he said that the Assad family reign was coming to an end.

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