Assad regime did the chemical attack: Turkish Dep. PM

 06 Apr 2017 - 14:03

Assad regime did the chemical attack: Turkish Dep. PM
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes speaking at Anadolu Agency's Editors' Desk in Ankara on April 6, Ankara.

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ANKARA: Turkey’s deputy prime minister said Thursday that the Assad regime is responsible for Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack in Syria which killed more than 100 civilians.

Speaking at Anadolu Agency's Editors' Desk in Ankara, Tugrul Turkes said some say the Assad regime used chemical weapons against the opposition and others, trying to find excuses, say the attack targeted a chemical weapons depot, so the opposition is responsible for the deaths.

"The two approaches have no difference for me. If the Assad regime knew that there were chemical weapons in that depot, it should also have known that it should not have carried out an attack there. The excuse which the Russian side and others try to give is no excuse for me, but growing evidence that the Assad regime carried out the attack," Turkes stressed.

Turkes added that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim have said many times that Syria can no longer be governed by the Assad regime and that this firm stance will continue.

On Tuesday, more than 100 civilians were killed and 500 others, mostly children, were injured in an attack allegedly carried out by Assad regime warplanes, according to the Syrian interim government's health minister, Firas Jundi.

The attack attracted widespread international condemnation and calls for the Assad regime to be held accountable. 

Turkey’s justice minister said Thursday that autopsies done in Turkey of victims of the deadly attack show that chemical weapons were used.

Turkes also stressed the traditional U.S. depiction of itself as the world’s “policeman,” adding that now we will see if the U.S. behaves accordingly in Syria, addressing its responsibilities. 

Turkes said after Donald Trump's election as president last fall there is a different situation in the U.S., different from the U.S. that the world has known.

"With Trump's election, a grey zone started there,” he explained. “The administration can’t get approval from the Senate… Some people had to resign, there is a different situation there."