“If the use of chemical weapons is true, it has definitely been carried out by terrorist and Takfiri groups, because they have proved in action that they refrain from no crime,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said in a late Wednesday phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu.
Zarif also argued that Damascus could not be behind the alleged attack given the Syrian Army’s upper hand in the battle against foreign-backed militants and the presence of UN inspectors in Syria.
“This criminal act has been carried out by terrorist groups because their interests lie in intensifying the crisis in Syria,” he added.
The Iranian foreign minister also stressed Tehran’s strong condemnation of any use of chemical weapons.
Davutoglu, for his part, expressed concern over the chemical attacks Syria and called for an investigation into the reports. He also called for continued Tehran-Ankara negotiations to prevent an escalation of the crisis in Syria.
On Wednesday, the head of the so-called opposition Syrian National Coalition, George Sabra, claimed that 1,300 people were killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar.
But the Syrian Army vehemently rejected allegations that it used chemical weapons against Takfiri militants, saying the accusations were fabricated to distract the visiting team of the UN chemical weapons experts and to cover up militants’ losses.
The head of the UN inspection mission, Ake Sellstrom, has said that the alleged attack should be investigated. The Arab League has also called on the inspectors to visit the site of the alleged chemical attack.
Meanwhile, Britain, France, the US, and Saudi Arabia have called for the UN Security Council to convene immediately to discuss the reports of the chemical attack.
In March, dozens of people were killed in a chemical attack in the northern province of Aleppo. A Russian-led inquiry said militants were behind the deadly attack.