Speed Reads

Crisis in Syria

The Syrian president is now denying that a chemical weapon attack happened at all

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claimed in an interview with AFP that the chemical weapon attack in Idlib last week was a "fabrication" by the U.S. to justify a military strike on a Syrian airfield. "Definitely, 100 percent for us, it's fabrication ... Our impression is that the West, mainly the United States, is hand-in-glove with the terrorists. They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack," Assad said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also recently claimed without evidence that opposition rebels in Syria are planning fake chemical attacks to increase U.S. involvement in the country. "We have seen it all already," Putin said in reference to the suspicions about weapons of mass destruction that drove America's 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The White House said Tuesday that it has intelligence that confirms Assad used sarin gas on his own people. U.S. authorities additionally suspect Russia of having attempted to help Assad cover-up the attack by bombing a hospital that was treating victims. The White House said Tuesday that Assad and Putin are promoting "false narratives" in an attempt to distract from their own involvement.