Turkish Armed Forces Deny Ankara's Use Of Chemical Weapons In Syria - Reports
Umer Jamshaid 1 month ago Mon 21st October 2019 | 10:07 PM
The Turkish Armed Forces denied on Monday that Ankara deployed chemical weapons during its week-long operation in northeastern Syria, Anadolu Agency reported
The Turkish forces do not have any chemical weapons, so there is also no means of disposal or ammunition, the agency quoted Turkish Minister Hulusi Akar as saying.
The report followed claims circulated last week that Turkish forces used white phosphorous during its operation in Ras al-Ain, a claim President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vehemently denied.
Employing white phosphorous constitutes a war crime and is banned by the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons (CWC) to which Turkey is a signatory.
Images and video published last Wednesday by the head of Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) press office Mustafa Bali, among others, shows children in hospitals with what appears to be unusual burns on their skin with a caption reading "we suspect that unconventional weapons are used against SDF fighters.
Erdogan met with journalists after agreeing with a top American delegation to temporarily halt the Operation Peace Spring, in which he flatly denied the accusation saying he was confident Turkish forces did not have chemical weapons.
On October 9, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the launch of Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria. The offensive is part of Ankara's goal to clear its Syria-facing border area of terrorists and Kurdish militia, which for Ankara are interchangeable, and create a safe zone.
Earlier last week, US Vice President Mike Pence announced a ceasefire in Syria's north after long talks with Erdogan in Ankara. The sides had agreed that a 120-hour ceasefire would be put into force in northeast Syria to allow the withdrawal of the Kurdish-led forces. Both Ankara and the Kurds have accused each other of violating the truce.