Reported chemical attack kills dozens in Syria
Syrian Military Strongly Denies Allegations of Launching Gas Attack in Idlib
A senior Syrian military source denied allegations that government forces had used chemical weapons as rebel propaganda, reminding that Damascus has never used such weapons during the six-year-old war.
The Syrian army "has not and does not use them, not in the past and not in the future, because it does not have them in the first place," the source told Reuters.
Separately, a Syrian member of parliament, Sharif Shahada, said he believed a chemical arms depot set up and held by the militants in the area may have exploded in the incident, adding that the Syrian government was not in possession of such weapons.
Shahada also accused Turkey of having supplied militants in Syria with chemical arms.
Meanwhile, the Russian military said in a statement that Moscow did not conduct any airstrikes in Idlib province.
The United States and its allies have in the past accused the Syrian military of conducting chemical attacks, while Damascus turned its entire chemical arsenal over to international monitors under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States back in 2013.
Foreign-backed militants have repeatedly used chemical weapons against Syrian troops and civilians, but the attacks have often been ignored by Western governments.
Syrian forces had also found Saudi and Turkish chemicals in Aleppo that were used by Takfiri terrorist groups to make chemical weapons. Damascus forces also discovered several chemical-weapons workshops in the war-torn country in the past years.
Russia’s Defense Ministry also found poisonous chlorine and white phosphorus in nine samples from Southwestern Aleppo in November 2016.
Russian Defense Ministry’s Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the UN-backed Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was reluctant to join forces with Russia or send experts to Aleppo, adding that "which does not stop some OPCW members from apportioning blame from afar and ignoring the evidence that chemical weapons are being used against civilians."
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in the same month that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons refuses to send its experts to Aleppo to check substances used by militants in attacks and the move was “seemingly done under pressure from our Western colleagues”.
“Russian specialists found that militants in Eastern Aleppo used ammunition with poisonous substances, with the ammo targeting Western Aleppo. The collected samples leave no doubt that it’s a toxic agent,” he added.
In December 2016, Syrian authorities had provided the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) with evidence of mustard gas use by militants in Aleppo province.
Syria has been hit with rounds of Western sanctions for years on accusations that its government exercised violence against its own people. The European Union has extended until June 2017 curbs on Syria linked to investment, oil production and trade.
Syrian War Report – April 4, 2017: Important Developments In Aleppo And Hama
460 families from al-Waer arrive in rebel held-Idlib as evacuation continues
SAA+VKS restored control over Maardes town in Hama province.
SAA+VKS established control over the mountain of Abu al-Douhor to the north of the Fourth Station
Russia delivers aid to an orphanage in Aleppo
Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Inflicts Heavy Losses on Terrorists in Hama Province
The Syrian army hit hard the terrorists' military positions and hardware in Northern Hama province.
The terrorists in Hama province sustained heavy losses in tough battle with the Syrian army.
The Syrian army also continued its advances in other key provinces across Syria.
The Al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) sustained another major defeat in Northern Hama and lost control over a key town after brief, but bloody, clashes with the Syrian army on Monday.
Military sources on both sides of the war reported on Monday that the Syrian army pushed forward in the Northern parts of Hama province and captured the town of Maardis.
Later reports said the ground troops continued their advance in the same region and imposed control on Maardis Bridge and Maardis Mills.
Reports also said that other army units, backed up by massive artillery and rocket fire, raided Al-Nusra's strategic position on Tal (Hill) al-Dowair and pushed the terrorists further back after fierce battle.
Army troops said the Al-Nusra lost control over the town and the hill and sustained dozens of casualties in the two battles, adding that the government troops are still on the march in Northern Hama.
The army has won back over 20 towns and villages that it had lost to the Al-Nusra Front North of Hama province after hunting hundreds of terrorists, including several Saudi ringleaders.
"Some 80 percent of the territories lost to the terrorists in the last few weeks have now been recaptured by the army following a series of counterattacks on Al-Nusra (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) militants in the region," a ranking army officer told FNA.
The source further pointed out that the army has managed to seize back a sum of 20 towns and villages, the Qatar Tayyebeh Al-Imam Station and a number of other key military positions in the region.
"In these operations, hundreds of terrorists have been killed, including Emir of the Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board) training camps Abu Fahd Al-Anzi, Commander Mohammad Ahmad Joulaq, Mufti (religious leader) Abu Riyaq Turkistani and Saudi Commander of Turkistani Party Abdul-Rahman Abdullah Do'ayd," he stated.
The Syrian army hit hard the military positions of Al-Nusra Front and destroyed their command center in Dara'a province, killing several terrorists.
At least 20 Al-Nusra Front terrorists, including commanders, were killed in the Syrian army's artillery and missile attacks in Dara'a province.
The Al-Nusra Front's command center East of the old customs office was destroyed in the Syrian army attacks.
Meantime, several military positions and bases of the terrorists East of al-Kark Prison and Tariq al-Assad district were destroyed in the Syrian army offensive.
According to army reports, three military vehicles of the terrorists were destroyed in Eastern Ibt'a Town and North of al-Na'ima regions as well.
The Syrian army continued its military operations against the Al-Nusra Front in the Eastern part of Damascus, and advanced in the area after closing all tunnels located between Qaboun and Barzeh regions.
The Syrian army troops engaged in heavy clashes with Al-Nusra terrorists in Qaboun region and made advances towards al-Ba'alah region.
Meantime, the Syrian army's missile and artillery units targeted and pounded the Al-Nusra Front's military positions and bases in the region, killing several militants.
A military source also reiterated that the Syrian army has closed down all tunnels of the terrorists in areas between Barzeh and Qaboun regions.
The Syrian air force also pounded the terrorist groups' bases in Jobar and the outskirts of Erbin and Zamalka regions, and destroyed a military base. Local witnesses said all the terrorists inside the base were killed in the air raid.
Militant groups in Northwestern Syria resumed internal clashes on Monday after a lull in infighting between the Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar Al-Sham rival factions.
Websites close to the terrorist groups in Syria reported that Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board) terrorists raided the residence of Ahrar Al-Sham regional commander Abu Mos'ab in Maar Dibsah village South-East of Idlib province after midnight, exchanging massive fire with tens of Ahar militants deployed in the region.
"Following the clashes, Ahrar Al-Sham has dispatched tens of gunmen to South-Eastern Idlib and erected a large number of checkpoints in the region," the reports said.
The reports also mentioned "scores of casualties on both sides", but did not reveal any further detail about the fate of Abu Mos'ab and his family.
The Syrian Army intensified its attacks on ISIL positions and defense lines in the city of Deir Ezzur and its outskirts to end the terrorists' siege on the city.
The army's artillery and missile units launched heavy artillery and air assaults on ISIL's concentration centers in al-Erifi neighborhood and also on the terrorist group's movements in the areas stretching from Regiment 137 base to the key positions Southwest of the city.
Army reports said at least 10 terrorists were killed and a number of their military vehicles were destroyed in the strikes.
The Syrian army troops also pounded ISIL's concentration centers South of Deir Ezzur, destroying a number of military vehicles and bases in the surrounding areas of Tal al-Sanouf and al-Sham gas station.
The Syrian army repelled a hopeless offensive of the Al-Nusra Front in the Northern parts of Homs province after inflicting large casualties on the Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists.
The terrorists launched an attack on a number of military positions recently established by the Syrian army near the villages of Emir and Kafr Nan in Northern Homs, but they retreated after sustaining 23 casualties, army reports said on Monday.
Meantime, other Al-Nusra militants sought to open their way to the village of Qinyat al-Asi through the Projects Area to capture the army positions in the region, according to the same reports.
"The terrorists sustained, at least, a dozen casualties and retreated after hours of bloody battle with government troops," said the reports, adding that the terrorists also lost a number of military vehicles in the clashes.
US will no longer disclose data on its troops in Iraq & Syria to surprise ISIS
Iraqi Forces Clash With ISIS In Mosul's Narrow Alleyways
Civilians used as human shields by ISIS as Mosul witnesses intense clashes
Civilian homes in ruins after ISIS shelling and bombing in Mosul
ISIS mortar factory uncovered in western Mosul neighbourhood
Attempts underway to resolve dispute over Kirkuk flag raising
Turkey-Led Euphrates Shield Forces Suffer Heavy Casualties in Failed Attack on SDF Positions in Northern Aleppo
Aleppo: Syrian Army Recaptures New Towns Near Key Military Airport
Damascus: Syrian Army Lays Siege on Al-Nusra in Barzeh Region
Al-Nusra Front Terrorists Flee Battlefields in Hama after Sustaining Heavy Losses
Homs: Syrian Army Advances Further Towards Key Oil Region
Syrian Military Strongly Denies Allegations of Launching Gas Attack in Idlib
Northern Hama: Syrian Army Advances towards Strategic Town, Captures Key Village, Kills Terrorist Commander
Syrian Army Intensifies Military Operations against ISIL in Deir Ezzur