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Trump recently halted CIA’s covert program to assist and train Syrian groups

Syria has affirmed that US, Britain and their regional allies have breached the Chemical Weapons Convention by supporting terrorist organizations in Syria with toxic materials and weapons of all forms.

According to Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), Fayssal Mikdad, the Deputy Foreign Minister, while addressing a press conference in Damascus on Wednesday, called upon the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate into the US, Britain and Turkey’s involvement in supplying internationally banned poisonous material to the terrorist organizations in his country.

The Syrian official reiterated that a number of western states push terrorists into his country to carry out war crimes. He alleged that they also supply large quantities of special materials to the terrorists that also include Turkish-made chemical materials used for manufacturing chemical weapons.

The Syrian official recalled that since the beginning of the crisis Western countries were frequently engaged in accusing Damascus for the use of chemical weapons without any evidence.

Mikdad added that US launched missile strikes even before conducting investigations into alleged claims about Syrian Army using chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun city, situated on Damascus-Aleppo highway.

The Deputy foreign Minister noted that Syrian government has conducted investigation using inputs from foreign NGOs and found the truth behind the Khan Sheikhoun events.

“Syria has received the fact-finding committee of the OPCW and opened all doors in front of them for investigation, but they (US and its allies) refused,” said Mikdad, adding that Syria has carried out all its obligations, but when this doesn’t serve the US (interests), it will be rejected.

He alleged that the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun was used as a tool to condemn Syrian government of breaching the international and human rights laws. He categorically affirmed that the Syrian government doesn’t possess any form of chemical weapons and all its stockpile has been eliminated under the supervision of the OPCW.

The ongoing Syrian civil war began in the aftermath of anti government protests during the Arab Spring in 2011. Governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya were removed around that time. It is a multi-sided armed conflict fought primarily between Bashar al-Assad government along with its allies, mainly Russia, Iran and Hezbollah of Lebanon and various forces opposing the government.

Islamic State (IS) which is locally known as Daesh is considered to be the most dreaded terrorist organization engaged in war against Assad regime. Other opposition militant groups, considered to be Sunni Arab rebels, include Free Syrian Army, Al-Nusra Front and Kurdish group known as Syrian Democratic Forces. These groups even captured several cities in the north which are now being freed from their clutches.

However for last few months terrorists are losing the battle. Damascus has been accusing US for bombing its territory without its consent or UN mandate. According to UN and Arab League estimate more than 400,000 people have already lost their lives since 2011. Over 50 lakh people are currently living as refugees in and outside the country.

According to a Washington Post report published on July 19, the Trump administration has decided to halt CIA’s covert program to equip and train certain rebel groups fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad. The decision was made sometime in June with NSA H.R. McMaster and CIA Director Mike Pompeo consulted with lower ranking officials and before Trump’s July 7 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at G-20 Summit in Germany.

The CIA program reportedly began in 2013 as part of Barack Obama administration’s efforts to dislodge Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

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