Syrian president Bashar al Assad says a deadly toxic gas attack widely blamed on his forces is a “100% fabrication”.
Speaking in his first interview since the incident, Mr Assad said he gave “no order to make any attack” in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun and claimed “even if we had (chemical weapons) we wouldn’t use them.”
The Syrian leader added that videos showing children dying from the attack were “propaganda” designed to prompt the retaliatory US missile strike days later.
He told AFP TV: “It’s not clear whether it happened or not, how can you verify a video? There are a lot of fake videos now.”
Mr Assad’s claim comes a day after Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution demanding a swift investigation into the attack.
Earlier, Britain’s ambassador to the UN said that UK analysis of samples from Idlib province had detected sarin or a sarin-like substance.
However, Vladimir Safronkov, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, said he was “amazed at this conclusion”.