On October 30, Syria’s SANA state news agency published an article headlined: “US, its allies use suspicious media outlets to defame the image of Syrian state.”
“The United States of America and its Western allies have been using their media outlets to publish articles based on fabricated information to mislead public opinion and direct false accusations to defame the image of the Syrian state, its institutions and symbols, under allegations of non-compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention,” the article states.
The article refers to the agreement Bashar al-Assad’s government signed in 2013, under which Syria joined the Chemical Weapons Convention and agreed to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal.
All of these claims are false and misleading.
First, the “complicated circumstances” that led the Assad regime to sign the 2013 agreement involved the Ghouta chemical weapons attack that August, when Syrian government forces fired rockets loaded with the nerve agent sarin into rebel-held territories on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus. The chemical weapons attack killed an estimated several hundred to as many as 1,400 people and injured more than 3,500.