The United States has said Assad’s government is responsible for the chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun. Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters earlier this week, "I have personally reviewed the intelligence and there is no doubt the Syrian regime is responsible for the decision to attack and for the attack itself."
However, during an interview with the AFP — which CNN notes was “conducted under restrictions imposed by” Assad’s regime — the Syrian president claimed that reports about the attack on his people were false.
"It's not clear whether it happened or not," Assad said. "'Cause how can you verify a video? You have a lot of fake videos now, and you have the proof that those videos were fake."
He additionally claimed that the “humanitarian heroes” depicted in the video were members of the terrorist group al Qaeda who "shave their ” in order to disguise themselves.
“You have the proof on the internet,” he said.
Assad further stated that “we don't know” if the victims depicted in the videos of the attack are “dead at all.”
"Who committed the attack if there was attack? What material? You have no information at all. Nothing at all. No investigator," he added.
"So you're saying it's a fabrication?" the interviewer pressed.
"Definitely,” Assad replied. “One-hundred percent false. It's fabrication."
He also claimed that his country doesn’t have a chemical weapons arsenal and has never used chemical weapons. This claim is contrary to the findings of the American intelligence community.
“You have many indications if you don't have proof, because no one has concrete evidence,” he said. “But you have indications."
Assad said the West and the United States made up the attack because they are “hand in glove” with terrorists.
(H/T: Washington Free Beacon)