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Two Turkish lawmakers say Ankara tied to use of sarin in Syria

Eren Erdem (left) and Ali Seker, members of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) of Turkey, speaking at a press conference about the delivery of sarin gas from Turkey to militants operating in Syria, October 22, 2015.

Two Turkish lawmakers from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) have provided documents showing that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was linked to the use of chemical agents by militants operating in Syria, Press TV reports.

In a recent press conference in the Turkish capital, Ankara, CHP’s Ali Seker said sarin, a deadly type of gas used in chemical weapons, has been produced in Turkey and transferred into Syria.

He said it is impossible that Turkish intelligence officials had been unaware of the production and transfer of the prohibited materials into Syria.

The comments came after six men were arrested during an operation in which chemical substances were seized from a truck heading from the southeastern Turkish city of Adana to Syrian borders.

Referring to the main suspect involved in a lawsuit brought forward by Adana High Criminal Court against 13 members of the Nusra Front terrorist group in 2013, Seker said, “Haytham Qassab is a figure who is known for his connections to the terrorists in Syria. He is a Saudi citizen with Syrian origin. He provided chemical substances related to sarin gas from Turkey to the terrorist groups operating in Syria.”


Qassab had been arrested for obtaining related chemical substances but was released after a while.

“The most important point is that these chemical substances can only be obtained by mechanical and chemical industrial corporation which is a sort of government-controlled group of factories in Turkey,” Seker added in an interview with Press TV.

During the briefing, Eren Erdem, another CHP representative in the Turkish parliament, also presented a telephone tape belonging to anti-government militants operating in Syria.

“Qassab is known for his connections with a terrorist organization linked to al-Qaeda. Qassab obtained some chemical substances used in the production of prohibited sarin gas. He ordered these substances from some figures in Turkey. Then the substances were transferred to Syria by trucks,” Erdem told Press TV.

On August 21, 2013, a chemical weapon was used in the Ghouta area of Damascus suburbs. Hundreds of people died in the attack. According to reports, the rockets used in the attack were handmade and contained sarin.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a key member of the AKP and then prime minister, claimed at the time that the chemical attacks in Syria were carried out by the government. The recent revelations, however, show that chemical materials may have been transferred to the militants with the knowledge of the AKP leaders.

Turkey has time and again been blamed for being one of the main supporters of the militant groups operating in Syria, with reports saying that Ankara actively trains and arms the Takfiri militants there and facilitates their safe passage into the Arab country.

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