Assad may not be responsible for Syria chemical attack: German paper

BERLIN, (PNA/Xinhua) — The Syrian government forces may have carried out the chemical attack last month without the permission of President Bashar al-Assad, German media reported on Sunday, citing German intelligence.

Germany’s Bild am Sonntag paper, citing high-level national security sources, reported that a German surveillance ship operated by the intelligence service and deployed off the Syrian coast intercepted phone calls indicating that army commanders had been asking the president to approve the use of chemical weapons for the last few months but had always been denied.

The report said this means that Assad may not have approved the attack on August 21 that killed hundreds of people.

The Syrian President denied again in an interview by the U.S. CBS network on Sunday that he was behind the chemical weapons attack on the Syrian people.

However, the Bild story also reported that the German intelligence service had much evidence to suggest that elements of Assad government was responsible for the chemical attack.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated in an interview with Bild am Sonntag on Sunday that the country would not take part in any military intervention in Syria. Germany agreed on Saturday to sign a G20 statement calling for a “strong response” to alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government.