April 5, 2017 / 8:48 AM / 4 months ago

Syrian rebel leader denies Russian claim gas came from insurgents' depot

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A man breathes through an oxygen mask as another one receives treatments, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017.Ammar Abdullah

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A Syrian rebel commander denied a Russian statement on Wednesday that poison gas which killed scores of people in northwestern Syria had leaked from an insurgent chemical-weapons depot after Syrian warplanes hit it.

Hasan Haj Ali, commander of the Free Idlib Army rebel group, said no rebel military positions in the area were targeted on Tuesday.

"Everyone saw the plane while it was bombing with gas," he told Reuters from northwestern Syria.

"Likewise, all the civilians in the area know that there are no military positions there, or places for the manufacture (of weapons). The various factions of the opposition are not capable of producing these substances," he said.

He called the Russian statement "a lie".

Writing by Tom Perry, editing by Larry King

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