The Syrian war delivered yet another heartbreaking shock to the world on April 4 after images of a chemical attack emerged from the Idlib province.
The carnage reportedly killed 89 people and injured dozens more, including several children.
And while the whole world is still reeling from the loss of precious lives in the war-ravaged country, one person refuses to even believe the attack even occurred.
That person, unsurprisingly, is Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad — the man believed to be responsible for perpetrating the massacre.
In an interview with AFP, Assad dismissed reports of last week's chemical attack as "100% fabrication,” which is absurd because there’s overwhelming evidence, including numerous eyewitness accounts and independent analysis, that the attack indeed took place.
In fact, even Russia, Assad’s strongest ally, while denying that the Syrian government was responsible for the massacre, suggested Syrian planes may have accidentally caused deaths when they carried out an airstrike on a “major ammunition storage facility” operated by rebels.
Since Assad refused to acknowledge the authenticity of the attack, he also said the images showing children who had died in the attack were bogus.
"We don't know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhoun, were they dead at all?" he said, adding the incident is a Western plot to discredit his regime.
This claim was vehemently denounced by Abdel Hameed al-Yousef, the Syrian father whose twins died in the gas attack. Devastating footage of the man cradling the lifeless bodies of his children before burying them broke hearts across the world.
“How can he pretend that they are not dead?” al-Yousef told Mail Online in an interview. “How? We saw them. We buried them with our own hands. I pray that all the governments of all the world do not believe the lies of this criminal regime.”
As appalling as Assad’s statement on the attack being fake may seem, it’s hardly surprising. Last October, he made a similar claim about the image of 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh — the stunned, bloodied little boy who was pulled from the rubble in Aleppo — despite the fact several medical sources confirmed treating him.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Khaled Al-Hariri