DAMASCUS, Jul. 19 (Press Shia Agency) – The new sanctions imposed by the European Union against Syrian scientists and officers over their alleged role in the chemical weapons use against civilians, are unfounded and serve the interests of terrorists, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry statement reiterated that Syria did not possess and never used chemical weapon, and specified that reluctance of EU leaders to send a group of experts for the probe also indicated EU position toward terrorists.

“The new groundless sanctions of the European Union are issued prior to the end of the investigation in Khan Sheikhoun, what speaks of EU leadership’s support to terrorists,” the statement read.

“The Syrian leadership stressed that it does not have a chemical weapon, never used it and cannot use it, since it complied with all the conditions for joining the OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons],” the statement said.

On Monday, the Council of the European Union said in a statement that it had added 16 persons to the list of those targeted by EU restrictive measures against Damascus “for their role in the development and use of chemical weapons against the civilian population.”

On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces reported that dozens of people had been killed by the suspected chemical weapons attack in the country’s Idlib province. The opposition forces backed by the United States blamed the incident on the forces of Syria’s President Bashar Assad.

Damascus has denied any involvement in the incident, saying that the complete elimination of the Syrian government’s stockpile of chemical weapons was confirmed by the OPCW in January 2016.

SPUTNIK/Press Shia Agency