Chemical weapons sent from Turkey to Syria: Former Turkish provincial official
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A former member of a city council in the Turkish province of Hatay says the chemical weapons used in last month's attack in Syria were transported from Turkey, Press TV reports. "Four months ago, Turkish security forces found a two-kilogram cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the al-Qaeda and al-Nusra. They are using our borders to take the gas into Syria," Mohamad Gunes said. "The Syrian president has no reason to kill his own people," he added. People in the southern province, which borders Syria, said the weapons were used by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front militants and not the Syrian government. "America and Israel had al-Qaeda use chemical weapons in order to push us into war; none of us wants war here. In the history of Hatay, we all lived peacefully side by side, now there is Mossad, CIA and al-Qaeda all over the place. We are worried that they might use chemical weapons against us," said Farid Mainy, a Hatay resident and an activist. The residents believe the Turkish government is allowing the transfer of weapons because Ankara is trying to create a pretext in order to wage war on its neighbor. US President Barack Obama is trying to convince the Congress to approve a military strike against Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. Washington says it has obtained evidence proving the Syrian army was behind the chemical attack near Damascus on August 21, which killed hundreds of Syrians. The Syrian government has repeatedly said that the deadly attack was carried out by militants operating inside the country in a bid to draw in a foreign military intervention. Obama has delayed military action pending Congressional approval at a vote scheduled for September 9. On Monday, Russia dismissed as "absolutely unconvincing" the evidence presented by the US accusing the Syrian government of the gas attack. "When you ask for more detailed proof, they say all of this is classified so we cannot show this to you," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the number of Syrian refugees, who have fled the country's 29-month-long conflict, reached two million. "Syria is hemorrhaging women, children and men who cross borders often with little more than the clothes on their backs," the UNHCR said. The UN refugee agency also said some 4.2 million people have also been displaced inside Syria since the beginning of the conflict in the Arab country.