Syria's Assad regime behind chemical attack, Turkish envoy says

Turkey said on Friday its evidence confirms the Assad regime was behind a chemical attack that killed more than 1,400 civilians this month. Turkey's ambassador to Canada spoke to CBC Radio's The House.

Turkish prime minister says military strike should aim to topple Assad

Syrian refugees pass through the Turkish Cilvegozu gate border on Saturday. U.N. chemical weapons experts left Syria after a final day of inspection, as they sought to determine precisely what happened in an alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Aug. 21. (Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press)

The Turkish Ambassador to Canada says there is no question that the Assad regime in Syria was behind a chemical attack on a Damascus suburb that has killed at least 1429 people. 

"Our conclusion is very clear. Chemical weapons were used, and used by the regime point blank," Tuncay Babali said in an interview with host Chris Hall on CBC Radio's The House. "The current regime's allegations that the opposition has used these weapons is baseless. They don't have that sophistication."

Babali said that while the area where the attack took place is controlled by opposition forces, an investigation by his country's intelligence community was able to pinpoint the specific military regiments that perpetrated the attack.

According to the report, two locations were involved in the attack, utilizing 15 to 20 chemical warheads that were fired by the 155th Missile Brigade based in Qutayfa based north of Damascus, and the Fourth Armoured Division in Qasyoun Mountain which is also stationed north of Damascus.

On Friday, American President Barack Obama said that the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime threatened the United State's national security.  Obama has not made a decision on what kind of military intervention he would approve, but it is all but certain that the United States would target military infrastructure inside Syria.

Ambassador Babali says his country's Parliament gave Turkey's armed forces a mandate to use military force against the Assad regime and that mandate extends into October. Turkey is a NATO partner, with the second-largest military in the organization after the United States. 

Turkey and Syria share a 900-km manned border. More than 400,000 Syrian refugees are currently in Turkey.

On Thursday Prime Minister Stephen Harper ruled out a role for Canada's military for now.

"This is a very big risk and we do support our allies who are contemplating forceful action to deal with this. That said, at the present time the government of Canada has no plans, we have no plans of our own, to have a Canadian military mission," Harper said in Toronto.

Babali also said that Turkey would serve as a base for any military intervention, and that he expected NATO would serve as the "backbone" to any military intervention.

Listen to the full interview with Turkish Ambassador Tuncay Babali on CBC Radio's The House.