Freed Belgian teacher says Assad did not use chemical weapons
Date of publication: 09/09/2013
Pierre Piccinin arrives at Brussels airport in the morning of 9 September following his release from captivity in Syria.
Speaking on Belgian television on 9 September, Pierre Piccinin has said that he is absolutely certain that it was not Syrian government forces which launched the attack in the suburbs of Damascus on 21 August.
Piccinin told RTL: "It is a moral duty to say this. It is not the government of Bashar Al-Assad which used sarin gas or another combat gas in the suburbs of Damascus. We are certain of this following a conversation that we had. It hurts me to say this because I have been a fervent supporter of the Free Syrian Army since May 2012 in its just struggle for democracy."
Watch the video here (in French.)
Piccinin is the author of a film about the Syrian conflict, "La bataille d'Alep, Chroniques de la révolution syrienne." He entered Syria with the Free Syrian Army in April and we subsequently captured by an Islamist faction within it. The man captured with him, Domenico Quirico, has also been released and was met at Ciampino airport in Rome by, among others, the Italian Foreign Minister, Emma Bonino. Piccinin says that Quirico will shortly make a statement to the Italian press after which he will also publish the elements of proof he has for his allegations.