Assad calls chemical weapons allegations 'farce'

'It's completely fake' says Syrian President about videos appearing to show civilians suffering from effects of toxic weapons attack.

ATHENS - Accusations that Bashar al-Assad's forces used chemical weapons against the Syrian town of Douma last month are a "farce", the Syrian president said Thursday.

"If you look at the videos, it's completely fake," Assad told Greece's Kathimerini daily. 

"When you have chemical weapons, how could the doctors and nurses be safe, dealing with the chemical atmosphere without any protective clothes, without anything, just throwing water at the victims? And the victims became okay just because you washed them with water... It's a farce," he said.

"They talk about 45 victims -- when you use WMD (weapons of mass destruction) in such an area, you should have hundreds or maybe thousands of victims," Assad said.

Images of adults and children appearing to be suffering from the effects of a toxic weapon attack sparked international outrage.

The gruesome footage from the apparent April 7 attack horrified the world and prompted unprecedented Western strikes on Syrian military installations. 

Syria and close ally Russia have accused Syrian volunteer rescue workers of staging the video footage at the behest of the United States and its allies.

Assad insisted that his army gave up its chemical arsenal in 2013.

He also argued that it would make no sense for his army to use such weapons when they were in full control of the area.