The Syrian government forces may have carried out last month's chemical attack but without President Bashar al-Assad's permission for it, a German daily has reported.
A German surveillance ship, operated by the intelligence service and deployed off the Syrian coast, intercepted phone calls indicating that army commanders had been asking the president to approve the use of chemical weapons for last few months but had always been denied, reported Xinhua citing Germany's Bild am Sonntag paper.
It means that Assad may not have approved the attack Aug 21 that killed hundreds of people, the daily said citing high-level national security sources.
The Syrian President has already denied being behind the chemical weapons attack on civilians.
However, the German daily also said that the German intelligence service had much evidence to suggest that elements in Assad government were responsible for the chemical attack.