Friday, 21 April 2017 16:27

Chemical Weapons Watchdog: Sarin or Similar Substance Used in Idlib Attack

Sarin or a similar banned toxin was used in the chemical weapons attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rural on April 4 that killed nearly 90 people, the global chemical weapons watchdog said on Wednesday. The finding supported earlier testing by Turkish and British laboratories.

Ahmet Uzumcu, Director General of The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that the results of the analysis "indicate that sarin or a sarin like substance was used."

The finding was based on tests on bio-medical samples collected from three victims during their autopsies that were analyzed at two OPCW-designated laboratories, the OPCW said.

"Bio-medical samples from seven individuals undergoing treatment at hospitals... [also] indicate exposure to sarin or a sarin like substance," the statement said.

French intelligence services will provide proof in the coming days that Bashar al-Assad's forces used chemical weapons in the April 4 attack, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Wednesday.

"There is an investigation underway (by) the French intelligence services and military intelligence ... it's a question of days and we will provide proof that the regime carried out these strikes," Ayrault told LCP television.

The global chemical arms watchdog on Thursday "overwhelmingly" rejected a Russian-Iranian move to launch a new investigation into the chemical attack on Khan Sheikoun, delegates said, backing the probe already underway.

"The OPCW executive council has overwhelmingly rejected the Russian and Iranian decision," the British delegation to the watchdog said in a tweet.

The Syrian Coalition earlier held the Assad regime fully responsible for the April 4 chemical weapons attack and called for accountability for the crime.

The US launched missile attacks on the Assad regime’s Shaerat airbase in rural Homs in response to the chemical attack, while the White House spokesman hinted the US could launch further strikes against the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)

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