Friday, 30 June 2017

Sarin gas confirmed as weapon in Syria attack

The global chemical weapons watchdog has concluded that sarin gas was used in an attack in Syria in April which killed more than 90 people.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons report into the Khan Sheikhoun attack has not been publicly released but two diplomats familiar with it confirmed the key finding.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was "pleased though, I must say, not surprised" that the report had confirmed the use of sarin.

OPCW director general Ahmet Uzumcu had said two weeks after the attack that samples from victims and survivors had shown they were exposed to sarin or a sarin-like substance.

Mr Johnson added: "The exact responsibility for dropping the sarin will now go to a joint investigative mechanism to be confirmed but I've got absolutely no doubt that the finger points at the Assad regime."

The report, while establishing chemical weapons were used, did not name the perpetrator.

Mr Johnson said the condemnation of chemical weapons use was having a "deterrent effect".

He added: "What's most interesting and important of all is that you're starting to see Russian impatience with... Assad, a recognition that he really embarrassed Moscow by allowing his generals to do this and that is one of the objectives that we're trying to achieve: to drive a wedge between the Russians and the Iranians and between the Russians and Assad."
US envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a statement: "Now that we know the undeniable truth, we look forward to an independent investigation to confirm exactly who was responsible for these brutal attacks so we can find justice for the victims."

The attack in April caused an international uproar, with photos seen around the world of children struggling for breath and dying.

US President Donald Trump cited the attack when he launched an airstrike on Syria a few days later, firing cruise missiles on a Syrian air base from where the US said the attack had been launched.

Syria's President Bashar al Assad has denied responsibility for the attack.

BBC     News.

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