We'll prove Assad was behind Syria chemical attack
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 24, 2017,
Apr 24, 2017, 22:14
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has said it believes Mr Assad's government is responsible for at least two chemical weapons attacks that have occurred in Syria since then - claims the president also denies.
President Donald Trump authorized the firing of tomahawk cruise missiles on the Shayrat air base in response to a chemical weapons attack on the Idlib province killing more than 80 civilians.
Worldwide conventions prohibit the use of sarin, which turns a victim's nervous system against them and can kill within seconds.
In 2013, the Assad regime had disclosed that it had almost 1,300 tonne chemical weapons, including sarin, VX nerve agent and mustard gas, which are all banned.
"We don't see the need to put in place a new structure".
The announcement comes two weeks after a deadly chemical attack in Syria's Idlib which killed almost 90 people.
UK-based chemical weapons expert Dan Kaszeta told the Associated Press that Israel's estimate was conservative, but that the remaining amount was enough to be highly lethal.
"100 percent certain that the attack was "directly ordered and planned by Assad", Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper on April 6, Reuters reported today.
The measure comes after the USA fired a barrage of cruise missiles at Syria's Shayrat airfield, from which Washington believes embattled President Bashar Al-Assad's regime forces launched a deadly sarin gas attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun.
In a television appearance, French Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault said an investigation into the gas attack is now underway by French intelligence services and military intelligence. After the meeting, USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson stated the USA strikes were a matter of national security: "We do not want the regime's uncontrolled stockpile of chemical weapons to fall into the hands of ISIS, or other terrorist groups and want to attack the United States and our allies".
The assessment was confirmed by two other defense officials. AP said the officials spoke on condition of anonymity under military briefing rules.
It also called for investigators to visit the Shayrat airbase - bombed by the United States after the attack - to "verify allegations concerning the storage of chemical weapons" there. But doubts began to emerge soon afterward that not all such armaments or production facilities were declared and destroyed.
And the British delegation to the OPCW said in a tweet that Wednesday's talks showed "once again clear support for the ongoing FFM investigation into the attack".