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New test results indicate use of sarin gas in Syria

21 April 2017

On Wednesday, Israeli defense officials said Syria still has up to 3 tons of chemical weapons.

Although there has been considerable dispute about the intelligence used to tie the Assad regime to the chemical weapons attack, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed Wednesday after testing that victims of the attack suffered exposure to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance, putting to rest claims that there was another substance at play. Thus, the criticism that Assad continues to launch air strikes, from the base we hit or from elsewhere, misses the point.

At least 86 people, including 30 children, were killed in the chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun, a rebel-held area in north-western Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports.

A USA official says that Syria has moved all of the aircraft from the airbase that was struck by US missiles two weeks ago to an airbase used by Russian Federation for missions within Syria. AP said the officials spoke on condition of anonymity under military briefing rules. Syria began developing chemical weapons in the 1980s with the aim of using them against enemy states, including its neighbor Israel.

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"Of course till this moment they didn't send, because the West and the United States blocked any delegation from coming, because if they come, they will find that all their narratives about what happened in Khan Shaykhun and then the attack on Sha'irat airport was a false flag, was a lie", Assad stressed.

In their Final Communiqué on April 10-11, G-7 leaders stated that US action against the Shayrat airfield "was a carefully calibrated, limited in scope response" to the attacks at Khan Sheikhoun "in order to prevent and deter the proliferation and use of deadly chemical weapons in Syria".

A senior military official says Israeli military intelligence estimates that Assad has "between one and three tons" of chemical weapons.

Israel welcomed the strike on its northern neighbour.

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The Assad regime in 2013 agreed to surrender its chemical weapons arsenal after an attack on an opposition-held Damascus suburb earlier that year killed hundreds and prompted worldwide outrage.

In response to the April 4 attack, the United States fired 59 missiles at a Syrian air base it said was the launching pad for the attack.

"One ton of sarin could easily be used to perpetrate an attack on the scale of the 2013 attack".

The aircraft in question reportedly were moved to an airfield close to a base where the majority of Russian air forces helping the Assad regime are located.

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