France confirms use of sarin in Syria

  • France on Tuesday confirmed the use of nerve agent sarin in Syria following tests carried out on recovered samples.

    Accusations over chemical attacks were made against President Bashar al-Assad and his government following incidents across the country in March and April.

    In an interview with France Television, Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius said: "The conclusion of the laboratory is clear: there is sarin gas. The other question is whether we can trace back who originally used the sarin gas…In the second case there is absolutely no doubt that it is the regime and its accomplices.”

    Over the last month, France has tested samples of chemical weapon elements, some of which were smuggled out by reporters from the French daily Le Monde.

    The Syrian government has repeatedly dismissed claims over the use of chemical weapons, which are illegal under international law.

    Syria is not a member of the anti-chemical weapons convention. It reportedly has one of the world's last remaining stockpiles of undeclared chemical arms.

    The United States has in the past said that the use of chemical weapons would be a "red line" for possible intervention to end the two-year war that has killed 80,000 people though added it needs more evidence.

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