Israeli defense officials: Assad still has chemical weapons

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 21, 2017

In 2013, Assad had signed an agreement with Russia, US to destroy all its chemical weapons.

The move places the Syrian aircraft in close proximity to Russia's Khmeimim Air Base - where the majority of Russian air forces helping ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime are based - in Latakia Governorate, Syria.

In doing so he assuaged the global conscience wilfully violated by the obnoxious pictures of the dead from Assad's despicable chemical attack.

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". In response, the United States fired almost 60 missiles at a Syrian air base it suspected of being the launching pad for the attack. One official added that Israel estimates that Assad still has "between one and three tons" of chemical weapons.

After the USA strike, Russian Federation said it would suspend its participation in a hotline with the United States military to "deconflict" or minimize the risk of mid-air collisions in Syrian airspace, but US officials said this week that the two militaries continued to communicate. A senior US official says the USA has concluded that Russian Federation knew in advance of Syria's chemical weapons attack last week.

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. It was the first time United States forces had directly attacked government forces in the six-year civil war. The fighting has killed an estimated 400,000 people and displaced half of Syria's population. We gave up our arsenal a few years ago.

In an unprecedented step, the OPCW's executive council in November condemned Syria's use of toxic weapons - the council's first public condemnation of a member of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Sarin or a similar banned toxin was used in an attack in Syria's Idlib province on April 4 that killed almost 90 people, the global chemical weapons watchdog said on Wednesday.

Ahead of that disarmament, Assad's government disclosed it had some 1,300 tons of chemical weapons, including sarin, VX nerve agent and mustard gas.

"The results of these analyses from four OPCW designated laboratories indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin like substance", Uzumcu said.

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