Sarin used in deadly Syria attack, chemical weapons watchdog confirms

The Syrian government and rebels are allowing up to 30,000 people to leave areas besieged by their forces over the coming two months in a deal critics say amounts to demographic rearrangement.

"It's hard to believe that he didn't know about it...."

Of the stockpile surrendered by the regime in 2014, Bretton-Gordon believes the majority were mostly precursor rather than the weapons themselves, an indication some prepared chemical weapons might have been retained.

Syria was obligated to give up its chemical weapons arsenal in 2013 under the terms of a deal agreed between the U.S. and Russian Federation following a deadly chemical weapons attack in Damascus earlier that year. For many, the USA strikes on a Syrian air base two days later were a satisfying response and long overdue in a protracted, deadly civil war that has left millions of families shattered, Daesh emboldened and Assad seemingly immune. Thus, the criticism that Assad continues to launch air strikes, from the base we hit or from elsewhere, misses the point.

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 to the chemical attack, the United States fired 59 missiles at the Syrian airbase said to be used to launch the attack.

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly denied his government has any chemical weapons stocks after surrendering its chemical arsenal to an worldwide watchdog in 2013 after the deaths of hundreds from sarin exposure in a rebel-held suburb of Damascus in 2013.

Earlier this year, Syrian President Bashar Assad said that the country's government had never used weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, against the Syrian people. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity under military briefing rules.

Moscow last week vetoed a UN Security Council resolution demanding a swift investigation into the attack - the eighth time Russian Federation has used its veto to protect the Assad regime since bloody civil war erupted in Syria in 2011.

After an even bigger chemical attack in August 2013, which killed several hundred people, he warned then-President Barack Obama against retaliating against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian government has been locked in a six-year civil war against an array of opposition forces. Iran and Hezbollah, both bitter enemies of Israel, along with Russian Federation have sent forces to support Assad. The chemical weapons were shipped outside Syria and destroyed overseas, with the most toxic material disposed of at sea aboard a US ship.

"While further details of the laboratory analyses will follow, the analytical results already obtained are incontrovertible", OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü said on Wednesday, addressing the organisation's executive council, which was held at The Hague, Netherlands.

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