SYRIAN President Bashar al-Assad has called claims that his government launched a chemical attack on his own people were “100 pre cent fabrication”.
It comes as global chemical weapons investigators went to Turkey to collect samples as part of an inquiry into the attack in Syria that killed 87 people on April 4.
The fact-finding mission was sent by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague to gather biometric samples and interview survivors, sources told Reuters.
Agony of a tiny boy0:06
Harrowing footage out of Syria shows a child struggling to breathe after a ‘sarin’ gas attack.
The toxic gas attack, which killed scores of people including children, prompted a US cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base and widened a rift between the US and Russia, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his conflict with rebels and militants.
Syrian authorities have repeatedly denied using any chemical weapons. Russian officials said the gas had been released by an air strike on a poison gas storage depot controlled by rebels.
Washington said that account was not credible and rebels have denied it. Samples taken from the poison gas site in Syria’s Idlib governorate tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, the British delegation at the OPCW said on Thursday.
“UK scientists have analysed samples taken from Khan Sheikhoun. These have tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, or a sarin-like substance,” the delegation said during a special session at the OPCW in The Hague. The UK result confirmed earlier testing by Turkish authorities that concluded sarin had been used for the first time on a large scale in Syria’s civil war since 2013.
The OPCW mission will determine whether chemical weapons were used, but is not mandated to assign blame.
Its findings, expected in three to four weeks, will be passed to a joint United Nations-OPCW chemical weapons investigation.
International investigators have concluded that sarin, chlorine and sulphur mustard gas have been used in Syria’s six-year-old conflict, with government forces using chlorine and Islamic State militants using sulphur mustard.
SOURCE: newsnow worldnews