Economy

What is known about suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria

What is known about suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria”

On April 1, gunfire wounded six people on a convoy of buses ferrying opposition fighters and civilians from Eastern Ghouta towards the northwestern province of Idlib, the Observatory said. In a speech announcing the attack, Trump blamed the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The OPCW's fact-finding mission "will continue its deployment to the Syrian Arab Republic to establish facts around the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma", the agency said in a statement. Obama opted to seek congressional approval over the use of military force in Syria.

Pentagon officials on Saturday said they "assessed" that there were probably both chemical and nerve agents in the targets US forces hit with missile strikes, but added that they had "successfully mitigated" against this in the way they attacked them.

"After examining the videos and images of victims published online, they (intelligence services) were able to conclude with a high degree of confidence that the vast majority are recent and not fabricated", the report said.

The Pentagon said no further action was planned but Washington's envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, warned that the USA was "locked and loaded" should another gas attack occur. "We sent a clear message to Assad and his murderous lieutenants that they should not perpetrate another chemical weapons' attack for which they will be held accountable". It gave no other details on the intelligence.

US, French and British missiles destroyed sites suspected of hosting chemical weapons development and storage facilities Saturday, but the buildings were mostly empty and the Western trio swiftly reverted to its diplomatic efforts.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released a statement Saturday saying the organization is in Syria to conduct an investigation into the allegation that the April 7 attack in Duma was a chemical one and will remain there until the task is complete.

Mattis noted that a year ago, USA forces conducted a "unilateral strike on a single site", whereas he said these strikes "will result in a long term degradation to the Syrians' capability to research, develop, and employ biological and chemical weapons".

He also said that despite Syria's commitment in 2013 to destroying its chemical arsenal - and Russia's promise to supervise to it - "the Assad Regime and Russian Federation has made a complete mockery of that pledge".

The allies also acted because of concerns that Syrian forces and their Russian allies may already have tried to clean up important evidence.

Ambassadors to the United Nations during a Security Council vote on the suspected Syrian chemical attack. Damascus and Moscow deny blame for any such attack.



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