France "certain" sarin chemical weapon used in Syria
A victim who suffered an alleged chemical attack at Khan al-Assal village receives treatment by doctors, at a hospital in Aleppo in March. AFP Photo
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French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday that tests on chemical samples from Syria make it certain that Sarin was used, stressing that the people who used them should be punished.
“These tests show the presence of Sarin in various samples in our possession,” said in a statement, adding that the test results had been handed to the United Nations. “France is certain that Sarin gas was used several times in Syria in limited areas.”
“It would be unacceptable that those guilty of these crimes remain unpunished,” Fabius added, without specifying whether Paris was able to deduce who had used the gas.
France has been testing samples of suspected chemical weapon elements for several weeks, including some smuggled out by reporters from the French daily Le Monde.
The White House meanwhile said it needed more evidence before declaring formally that Sarin gas has been used in Syria.
“We need to expand the evidence we have ... before we make any decision,” spokesman Jay Carney said, alluding to President Barack Obama’s stated position that use of the deadly nerve agent would be a “game-changer” for Washington.
White House said it is highly skeptical of claims that opposition forces in Syria used chemical weapons.
United Nations investigators said on Tuesday they had” reasonable grounds” to believe that limited amounts of chemical weapons had been used in Syria in a conflict where brutality was now a tactic of war.
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