France Says Analysis Shows Syrian Regime Behind Sarin Attack

France's foreign minister says samples obtained by French intelligence show that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "undoubtedly" used sarin nerve gas in an attack in northern Syria on April 4.

But Ayrault said France knows "from sure sources" that "the manufacturing process of the sarin that was sampled is typical of the method developed in Syrian laboratories".

Lavrov told a security conference on Wednesday the attack was a pretext for a regime change in Syria and said the US response "pushes the prospect for a wide global front on terror even further away". "We know because we kept samples from previous attacks that we were able to use for comparison".

On April 19, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said "incontrovertible" test results showed sarin gas or a similar substance was used in the Khan Sheikhoun attack.

In a policy U-turn, US President Donald Trump ordered air strikes on the Syrian airbase from which Washington believes the attack was launched.

On Monday, the United States government placed 271 Syrian chemists from the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) and other officials on its financial blacklist in response to their presumed role in the chemical weapons attack.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia's position on the attack is "unchanged" and that "that the only way to establish the truth about what happened near Idlib is an impartial global investigation".

Damascus has repeatedly denied possession of any chemical weapons.

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Brig. Gen. Zaher al-Sakat, who served in the army's Fifth Division until his defection in 2013, said government forces moved some of the arsenal to secret locations before inspectors entered the country.

Syria agreed in September 2013 to destroy its entire chemical weapons programme under a deal negotiated with the United States and Russian Federation after hundreds of people were killed in a sarin gas attack in the outskirts of the capital, Damascus.

France claims it has scientific proof that the Syrian government was responsible for a suspected chemical attack that killed 87 people earlier this month. Moscow also questioned the impartiality of the OPCW.

In addition to proving the presence of sarin in environmental samples collected from the impact zone in Khan Sheikhun, the French analysis indicated that the sarin was delivered using aerial munitions, which rules out the theory that the chemical attack was perpetrated by rebel forces, who do not possess an air force.

Among the elements found in the samples were hexamine, a hallmark of sarin that characterizes the one produced by the Syrian government, Ayrault told reporters following a defense and security cabinet meeting in Elysee.

The French intelligence report, presented by the foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, adds weight to a mounting body of evidence pointing to the Assad regime's responsibility for the chemical attack.

Russia, which has supported Assad's regime in Syria, has asserted that the gas in the April 4 attack had been released after an airstrike hit a rebel-held storage site.

Khalil said the Turkish escalation would "obstruct the war" against IS.

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