New tests indicate sarin used in Syria attack

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Following the USA attack on a Syrian government airbase earlier this month, many allies of the United States will want to know how the Trump team intends to approach Syria.

On Wednesday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced that bio-medical samples collected from three victims during their autopsies indicated they were exposed to sarin or a sarin-like substance.

The Syrian government has moved its aircraft from a base bombed by the US two weeks ago to a Russian base in the coastal city of Latakia, ABC News reported.

Dan Kaszeta, a United Kingdom -based chemical weapons expert, said the Israeli estimate appeared to be conservative, but nonetheless was enough to be highly lethal.

"Russia is being accused of covering up Syria's use of chemical weapons".

Russian Federation has called for a thorough investigation of the chemical incident, which would include an on-site inspection in the rebel-held territory, before coming to any conclusions. There also is evidence that the Islamic State group and other insurgents have acquired chemical weapons.

"We were not asked for specific support, but it is my belief-I stress that no such decision has yet been taken-that were such a request to be made in future and were it to be a reasonable request in pursuit of similar objectives, it would be very hard for the United Kingdom to say no", the top British diplomat said, without elaborating. "These accusations are baseless and groundless". "They have not been to the site".

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The team "deserves our full confidence", the Belgian representative to the OPCW told the meeting on Wednesday.

Another key area that will need addressing is how the USA intends to deal with areas that are captured from the IS group in Syria and Iraq.

However it is nearly "mathematically impossible" that the Russian-Iranian draft will be adopted Thursday by the executive council as it would need 28 votes in favour out of the 41 members.

The draft decision had also sought to urge member states to "provide national experts for participation in the investigation".

In an unprecedented step, the OPCW's executive council in November condemned Syria's use of toxic weapons - the council's first public condemnation of a member of the Chemical Weapons Convention. This raises the stakes dramatically: Any attack on Syrian planes at the Basel Al Assad airport could be perceived as an attack on Russian Federation.

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.

Following the strikes, the IDF's Spokesperson's Unit put out a statement saying that Israel's military had been briefed in advance and expressed their support for the strikes and speaking to military journalists at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, the senior official confirmed that the IDF had been warned ahead of time of the U.S. strike against the base where warplanes that carried out the deadly Khan Sheikhoun chemical gas attack were based.

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