Sarin or similar used in Idlib attack: chemical weapons watchdog

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While Syria claimed that it had turned over its entire chemical weapons stockpile to the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), per the terms of a deal brokered by Russian Federation, "they [the regime] admitted only to 1,300 tons, but we knew in reality they had almost double that", Sakat said. Days after the April 4 attack, President Trump ordered a missile strike on the Syrian military airbase where the regime is believed to have launched the chemical attack.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad circumvented a 2013 deal to dismantle his chemical weapons stockpile by failing to declare the full extent of his arsenal, Syria's former chemical weapons research chief told The Telegraph on Saturday.

The Syrian regime's stockpile of chemical weapons, which it disclosed amounted to some 1,300 tons of sarin, VX nerve agent and mustard gas, among other chemical agents, was said to have been dismantled and destroyed under global supervision in 2014.

After the USA strike, Russian Federation said it would suspend its participation in a hotline with the United States military to "deconflict" or minimize the risk of mid-air collisions in Syrian airspace, but US officials said this week that the two militaries continued to communicate. One official added that Israel estimates that Assad still has "between one and three tons" of chemical weapons.

Taken together with conclusions by the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) that Syrian forces deployed chlorine as a weapon on at least three occasions in the northern province of Idlib in 2014 and 2015, a number of capitals, including Washington, concluded that Assad was responsible for the attacks.

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The U.S. strikes are likely a one-off, sending a "message" that the use of chemical weapons will no longer be tolerated, although the messaging required further clarification and explanation.

'We have elements that will enable us to show that the regime knowingly used chemical weapons, ' he said.

The Syrian government has been locked in a six-year civil war against an array of opposition forces. Iran and Hezbollah, both bitter enemies of Israel, along with Russian Federation have sent forces to support Assad. But doubts began to emerge soon afterward that not all such armaments or production facilities were declared and destroyed.

UK-based chemical weapons expert Dan Kaszeta told the Associated Press that Israel's estimate was conservative, but nonetheless was enough to be highly lethal.

The attack April 4 on the town of Khan Sheikhoun killed more than 90 people and left hundreds more suffering from effects of the gas.