France says will 'prove' Damascus behind Syria 'chemical attack'

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The US missile-strike came in response to a sarin nerve gas attack Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched from Sharat air base, killing approximately 70 civilians.

The suspected attack on the rebel-held town in Idlib province killed at least 87 people, including many children, and images of the dead and of suffering victims provoked global outrage.

The April 7 U.S. airstrikes destroyed almost 20 percent of Syria's functional aircraft, according to U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Shaba'an said the United States strike wasn't a military, but a political message, adding that the alliance between Russia, Syria and Iran is "stronger than ever".

This is published unedited from the IANS feed. For many, the US strikes on a Syrian air base two days later were a satisfying response and long overdue in a protracted, deadly civil war that has left millions of families shattered, Daesh emboldened and Assad seemingly immune.

A similar global outcry after a sarin attack in 2013 resulted in a USA and Russian program to destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpile.

Jean-Marc Ayrault, France's foreign minister, told French TV: "We will provide proof that the regime did indeed organise these strikes with chemical weapons".

"I can say authoritatively they have retained some, it's a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions and it's going to have to be taken up diplomatically and they would be ill advised to try to use any again, we made that very clear with our strike", he said.

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Some local media reports quoted the briefing officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with Israeli military procedure, as putting the amount at up to 3 tonnes.

A senior US official says the USA has concluded that Russian Federation knew in advance of Syria's chemical weapons attack last week.

A video footage from the Syrian Khan-Shaykhun presented by the "White Helmets" completely contradicts the specifics of sarin gas use, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Sputnik.

The disarmament, which was carried out during a chaotic conflict, always has been the subject of some doubt, and there is evidence that the Islamic State group and other insurgents have acquired chemical weapons.

Sarin gas or a similar agent was used in a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria earlier this month, according to "incontrovertible" test results from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), BBC News reported.

It was said to have been dismantled and destroyed under worldwide supervision in 2014.

Former Brig. Gen. Zaher al-Sakat said the Syrian government still possessed hundreds of tons of chemical weapons.

Syria's military media says the evacuation and transfer of thousands of Syrians from four besieged areas has resumed. Some 160, mostly gunmen, had remained in Zabadani.