Syria formally asks UN to probe chemical attack

The estimate marked the first specific intelligence assessment of Syria's military and weapons capabilities since a chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 that killed some 90 people, including dozens of children, Deutsche Welle.com reported.

The Islamic State group's claim of responsibility just a few hours after the attack came unusually swiftly for extremist group, which has been losing territory in Iraq and Syria.

We review the key developments in Syria, including a chemical weapons prohibition watchdog confirming the use of sarin in the attack on Khan Sheikhoun, the Syrian government moving its jets from Shayrat to a Russian base in Latakia, and delays to convoys of evacuees from Fuaa, Kafraya and Zabadani.

"I think that this is a very serious situation, because it is evident now that the false information about chemical weapons use by the Syrian state is being used to avoid enacting resolution 2254 that stipulates a political settlement".

Sarin or a similar banned toxin was used in an attack in Syria's Idlib province on April 4 that killed almost 90 people, the global chemical weapons watchdog said on Wednesday.

After Moscow initially said a Syrian air strike had struck a "terrorist warehouse" containing "toxic substances", Russian President Vladimir Putin last week accused Assad's opponents of planning to stage chemical attacks to lure Washington deeper into the conflict.

He acknowledged that the Syrian government carried out airstrikes against Syrian Al-Qaeda branch, the Nusra Front terrorists, in Khan Shaykhun on April 4, but stressed that no chemical weapons were used.

Canada announced new sanctions against Syria on Friday targeting officials and entities linked to the use of chemical weapons. Iran and Hezbollah, both bitter enemies of Israel, along with Russian Federation have sent forces to support Assad.

The entire stockpile was said to have been dismantled and shipped out under global supervision in 2014 and destroyed.

One officer was killed and two police officers were seriously wounded when the attacker emerged from a auto and used an automatic weapon to shoot at officers outside a Marks & Spencer's department store at the center of the Champs-Elysees, anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said.

Besides, under a Russian-US deal after the east Ghouta sarin gas incident in 2013, Damascus joined the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and agreed to destroy its stockpile under Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) oversight.

"While further details of the laboratory analyses will follow, the analytical results already obtained are incontrovertible", Uzumcu said in a statement. The agency, based in The Hague, Netherlands, is expected to issue a report within two weeks.

Turkish and British tests also have concluded that sarin or a substance similar to the deadly nerve agent was used in the Idlib attack.

Earlier this week, Assad's former chemical weapons research chief told Britain's The Telegraph newspaper that Syria had "at least 2,000 tons" of chemical weapons before the war and only declared 1,300.

  • Elsie Buchanan