France says evidence shows Syrian regime ‘undoubtedly’ behind chemical attack

by WorldTribune Staff, April 27, 2017

Samples from the scene of a chemical attack in northern Syria prove that the Assad regime carried out the attack, France’s foreign minister said.

The samples, obtained by French intelligence, show that President Bashar Assad’s forces “undoubtedly” used sarin gas in the April 4 attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters on April 26, citing a declassified report.

A poison hazard danger sign is seen in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun. /Getty Images

“We know, from a certain source, that the process of fabrication of the samples taken is typical of the method developed in Syrian laboratories,” Ayrault said.

“This method is the signature of the regime and it is what enables us to establish the responsibility of the attack. We know because we kept samples from previous attacks that we were able to use for comparison.”

The six-page report – drawn up by France’s military and foreign intelligence services and seen by Reuters – said the conclusion was reached based on samples they had obtained from the impact strike on the ground, and a blood sample from a victim.

Among the elements found in the samples were hexamine, a hallmark of sarin produced by the Syrian government, the report said.

“The French intelligence services consider that only Bashar Assad and some of his most influential entourage can give the order to use chemical weapons,” the report said.

The report said that jihadist groups in the area did not have the capacity to develop and launch such an attack and that Islamic State (ISIS) was not in the region.

Assad’s claim to AFP news agency on April 13 that the attack was fabricated, was “not credible” given the mass flows of casualties in a short space of time arriving in Syrian and Turkish hospitals as well as the sheer quantity of online activity showing people with neurotoxic symptoms, the French report said.

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