Assad regime has one more time uses chemical weapons against civilian population in Syria 2204141

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Defence & Security News - Syria

 
 
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 08:28 AM
 
Assad regime has one more time uses chemical weapons against civilian population in Syria.
The Obama administration said Monday, April 21, 2014, it has "indications" chemical weapons were used in Syria earlier this month, and is investigating whether the Assad regime might have been responsible. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki discussed the allegations a day after French President Francois Hollande said France also had indications the regime is still using chemical weapons.
     
The Obama administration said Monday, April 21, 2014, it has "indications" chemical weapons were used in Syria earlier this month, and is investigating whether the Assad regime might have been responsible. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki discussed the allegations a day after French President Francois Hollande said France also had indications the regime is still using chemical weapons.
U.N. chemical weapons experts prepare before collecting samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Damascus' suburb of Zamalka. (Picture September 2013)

     

The latest attack in question allegedly occurred April 11 in the rebel-held village of Kfar Zeita.

"We have indications of the use of a toxic industrial chemical -- probably chlorine -- in Syria this month in the opposition-dominated village of Kfar Zeita," Psaki said. "We're examining allegations that the government was responsible. We take all allegations of the use of chemicals in combat use very seriously."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney repeated that statement shortly afterward at the White House daily briefing. He said the matter is "being investigated."

He said that once more information is gathered, including who is responsible, the administration can discuss "what reaction, if any" there would be from the international community. He noted that under last year's deal, 65 percent of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles have been removed for destruction, and "that process continues."

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group that relies on a network of on-the-ground volunteers, said the gas attack happened during air raids that left heavy smoke over the area. It reported that people suffered from suffocation and breathing problems after the attack.

Chlorine, one of the most commonly manufactured chemicals in the U.S., is used to purify drinking water. But as a gas, it can be deadly, with the German army using it in warfare in World War I. The Geneva Protocol of 1925, which Syria signed, banned its use in battle.

Assad was supposed to remove or destroy his entire chemical arsenal by April 2014. Syria is believed by experts to have 1,000 tonnes of chemical warfare agents scattered over several dozen sites across the country,

 

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