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Initial US assessment suggests nerve agent used in Syria attack

14 April 2018

A group that monitors Syria's civil war said the airstrikes killed 14 people, including Iranians active in Syria.

As images of Syrian children gasping and convulsing spread around the world, US President Donald Trump and other global leaders denounced the Syrian regime for their alleged role in a suspected chemical attack.

Russia's response may have been inspired by President Donald Trump's Sunday morning tweets suggesting that Russian Federation, along with Iran, had backed the "animal Assad". "Big price to pay".

The suspected poison gas attack came nearly exactly a year after the US missile attack prompted by the Khan Sheikhoun deaths.

Trump had a previously scheduled meeting at the White House on Monday with senior military leaders. The group blamed the Syrian regime.

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied ever having used chemical weapons.

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The United States calls on Russian Federation to end this unmitigated support immediately and work with the worldwide community to prevent further, barbaric chemical weapons attacks. "The violation of global law has caused death and suffering of innocent people". Poland, alongside the UK, France, the United States, Kuwait and Peru, was among countries that had called for the gathering.

At least 70 people, including many women and children, were killed in the rebel-held enclave of Douma in eastern Ghouta on Saturday, according to local rescue workers and medical staff.

"The army, which is advancing rapidly and with determination, does not need to use any kind of chemical agents", the statement said.

According to Syria Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime struck targets in Douma, a district in Eastern Ghouta, in a midnight attack using poison gas.

In July 2017 and March 2018 the European Union imposed additional restrictive measures on high level officials and scientists responsible for the development and the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The reports, which started circulating late Saturday, could not be independently verified, and the government denied allegations it had used chemical weapon in its assault on the town. An attack with chlorine, which can be used as a weapon but is not outright banned by the treaty, could raise precedent issues, as there have been numerous recent allegations of chlorine attacks in Syria that have drawn no response from the Trump administration.

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Witnesses and medical workers reported as many as 60 deaths, with almost a thousand injured after at least two bombs hit a hospital and nearby buildings.

"We are ready, once Douma is freed from militants, to immediately send Russian specialists in radiation, chemical and biological defence to collect data that will confirm these claims are fabricated", he said in comments reported by Russian news agencies. It has betrayed the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 2118. The statement insisted their medical personnel in the city had found no evidence any such attack took place.

Mr Johnson said the reports were "deeply disturbing" and "truly horrific".

- United Nations-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism in Syria is established to identify individuals or entities behind chemical weapons attacks.

"There is not a good war and a bad one, and nothing, nothing can justify the use of such devices of extermination against defenceless people and populations", he added.

The death toll is likely to rise, according to the Union of Medical Care Organizations, a coalition of worldwide aid agencies that funds hospitals in Syria and which is partly based in Paris.

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Initial US assessment suggests nerve agent used in Syria attack