French diplomacy had already announced April 19 that it “provide evidence” that Damascus was behind the attack at the April 4 sarin against the rebel town of Khan Company Northwest of Syria, which killed 87 people, including 31 children. It’s made while this Wednesday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Marc Ayrault, presented the findings of a report from the french secret service at the end of a defense Council meeting at the Elysée Palace around the french president François Holland.
‘the use of sarin is no doubt. The responsibility of the Syrian regime is no doubt either, given used sarin manufacturing process,”said the head of French diplomacy. According to an official statement of the Presidency of the Republic, this report demonstrates that “the regime still had chemical agents of war in violation of the commitments to eliminate that he took in 2013”. Jean-Marc Ayrault warned that the authors “of the atrocities” Khan Cheikhoune and other chemical attacks would have to “answer for their crimes” before justice.
a gas sarin already used by the regime
the France concludes to the responsibility of the plan by comparing the sarin gas used with samples of an attack of 2013 imputed to the Saraqeb plan, there still in the Northwest of the country. The France had then recovered unexploded ammunition and in had analyzed the content, according to a diplomatic source. “We are able to confirm that the sarin used April 4 is the same sarin that was used in an attack took place at Saraqeb on 29 April 2013,” said Jean-Marc Ayrault.
in both cases, the hexamine, a stabilizing, was found. “This manufacturing process is developed by the ESRB to the benefit of the Syrian regime,” according to the summary of the report. The center of research and scientific studies of Syria (ESRB) is in the viewfinder of the Western countries who accuse Damascus of not having completely dismantled its chemical arsenal, as he is forced to do so since a Russian-American agreement in 2013. The United States announced Monday the sanctions against 271 scientists of the ESRB.
the scenario of a Syrian attack on the air force confirmed
according to Paris, the military context analysis to conclude that aviation of the regime, particularly a FBD Sukhoi 22 taking off from the base of Chayrat, has made airstrikes on the town on 4 April in the morning. Such a chemical attack have been approved to the highest peak of the Syrian State. View of “the General Organization of the chain of command”, “Bashar al-Assad only and some of the most influential members of his entourage are empowered to give the order to use chemical weapons”, the report indeed.
Paris thus rejects the assumption that the attack would have been led by other armed groups. Stating that is is not present in this region of the Syria, services noted that the Group rebel Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham born of the fusion of “several radical factions” with the Islamist movement Fatah al-sham, which operates in this sector, does not ‘capacity to implement a nerve agent. ” “Staged by the opposition” is not no more credible, the report adds.
Paris shared its findings with partners
Jean-Marc Ayrault said “the France had decided to share the information it has with its partners and the world public opinion.
just three days after the attack on Khan Company, April 7, the United States responded with strikes in retaliation using cruise missiles Tomahawk on a base of the Damascus regime. Later, on 19 April, the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW) concluded that the use of sarin in the attack on Khan company was “irrefutable”, without finding the responsibility of the regime of Bashar al-Assad at this stage of the investigation. Like France, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Turkey are also reached the same conclusions. But Paris is the first international actor to prove the responsibility of the regime in this attack. The US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has his estimated on Friday that he had “no doubt” about the fact that the regime had retained chemical weapons.
Damascus has always denied being involved and felt that the attack was “a production to 100%. Russia, which supports the Syrian regime, has also responded to the French investigation. “Because of the use of sarin is no doubt, but it is impossible to make conclusions about who is responsible without an international investigation,” said the spokesman for the Kremlin, Dmitri Peskov, who stressed that Moscow “does not include the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW) refrain for the time being of such an investigation.”
risk of trivialization of chemical weapons
since the beginning of the war in Syria, which has left more than 300,000 dead since March 2011, Damascus has been accused repeatedly of using chemical weapons. The attack of the Ghouta, in the suburbs of Damascus in August 2013, making hundreds of victims, was one of the markers of the conflict. She led after the resounding renunciation of Barack Obama strikes in retaliation for an international agreement on the dismantling of the chemical arsenal of the regime.
but dozens of other smaller attacks are suspected, testifying to the trivialization of the chemical weapon, even if the responsibilities are extremely difficult to prove. In 2016, two investigators from the United Nations and the OPCW reports had concluded that Damascus had carried out three attacks to the chlorine and the jihadist Islamic State Organization an attack to mustard gas in 2014 and 2015.
on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW) on Wednesday, the UN Chief, Antonio Guterres appealed to “ban forever the scourge of chemical weapons”, worried however about the deadlock in this process. So far 95% of reported chemical weapons worldwide stocks have been destroyed by the OPCW, but ‘two decades of success are at risk,’ launched the Secretary-General of the United Nations in a video message broadcast at the Hague, where sits the organization.