• 22:18
  • 11.04.2021
France to target toxic gas attacks
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France to target toxic gas attacks

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France has asked 30 countries to work together to preserve evidence of chemical weapons attacks and impose sanctions on those responsible for using toxic gas in Syria.

France will host a meeting on Tuesday in Paris to launch the initiative, French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said, and it will be attended by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The group will work together "collecting, conserving, exchanging and using ... all the mechanisms at our disposal to name the guilty parties and impose the necessary sanctions on them."
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"It is important that, when the time comes and the political timing is right, all the information on the perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks and those who participated in their programs is immediately available so as to ensure they are brought to justice for their actions."

The move comes after an international investigation into who is to blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria ended in November after Syrian ally Russia blocked for the third time in a month attempts at the United Nations to renew the inquiry.

In the past two years, the joint inquiry of the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had found the Syrian government used the nerve agent sarin in an April 4, 2017 attack and has also several times used chlorine as a weapon.
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It blamed Islamic State militants for using mustard gas.

Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under a deal brokered by Russia and the United States. The Syrian government has denied using chemical weapons.
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