France Claims It Has Proof Assad Was Behind Chemical Weapons Attack
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gestures during an exclusive interview with AFP in the capital Damascus on February 11, 2016. Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault pledged Wednesday that France will release proof tying the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the chemical weapons attack in Idlib.
“We have elements that will allow us to show that the regime knowingly used chemical weapons,” Ayrault said, according to AFP.
“In a few days I will be able to bring you the proof,” he added.
Assad has denied any involvement with the chemical weapons attack that occurred in Khan Sheikhun April 4, killing 87 people. The U.S. retaliated two days later with a missile strike against the al-Shayrat air base in Syria.
Although there has been considerable dispute about the intelligence used to tie the Assad regime to the chemical weapons attack, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed Wednesday after testing that victims of the attack suffered exposure to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance, putting to rest claims that there was another substance at play.
Leading weapons expert and MIT professor emeritus Theodore Postol has been one of the most prominent voices pushing back against the intelligence used to tie Assad to the chemical weapons attack.
“I have reviewed the [White House’s] document carefully, and I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria at roughly 6am to 7am on 4 April, 2017,” Postol wrote in a series of reports.
Moreover, Postol argued that the evidence shows the shell containing Sarin could not have been dropped from an aircraft.
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