Turkey's health minister Recep Akdağ said that on Tuesday, tests on victims of a suspected chemical attack in Syria's northwestern Idlib province confirmed the use of sarin gas.
Both Washington and Ankara blame the Syrian government for the poison gas attack which killed nearly 100 people including children, but Damascus has denied responsibility.
The United States launched missile strikes last week against a Syrian government air base in response.
Akdağ was quoted as saying that isopropyl methylphosphonic acid "has been identified in the blood and urine tests conducted on samples taken from the victims exposed to chemical warfare in Idlib". The acid is formed from the degraded byproduct of sarin reacting with other compounds.
Assad awards pilot responsible for Idlib chemical attack
The Assad regime has awarded a prestigious badge to the pilot who is responsible for carrying out last week’s deadly chemical attack on the Idlib town of Khan Shaykhun. The attack is reported to have killed approximately 100 civilians.The award ceremony was organized by the General Staff, during which the pilot, named Yusuf al-Hasuri, received “the badge of bravery”, a high honor that the Syrian Army reserves for “distinguished” soldiers.The chemical massacre occurred on April 4th in Khan Shaykhun, when regime airplanes bombed the northern Syrian town using Sarin gas, killing some 100 civlians, the majority of whom were women and children, and wounding 500 others.Reports of the pilot receiving “the badge of bravery” obviously attracted a lot of angry reactions, due to the large number of women and children who were killed in the inhumane chemical attack.Galeri: Chemical attack by Syrian regime kills at least 100Remnants from the chemical attack render Syria’s Khan Shaykhun a ghost townTillerson cites Russian inaction as helping to fuel Syrian poison gas attackRussia must stop insisting on Assad's leadership in Syria: Çavuşoğlu
US probing Russia role in Syria chemical attack
The U.S. is looking into whether Russia had any role in a deadly chemical attack in Syria, a senior defense official said Friday.That includes a careful assessment of any information that could indicate Moscow knew about or assisted with the attack, the official said on condition that he not be named.He said the chemical weapons attack Tuesday in Khan Shaykhun, Idlib, was conducted because of the Syrian regime's "battlefield desperation" caused by successive opposition gains in Hama province that threatened an airbase there, and inched closer to connecting opposition territories in Hama and Idlib.“This was a significant risk to the regime. They were under a lot of pressure," he said.The official voiced "high confidence" that a nerve agent similar to sarin was used in the attack, saying that the symptoms victims displayed are consistent with a nerve agent.Following the initial attack, a hospital that was treating patients affected by the gas was struck from the air. So far, the U.S. does not know who carried out that sortie, but the official said "the fact that somebody would strike the hospital potentially to hide the evidence of a chemical attack about five hours after… is a question we’re very interested in.”Tuesday's chemical attack killed at least 100 people and injured more than 500.In response, the U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian military air base American officials believe was used to carry out the attack.The missiles were fired from two U.S. destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean and hit the air base at approximately 3.45 a.m. Syrian local time Friday (0045 GMT). Aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars were targeted, the Pentagon said.The official who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity denied Russian claims that a memorandum agreement with them to help prevent accidental clashes has been suspended. The U.S. confirmed with Russia that the agreement was still active after the attack, he said.Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conceded that the runway at the targeted Syrian air base was still in use, but said the U.S. strike destroyed about 20 percent of the Syrian Air Force's 7th Wing.Regarding a potential Russian role in Tuesday's attack, Tillerson said he does not "have any information that it would be appropriate to share with you at this point”.Separately, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said additional sanctions against Syria are forthcoming, but declined to offer details.
Chemical weapons use a 'dangerous crime', Kremlin says
The use of chemical weapons in Syria's Idlib was a "dangerous and monstrous" crime, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.Peskov was speaking to reporters two days after Idlib’s town of Khan Shaykhun was subject to a chemical weapon attack that left at least 100 people dead and hundreds more injured, mostly children.The attack attracted widespread international condemnation and calls for the Assad regime to be held accountable.Turkish health ministry: tests on Syria attack victims point to possible sarin exposureAfter Idlib attack, Syrian Türkmen demand UN sanctionsUK's Johnson says important to pass UN resolution on SyriaThe Syrian regime has denied allegations it targeted the area with chemical weapons.Peskov said the evidence produced so far was not credible.He also said Russia believed the use of chemical weapons was unacceptable.Last year, a UN-appointed investigation panel found that chemical weapons were mainly used by Syrian regime forces in 2014 and 2015. No punitive measures were taken, however.Galeri: Chemical attack by Syrian regime kills at least 70 victims
Medical charity MSF says treated patients for nerve agents after Syria attack
Medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres said on Wednesday eight people it treated following a suspected chemical attack in northern Syria had symptoms consistent with nerve agents like Sarin."Among the victims of the attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun who were transferred to the Bab al-Hawa hospital ... near the Turkish border, MSF saw eight patients with symptoms - dilated pupils, muscle spasms, involuntary defection - consistent with exposure to neuro-toxic agents such as Sarin," the group said in a statement.MSF, which has teams at the hospital, said it had provided antidotes and protective equipment for personnel on site."The MSF team also accessed other hospitals treating victims and noted a strong smell of chlorine, suggesting they had been exposed to this toxic agent," MSF said.