France: Look into reports that Syria used chemical weapons
French Foreign Ministry says new allegations that the Syrian government is using chemical weapons must be looked into.
The French Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that new allegations that the Syrian government is using chemical weapons must be looked into, Reuters reports.
“We have noted with a degree of alarm these allegations, which need to be looked into,” the ministry said in an online press briefing.
“We have full confidence in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” it added.
The statement came a day after the US State Department said there were signs that the Syrian government may be using chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack on Sunday in northwest Syria.
“We are still gathering information on this incident, but we repeat our warning that if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons, the United States and our allies will respond quickly and appropriately,” said the State Department in a statement.
Western powers, led by the United States, have in the past blamed the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad for carrying out attacks on civilians using chemical weapons.
The Syrian regime repeatedly denies having any connection to chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
In March, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) determined that chlorine was used in a deadly attack on the Syrian town of Douma in 2018, though it did not say who was responsible for the attack.
Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under a deal brokered by Moscow and Washington, but the OPCW has since found chlorine has been “systematically and repeatedly” used as a weapon.
Such chemical attacks in 2017 and earlier this year led the US to launch punitive strikes against Syrian forces.