Tuesday, 17 October 2017 11:56 GMT
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France verifying "indications" of Syrian chemical use this month

(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) France said on Tuesday that it was working with its partners to verify and confirm a chemical agent's use in a battled between Syrian regime forces and rebels groups earlier this month, although no firm evidence has as yet been produced in this case. US sources said earlier that there were "indications" that there might have been use of a toxic agent, possible chlorine, in a battle for the rebel-held village of Kfar Zeita on April 11 last. "For the moment, it is about indications about the use of chemical agents, which we have to verify. We are in contact with our partners with whom we are seeking to confirm this use (of chemical weapons)," the Foreign Ministry said. Syria, in a deal brokered between Russia and the US late last year, has committed to dismantle and hand over for destruction all its chemical weapons arsenal, stockpiles and manufacturing infrastructure by mid-2014. However, this programme, overseen by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), is reported to be running late. Nonetheless, some 86.5 percent of Syria's chemical weapons have been handed over. Damascus blamed the latest incident on Islamist extremist rebel forces which are fighting the regime in a number of areas.
France verifying "indications" of Syrian chemical use this month