UN blames Assad regime over chemical attack that killed 80
A UN report has blamed the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad for a chemical attack on a rebel-held town on April 4 that killed 80 people. The report's authors say they are confident that the Assad regime used the Sarin nerve agent in Khan Sheikhoun, located in north-west Syria. Both Assad and his ally Russia have repeatedly said the attack was fabricated.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN's Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) have issued the report. "The panel is confident that the Syrian Arab Republic is responsible for the release of Sarin at Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April 2017," it said. The report has also blamed ISIS for using sulphur mustard while attacking Syria's Um-Housh on 16 September 2016.
"Today's report confirms what we have long known to be true," said the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. Haley said despite the report, some countries continue supporting Syria which "must end now." British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said, "Britain condemns this appalling breach of the rules of war and calls on the international community to unite to hold Assad's regime accountable."
"Today's report should lay to rest any discussion about who was responsible for the Khan Sheikhoun attack," said Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch. "The question now is whether Security Council and OPCW members, including Russia, will move to protect a key international rule and hold Syrian authorities accountable as they said they would." Syria and Russia haven't responded to the report.