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France promises proof Assad regime carried out Syrian chemical attack
21 April 2017, 02:51 | Terri Saunders
A USA official says that Syria has moved all of the aircraft from the airbase that was struck by US missiles two weeks ago to an airbase used by Russian Federation for missions within Syria.
US President Donald Trump characterized the strike as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government troops while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it was a violation of the worldwide law.
The tests were conducted on samples from three people killed in the attack and seven survivors and analysed at four OPCW-designated laboratories.
The officials delivered the assessment Wednesday, weeks after a chemical attack in Syria killed at least 90 people.
The draft had also called for investigators to visit the Shayrat airbase - bombed by the United States after the attack - to "verify allegations concerning the storage of chemical weapons" there.
"There is a clear sense of paranoia", a senior defense official told Fox News about the movement of large numbers of Syrian aircraft after the strike.
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The current and former US officials spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the Russian documents' classified status. The officials said the hacking was a covert intelligence operation run separately out of the Kremlin.
All of the officials spoke on condition of anonymity under military briefing rules.
One defense official said that it appeared that most, if not all, of the Syrian government's operational warplanes were moved near Russia's Khmeimim Air Base in Syria's northwestern Latakia province.
Ahead of that disarmament, Assad's government disclosed it had some 1,300 tons of chemical weapons, including sarin, VX nerve agent and mustard gas. The chemical weapons were shipped outside Syria and destroyed overseas, with the most toxic material disposed of at sea aboard a USA ship.
"While further details of the laboratory analyses will follow, the analytical results already obtained are incontrovertible", Uzumcu told the meeting of the body's executive council which resumed Wednesday at its headquarters in The Hague.
Syria has blamed terrorist groups for the attack, and Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that the attack was carried out by "forces" trying to frame the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. However, doubts soon emerged over whether all of the regime's armaments or production facilities were declared and destroyed.
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. Israel welcomed the strike on its northern neighbor.
The Assad regime has consistently denied it was behind the attack - and both Russian Federation and Iran have condemned the USA cruise missile strike response.
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