Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Spat over Iran's UN ambassador hampers thawing relations with US

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Call it a caretaker government'

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Pornography without borders is key benefit of EU, says French MEP

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Google Glass sale a test of consumer interest

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Back to the future

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Over 70 killed in Nigeria bus station terror attack

Read more

  • Rescue effort under way as ferry sinks off S. Korean coast

    Read more

  • Putin says Ukraine 'on brink of war' as separatists hoist Russian flags

    Read more

  • Brazilian club Atletico loses patience with Anelka before he even arrives

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • Berlusconi sentenced to community service for tax fraud

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

  • US to mark one year since Boston Marathon bombing

    Read more

  • India's Supreme Court establishes third gender category

    Read more

  • Bluefin-21 'mini-sub' redeploys for Malaysian jet

    Read more

  • Paris hotel that hosted Holocaust survivors shuts for renovation

    Read more

  • French police begin mass DNA test in hunt for school rapist

    Read more

  • France looks to lift ailing economy with business-friendly diplomacy

    Read more

Middle east

UK confirms use of chemical weapons in Syria, media say

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-04-13

Tests at the British Ministry of Defence on a Syrian soil sample reveal that chemical weapons have been used in the conflict, The Times reported on Saturday. A diplomatic source said Thursday that "hard evidence" confirmed the weapons had been used.

British military scientists have found forensic evidence that chemical weapons have been used in the conflict in Syria, the Times newspaper reported on Saturday.

A soil sample thought to have been taken from an area close to Damascus and smuggled back to Britain has provided proof that "some kind of chemical weapon" had been fired, it quoted defence sources as saying.

The tests were carried out at the Ministry of Defence's chemical and biological research establishment at Porton Down, it added in the front-page story.

FRANCE 24 Debate: Syria, two years on

Diplomats at the United Nations said on Thursday that Western Nations have "hard evidence" that chemical weapons have been used at least once in the Syrian war, without giving details.

The British team were unable to discern whether the weapons had been fired by President Bashar al-Assad's regime or by the rebels fighting him, nor could they say if there had been widespread use, The Times said.

It cited an unnamed source as saying: "There have been some reports that it was just a strong riot-control agent but this is not the case -- it's something else, although it can't definitively be said to be sarin nerve agent."

The Ministry of Defence had no comment when contacted by AFP, although the Foreign Office said it was deeply concerned about the possible use of chemical weapons.

"We are deeply concerned about multiple reports alleging the use of chemical weapons in Syria," a spokesman said.

Syrian government requests UN chemical attack probe
"We have shared our concerns with the UN secretary general and fully support his decision to investigate.

"The use of chemical weapons would be a horrific crime. Those who order the use of chemical weapons, and those who participate in their use, will be brought to account."

Assad's government has asked the United Nations to investigate its claims that opposition rebels fired a chemical weapon shell in Aleppo province on March 19.

In response, the UN assembled a team of international experts, led by Ake Sellstrom of Sweden, in the region.

But Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem wrote to UN chief Ban Ki-moon this week saying the government could not accept an inquiry that extended to claims against its own forces.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-04-13

  • SYRIA

    West has 'evidence' of Syria chemical weapons, diplomats say

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syria rejects expanded UN chemical weapons inquiry

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Swedish scientist to lead UN Syria chemical weapons probe

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)