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France links sarin gas used in Syria to regime

The announcement marks the strongest evidence yet that Assad's government was responsible for the daybreak attack on the northwestern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun earlier this month which killed at least 86 people, many of them as they slept.

France's foreign minister says chemical analysis of samples taken from a deadly sarin gas attack in Syria shows that the nerve agent used "bears the signature" of President Bashar Assad's regime and shows it was responsible.

The chemicals found there essentially match the biological fingerprint of the Assad government's sarin manufacturing process, as the same chemicals were found in samples collected from a 2013 attack in the town of Saraqeb in Idlib, which was also linked to the regime.

Jean-Marc Ayrault said Wednesday that France now knows "from sure sources" that "the manufacturing process of the sarin that was sampled is typical of the method developed in Syrian laboratories".

Both Assad's government and it's Russian backers have denied carrying out any chemical weapons attacks during the six-year war. "Only the regime has such air assets", said Ayrault.

The United States on Monday blacklisted 271 employees belonging to the agency.

He said the analysis of samples taken at the scene of the April 4 attack in Khan Sheikhun showed "there is no doubt that sarin gas was used".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dismissed claims that worldwide experts can not visit the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria because of security precautions.

Turkey Minister Rejects EU Call for Probe into Vote
According to unofficial results, the Yes campaign won with 51.41 percent, while the No votes stood at 48.59 percent. Electoral board head Sadi Guven said the objections would be evaluated Wednesday.

Moto E4 specs revealed at Geekbench
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OPEC slashes output in March, expects shale comeback
Despite the decline, oil prices didn't regain strength due to the inventory report amid a rise in USA oil production. Brent for June settlement was 16 cents higher at $56.39 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

"These sweeping sanctions target the scientific support center for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's horrific chemical weapons attack on innocent civilian men, women, and children", Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement.

It casts doubt on the Syrian regime's promised destruction of its chemical stockpile, saying that French intelligence services believe "important doubts remain about the accuracy, completeness and sincerity of the dismantling of the Syrian chemical arsenal".

It added that jihadist groups in the area in Idlib province did not have the capacity to develop and launch such an attack and that Islamic State was not in the region.

Assad's assertion that the attack was fabricated was "not credible" given the mass flows of casualties in a short space of time arriving in Syrian and Turkish hospitals as well as the sheer quantity of social media posts and video showing people with neurotoxic symptoms, said the report.

The findings came in a 6-page report published Wednesday. Russian Federation has been waging an air campaign since 2015 to help Assad's forces in the civil war.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is marking its 20th anniversary at a ceremony that comes just three weeks after dozens of people were killed in a suspected nerve gas attack in Syria.

"The Kremlin and President Putin still believe that conducting an impartial global investigation is the only way to find out the truth", state-run TASS quoted Peskov as saying. When I was studying in Moscow in the 1980s, for some reason I received my Soviet stipend in the company of 90 demobbed Viet Cong mature students, who were also studying in Moscow; we got to know one another.

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