Sarin or similar used in Idlib: watchdog

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Israeli defense officials say that Syrian President Bashar Assad still has up to three tons of chemical weapons. Thus, the criticism that Assad continues to launch air strikes, from the base we hit or from elsewhere, misses the point. Spicer had to later clarify that if the barrel bombs-a weapon routinely used by Syrian forces-contained chemical agents, then a military response would be possible.

The attack on the rebel-held town killed at least 87 people.

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A senior military official told the AP that the regime is believed to possess between one and three tons of chemical weapons.

The United States launched 59 cruise missiles in a strike meant to damage the infrastructure of the airstrip from which the US believes the chemical weapons attack was launched.

Victims of the suspected chemical weapons attack lie on the ground, in Khan Sheikhoun, in the northern province of Idlib, Syria.

Assad fervently denied that his regime was responsible for carrying out the attack, asserting that the government no longer possessed chemical weapons and would not use them even if it did.

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Brigadier-General Zaher al-Sakat, who served as the head of chemical warfare in a top Syrian military unit before defecting in 2013, said that Assad had not declared large amounts of sarin and its precursor chemicals.

Such a move would also be against the convention against chemical weapons "as it is the role of the OPCW to lead independently any investigation", he added.

The Post, citing a defense official, also said the regime used the chemical weapons out of frustration after failing to make meaningful advances on the ground despite support from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. We gave up our arsenal a few years ago.

Dan Kaszeta, a United Kingdom -based chemical weapons expert, said the Israeli estimate appeared to be conservative, but nonetheless was enough to be highly lethal.

"One ton of sarin could easily be used to perpetrate an attack on the scale of the 2013 attack".

The attack in the northwestern town of Khan Sheikhoun woke hundreds of civilians in the early hours of April 4.

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