World
France has 'information' Assad regime using chemical weapons: Hollande
Publish Date: Apr 20, 2014
France has 'information' Assad regime using chemical weapons: Hollande
French President Francois Hollande arrives to welcome the four French journalists taken hostage in Syria last year and freed, at the Villacoublay air base southwest of Paris on April 20, 2014. The journalists Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres had been captured in two separate incidents in June last year while covering the conflict in Syria. AFP PHOTO
  • mail
  • img
newvision

PARIS - France has "information" but no firm proof that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime is still using chemical weapons, President Francois Hollande said Sunday.

"We have a few elements of information but I do not have the proof," Hollande said in a radio interview after he was asked about reports that Assad was currently using chemical weapons.

"What I do know is what we have seen from this regime is the horrific methods it is capable of using and the rejection of any political transition," he told the Europe 1 radio station.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the same radio station there were "indications, which have yet to be verified, that there have been recent chemical attacks".

He said they were "much less significant than those in Damascus a few months ago but very deadly", and had taken place in the northwest of the country, near the Lebanese border.

A French source close to the matter told AFP that the reports "had come from different sources, including the Syrian opposition".

There are conflicting accounts about one attack that happened in the town of Kafr Zita in the central Hama province earlier in April, with both the government and the opposition accusing each other of being responsible.

Activists in the area accused the regime of using chlorine gas, saying it caused "more than 100 cases of suffocation".

Videos circulated by opposition activists on YouTube showed men and children in a field hospital coughing and showing symptoms of suffocation.

But state television blamed the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front, a key force in Syria's three-year armed revolt, for the attack, which it said had lead to the death of two people and caused more than 100 to suffer from suffocation.

Under the terms of the US-Russia brokered deal reached last year, Syria has until the end of June to destroy its chemical weapon stockpile if it wants to ward off the threat of US air strikes.

The agreement was reached after a deadly chemical attack outside Damascus last August that the West blamed on Assad's regime.

Last week the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the global chemical watchdog, said Syria had surrendered almost two-thirds of its chemical weapons, including many priority chemicals.

Damascus had halted exports temporarily, citing security concerns, but restarted transfers earlier in April.

Speaking on April 14 after Syria had completed its latest shipment, the OPCW chief Ahmed Uzumcu said "both the frequency and the volumes of deliveries have to increase significantly" if the deadline was to be met.

Norwegian as well as Danish naval vessels are involved in the process of removing chemical materials from the port of Latakia in western Syria.

The most dangerous are being transferred to a US Navy vessel specially fitted with equipment to destroy the chemicals at sea.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
At least one dead in car bomb attack in Somali capital
At least one person was killed and two others wounded on Saturday in a car bombing in Somalia''s capital Mogadishu, police said....
US woman puts on hold plans to kill herself
A young American woman with terminal cancer who had said she would kill herself on November 1 now says she may wait a little longer....
Burkina Faso military chief says he has taken over
Burkina Faso military chief says he has taken over as head of state...
Blaise Compaore steps down
BURKINA Faso''s embattled President Blaise Compaore has announced that he is stepping down to make way for elections following a violent uprising against his 27-year rule...
Burkina Faso leader defiant after violent day
Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore on Thursday refused to give up power but called off a state of emergency imposed after a violent uprising against his 27-year rule that saw parliament set ablaze....
Burkina Faso army announces dissolution of govt, parliament
Burkina Faso’s army has announced the dissolution of government and the country’s National Assembly...
Should the absence of bride price prevent couples from wedding?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter