07:37 GMT +321 September 2019
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    A picture taken on April 4, 2017 shows destruction at a hospital room in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, following a suspected toxic gas attack.

    Tehran Urged to Call on Assad to Avoid Incidents Similar to Alleged Idlib Attack

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    Chemical Weapons Incident in Syria’s Idlib Province (170)
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    Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano urged Tehran to use its influence on Syrian President Bashar Assad to prevent incidents similar to the alleged Idlib chemical attack from happening in the future, the Italian Foreign Ministry said Monday in a statement.

    LUCCA (Sputnik) — The two sides agreed to stay in contact to monitor the situation in Syria so that they would be able to prevent the escalation and to restart the talks.

    "Minister Alfano, on his part, expressed hope that Iran would use its influence on the Syrian authorities to prevent new attacks on civilians, completely eliminating chemical weapons and ensuring the ceasefire," the statement issued following Alfano's phone talk with Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif read.

    The call took place ahead of the meeting of G7 foreign ministers, scheduled for Tuesday, and was reportedly initiated by the Iranian side.

    On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces said some 80 people were killed and 200 injured earlier that day in a chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, Idlib province, blaming the Syrian army for the incident.

    The Syrian foreign minister denied the government’s involvement in the Idlib incident, saying it had never nor would it ever use chemical weapons on either civilians or terrorists operating in the country.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the airstrike near Khan Shaykhun by the Syrian air force hit a terrorist warehouse that stored chemical weapons slated for delivery to Iraq, and called on the UN Security Council to launch a proper investigation into the incident.

    Earlier this year, Syrian President Bashar Assad said that the country’s government had never used weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, against the Syrian people. Besides, under a Russian-US deal after the east Ghouta sarin gas incident in 2013, Damascus joined the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and agreed to destroy its stockpile under Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) oversight. In January 2016, the OPCW announced that all chemical weapons in Syria had been destroyed.

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    Chemical Weapons Incident in Syria’s Idlib Province (170)

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    chemical attack, Bashar al-Assad, Italy, Iran, Syria
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