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    A man breathes through an oxygen mask as another one receives treatments, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017

    UK Welcomes US Sanctions Linked to Reported Idlib Chemical Attack

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

    The United Kingdom welcomes the US decision to impose sanctions on people linked to the alleged chemical incident in the Syrian province of Idlib, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday in a statement.

    LONDON (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 271 employees of Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Center, which is suspected by the US authorities of being responsible for producing chemical weapons.

    "The UK welcomes US action to sanction individuals connected to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The abhorrent attack on Khan Sheikhoun is a stark reminder that the international community must work together to deter the future use of chemical weapons in any circumstances … We welcome the role sanctions play in increasing pressure on the Syrian regime to turn away from its military campaign." Johnson said, as quoted by the UK Foreign Office.

    He also called for bringing those responsible for the attack to account and facilitating the Syrian peace process.

    "We will continue our efforts to hold accountable those responsible for chemical attacks, including through the UN and EU, and to energise international support for the UN-led political process. Only a political settlement will bring an end to the war in Syria," Johnson added.

    On April 4, the reported chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Idlib province claimed the lives of some 80 people and inflicted harm on an additional 200 civilians. The Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, as well as a number of Western states, accused the Syrian government troops of carrying out the attack, while Damascus has refuted these allegations, saying it did not possess chemical weapons.

    Russia and Iran offered to launch an independent investigation into the incident but last week, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) turned down the proposal. On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called this decision strange as the Russian-Iranian initiative did not stipulate anything other than conducting "an independent, impartial, transparent investigation" with experts visiting the site.

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


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    sanctions, chemical attack, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Idlib, Syria, United States, United Kingdom
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