19:24 GMT +319 August 2019
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    Canada Sanctions 17 Syrian Officials, Five Entities Over Chemical Weapons

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    Ottawa has sanctioned 17 Syrian government officials and five entities over the alleged use of chemical weapons, Global Affairs Canada said in a press release on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces claimed that 80 people were killed and 200 injured in a suspected chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, putting the blame on the Syrian government. Damascus vehemently rejected the accusations and said militants and their allies were responsible.

    "The sanctions announced today affect 17 high-ranking individuals in the Assad regime and five entities linked to the use of chemical weapons in Syria," the release stated.

    The designations come just over a week after the Canadian foreign ministry added 27 Syrian officials to its sanctions list.

    Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the sanctions were an effort to increase pressure on the Syrian government.

    The sanctions freeze the individuals’ assets in Canada and prohibit Canadian companies from doing business with them.

    According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Syrian Air Force hit a warehouse where militants stored chemical weapons, which were sent to Iraq. The Russian Foreign Ministry reminded that the Syrian government doesn't possess chemical weapons since mid-2014. Chemical weapons have been taken out of the country with US' help.

    In response to the Khan Sheikhoun incident, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha'irat, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Homs. Russia described the attack as an aggression against a sovereign state.

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    chemical weapons, Syrian Air Force, Russian Defense Ministry, Ash Sha'irat, Syria
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