News / Middle East

France Accuses Syria of 14 Recent Chemical Weapons Attacks

Denmark’s Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard (r) speaks to the Danish sailors aboard the Danish warship
Denmark’s Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard (r) speaks to the Danish sailors aboard the Danish warship "Esbern Snare" which is escorting the cargo ships that are transporting Syria's most dangerous chemical weapons, May 13, 2014.
VOA News
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is accusing Syrian forces of 14 separate chemical weapons attacks in recent months, despite pledges to give them up.

Fabius told reporters in Washington Tuesday that the attacks include chlorine gas. He said it shows that President Bashar al-Assad is still capable of producing chemical weapons and is willing to use them.

The U.N. organization overseeing Syria's chemical weapons destruction plans to investigate allegations of chlorine attacks. Its chief, Sigrid Kaag, said last week that Syria has destroyed 92 percent of its chemical weapons stockpile. But she said the remaining 8 percent is in an area that is not accessible and is too dangerous to enter because of poor security.

Under a deal with the U.N. to avoid possible U.S. military strikes, Syria agreed to get rid of all its chemical weapons by June 30. An August chemical weapons attack on civilians outside Damascus killed more than 1,400 people.

Denmark, which is providing Syria with one of two cargo ships used to move chemical weapons components out of the country, is urging Damascus to expedite the process and quickly give up the last of its lethal stockpile.

Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard, who spoke Tuesday onboard one of the ships carrying the weapons, said its vessels are not mandated to stay beyond the June 30 deadline.

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