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Assad 'repeatedly' used chemical weapons says Italy

17 aprile 2018 | 19.54
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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The government of Syria's authoritarian president Bashar al-Assad has "repeatedly" carried out chemical weapons attacks against the population, Italy's prime minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Tuesday.

"In the past ten days, staring with the night of 7 April, we know that chlorine, sarin or similar agents were used," Gentiloni told lawmakers.

"There is every evidence," he said in reference to the two alleged chemical attacks on the Syrian rebel enclave of Douma on 7 April.

"Various sources have confirmed that dozens of people died and hundreds were injured," Gentiloni said.

Chemical warfare is "unacceptable", the Italian leader said.

Gentiloni denied Italy took part in an allied strike on three Syrian government sites on Saturday in retaliation for the alleged chemical attacks on Douma.

The US-UK-France strike against chemical weapons manufacturing sites on 14 April was "motivated, targeted, and circumscribed", and there was no evidence any civilians were killed, Gentiloni said.

Italy did not participate in the strike, and no military action departed from Italian territory, Gentiloni stated.

The Syrian government denies ever having used chemical weapons. But experts from the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have ascribed four chemical attacks to the government during the seven-year-long civil war, including an attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017 that involved the nerve agent Sarin.

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