Syria attack: Post-mortems 'point to Sarin being used'

The chemical attack in Syria has now killed at least 86 people, including 30 children.

Here is what we know so far:

  • The attack happened on Tuesday in the north Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun
  • At least 86 people have died and dozens more are injured
  • One father lost his wife, brother and twin babies
  • Syria's foreign minister has said his country will never use chemical weapons
  • Early post-mortems 'point to the nerve agent Sarin being used'
  • Theresa May and Donald Trump are among world leaders blaming President Assad for the "barbaric" attack
  • Russia is continuing to back Assad and claims the attack was caused by a Syrian air strike which hit a stockpile of chemical arms
  • The US ambassador to the UN has called for Russia to step in saying: "How many children have to die before Russia cares?"

Live updates

Vote on UN Security Council's Syria resolution called off

The aftermath of the Syria attack has divided the UN Security Council. Credit: AP

The latest planned vote on a revised UN Security Council resolution demanding an investigation of the suspected chemical attack in Syria has been called off.

Stephen Hickey, the political counsellor at the UK Mission to the UN, said this evening's vote was cancelled with discussions among members "ongoing".

Britain, France and the United States had put forward the draft resolution for a vote though Russia was expected to veto it having condemned the proposed text as "categorically unacceptable".

The draft resolution supported an investigation by the Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that would force the Syrian government to give information on its military actions on the day of the assault.


Chemical weapons watchdog contacts Syria on 'gas attack'

Turkish experts carry a victim of the alleged gas attacks in Syria. Credit: AP

The international chemical weapons watchdog has contacted Syrian authorities after President Assad's regime was accused of launching a gas attack on his own citizens.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed it was investigating reports of a nerve gas attack in Idlib province on Tuesday which left 86 dead including 30 children.

All member states of an international treaty banning the use of chemical weapons have also been asked for "any information they may have" on the Idlib attack, the OPCW said in a statement.

Putin's support for Syria's Assad 'not unconditional'

Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad at a meeting in 2015. Credit: AP

Vladimir Putin has indicated his support for Syrian leader Bashar Assad is "not unconditional" after an alleged nerve gas attack in Idlib that left at least 86 dead including 30 children.

The Russian president is a key ally to Syria's government forces and earlier today personally refuted reports the regime used banned chemical agents in the attack as "unfounded".

He suggested hours later that Assad cannot count on his backing in any circumstance - but gave no indication he was about to change his stance.

"Unconditional support is not possible in this current world," Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

He also added that "it is not correct to say that Moscow can convince Mr. Assad to do whatever is wanted in Moscow. This is totally wrong."

Putin says Syrian chemical attack claims are 'unfounded'

Vladimir Putin said accusations of a Syrian chemical attack were 'groundless' Credit: AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted that reports that Syrian forces carried out a chemical weapons attack are "unfounded" following international outrage at the attack in Idlib.

He said it was "unacceptable to make unfounded accusations against anyone until a thorough and unbiased international investigation" in a phone call with Israel's prime minister.

Turkey has said that initial post-mortem results suggest the nerve agent Sarin was used by Syrian forces in a strike that killed at least 86 people including dozens of children.

However Russia, a key ally to the Syrian leader, says that there is no proof of an attack by government forces and has said the West should not rush to apportion blame.


Post-mortems on Idlib victims 'point to Sarin exposure'

A toddler being treated after the attack

The post-mortems of the victims of the Idlib attack in Syria points to a "possible exposure to Sarin", the Turkish Health Ministry has said.

Sarin is a nerve agent which has no decipherable smell or taste and causes excruciating pain.

At least 86 people were killed in the suspected chemical attack in the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Kremlin: US conclusions on Syria attack 'not objective'

The Kremlin said the attack was a 'monstrous crime'. Credit: AP

American conclusions on Tuesday's alleged chemical attack in Syria are not based on "objective data", a Kremlin spokesman has said.

US President Donald Trump criticised Russia's support for the regime as he condemned President Bashar al-Assad's government over the attack, which left at least 86 people dead.

But Moscow said disagreements with the US over Syria are unlikely to change the nature of relations between the two countries in a major way.

The Kremlin said the attack was a "monstrous crime" and that the use of chemical weapons is "absolutely unacceptable".

Moscow has previously backed the Syrian government claim that the exposure was caused by a rebel arsenal of chemical weapons that was hit by an air strike.

Syria 'has never and will never use chemical weapons'

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem. Credit: AP

Syria's army has never and will never use chemical weapons, the country's foreign minister has said.

Walid Muallem rejected claims that President Bashar al-Assad's regime had carried out a chemical attack that killed at least 86 people in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

"Our army has never used chemical weapons and will not use chemical weapons, not only against our civilians but also against terrorists who are attacking our civilians," he said.

Mr Muallem said the Syrian army had attacked a depot belonging to the Al-Nusra Front, a terror group, and that it had contained chemical weapons.

He added that the Syrian government has previously warned the UN Security Council and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that weapons were being brought into the country from Iraq and Turkey.

Load more updates Back to top

Latest ITV News reports