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France says it will 'prove' Damascus behind Syria 'chemical attack'

By AFP - Apr 19,2017 - Last updated at Apr 19,2017

PARIS — France will produce proof "in a few days" that the regime of President Bashar Assad launched a chemical strike on a Syrian village that killed 87 people earlier this month, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Wednesday.

"We have elements that will allow us to show that the regime knowingly used chemical weapons," Ayrault said of the suspected chemical attack in Khan Sheikhun on April 4. 

"In a few days I will be able to bring you the proof," he told French television.

In an exclusive interview last week with AFP in Damascus, Assad said the suspected chemical attack was a "fabrication" to justify a US missile strike on Syrian forces.

"Definitely, 100 per cent for us, it's fabrication," he said.

Western leaders including US President Donald Trump have accused Assad of being behind the attack in the rebel-held town, saying his forces used a chemical weapon during an air strike.

The suspected attack killed at least 87 people, including many children, and images of the dead and of suffering victims provoked global outrage.

The missile strike was the first direct US military action against Assad's forces since the start of Syria's civil war six years ago and precipitated a downward spiral in ties between Washington and Moscow.

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