Alleged Syrian chemical attack ‘crime against humanity’: Israel

Jerusalem: Israel on Monday accused Syria of “crimes against humanity” over an alleged chemical attack on a rebel-held town, saying President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was responsible.

“Israel strongly condemns the chemical weapons strike carried out by Syria on April 7, one year after the mass murder carried out by the regime in Khan Sheikun,” a foreign ministry statement said.

“The Syrian regime continues to perpetrate crimes against humanity in using these outlawed weapons.”

It added that it “joins a long series of similar attacks using chemical weapons perpetrated by the regime since Assad undertook to disarm from such weapons.”

“The attack shows clearly that Syria continues to possess lethal chemical weapons capabilities and even to manufacture new ones,” the statement said.

“In so doing Syria is grossly violating its obligations and the decisions of the international community in this matter.”

Separately on Monday with tensions high over the alleged chemical attack, Syria and Russia accused Israel of deadly missile strikes on a Syrian regime air base.

Israel declined to comment on the allegations.

Israel has sought to avoid direct involvement in Syria’s civil war, but it acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes there to stop what it says are advanced arms deliveries to its enemy Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group that is backing Assad.

It has also repeatedly warned it will not accept its arch-foe Iran entrenching itself militarily in neighbouring Syria.

Agence France-Presse