The Latest: France links sarin gas used in Syria to regime


MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Syria (all times local):

9:35 a.m.

France’s foreign minister says chemical analysis of samples taken from a deadly sarin gas attack in Syria shows that the nerve agent used “bears the signature” of President Bashar Assad’s regime and shows it was responsible.

Jean-Marc Ayrault said Wednesday that France now knows “from sure sources” that “the manufacturing process of the sarin that was sampled is typical of the method developed in Syrian laboratories.”

He added that “this method bears the signature of the regime and that is what allows us to establish its responsibility in this attack.”

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9:10 a.m.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the airstrike that the United States launched at a Syrian military base earlier this month damages the prospects of a political settlement for the war-torn country.

The airstrike was in response to a chemical weapons attack on April 4 on a northern Syrian town that Washington blamed on the Syrian government.

Lavrov told a security conference on Wednesday the attack as a pretext for a regime change in Syria and said the U.S. response “pushes the prospect for a wide international front on terror even further away.”

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said earlier on Wednesday Russia had to boost security measures at its air base in Syria after the airstrike. Russia has provided an air cover for the government’s offensive on Islamic State militants.