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Assad possesses over 3 tons of chemical weapons, Israel says

Israel's military said on Wednesday it believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces still possess several tonnes of chemical weapons, issuing the assessment two weeks after a chemical attack that killed almost 90 people in Syria.

Some local media reports quoted the briefing officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with Israeli military procedure, as putting the amount at up to 3 tonnes. Top Assad ally, Russia, has asserted a Syrian government airstrike hit a rebel chemical weapons factory, causing the disaster.

Assad regime launched a chemical strike on a Syrian village that killed 87 people earlier this month.

Israel closely monitors the civil war in Syria, a northern neighbor.

The disarmament, which was carried out amid a chaotic conflict, has always been the subject of some doubt, and there is evidence that the Islamic State group and other insurgents have acquired chemical weapons.

"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.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' Director General Ahmet Uzumcu said on Wednesday results of the analysis "indicate that sarin or a sarin like substance was used".

He said in a statement that further results would follow, but that "the analytical results already obtained are incontrovertible".

A fact-finding mission from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an global watchdog, is investigating the incident and is expected to issue a report within two weeks. The finding supported earlier testing by Turkish and British laboratories. Former Brig. Gen. Zaher al-Sakat said the Syrian government still possessed hundreds of tons of chemical weapons.

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