Kerry says he's seen raw data suggesting Syria used chlorine in attacks

Kerry says he
# 16 May 2014 00:47 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday he had seen raw data suggesting Syrian government forces had used chlorine gas in the country's civil war, but added it had not been verified, APA reports quoting Reuters.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said Syria may have used chemical weapons involving chlorine in 14 attacks in recent months.

"I have seen the raw data that suggests that there may have been, as France has suggested, a number of instances in which chlorine has been used in the conduct of war," Kerry told reporters in London.

"If it has, and it could be proven, then that would be against the agreements of the chemical weapons treaty and against the weapons convention that Syria has signed up to."

Kerry, who earlier met foreign ministers from European Union and Gulf Arab countries that are opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said the data had not been verified.

"It has been made clear by President Obama and others that use would result in consequences," Kerry said, adding: "We're not going to pin ourselves down to a precise time, date, manner of action, but there will be consequences."

France is pressing the United Nations to refer the three-year-old civil war in Syria to the International Criminal Court for possible prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Syria has promised to hand over or destroy its entire chemical weapons arsenal although it still possesses roughly 7.5 percent of declared chemicals and has not yet destroyed a dozen production and storage facilities.

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