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France to declassify secret documents detailing Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons

Activists collect samples to check for chemical weapon use, in Damascus
Activists collect samples to check for chemical weapon use, in Damascus REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

 France announced that it will soon declassify secret defence documents detailing Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons. This would be in defiance of international conventions, a government source confirmed today.

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The announcement comes after Sunday’s French paper, Journal du Dimanche, said French intelligence agents had compiled information showing that some of the weapons had been stockpiled for nearly 30 years.

The arsenal included over 1000 tonnes of chemical agents, the paper added.

“The citations from the notes are correct” the government source said.

“The government plans to make public the declassified documents on the Syrian chemical arms programme”.

The arsenal reportedly includes Sarin and mustard gas. The classified documents showed Syrian scientists had also worked to develop a powerful agent that was more toxic than Sarin.

Strikes against Syria in retaliation for using chemical weapons has been put on hold for the time being. Both France and the United States are so far the two countries toying with the idea of launching a military intervention.

The recent use of chemical weapons in Syria killed more than 1400 people.
Damascus denies involvement and points the finger at opposition fighters.

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