EU sanctions Syrian scientists, military officials over gas attack

ByREUTERS
July 17, 2017 13:52




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BRUSSELS - The European Union imposed sanctions on 16 Syrian scientists and military officials on Monday for their suspected involvement in a chemical attack in northern Syria in April which killed scores of civilians.

Western intelligence agencies accuse the government of Bashar Assad of carrying out the attack, arguing that rebels in the area would not have had the capabilities. The international chemical weapons watchdog said in June the nerve agent sarin was used.

Syrian officials have repeatedly denied using banned toxins.

The measures, agreed upon by EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels, target eight Syrian scientists and eight top military officials.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said they showed Europe's resolve "in dealing with those who are responsible for chemical weapons attacks."

This takes the number of people placed under EU sanctions related to the Syrian conflict to 255, the Council of EU governments in a statement. Existing EU sanctions are also in place on 67 companies linked to Assad's government.

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