Europe

The Latest: Australia condemns alleged Syria chemical attack

  • Chemical attacks in Syria since 2012

    Chemical attacks in Syria since 2012  (The Associated Press)

  • Turkish experts evacuate a victim of a suspected chemical weapons attacks in the Syrian city of Idlib, at a local hospital in Reyhanli, Turkey, Tuesday, April 4, 2017. A suspected chemical attack in a town in Syria's rebel-held northern Idlib province killed dozens of people on Tuesday, opposition activists said, describing the attack as among the worst in the country's six-year civil war. (DHA-Depo Photos via AP)

    Turkish experts evacuate a victim of a suspected chemical weapons attacks in the Syrian city of Idlib, at a local hospital in Reyhanli, Turkey, Tuesday, April 4, 2017. A suspected chemical attack in a town in Syria's rebel-held northern Idlib province killed dozens of people on Tuesday, opposition activists said, describing the attack as among the worst in the country's six-year civil war. (DHA-Depo Photos via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaks during a media conference at an EU Syria conference at the Europa building in Brussels on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The EU and other nations met Wednesday to discuss what will be needed to rebuild war-ravaged Syria. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaks during a media conference at an EU Syria conference at the Europa building in Brussels on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The EU and other nations met Wednesday to discuss what will be needed to rebuild war-ravaged Syria. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the suspected chemical attack in Syria (all times local):

8:10 a.m.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says his government condemns in the strongest possible terms the chemical weapons attack against civilians, including children, at Khan Sheikhoun.

He said in a statement Wednesday that the use of chemical weapons is "illegal and abhorrent."

He said, "While the full facts are still to be determined, if the Assad regime is responsible for this attack those who approved and deployed these weapons must be held accountable."

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4 a.m.

The Russian Defense Ministry says a rebel-held town in northern Syria has been exposed to toxic agents from a rebel arsenal hit by a Syrian air strike.

The ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said in a statement early Wednesday that the Russian military assets registered a Syrian air force strike Tuesday on weapons depots and ammunition factory on the eastern outskirts of the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Konashenkov said chemical weapons produced by the factory were used in Iraq.

He added that the same type of chemical weapons had been previously used by the rebels in Aleppo, where they had caused symptoms similar to those seen in images from Khan Sheikhoun.

Konashenkov said that Russia had provided relevant ground samples from Aleppo to the international chemical weapons watchdog.

The Russian statement follows an international outcry over what was described as a chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 58 people died, including 11 children.

Both Russia and Syria both have denied launching the chemical attack.