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THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The Latest on report confirming that sarin nerve gas used in Syria (all times local):
A Syrian lawmaker has questioned the results of the international chemical watchdog probe that confirmed sarin nerve gas was used in a deadly attack in Syria, describing it as part of a campaign of "political exploitation" against his country.
Mohammad Kheir Akkam, a member of Syria's parliament, tells The Associated Press Friday the investigators did not visit the site and did not take samples from the area, raising questions about their probe.
Akkam has accused the rebels in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, where the April 4 attack occurred and killed more than 90 people, of carrying out the attack. He provided no evidence for his claim. The findings released Friday by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons didn't assign blame.
"We should ask how they got to these results," Akkam says. He is also claiming the report is synced with U.S. reports that Syria was about to use more chemical weapons to pressure the Syrian government.
The findings will be used by a joint United Nations-OPCW investigation team to assess who was responsible.
Russia says that an international chemical weapons watchdog's investigation into a chemical attack in Syria has been tainted by political bias.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was based on "dubious data" from the Syrian opposition and driven by "political orders" to blame the Syrian government. The ministry emphasized the OPCW's failure to take samples from the site of the attack.
The April 4 attack on Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria killed more than 90 people. The U.S. responded with a cruise missile strike on a Syrian government air base it said had been used to stage the attack.
Russia on Friday urged a joint U.N.-OPCW investigation team to inspect both Khan Sheikhoun and the Shayrat air base.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the report by an international chemical weapons watchdog that confirmed a chemical attack in Syria doesn't back claims by the U.S. and its allies that the substance was dropped from aircraft.
President Bashar Assad and his ally Russia have denied the government's role in the April 4 attack, in which more than 90 people died.
Speaking Thursday at a conference in Moscow, said: "The report released by the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) yesterday said they were not sure that the sarin found there had been airdropped in bombs. They don't know how the sarin ended up there, yet tensions have been escalating for all these months."
The U.S. State Department has reacted to the OPCW report saying its findings "reflect a despicable and highly dangerous record of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime."
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is urging the international community to work together to bring to justice those responsible for a deadly April 4 nerve gas attack in Syria.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed Friday that its investigation had established that sarin was used as a weapon in the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun, where more than 90 people were killed.
Johnson says, "This confirmation cannot be ignored."
While the OPCW report did not apportion blame, Johnson says that "the U.K.'s own assessment is that the Assad regime almost certainly carried out this abominable attack."
He adds, "I urge our international partners to unite behind the need to hold those responsible for this atrocity to account."
An investigation by the international chemical weapons watchdog confirmed Friday that sarin nerve gas was used in a deadly April 4 attack on a Syrian town, the latest confirmation of chemical weapons use in Syria's civil war.
The attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Syria's Idlib province left more than 90 people dead, including women and children, and sparked outrage around the world as photos and video of the aftermath, including quivering children dying on camera, were widely broadcast.
"I strongly condemn this atrocity, which wholly contradicts the norms enshrined in the Chemical Weapons Convention," Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said in a statement. "The perpetrators of this horrific attack must be held accountable for their crimes."
The investigation did not apportion blame. Its findings will be used by a joint United Nations-OPCW investigation team to assess who was responsible.
The U.S. State Department said in a statement issued Thursday night after the report was circulated to OPCW member states that "The facts reflect a despicable and highly dangerous record of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime."