(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The US termed as "deeply concerning" remarks by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Tuesday that least 14 chemical attacks have been used in Syria since October 2013.
In a press conference in Washington D.C., Fabius said "we have credible witnesses for the use, at least 14 uses ... of chemical agents since October 2013." White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said to reporters in a separate briefing, "We've seen allegation of additional attacks in Syria using chlorine, as we've discussed here, and that is deeply concerning." The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been investigating the use of chlorine in Syria in which Carney added, "we support them in their efforts, and we'll continue consulting closely and sharing information with the OPCW and our international partners as we work to determine exactly what happened." He stressed, "Chlorine itself is used in commercial and industrial processes and is not required to be declared under the CWC (Chemical Weapons Convention) unless it is directly related to a chemical weapons program." On the removal of the weapons Carney affirmed, "The United States led the effort to initiate a process through which the Assad regime, for the first time in its history, acknowledged that it possessed these weapons and has rid itself of 92 percent of those stockpiles." Carney put responsibility on Syria and Russia to transfer the final 8 percent of weapons to the OPCW for destruction.
Earlier today US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Fabius. On their meeting, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki informed reporters at her briefing that, "They did discuss during their meeting the importance of removing the remaining declared chemical weapons. But they did not discuss the specifics of what the foreign minister announced from his press conference."