… Speaking before reporters, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the French government has conducted testing on evidence from a sarin nerve gas attack in Syria on April 4, 2017, and determined the Syrian government responsible.
The chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, a northern province of Idlib, Syria, is estimated to have killed as many as 70 people.
Mr. Ayrault stated evidence analyzed by French authorities has tied the chemical attack directly to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because France “kept samples that we were able to use for comparison.”
Mr. Ayrault suggested France’s intent was to “establish the responsibility of the attack.”
On July 8, 2016, the U.S. government led an airstrike in the town of Sarmada, also in the Idlib province and which lies approximately 98 km from the location of the chemical attack in April 2017.
The airstrike in July 2016 was responsible for the death of a key fighter for al-Qaeda, Mushin al-Fadhli. The U.S. government had issued an award of up to $7 million for Mr. al-Fadhli’s death prior to the July strike.
On April 7, 2017, President Donald J. Trump ordered an airstrike on a Syrian government airfield, which President Trump maintained had been utilized to launch the chemical attack on April 4, 2017.