Health Care

Boris Johnson calls Assad a 'monster' who needs 'decapitating'

Boris Johnson calls Assad a 'monster' who needs 'decapitating'

While we are all feeling a gut-level satisfaction that the USA finally bombed Syria - sending a message to Bashar al-Assad, whose brutal repressions turned peaceful protests in favor of greater democracy into a civil war that is destroying his country - two authoritative assessments examine the intelligence that concluded that Assad was responsible for the horrific sarin attack on April 4.

Sarin or a similar banned toxin was used in an attack in Syria's Idlib province on April 4 that killed almost 90 people, the global chemical weapons watchdog says.

Mr Johnson said that both the Syrian and North Korean governments "threaten the law-based worldwide order", just hours after Damascus listed Kim Jong-un among the world leaders congratulating Assad on independence day. Israel welcomed the strike on its northern neighbor. But it has carried out a number air strikes against suspected arms shipments bound for Assad's ally Hezbollah in Lebanon, and in retaliation to errant fire into the Golan Heights.

The Foreign Secretary said there was "only one conclusion, that the Assad regime nearly certainly gassed its own people in breach of global law and the rules of war", showing disregard for an agreement to destroy its stockpiles in 2013. There also is evidence that the Islamic State group and other insurgents have acquired chemical weapons.

"We know beyond doubt that two Sukhoi-22 aircraft took off from Shayrat airfield where we know that chemical weapons are store", Mr Johnson told MPs on Tuesday.

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"One ton of sarin could easily be used to perpetrate an attack on the scale of the 2013 attack. It could also be used for roughly 10 attacks of a similar size to the recent Khan Sheikhoun attack", he said. Damascus denied any involvement in the Idlib incident, while the Syrian army said it does not possess chemical weapons.

He said in a statement that further results would follow, but that "the analytical results already obtained are incontrovertible". The agency, based in The Hague, Netherlands, is expected to issue a report within two weeks.

"It is my belief, though I stress no such decision has yet been taken, that were such a request to be made in future, were it to be a reasonable request in pursuit of similar objectives, then I think it would be very hard for the United Kingdom to say no", Johnson said.

On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces blamed the Syrian government for an alleged chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun.


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