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How chemical weapons have helped bring Assad close to victory

How chemical weapons have helped bring Assad close to victory

World
After seven devastating years of civil war in Syria, which have left more than 350,000 people dead, President Bashar al-Assad appears close to victory against the forces trying to overthrow him. So how has Mr Assad got so close to winning this bloody, brutal war?A joint investigation by BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic shows for the first time the extent to which chemical weapons have been crucial to his war-winning strategy. Sorry, your browser cannot display this map Source: BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic research. Map built with Carto. 1. The use of chemical weapons has been widespreadThe BBC has determined there is enough evidence to be confident that at least 106 chemical attacks have taken place in Syria...
12 children among 42 dead in weapons depot blast

12 children among 42 dead in weapons depot blast

World
An explosion at a weapons depot in Syria has killed at least 39 civilians including a dozen children, a monitoring group has said. Three militants were also killed, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).Rescue workers used bulldozers to remove rubble and get people out of two damaged buildings.Five people were pulled out alive.One of the buildings was scorched black after a fire followed the explosion.White Helmet rescue workers attempted to lift part of the floor of one of the buildings with a crane.SOHR said the weapons depot was housed in a residential building in the northwestern town of Sarmada, in Idlib province.Its head, Rami Abdel Rahman, said the cause of the blast was "not yet clear", and that most of those killed were family ...
US to help N Korea if it abandons nuclear weapons

US to help N Korea if it abandons nuclear weapons

World
The US will assist North Korea with its economy if Pyongyang gets rid of its nuclear weapons, its secretary of state has said. "If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearise, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on par with our South Korean friends," said Mike Pompeo.Mr Pompeo said there would need to be "complete" and "robust verification" of denuclearisation, suggesting it would involve inspections to ensure the North's compliance."I think there is complete agreement about what the ultimate objectives are," Mr Pompeo said, though he declined to offer more detail.He said his talks with Kim Jong Un had been "constructive", "warm" and "good"."We talked about the fact that America has often in history had adversaries who we a...
Netanyahu: Iran 'brazenly lying' about nuclear weapons

Netanyahu: Iran 'brazenly lying' about nuclear weapons

World
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims Iran was "brazenly lying" when it said it never had a nuclear weapons programme.Mr Netanyahu says Iran has continued to preserve and expand its nuclear weapons knowledge for future use after signing the 2015 nuclear deal, officially named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.The deal granted Tehran relief from international economic sanctions in return for curbs to its nuclear programme.But Mr Netanyahu says Iran did not honour the agreement and instead just intensified its efforts to hide its secret files after signing the deal."Tonight I'm here to tell you one thing: Iran lied," Mr Netanyahu told a news conference in Tel Aviv.Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif says Mr Netanyahu's allegations are old and have already been dealt with by t...
Weapons inspectors visit site of Douma 'chemical attack'

Weapons inspectors visit site of Douma 'chemical attack'

World
Weapons inspectors have collected samples from the Syrian town of Douma, where they are investigating a suspected chemical weapons attack.The inspectors, from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), arrived in the town a week after they first set foot in Syria.The OPCW said in a statement on Saturday that it will "evaluate the situation and consider future steps including another possible visit to Douma".It added the samples would be analysed in its designated labs.The organisation's fact-finding team was delayed for several days in its attempts to reach the town.The attack being investigated killed at least 70 people on 7 April.Images showed collapsed bodies in crowded rooms, some foaming from their noses and mouths.However, journalists who were escorted to the si...