Syria effectively confirmed that it has retained a nerve agent capability even though it has signed the Convention on Chemical Weapons (CW) when it carried out an attack that killed and injured hundreds of civilians on 4 April, but the United States has sent a clear signal that any further use will not be tolerated.
The US military responded to the attack on Khan Shaykhun early on 7 April by launching 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against Al-Shayrat Air Base, saying the aircraft that dropped chemical weapons on the town operated from the base.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US government has a "very high degree of confidence" that the Syrian military used sarin against Khan Shaykhun as well as in attacks in Hamah province on 25 and 30 March.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options: ihs.com/contact