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CBRN Assessment

France releases Syrian sarin attack report

27 April 2017

France released a declassified intelligence assessment on 26 April that accused the Syrian military of using the nerve agent sarin against the town of Khan Shaykhun on 4 April, but did not explain how the attack was carried out.

The report said France had independently obtained samples from Khan Shaykhun that confirmed the presence of sarin, diisopropyl methylphosphonate (DIMP), and hexamine. DIMP is a by-product that is formed when sarin is deployed as a binary agent consisting of the precursors isopropanol and methylphosphonyl difluoride (DF). The report said the sarin synthesised by Syria's Scientific Studies Research Centre (SSRC) uses hexamine as a stabiliser.

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