Turkey health minister says tests confirm sarin used in attack on Syrian town

A Syrian child receives treatment at a small hospital in the town of Maaret al-Noman following a toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhun, a nearby rebel-held town in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, on April 4, 2017.
A Syrian child receives treatment at a small hospital in the town of Maaret al-Noman following a toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhun, a nearby rebel-held town in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, on April 4, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Tests on victims of a suspected chemical attack in Syria's northwestern Idlib province confirmed the use of sarin gas, Turkey's health minister Recep Akdag was quoted as saying on Tuesday (April 11) by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Both Washington and Ankara blame the Syrian government for the poison gas attack which killed nearly 100 people including children, but Damascus has denied responsibility.

The United States launched missile strikes last week against a Syrian government air base in response.

Akdag was quoted as saying that isopropyl methylphosphonic acid "has been identified in the blood and urine tests conducted on samples taken from the victims exposed to chemical warfare in Idlib".

The acid is formed from the degraded byproduct of sarin reacting with other compounds.