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Kerry: Chlorine Gas May Have Been Used in Syria

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in London on Thursday that he had seen “raw data” indicating that the Syrian government used chlorine gas amid the civil war, but he said the information was not confirmed.

“It hasn’t been confirmed, but I’ve seen the raw data that suggests there may have been, as France has suggested, a number of instances in which chlorine has been used in the conduct of war,” Kerry said. “And if it has, and if it could be proven, then that would be against the agreements of the chemical weapons treaty and against the weapons convention that Syria has signed up to.”

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said Syria may have used chlorine in recent attacks, and France has called for the U.N. to refer the more than three-year-old conflict to the International Criminal Court for prosecution of war crimes. On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch said the forces of President Bashar Assad likely used chlorine gas in attacks in mid-April.

The allegations come as the U.N. says nearly all of Syria’s chemical weapons have been removed ahead of a June 30 deadline as part of an internationally brokered agreement following Syria’s alleged use of the weapons in August.

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Write to Noah Rayman at noah.rayman@time.com