France detains suspect in Syria chemical weapons probe

Dec 27, 2021, 7:58 AM | Updated: 8:09 am

LE PECQ, France (AP) — French investigators said Monday they have detained a man suspected of supplying authorities in Syria with materials that can be used in the production of chemical weapons.

The dual French-Syrian national was arrested in the south of France while vacationing with his family and is being held on preliminary charges of complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity, a French judicial official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the probe covered by legal confidentiality rules.

International investigators have blamed Syrian government forces for using toxic gas and nerve agents in the country’s decade-long civil war. In April, member states of the global chemical weapons watchdog suspended Syria’s voting rights at the organization as a punishment for the repeated use of toxic gas by Damascus.

The man detained in France is suspected of having used a transport company in France and the United Arab Emirates to supply materials to Syria in violation of an international embargo. The man was handed preliminary charges on Saturday and is being held in custody, the judicial official said.

The name of the man and his company weren’t given. The judicial official didn’t provide details about the materials he is suspected of transporting.

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France detains suspect in Syria chemical weapons probe