Dutch secret service has no ‘hard evidence’ about Syria gas attack

Dutch security officials have no hard evidence the Assad regime in Syria carried out a poison gas attack on Damascus last month, MPs leaving a special briefing on Wednesday told reporters.

The two Dutch security services have analysed all the information presented by the US and briefed the various party’s foreign affairs spokesmen. The contents of the briefing are secret, Nos television reported.

‘I am not allowed to say anything, but I am still not convinced,’ ChristenUnie MP Joel Voordewinde told the Nos. Socialist MP Harry van Bommel said he had not heard anything new.

Lessons

Foreign minister Frans Timmermans has said repeatedly the Netherlands must draw its own conclusions about what happened in Syria. ‘The past has taught us that we must not automatically accept what other countries tell us,’ the minister is quoted as saying.

The minister was referring to claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction made in 2003. They later turned out not to be true.

A final effort first has to be made to persuade the UN security council to take action against Syria, Timmermans said.

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