Thursday, 24 May, 2018


OPCW confirms chlorine used in February attack in Syria

Compulsory evacuations from Syria's Homs Compulsory evacuations from Syria's Homs
Bennie Garza | 16 May, 2018, 19:15

Chlorine gas "was likely used as a chemical weapon" in an attack in the northern Syrian town of Saraqeb in February, the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Wednesday.

Damascus joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans the use or production of toxic arms, in 2013 under a deal brokered by the United States and Russian Federation.

In a statement released Wednesday, the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog said it determined chlorine was "released from cylinders by mechanical impact" on neighborhoods in Saraqib during the February 4 attack.

It has not issued a report on that attack yet.

The team's conclusions were based on finding two cylinders "which were determined as previously containing chlorine".

The FFM is also investigating allegations that chemical weapons were used in Douma, near the capital Damascus during the attacks on April 7. "Attribution was part of the mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism, set up by the UN Security Council, which expired in November 2017", the organization said. Only Syrian government forces are known to have helicopters.

Chlorine likely used in February attack in Idlib Syria chemical weapons agency

The team exhumed bodies as well as gathering over 100 environmental samples which are being analysed in different OPCW-designated labs.

To the OPCW, added that the mandate of MOFS is to establish the facts of use of chemical weapons or toxic chemicals and is not meant to establish responsibility for the alleged attack.

About the attack with the use of chlorine gas near the city of Saraqib announced on 6 February, the head of the press service of the U.S. Department of state Heather Nauert.

OPCW inspectors collecting samples in Douma, the scene of the chemical attack.

In the statement, the OPCW's Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu was quoted as saying: "I strongly condemn the continued use of toxic chemicals as weapons by anyone, for any reason, and in any circumstances".

The regime had agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2014, following global outrage over a sarin gas attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in August 2013 that killed hundreds in the worst attack of its kind for a quarter of a century. France and the United States stated that the evidence of use of chemical weapons in the Duma.

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