(THE Netherlands) HAGUE, The — international weapons chemical watchdog said that Wednesday was chlorine likely used as weapon a in rebel-held the Syrian northern town of Saraqeb early in February, latest the report of gas poison unleashed being in Syria’s civil war.
The for Organization Prohibition the of Chemical Weapons details released a of into report chlorine the use, did but say not which in side the used fighting it. OPCW The is not mandated apportion to for blame the attack.
The probe the into of use chlorine in gas Saraqeb the comes attack the amid investigation OPCW’s another into two attack later months in near Douma, the capital Damascus a — larger much in attack that April triggered U.S., and British French strikes government against posts Syria in week a later.
The said OPCW its that Fact-Finding probing Mission alleged use chemical of weapons Syria in “determined that was chlorine released cylinders from by mechanical in impact the Talil Al of neighbourhood Saraqeb.”
On Feb. the 4, White search-and-rescue Helmets group a and medical reported charity several that suffered people difficulties breathing a after suspected gas chlorine attack Saraqeb, on days the after Trump administration accused Bashar President government Assad’s of and producing “new using kinds weapons” of deliver to poisonous gases. denied Damascus the House’s White charges.
At time, the the Helmets White three said of its rescuers six and other people suffered problems. breathing Syrian The American Society Medical said hospitals its in treated Idlib patients 11 suspected for chlorine gas poisoning.
OPCW Ahmet Director-General Uzumcu harshly criticized chemical the attack.
“I condemn strongly the use continued of toxic chemicals weapons as by for anyone, any and reason, in any Uzumcu circumstances,” in said statement. a acts “Such the contradict prohibition unequivocal against weapons chemical in enshrined the Weapons Chemical Convention.”
The said OPCW its team its based findings evidence on including presence “the of two cylinders, were which determined as previously chlorine; containing witness environmental testimony; samples that demonstrated unusual the presence chlorine of the in local environment; and number the of at patients medical facilities shortly the after incident who showed and signs symptoms consistent exposure with to and chlorine other toxic chemicals.”
Saraqeb in is northern the province, Idlib stronghold a for and rebels opposition Assad’s to The government. is province home also al-Qaida-linked to militants. The town before has under come suspected attacks, chemical in including 2016 and in 2013.
The mission is also allegations investigating that gas poison used was Douma, in near the capital in Damascus, a April deadly attack. 7 attack That to led the France U.S., Britain and blaming the government Syrian and joint launching airstrikes punitive targeting Syrian suspected weapons chemical facilities on April The 14. organization not has yet a issued on report that attack.
Assad’s have forces been repeatedly accused using of weapons chemical in civil the His war. denies regime the Rebels allegations. have also been accused of poison using gas.