Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Syria: chlorine 'probably' used by Assad regime in Idlib attack, says UN

Syria: chlorine 'probably' used by Assad regime in Idlib attack, says UN

The report by the OPCW's fact finding mission for Syria "determined that chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the Al Talil neighbourhood of Saraqib". Patients at medical facilities shortly after the incident also showed signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to chlorine and other toxic chemicals.

"I strongly condemn the continued use of toxic chemicals as weapons by anyone, for any reason, and in any circumstances", he said in a statement.

However, in line with its mandate the watchdog did not say which side in Syria's complex seven-year civil war was responsible for using chlorine.

It has not issued a report on that attack yet.

"Such acts contradict the unequivocal prohibition in opposition to chemical weapons". Nauert did not provide any other details of the incident and pinned the blame for it on the Syrian government without any evidence. It now brings together 33 states and organizations which, through their membership, have expressed their rejection of impunity for those who develop and use chemical weapons.

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The use of chemical weapons has become systematic in Syria's seven-year war, but political rifts between Western powers and Russian Federation have hamstrung the United Nations and the OPCW, leaving them unable to act against violations of global law. Eleven people were treated for the effects of chlorine gas after the attack.

The Syrian government produced a three-page denial of responsibility, and failed to answer a further set of OPCW questions sent on 14 March.

The team exhumed bodies and gathered more than 100 environmental samples now being analysed in different OPCW-designated labs.

"This was the role created by the UN security Council, the Joint UN and OPCW to investigate chemical attacks in Syria, whose mandate expired in December 2017", - reminded in the organization.

Assad regime forces have carried out 215 chemical attacks against the opposition since 2011, killing almost 1,500 people, including 187 children and 244 women, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).

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