OPCW confirms chlorine used in February attack in Syria

Adjust Comment Print

The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons believes that chlorine was likely used as a chemical weapon on February 4, in Saraqib, Syria's Idlib province, the OPCW press service said on Wednesday. "Such actions are in direct conflict with the unequivocal prohibition on the use of toxic substances contained in the Convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons".

About 11 people were treated after the attack on February 4. for mild and moderate symptoms of toxic chemical exposure, including breathing difficulties, vomiting and unconsciousness, the report said.

The conclusions on the Saraqib attack are based on the presence of two cylinders, which were determined as previously containing chlorine, witness testimony and environmental samples confirming "the unusual presence of chlorine", it said.

Syria's Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Hussam Edin Aala rejected the accusation, saying, "Syria can not possibly be using chemical weapons because it very simply has none in its possession".

In October, a joint OPCW-UN panel found the Syrian air force was behind a sarin gas attack on the then opposition-held village of Khan Sheikhun in April 2017 that left scores dead.

"I strongly condemn the use of toxic chemicals as weapons by anyone, for any goal and under any circumstances, said the Director General of the OPCW Ahmet üzümcü, commenting on the conclusions of the experts of the organization".

Poison gas was released from cylinders and used as chemical weapons.

The FFM's report on the Saraqib incident has been shared with States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The West blames for the chemical attack in Idlib on the Syrian troops.

An alleged gas attack in Douma on April 7 was used as a pretext by the US, Britain and France to launch a coordinated missile attack against sites and research facilities near Damascus and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government's capability to produce chemicals.

Last month, Russian Federation held a press conference close to the OPCW headquarters in The Hague, at which it produced witnesses that claimed no chemical weapons attack had occurred, and that any choking had been due to dust inhalation.

Comments