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etvfutures.com May 22, 2018


OPCW confirms chlorine use in February attack in Syria

16 May 2018, 05:38 | Opal Carroll

OPCW confirms chlorine gas used in February attack in Syria's Idlib

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirms chlorine use in February attack in Syria

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed on Wednesday that chlorine was likely used in a February attack in Saraqib, Syria.

Banned chlorine munitions were likely dropped on a Syrian neighborhood in February, an global body on chemical weapons said on Wednesday, after laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the toxic chemical.

A fact-finding mission by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons determined that "chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the al-Talil neighbourhood of Saraqeb" on 4 February, an OPCW statement said.

At least eleven people were treated for breathing difficulties in the Syrian city on February 4, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at the time. Attribution was part of the mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism, set up by the UN Security Council, which expired in December 2017. Western observers said the use of helicopters in the attack suggested Syrian government involvement since the opposition did not have access to helicopters.

The mission also is investigating allegations that poison gas was used in Douma, near the capital Damascus, in a deadly April 7 attack.

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.

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The OPCW has said all of Syria's declared toxic arms stock has since been destroyed, but has warned repeatedly about gaps in the Syrian regime's declaration.

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

OPCW inspectors collecting samples in Douma, the scene of the chemical attack. Russian Federation said the whole attack was faked on video footage by United Kingdom intelligence-funded Syrians.

Before the panel's mandate ran out late past year, it also found the Syrian military to blame for at least three chemical attacks in villages in 2014 and 2015.

Based on this fact, the FFM prepared a report that was distributed among the member states of the Chemical Weapons Convention on Tuesday.



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