OPCW Confirms Chemical Weapons Use in Syria's Douma, Chlorine Likely Culprit

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A global arms watchdog on Wednesday confirmed that chlorine was "likely used as a chemical weapon" in a February attack on the Syrian town of Saraqeb. "The FFM determined that chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the Al Talil neighbourhood of Saraqib".

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. "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".

Medics and activists said at the time that chlorine-filled bombs had been dropped by a government helicopter.

"I strongly condemn the use of toxic chemicals as weapons by anyone, for any reason, and in any circumstances", said OPCW head Ahmet Uzumcu.

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

One week after this attack, President Donald Trump joined with British and French allies to launch a series of retaliatory airstrikes on Syrian weapons research and storage facilities in an attempt to curtail Assad's ability to use chemical weapons. It does not include identifying who is responsible for alleged attacks.

15 2018 by the Syrian official news agency SANA Syrian government policemen hold their national flag after they enter a village in the northern countryside of Homs province Syria. With the latest capitulation by
OPCW Confirms Chemical Weapons Use in Syria's Douma, Chlorine Likely Culprit

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the results of the Douma mission would not be known "before the end of May".

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons released details in its latest report on poison gas being unleashed in Syria's civil war.

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

The move averted threatened U.S. air strikes by the previous U.S. administration after about 1,000 people died in an August 2013 sarin gas attack. The Syrian American Medical Society said its hospitals in Idlib treated 11 patients for suspected chlorine gas poisoning.

A joint OPCW-UN investigation panel looking into attacks in Syria, set up by the Security Council to identify perpetrators, was disbanded last November, when Members were unable to agree its extension.

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