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


Douma probe ongoing: Another OPCW investigative team is now assessing evidence from the Syrian town of Douma to determine whether an April 7 attack that left 40 dead used chlorine and sarin gas.

"Such acts contradict the unequivocal prohibition against chemical weapons enshrined in the Chemical Weapons Convention", he added.

The mission of the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons fact-finding use of chemical weapons in Syria (MOFS) confirmed that the city of Saraqib (Idlib) could be applied to the chlorine.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the OPCW said its fact-finding mission had determined that "chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the al-Talil neighborhood of Saraqib" city on February 4, 2018.

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The attack left 11 people in need of emergency treatment, Amnesty International said at the time.

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.

"These chemicals were detected in previous sarin attacks, Khan Sheikhoun, East Ghouta and no doubt Douma", Bretton-Gordon said.

A suspected chemical attack on April 7 in the Douma enclave near Damascus prompted missile strikes by the United States, France and Britain against alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria.

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A joint OPCW-U.N. mechanism for Syria has previously concluded the Syrian government has used both sarin nerve agent and chlorine, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians.

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

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

The OPCW does not have the power to attribute responsibility for attacks, and the United Nations body that did have the power to attribute blame has been closed after Russian Federation used its veto to block the renewal of its mandate.

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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.