Syria: chlorine probably used in attack on Saraqeb - OPCW

Syria: chlorine probably used in attack on Saraqeb - OPCW

Syria: chlorine probably used in attack on Saraqeb - OPCW

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced on Wednesday that chlorine was "likely used as a chemical weapon" in an attack on a Syrian town in February.

Use of chlorine as a chemical weapon is prohibited under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention.

An OPCW fact-finding mission for Syria "determined that chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the Al Talil neighbourhood of Saraqib", the organisation said in a statement.

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.

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The conclusions 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. 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.

On this incident, MOFS prepared a report which was circulated on Tuesday among the States parties to the Convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons.

The OPCW added that "the FFM's mandate is to determine whether chemical weapons or toxic chemicals as weapons have been used in Syria".

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.

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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. She then noted that this is the sixth such case in the last 30 days.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert blamed the incident on the Damascus government.

The Syrian government has been accused multiple times of carrying out chemical weapons attacks on civilians since the civil war began in 2011. France and the United States stated that the evidence of use of chemical weapons in the Duma.

OPCW inspectors collecting samples in Douma, the scene of the chemical attack.

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An investigation by the chemical weapons watchdog has found that chlorine is likely to have been used in an attack on a Syrian town in February.

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