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

16 May 2018

"The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), confirmed in a report released yesterday that chlorine was likely used as a chemical weapon on 4 February 2018 in Saraqib, Idlib Governorate, Syrian Arab Republic", the press service said. Its team had also interviewed witnesses, and found that a number of patients at medical facilities shortly after the incident showed signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to chlorine.

However, in line with its mandate the watchdog did not say which side in Syria's complex seven-year civil war was responsible for using chlorine.

Most recently, a large-scale suspected chemical attack on the town of Douma killed more than 40 people in April.

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
Chemical watchdog says chlorine likely used in February attack on Syrian town

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert reported about the attack with the use of chlorine gas near the city of Saraqib on February 6.

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. Western observers said the use of helicopters in the attack suggested Syrian government involvement since the opposition did not have access to helicopters. His regime denies the allegations.

The statement said Tuesday's report was shared with parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and forwarded to the UN Security Council.

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OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu harshly criticized the chemical attack.

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

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