OPCW finds "likely use of chlorine as chemical weapon" in Saraqib, Syria


OPCW finds "likely use of chlorine as chemical weapon" in Saraqib, Syria

Cheryl Sanders
May 16, 2018

In its latest report on the systematic use of banned munitions in Syria's civil war, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) did not say which party was behind the attack on Saraqib, which lies in rebel-held territory in the province of Idlib.

Damascus joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans the use or production of toxic arms, in 2013 under a deal brokered by the United States and Russian Federation.

The FFM determined that chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the Al Talil neighbourhood of Saraqib.

Chlorine likely used in February attack in Idlib Syria chemical weapons agency

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

OPCW are now investigating another suspected chlorine attack that hit the town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, in April that killed at least 60 civilians. The scale of the attack prompted the UK, France and the U.S. to mount cruise missile strikes on what it said were Syrian government chemical weapons sites.

The OPCW doesn't have the power to attribute responsibility for the attacks but said its mission in Syria confirmed with a "high degree of confidence" that chlorine, sulfur mustard and sarin were used as weapons in the country since 2014.


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

"These chemicals were detected in previous sarin attacks, Khan Sheikhoun, East Ghouta and no doubt Douma", Bretton-Gordon said. The organization found two cylinders and an analysis found both had previously contained chlorine.

In a brief statement Ahmet Üzümcü, the head of OPCW, 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 West blames for the chemical attack in Idlib on the Syrian troops.


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