OPCW Confirms Sarin, Chlorine Attacks in Syria

OPCW Confirms Sarin, Chlorine Attacks in Syria

Wednesday, 13 June, 2018 - 19:30
Destruction in Syria. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
The global chemical watchdog confirmed on Wednesday that the banned nerve agent sarin and chlorine were used in attacks in Syria in 2017.

the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a statement that sarin had been used south of the city of Ltamenah in the Hama area on March 24, 2017.

It also “concluded that chlorine was very likely used as a chemical weapon at Ltamenah Hospital and the surrounding area on 25 March 2017”.

The findings in Ltamenah were based on witness testimony, epidemiological analysis and environmental samples, it said.

The OPCW did not assign blame for the attack, but the Syrian regime is widely suspected to using chemical weapons against its own people.

The March 24 sarin attack comes almost two weeks before the deadly strike on the then opposition-held and nearby village of Khan Sheikhun that left more than 80 people dead.

The Khan Sheikhun attack on April 4 last year was previously believed to have been the first use of Sarin by the Syrian regime since the deadly August 2013 attack in and around Damascus which killed hundreds of people.

Two days after Khan Sheikhun, the United States fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase from which it said the attack was launched.

On April 7 of this year it launched a chemical attack against the town of Douma near Damascus that left dozens of people dead and prompted international outcry.

A week later, the United States, France and Britain launched air strikes against Syrian regime chemical installations.

The OPCW has issued several reports on the use of toxic agents in Syria’s ongoing conflict.

It is also investigating the Douma attack and the results of that inquiry are expected later this month.

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