OPCW Confirms Chemical Weapons Use in Syria's Douma, Chlorine Likely Culprit

Eleven people were treated for breathing difficulties after what the UN has said was a probably chlorine attack in Saraqib northwestern Syria

Eleven people were treated for breathing difficulties after what the UN has said was a probably chlorine attack in Saraqib northwestern Syria

"It does not include identifying who is responsible for alleged attacks".

While the OPCW didn't lay the blame with any one party, it said in a report released Tuesday that interviews with witnesses, the collection of environmental samples and the symptoms that patients exhibited in the aftermath allowed it to conclude that chlorine was dropped from two cylinders on the Saraqib area on February 4, 2018.

Last month, Russian Federation held a press conference close to the OPCW headquarters in The Hague, at which it produced witnesses that claimed no chemical weapons attack had occurred, and that any choking had been due to dust inhalation.

"Such acts contradict the unequivocal prohibition against chemical weapons". "Attribution was part of the mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism, set up by the UN Security Council, which expired in November 2017", the organization said.

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.

On Feb. 4, the White Helmets search-and-rescue group and a medical charity reported that several people suffered breathing difficulties after a suspected chlorine gas attack on Saraqeb, days after the Trump administration accused President Bashar Assad's government of producing and using "new kinds of weapons" to deliver poisonous gases.

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Uzumcu strongly condemned "the continued use of toxic chemicals as weapons by anyone, for any reason, and in any circumstances".

The move averted threatened U.S. air strikes by the previous USA administration after about 1,000 people died in an August 2013 sarin gas attack. The province is also home to al-Qaida-linked militants.

The FFM is also investigating allegations that chemical weapons were used in Douma, near the capital Damascus during the attacks on April 7.

The Douma chemical attack in April prompted missile strikes by the United States, France and Britain against chemical weapons facilities in Syria.

Poison gas was released from cylinders and used as chemical weapons.

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