Chlorine gas likely used in Saraqib attack, chemical weapons watchdog finds
Several people were treated at local medical facilities for breathing difficulties after the attack. (Facebook: Edlib Media Centre)
The international chemical weapons watchdog says chlorine was likely used as a weapon in the Syrian town of Saraqib in early February, the latest report of poison gas being unleashed in Syria’s civil war.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons released details of a report into the chlorine use on Wednesday.
The OPCW is not mandated to apportion blame for the attack.
The OPCW says its fact-finding mission probing alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria “determined that chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the Al Talil neighbourhood of Saraqib”.
Several people were treated at local medical facilities for breathing difficulties after the attack on February 4.
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.
In the statement, the OPCW’s Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu was quoted as saying: “I strongly condemn the continued use of toxic chemicals as weapons by anyone, for any reason, and in any circumstances”.
“Such acts contradict the unequivocal prohibition against chemical weapons enshrined in the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Mr Uzumcu said.
The mission also is investigating allegations that poison gas was used in Douma, near the capital Damascus, in a deadly April 7 attack. It has not yet issued a report on that attack.