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

Updated 2018-05-17 11:31:03 Xinhua

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed on Wednesday that chlorine was likely used in a February attack in Saraqib, Syria.

The OPCW said its Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) has "confirmed that chlorine was likely used as a chemical weapon on Feb. 4, 2018 in Saraqib, Idlib Governorate, Syrian Arab Republic".

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

The conclusions are based inter alia on the presence of two cylinders, which were determined as previously containing chlorine; witness testimony; environmental samples that demonstrated the unusual presence of chlorine in the local environment; and the number of patients at medical facilities shortly after the incident who showed signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to chlorine and other toxic chemicals," said the OPCW press release.

The FFM was set up in 2014 with an on-going mandate to determine whether chemical weapons or toxic chemicals as weapons have been used in Syria. It does not include identifying who is responsible for alleged attacks.

The FFM is also investigating allegations that chemical weapons were used in Douma, near the capital Damascus during the attacks on April 7. It has not issued a report on that attack yet.

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