Confirmed the February attack by chlorine in Saraqib

OPCW confirms chlorine gas used in February attack in Syria's Idlib

The global 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.

Banned chlorine munitions were likely dropped on a Syrian neighborhood in February, an worldwide body on chemical weapons said on Wednesday, after laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the toxic chemical.

"The FFM [fact-finding mission] determined that chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the Al Talil neighbourhood of Saraqib", the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a statement from its headquarters in the Netherlands.

Several people were treated at local medical facilities for breathing difficulties after the attack on February 4. Only Syrian government forces are known to have helicopters. But, the OPCW confirmed the use of chemicals in Syria in February.

Recall, April 7 volunteer organizations in Syria reported chemical attack on the city of Douma, which killed dozens of people, including children.

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

Russian Federation and the Syrian regime has refuted claims they carried out the attack, yet repeatedly obstructed and delayed access to the scene by the inspectors, raising suspicions they have tried to destroy evidence.

A joint OPCW-United Nations mechanism for Syria had previously concluded that the Syrian regime has used both sarin nerve agent and chlorine, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians.

In response to persistent allegations of chemical weapon attacks in Syria, the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) was set up in 2014 with an on-going mandate "to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic". The French government is due to hold a ministerial-level conference in Paris on Friday to build an alliance of countries determined to reconstruct an accountability mechanism for chemical weapons use, if necessary outside the confines of the UN.



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