Chemical Weapons Likely Used In Syria, Watchdog Finds

Chlorine gas was likely used during an attack in Syria this past February, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed.

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 Feb. 4, 2018. 

The attack left 11 people in need of emergency treatment, Amnesty International said at the time. 

“We heard people crying for help somewhere on the road and others on the roof of a house,” a volunteer with the White Helmets rescue group told the aid organization. “While driving, I started to feel a shortness of breath, as if I couldn’t breathe alone, and itchiness in my eyes. I felt nausea as if I wanted to throw up.”

The Syrian government has been accused multiple times of carrying out chemical weapons attacks on civilians since the civil war began in 2011. Most recently, a large-scale suspected chemical attack on the town of Douma killed more than 40 people in April. 

President Donald Trump has twice ordered strikes on Syrian military assets in retaliation for the attacks, calling them “atrocious.”

OPCW teams are still assessing the situation in Douma and are expected to release another report with their conclusions about last month’s attack in the coming weeks.

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