Experts confirm use of chlorine in Syrian townna still hopeful of Kim-Trump talks

- AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE HAGUE

May 17, 2018-

Global arms experts on Wednesday confirmed chlorine was used in a Syrian town in February leaving residents fighting for breath, as the world awaits the results of a probe into last month’s alleged poison gas attack on Douma.

A fact-finding mission by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons determined that “chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the Al Talil neighbourhood of Saraqeb” on February 4, an OPCW statement said. The team’s conclusions were based on finding two cylinders “which were determined as previously containing chlorine.”

In addition, the OPCW said environmental samples had “demonstrated the unusual presence of chlorine in the local environment”.

Its team had also interviewed witnesses, and found that a “number of patients at medical facilities shortly after the incident showed signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to chlorine.”

In line with its mandate the watchdog did not say which side in Syria’s complex seven-year-old civil war was responsible for using the chlorine.

Eleven people were treated for breathing difficulties the day after Syrian government raids on Saraqeb, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at the time. “I strongly condemn the use of toxic chemicals as weapons by anyone, for any reason, and in any circumstances,” said OPCW head Ahmet Uzumcu.

Published: 17-05-2018 08:36

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