OPCW confirms use of chlorine in Saraqib

BRUSSELS, The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), has confirmed that chlorine was likely used as a chemical weapon on February 4, 2018 in Saraqib, Idlib Governorate, Syria.

The OPCW in a press release at the Hague Wednesday said the FFM determined that chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the Al Talil neighborhood of Saraqib.

It clarified that the FFM’s mandate is 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.

Attribution was part of the mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism, set up by the UN Security Council, which expired in December 2017.

The conclusions are based on the presence of two cylinders, which were determined as previously containing chlorine; witness testimony; environmental samples; 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, it said.

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu strongly condemned the 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,” he said.

Source: Kuwait News Agency