The chemical weapons watchdog has “reasonable grounds to believe” that the Syrian air force dropped a chlorine bomb on a residential area in the rebel-controlled Idlib region.
A new report by the Investigative Agency for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Monday that no one was killed when a cylinder of clarin gas, sent in a barrel bomb, hit Al Talil Para in Sarakib. .
However, a dozen people were treated for symptoms consistent with chemical poisoning, including nausea, eye irritation, shortness of breath, cough and asthma, it said.
“The cylinder detached and released chlorine over a large area, affecting 12 people named,” Watchdog said in a statement. It added that all the victims survived.
There was no immediate comment from the Syrian government on Monday.
Syria and its military ally Russia have consistently denied using chemical weapons during decades of conflict with rebel forces, saying any such attack was carried out by the opposition to make Damascus look like a criminal.
Chlorine is not an internationally banned toxin, but the use of any chemical substance in armed conflict is prohibited under the 1999 Chemical Weapons Convention, the application of which has been overseen by the Hague-based OPCW Watchdog.
The civil war began in 2011 when al-Assad launched an investigation into pro-democracy protesters, with Russia and Iran backing his government and several rebel groups from the United States, Turkey and some Arab opponents in Damascus.
As part of the investigation, the experts interviewed witnesses, analyzed samples and debris collected from the city, as well as reviewed the symptoms obtained by casualty incidents and studied satellite imagery and patterned gas emission patterns.
OPCW cannot criminally blame individuals for attacks. The report will be shared with member countries of the organization and the United Nations.
In April 2020, the OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) decided that a Syrian warplane and a helicopter had dropped chlorine and sarin nerve gas bombs on a village in Syria’s Hum region in March 2017.
Syrian government forces were also involved in the latest IIT report. It concluded that “there was good reason to believe that at least one cylinder filled with chlorine had been lowered from a Syrian Arab Air Force helicopter belonging to the Tiger forces.”
The Tigers are an elite Syrian military force commonly used in offensive operations in the war, which has largely reduced al-Assad and recaptured most of the territory with significant Russian and Iranian support.
“All the elements indicate the presence of Tiger forces in the vicinity of Sarakib. They found that a helicopter was flying over the area where the bomb had exploded, “the OPCW report said in a statement.
It said samples collected from the scene were examined and other possible means of chlorine contamination were considered, but the OPCW team said nothing was found to indicate that the incident was staged by Al-Assad’s opponents.
The group has identified people believed to be involved in the alleged attack, but did not name them.
Between 2015 and 2013, a joint UN-OPCW team, known as the Joint Investigation Mechanism (JIM), found that Syrian government troops had used the nerve agent sarin and chlorine barrel bombs several times, and that ISIS fighters had used them. Mustard gas.