World Syria has used chemical weapons during an attack in 2018
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Syrian Air Armyduring an attack in the city of Saraqeb in 2018, announced the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OCO), on Monday, April 12, after an investigation. This is the second report of the ICO ICI Identification and Investigation Team, which now has the power of .
The ITT has "concluded that units of the Syrian Arab Air Army used chemical weapons on February 4, 2018 in Saraqeb Fifty kilometers south of Aleppo, said the Hague-based organization in a statement. The report establishes "that there are reasonable grounds to believe" that a military helicopter of the Syrian Air Army "hit the east of Saraqeb, dropping at least one cylinder." "The cylinder broke and released chlorine on a large area, affecting 12 people," says the report.
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OPCW investigators interviewed 30 witnesses, analyzed samples taken from the premises, reviewed symptoms reported by victims and medical staff, as well as satellite images to achieve their findings.
Symptoms "included shortness of breath, skin irritation, chest pain and cough," according to the report. The investigators indicated "regret" that the Syrian regime refused them access to the very site of the attack, despite repeated requests.The Syrian military command implicated
the ITT published its first report a year ago, in which it established that the Air Force of Bachar Al-Assad had dropped bombs containing sarin and of the Chlorine in 2017 in Ladamna, in northern Syria, thus violating the convention on chemical weapons.
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Despite strong objections from Syria and its allies, including Moscow, a majority of the 193 OCCO Member States had authorized the Organization in 2018 to designate the author of a chemical attack and not only to document the use of such a weapon.
The Syrian Governmentinvolvement in chemical attacks, affirming having awarded all its stocks of chemical weapons under international supervision under an agreement concluded in 2013.
the OCPO investigators felt that the orders that led to the Saraqeb attack in 2018 had to come from senior officials, and that there was no indication that "solitary elements or individuals" are at the origin.
"The IIT obtained information from various sources suggesting that, so that chemical weapons are used as described above, orders would be required," explains the full report.
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Although there is no "specific chain of command" identified, the Syrian military command seems to have "delegate decisions on the use of chlorine to commanders at the operational level," add investigators.New sanctions against Syria?
OCTO Member States will later vote this month on the possibility of imposing sanctions against Syria, which could see its right to vote within the suspended organization if the country does not take action.
The OPCI had previously enjoined Syria to declare all the remaining chemical weapons available, including sarin and chlorine, the Western powers expressing their concern that Damascus has not destroyed them.
The general manager of the organization, Fernando Arias, said in March that there were still gaps and inconsistencies in The reports sent by Syria to the OPCW.
According to the UN, Damascus has not responded to 19 questions for years on facilities that could have been used in the production or storage of chemical weapons.
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