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OPCW blames Syria gov’t for 2018 chlorine gasoline assault in Douma | Syria’s Warfare Information

Chemical weapons watchdog concludes {that a} Syrian air pressure helicopter dropped two cylinders ‘containing poisonous chlorine gasoline on two house buildings’ in rebel-held city 5 years in the past.

The worldwide chemical weapons watchdog has concluded there are “cheap grounds” to consider that Syrian authorities forces carried out a chemical weapons assault in a rebel-held city that killed dozens of individuals practically 5 years in the past.

On April 7, 2018, at the very least one helicopter of the Syrian military’s elite Tiger Forces unit “dropped two yellow cylinders containing poisonous chlorine gasoline on two house buildings in a civilian-inhabited space in Douma, killing 43 named people and affecting dozens extra”, inspectors on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mentioned in a report launched on Friday.

The watchdog mentioned it got here to its conclusions after analysing bodily proof, together with 70 environmental and biomedical samples; 66 witness statements; and different verified knowledge, akin to forensic analyses and satellite tv for pc photographs.

It famous that the “cheap grounds” diploma of certainty is the usual of proof constantly adopted by worldwide fact-finding our bodies and commissions of inquiry that examine potential violations of worldwide legislation.

“The world now is aware of the details – it’s as much as the worldwide neighborhood to take motion, on the OPCW and past,” mentioned the organisation’s director normal, Fernando Arias.

“Using chemical weapons in Douma – and wherever – is unacceptable and a breach of worldwide legislation,” he mentioned.

Weaponising chlorine is prohibited below the Chemical Weapons Conference, ratified by Syria in 2013, and is prohibited below customary worldwide humanitarian legislation.

There was no speedy remark by the federal government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, however up to now, it has denied the allegations of chemical weapons use as “fabrications”.

Douma chemical attack
A baby is handled in a hospital in Douma after what an investigation by the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog decided was a chemical weapons assault by the Syrian authorities on an opposition-held space [File: White Helmets/handout Reuters]

The OPCW had already discovered Syrian authorities forces answerable for utilizing the nerve agent sarin and chlorine barrel bombs on a number of events all through the long-running battle, which started with demonstrations towards al-Assad in 2011 however quickly widened right into a full-on battle between authorities forces and insurgent factions.

Douma – which is in Japanese Ghouta, a sprawling suburb of Damascus – had change into a stronghold of opposition fighters. A lot of the world had been below siege by authorities forces or pro-government armed teams since 2013.

In 2019, OPCW investigators had decided that poisonous chemical compounds had been used as a weapon in Douma the earlier yr, however they didn’t assign blame.

On Friday, the watchdog mentioned one of many cylinders dropped by a Syrian air pressure Mi8/17 helicopter “hit the rooftop ground of a three-storey residential constructing with out totally penetrating it, ruptured, and quickly launched poisonous gasoline – chlorine – in very excessive concentrations, which quickly dispersed throughout the constructing”, killing at the very least 17 girls, 10 women, 9 boys and 7 males.

The second cylinder hit the roof of one other constructing that was on the time uninhabited, breaking into an house under. It “ruptured solely partially, and began to slowly launch chlorine, mildly affecting those that first arrived on the scene”, the report mentioned.

Harrowing movies and accounts collected by Al Jazeera in 2018 described how kids and moms struggled for oxygen as their mouths stuffed with white foam. Signs of a chlorine assault embody bother respiratory, coughing and intense irritation of the eyes, nostril and throat.

The Douma assault triggered widespread worldwide outrage, prompting air raids towards Syrian authorities positions by Britain, France and the USA.

Rafael Gomes de Azevedo
Rafael Gomes de Azevedo
He started his career as a columnist, contributing to the staff of a local blog. His articles with amusing views on everyday situations in the news soon became one of the main features of the current editions of the blog. For the divergences of thought about which direction the blog would follow. He left and founded three other great journalistic blogs,, and With a certain passion for writing, holder of a versatile talent, in addition to coordinating, directing, he writes fantastic scripts quickly, he likes to say that he writes for a select group of enthusiasts in love with serious and true writing.


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