AFP reports: Chemical weapons such as chlorine have likely been used in a “systematic manner” in Syria, according to a report by a team from the world’s watchdog investigating alleged attacks there.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mission said evidence “lends credence to the view that toxic chemicals, most likely pulmonary irritating agents such as chlorine, have been used in a systematic manner in a number of attacks,” according to a copy of the report obtained by AFP.
President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and rebels have both accused the other of using chemical agents, including chlorine, in the bloody uprising that began in March 2011 and in spite of Damascus promising to hand over all its chemical arms.
The OPCW team probing the allegations was attacked with a roadside bomb and gunfire on May 27, preventing them accessing the site of an alleged attack in the village of Kafr Zeyta.
“The attack on the team and the resulting denial of access prevents it from presenting definitive conclusions,” the report added.
Nevertheless, the allegations “cannot be dismissed as unconnected, random, or of a nature attributable to purely political motives,” the report said. [Continue reading…]