OPCW: Chlorine, sarin ‘likely’ used in Syria chemical attack

Chlorine and sarin were probably used in a chemical attack in western Syria nearly three months ago, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Wednesday.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Wednesday sarin and chlorine were likely used in chemical attacks in Syria in March. File photo by Bart Maat/EPA-EFE
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Wednesday sarin and chlorine were likely used in chemical attacks in Syria in March. File photo by Bart Maat/EPA-EFE

In an analytical report, the OPCW confirmed sarin was “very likely” used in the March 24 attack in the town of Ltamenah.

The watchdog’s fact-finding mission also found chlorine was likely used in an attack at Ltamenah Hospital the next day. Chlorine was released from cylinders through a mechanical impact in that attack, the group said.

The OPCW said the conclusions stem from witness testimony, epidemiological analysis and environmental samples. The report has been turned over to the United Nations Security Council.

Britain’s Foreign Office said Wednesday “immediate, meaningful action” is needed to stop chemical weapons attacks from becoming routine.

“U.K. has tabled draft decision aimed at strengthening the ban on chemical weapons,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a tweet. “We propose the OPCW begins attributing responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.”

Last month, the OPCW again identified chlorine as the likely substance used in a different chemical attack on Saraqib in February.

By Sara Shayanian