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New confirmation of chlorine use in Syria

New confirmation of chlorine use in Syria

Russian Federation will not allow the mandate to be renewed unless the United Nations security council - on which Russian Federation has a veto - is empowered to reject or endorse the body's findings.

The OPCW said its Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) has "confirmed that chlorine was likely used as a chemical weapon on February 4, 2018 in Saraqib, Idlib Governorate, Syrian Arab Republic".

The conclusions are based on the presence of two cylinders, which were determined as previously containing chlorine, witness testimony and environmental samples confirming "the unusual presence of chlorine", it said.

Banned chlorine munitions were likely dropped on a Syrian neighborhood in February, an global body on chemical weapons said on Wednesday, after laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the toxic chemical.

About 11 people were treated after the attack on February 4. for mild and moderate symptoms of toxic chemical exposure, including breathing difficulties, vomiting and unconsciousness, the report said.

The statement said Tuesday's report was shared with parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and forwarded to the UN Security Council.

About the attack with the use of chlorine gas near the city of Saraqib announced on 6 February, the head of the press service of the U.S. Department of state Heather Nauert.

The team exhumed bodies as well as gathering over 100 environmental samples which are being analyzed in different OPCW-designated labs.

"I strongly condemn the use of toxic chemicals as weapons by anyone, for any objective and under any circumstances, said the Director General of the OPCW Ahmet üzümcü, commenting on the conclusions of the experts of the organization". The US, France and Britain claimed the regime of Bashar al Assad was behind the alleged attack on April 7 and a week later carried out airstrikes against what they considered to be government chemical weapons depots.

The Director-General stated: "I strongly condemn the use of toxic chemicals as weapons by anyone, for any reason, and in any circumstances".

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported a "foul smell after regime helicopters struck several areas of the town in Idlib province, causing five civilians to suffer from suffocation".