OPCW says chlorine was likely used in Syria's Idlib in February 2018

OPCW says chlorine was likely used in Syria's Idlib in February 2018

The document was also submitted to the Security Council through the United Nations secretary-general.

"Apparently, the incident on 4 February this year, as chemical weapons were used chlorine, which was sprayed in the air from the cylinders as a result of mechanical influence", - noted in the organization.

The team's conclusions were based on finding two cylinders "which were determined as previously containing chlorine", the watchdog said in a statement.

The organization also found an "unusual presence of chlorine in the local environment". Patients at medical facilities shortly after the incident also showed signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to chlorine and other toxic chemicals. Only Syrian government forces are known to have helicopters.

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OPCW are now investigating another suspected chlorine attack that hit the town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, in April that killed at least 60 civilians.

Attack: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, reported government airstrikes on rebel-held Saraqeb on February 4, adding 11 people had to be treated for breathing difficulties after the attack.

In response to persistent allegations of chemical weapon attacks in Syria, the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) was set up in 2014 with an on-going mandate "to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic". "Such acts contradict the unequivocal prohibition against chemical weapons enshrined in the Chemical Weapons Convention".

Medics have claimed the Douma attack on 7 April led to 40 deaths.

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

The mechanism was disbanded in November following a Russian veto at the U.N. Security Council, a move which ratcheted up tension between Moscow and Western powers over chemical weapons use in Syria.

The OPCW, however, did not say which side to the Syria conflict had used the banned munitions in Saraqib.

"These chemicals were detected in previous sarin attacks, Khan Sheikhoun, East Ghouta and no doubt Douma", Bretton-Gordon said.

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