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Syrian regime 'guilty' of 2015 chemical attack in Idlib Open in fullscreen

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Syrian regime 'guilty' of 2015 chemical attack in Idlib

The Syrian government agreed to destroy its stock of chemical weapons in 2013 [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 October, 2016

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Ongoing investigations by the UN have so far concluded that in 2014 and 2015 the Syrian regime was responsible for at least three chemical weapons attacks.

A confidential UN report leaked on Friday has concluded that the Syrian army used chemical weapons during an attack on a village in Idlib province in 2015.

According to the report, helicopters dropped barrel bombs holding chlorine gas on Qmenas in March 2015.

In August, the UN’s joint investigative mechanism (JIM) reported that the Syrian government forces had carried out at least two other chemical attacks in 2014 and 2015; also noting that the Islamic State had used mustard gas as a weapon.

JIM has been carrying out investigations into alleged chemical attacks in Syria for 13 months. 

The latest report, the fourth in total, said that investigations into two other alleged chemical attacks in Binnish in Idlib province in March 2015, and in Kafr Zita in Hama province in April 2014, had proved inconclusive.

Of nine purported chemical attacks under investigation by JIM responsibility for three has now been attributed to the Syrian regime, and one to IS. 

Syria agreed to destroy its stock of chemical weapons in 2013 after being accused of using chemical weapons during attacks on opposition forces in the suburbs of Damascus. Later investigations concluded that the Syrian government was most likely responsible for those attacks.

The US, UK, and France have all called for sanctions against the Syrian regime for its use of chemical agents in Syria.

However Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been shielded by Russia, with Moscow seeking to dispute the findings of JIM investigations claiming evidence is insufficiently conclusive to warrant sanctions, and China also refusing to back sanctions. 

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