Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

The OPCW headquarters is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, on May 5, 2017.

The Associated Press

The global chemical weapons watchdog said Friday that two investigations into alleged attacks in Syria in 2016 and 2018 couldn’t establish that chemicals were used as weapons in either case.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons issued two reports by its Fact-Finding Mission into attacks in Saraqib in the Idlib region on Aug. 1, 2016, and in Aleppo on Nov. 24, 2018.

The report on the Saraqib attack said that open source reports suggested around 30 people, mainly women and children experienced breathing difficulties. The reports also “indicated the presence of a substance with an odour similar to that of chlorine,” the OPCW report said.

Story continues below advertisement

Opposition groups blamed the attack on Syrian government forces, an allegation Syria rejected, the OPCW report said.

The Fact-Finding Mission wasn’t able to visit the site of the alleged incident or the hospital where injured victims were treated. It had to rely on data including interviews, hospital records and videos and photographs.

Its investigations and analysis “did not allow the FFM to establish whether or not chemicals were used as a weapon,” according to the report issued Friday.

The alleged chlorine attack in Aleppo was blamed on rebel forces.

“Social media reported that armed opposition groups dismissed accusations that they had used poisonous gases to attack areas controlled by the government in the city of Aleppo,” the OPCW report said.

Despite visiting hospitals to collect medical records and analyzing samples, the Aleppo investigation also didn’t establish whether chemicals were used as a weapon, the report said.

In the past, a joint UN-OPCW investigative mechanism accused Syria of using chlorine and the nerve agent sarin during the civil war, while the Islamic State group was accused of using mustard gas twice in 2015 and 2016.

Story continues below advertisement

In April this year, an OPCW investigation blamed the Syrian air force for a series of chemical attacks using sarin and chlorine in late March 2017 on the central town of Latamneh.

The Syrian government has consistently rejected repeated allegations that it launched chemical weapons attacks.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies