Iraq News

OPCW probing 'several' chemical attacks in Syria's Ghouta

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has received several allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, AFP reported Tuesday (March 20th).

But a thorough investigation of these claims will be difficult, OPCW head Ahmet Uzumcu said.

A fact-finding mission set up by the global watchdog has so far investigated more than 70 cases of toxic gas attacks in Syria since 2014, out of a total of 370 allegations, Uzumcu said.

"There have been several" allegations of chemical weapons use in Eastern Ghouta, he said, ahead of a closed-door meeting with the UN Security Council on the use of the banned agents in Syria.

"Our experts are looking at them, but clearly since this is an enclave, it is very difficult to have access to information and material," he said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said that chlorine was used as a toxic agent on villages during the regime’s offensive to retake opposition-held Eastern Ghouta.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia meanwhile said Syrian regime forces had found stockpiles of chemical weapons in areas formerly held by opposition factions in Eastern Ghouta.

Uzumcu said the experts were looking into allegations of chlorine use that were attributed to the Syrian army and to opposition groups.

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