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Chemical arms used five times in Syria: UN report

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The UN mission probing allegations of chemical attacks in Syria says chemical weapons were probably used at least five times during the foreign-sponsored turmoil in the Arab country.

The UN inspectors, led by Swedish expert Aake Sellstrom, handed a final report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, citing “evidence consistent with the probable use of chemical weapons” in the Syrian districts of Ghouta, Khan al-Assal, Jobar, Saraqueb and Ashrafieh Sahnaya.

The report said the Syrian army forces and civilians were the victim of chemical attacks in several cases.

The mission “collected clear and convincing evidence that chemical weapons were used also against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale” in the Ghouta region, located in the suburbs of the Syrian capital, Damascus, on August 23, 2013.

The report also presented “credible information” that chemical arms were used against the Syrian soldiers and civilians in the town of Khan al-Assal near Syria’s northwestern city of Aleppo on March 19.

Chemical arms were also used on “a relatively small scale against soldiers” in the village of Jobar, on the outskirts of Damascus, on August 24, the report added.

According to the inspectors, evidence corroborates the probable use of chemical weapons against civilians in the northwestern city of Saraqeb in Idlib Province on April 29.

Banned arms were likely used against soldiers in Ashrafiah Sahnaya near Damascus on August 25, the report added.

The report, however, does not determine whether the Syrian government or foreign-backed Takfiri groups were behind the alleged attacks.

On September 16, Sellstrom provided the UN with a preliminary report, which concluded that banned chemical weapons had been used on a large scale.


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