Syria’s president, Bashar-al Assad, has said that reports of a chemical weapons attack by his forces were “100% fabricated”. He told the AFP news agency that the Syrian government gave up its arsenal of chemical weapons in 2013, adding “even if we have them, we wouldn’t use them” and accused the West of making up events in Khan Sheikhoun so it had an excuse to carry out missile strikes on the government’s Shayrat airbase, which took place a few days after the alleged attack.
The Council of the EU was adding high-ranking military officials over the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians. “On 20 March 2017, the Council added 4 high-ranking military officials to the list of those targeted by EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime. The EU added these 4 persons for their role in the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population, in line with the EU’s policy to fight the proliferation and use of chemical weapons”, the statement said.
The United Nations Security Council was briefed behind closed doors on the situation in Mosul by U.N. aid chief Stephen O’Brien and U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo that Islamic State had used chemical weapons in Mosul, where the militants are fighting an offensive by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces to retake the city. The talks aim to reach a political solution to a conflict which erupted in March 2011 and has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced many millions.
Russia’s Defense Ministry affirmed that Russian experts have found evidence that terrorists have been using chemical weapons in their regular attacks in Aleppo, adding that the UN’s watchdog hasn’t sent any specialists to the besieged city despite requests. Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesperson, Igor Kanashenkov, said in a statement that the evidence was found in Aleppo’s Area 1070 by officers from the Russian Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense troops’ scientific center. Konashenkov stated that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is dedicated to monitoring the use of chemical weapons, hasn’t yet sent any experts to the area, despite repeated calls from Moscow to do so. Since September of this year, the Russian General Staff has been warning that terrorist groups might use chemical weapons against civilians and the army in Aleppo, but the blame would be pinned on Damascus to further undermine the crumbling peace process in the war-torn country.
According to a Russian Defense Ministry’s statement, Russian military experts have found unexploded shells indicating that terrorists in Aleppo have been using chemical weapons in their regular attacks on civilian and Syrian government-held areas of the cityTerrorists in Aleppo are using chemical weapons. Traces of chlorine and white phosphorus were detected during initial analysis of the samples. The use of chemical weapons was sued for many month and in late October, Syrian state media said that poison gas was fired at a government-held area of Aleppo, causing massive respiratory problems among the local population. The use of chlorine as a weapon is prohibited under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, which Syria joined in 2013, after a Russian diplomatic effort. In January of this year, OPCW confirmed the destruction of all chemical weapons declared by the Syrian Arab Republic.