Syria chemical attack undeniable, says OPCW chief
20 Apr 2017 - 10:49
By Emre Aytekin
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands: Sarin or a similar nerve agent was used in the Khan Sheikhun chemical attack that killed dozens earlier this month in Syria, according to initial findings announced by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The organization's laboratories examined samples from three bodies brought to Turkey for autopsy following the attack in Idlib, OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Uzumcu said in a statement Wednesday.
“The results of these analyses from four OPCW designated laboratories indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin like substance,” Uzumcu said.
“While further details of the laboratory analyses will follow, the analytical results already obtained are incontrovertible,” he said.
Samples from seven individuals undergoing treatment at hospitals yielded similar results, Uzumcu said.
“Ambassador Uzumcu repeated his request for the continued support of all States Parties, including through the provision of relevant information, to ensure that the Technical Secretariat is able to pursue its work, and to allow it to fulfill the OPCW mission within a reasonable time frame,” statement added.
The use of sarin gas in the April 4 attack, allegedly by the Syrian regime, killed around 100 civilians and injured some 500 in the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhun, Idlib.
A day after the strike, Turkey invited WHO to send experts to jointly investigate it. WHO officials arrived in the Adana province to help autopsy three Syrian bodies at the Adana Forensic Medicine Institute.
On April 12, Turkey said a sarin gas metabolite, isopropyl methylphosphonic acid, had been detected in several Syrian victims being treated in Hatay.
The attack led to widespread international outrage, including attempts to pass a UN Security Council resolution condemning it, blocked last week by Russia.