Syria and Chemical Weapons

Two chemical weapon attacks by Syria March 24 March 30 prior to April 4 attack. _ Rex Tillerson

The White House and the UK blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for the attack that struck the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 while many were still asleep.
The strike, killed 86 people, 27 of them children. Autopsies on three Syrians who died after being brought to Turkey for treatment suggest sarin was used in the attack.

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Early assessments by U.S. intelligence officials, Doctors Without Borders and the U.N. health agency suggested that chlorine gas and traces of sarin were used in the bombing.

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Sarin, also known as GB, is clear, colorless, tasteless and has no odor in its pure form. It is described as “a human-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent,” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). It is generally a liquid, however it can evaporate into a gas and spread into the environment,

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March 19, 2013: 26 people in the town of Khan al-Assal , including several Syrian soldiers, die in a sarin gas attack in northern Syria. The government and rebels each blame the other for the incident.  A UN investigation later finds that sarin nerve gas was used.

An August 21 2013 attack used nerve gas to kill over 1,400 people in a rebel controlled village outside Damascus.

Following the 2013 Damascus attack, Syria joined the international Chemical Weapons Convention under a U.S.-Russian deal and agreed to hand over its stockpile of about 2.8 million pounds of toxic weapons as well as disable its chemical weapons program.
In 2014, Syria handed over the remaining 220,462 metric tons of toxic material it had reported to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which was set to be destroyed at sea. However, OPCW chief Ahmet Uzumcu told Reuters at the time that he could not confirm that that was the last of Syria’s chemical weapons. “All declared chemical weapons have left Syria (but) clearly we cannot say as the secretariat of the OPCW that Syria doesn’t possess any chemical weapons any more,” he said.







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