Syrian regime still using chemical weapons, say UN investigators

Published March 14th, 2017 - 02:00 GMT
"Use of chlorine by Syrian forces follows a pattern observed in 2014, 2015 and 2016," the commission said in its report to the UN Human Rights Council. (AFP)
"Use of chlorine by Syrian forces follows a pattern observed in 2014, 2015 and 2016," the commission said in its report to the UN Human Rights Council. (AFP)

Syrian regime forces have launched new chlorine gas attacks since the start of this year, UN human rights investigators reported Tuesday in Geneva.

Using such weapons amounts to war crimes and violates the international pact that bans chemical munitions, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in its report.

On January 8, civilians were injured in Baseemeh village near Damascus when pro-government forces used chlorine munitions.

In January and February, the UN investigators documented four additional chlorine attacks in the eastern Ghouta area, which were aimed at frontline fighting positions.

"Use of chlorine by Syrian forces follows a pattern observed in 2014, 2015 and 2016," the commission said in its report to the UN Human Rights Council.

In a different type of chemical attack in 2013 that involved sarin gas, the regime allegedly killed more than 1,400 people in the Ghouta area outside Damascus.

The rights investigators noted that all parties in the Syrian conflict continue to commit war crimes.

Armed groups have carried out indiscriminate attacks and summary executions this year, the report said.

The UN investigators said they were also concerned that the US-led military coalition has destroyed civilian infrastructure in February, in attacks that targeted supply routes for Islamic State extremists.

 

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