U.N. Security Council reviewing report on chemical weapons use in Syria

NEW YORK, Aug. 25 (UPI) — A report to the U.N. Security Council found that both the Syrian government and the Islamic State militant group have used chemical weapons on civilians.

An investigation was carried out in nine selected cases where chemical weapons are believed to have been used amid the Syrian civil war. An investigative body was established by the Security Council in August last year to identify “individuals, entities, groups, or governments involved in the use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical,” in Syria.

The report accuses the Syrian regime under President Bashar al-Assad of carrying out two chlorine gas attacks against its own population in the Idlib province on April, 21 2014 and March 16, 2015. The Islamic State is accused of carrying out a mustard gas attack in the Aleppo governorate on Aug. 21, 2015. The report said it was unclear who carried out the other six chemical attacks that were reviewed.

“It is essential that the members of the Security Council come together to ensure consequences for those who have used chemical weapons in Syria,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Powers said, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Assad’s regime has also been accused of conducting indiscriminate barrel bomb attacks in civilian areas.

Syria has been blighted by a complex civil war in which the Islamic State, the Syrian government and multiple Syrian rebel groups fight for control of territory. The United Nations estimates more than 400,000 people have died in the conflict so far.

The United Nations previously confirmed the use of both mustard and chlorine gas in Syria. Sulfur mustard gas can cause skin blistering, blindness, internal and external hemorrhaging and lung failure.


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