Investigators To Determine Alleged Use Of Chemical Weapons In Syria

Investigators To Determine Alleged Use Of Chemical Weapons In Syria

Global chemical weapons investigators have gone to Turkey to collect samples as part of an inquiry into an alleged chemical weapons attack in neighboring Syria last week that killed 87 people.

The fact-finding mission was sent by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague to gather bio-metric samples and interview survivors, sources told Reuters on Thursday (April 13).

The toxic gas attack on April 4, which killed scores of people including children, prompted a U.S. cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base and widened a rift between the United States and Russia, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his conflict with rebels and militants fighting to oust him. Samples taken from the poison gas site in Syria's Idlib governorate tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, the British delegation at the OPCW said on Thursday (March 13).

The OPCW's findings, expected in 3-4 weeks, will be passed to a joint United Nations-OPCW investigation tasked with identifying individuals or institutions responsible for using chemical weapons.

International investigators have concluded that sarin, chlorine and sulphur mustard gas have been used in Syria's six-year-old conflict, with government forces using chlorine and Islamic State militants using sulphur mustard. Syrian authorities have repeatedly denied using any chemical weapons.