U.N. Report Says Syrian Gov. Responsible For Khan Sheikhoun Chemical Attack

U.N. Report Says Syrian Gov. Responsible For Khan Sheikhoun Chemical Attack

Syrian forces have used chemical weapons more than two dozen times during the country's civil war, including in April's deadly attack on Khan Sheikhoun, U.N. war crimes investigators said on Wednesday (September 6).

A government warplane dropped sarin on the town in Idlib province, killing more than 80 civilians, the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria said, in the most conclusive findings to date from investigations into chemical weapons attacks during the conflict.

The Commission also said U.S. air strikes on a mosque in the village of al-Jina in rural Aleppo in March that killed 38 people, including children, failed to take precautions in violation of international law.

“Our latest report finds that the United States forces failed to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians and civilian objects when attacking alleged terrorists and destroying part of a mosque complex in al-Jina, Aleppo, on 16 March, resulting in an alarming loss of civilian life, a serious violation of international humanitarian law,” Chairman of U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Paulo Pinheiro, said.

In their 14th report since 2011, U.N. investigators said they had in all documented 33 chemical weapons attacks to date.

Twenty seven were by the government of President Bashar al-Assad, including seven between March 1 to July 7. Perpetrators had not been identified yet in six early attacks, they said.

The U.N. investigators interviewed 43 witnesses, victims, and first responders linked to the attack. Satellite imagery, photos of bomb remnants and early warning reports were used.