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Damascus Gives OPCW Evidence of Terrorists’ Gas Attack in Syrian City of Aleppo

Damascus Gives OPCW Evidence of Terrorists’ Gas Attack in Syrian City of Aleppo

The Syrian government has submitted documents to the UN chemical weapons watchdog, bearing evidence of a militant mustard gas attack against civilians near the country’s northwestern city of Aleppo.

The documents were sent to a mission with the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Damascus, Russia Today reported on Sunday.

An unexploded shell recovered by Russian sappers, which serves to substantiate the contents of the documents, is to be flown to the OPCW headquarters in The Hague next month, according to the report.

“The samples will be stored in Syria until all financial difficulties linked to their transportation to Europe will be solved,” it added.

The projectile, described as a homemade 240-mm round, was found by the Russian military’s chemical warfare defense unit near the village of Maarat Umm Hawsh in Aleppo Province on November 16.

“The shell is believed to have been used in a September 16 attack on the village, in which over 40 civilians were injured, and later treated in the Yusuf al-Azma military hospital in the Syrian capital Damascus for symptoms of mustard gas poisoning,” RT said.

Samer Abbas, spokesman for the Syrian National Authority monitoring the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, said, “We have provided all the documents to the mission, they were vetted and accepted. The mission will come to Syria one more time to collect samples, which will be subsequently analyzed.”

On November 11, the Russian unit, which goes by the official name of Russian Troops of Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense, was quoted as saying that it had found similar unexploded projectiles containing “chlorine and white phosphorus” in the 1070 district of Aleppo’s capital.

In September, the Russian military had warned that terror groups might start deploying chemical agents against the city’s government-controlled areas. Later that month, at least eight people suffered breathing difficulties after Daesh terrorists fired mortar shells containing toxic gases in the towns of Harbal and Um Hosh, north of Aleppo.

Foreign supporters of the militants operating against the Syrian government have repeatedly accused Damascus of resorting to chemical weapons in Aleppo, an allegation strongly denied by Syria and Russia.

The Syrian government turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States back in 2013.

The OPCW has overseen operations to remove the government chemical arsenal from Syria under a deal, which came after hundreds of people were killed in an August 2013 chemical attack in the Ghouta suburb of Damascus.

The Damascus government agreed to turn over its arsenal of chemicals despite denying any role in the Ghouta attack.

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