Syria Rejects Chemical Weapon Accusation

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has denied an accusation by a global watchdog about the use of chemical weapons against the population in the country’s northwestern region.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry slammed the “misleading” report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which said that “the Syrian government forces used chemical weapons against its population in the city of Saraqib in 2018”, reports Xinhua news agency

The report by the OPCW “reached the conclusion that there are reasonable grounds to believe that, at approximately 9.22 p.m. on February 4, 2018, a military helicopter of the Syrian Arab Air Force under the control of the Tiger Forces hit eastern Saraqib by dropping at least one cylinder”.

“The cylinder ruptured and released chlorine over a large area, affecting 12 named individuals,” it said.

In response, the Foreign Ministry said that the OPCW’s report has included a “false and fabricated conclusion which represents another scandal for the OPCW and the inquiry teams”.

It added that Syria categorically denies using toxic gas in Saraqib or in any city or village, stressing that the Army has never used such weapons during most difficult battles carried out against armed terrorist organisations.

Earlier, the Syrian government had denied allegations that government forces used chlorine or the nerve agent Sarin during the country’s decade-long civil war.

The conflict has left at least 380,000 people dead and caused half the population to flee their homes, including almost six million refugees abroad.

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