Watchdog blames Syria for 2018 chemical attack

Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

THE HAGUE: The global chemical weapons watchdog blamed Syria on Friday for a 2018 chlorine attack that killed 43 people, in a long-awaited report on a case that sparked tensions between Damascus and the West.

Investigators said there were “reasonable grounds to believe” that at least one Syrian air force helicopter had dropped two cylinders of the toxic gas on the rebel-held town of Douma during Syria´s civil war.

“The world now knows the facts,” Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) chief Fernando Arias said in a statement. “It is up to the international community to take action.” The Douma case also caused controversy after leaks from two former employees accused the Hague-based watchdog of altering its original findings to make them sound more convincing. But the OPCW said its investigators had “considered a range of possible scenarios” and concluded that “the Syrian Arab Air Forces are the perpetrators of this attack.”