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Syria Used Chemical Weapons at Least 11 Times Last Year - News Channels
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Syria Used Chemical Weapons at Least 11 Times Last Year

Syria Used Chemical Weapons at Least 11 Times Last Year

A suspected chemical attack that killed dozens of Syrians in Douma, a rebel-held town near Damascus, drew promises of retaliation from President Trump days after he instructed his military commanders to quickly end American involvement in Syria.

Douma, April 8, 2018

Eastern Ghouta, Jan. 22, 2018

Khan Sheikhoun, April 4, 2017

Aleppo, Dec. 10, 2016

Ain Tarma, Aug. 29, 2013

Eastern Ghouta, Aug. 21, 2013

Clockwise from top left: Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, via Associated Press; Mohammed Badra/European Pressphoto Agency; Ammar Abdullah/Reuters; Shaam News Network, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images; Reuters; Ghirh Sy/European Pressphoto Agency

But if chemical weapons were used in the attack — which Mr. Trump blamed on the Syrian government as well as its Russian and Iranian allies — it would be the latest in a string of such attacks in Syria in the last five years. Syria, Russia and Iran all denied that the Syrian government used chemical weapons.

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic says it has confirmed at least 34 chemical attacks since 2013, many of which it said used chlorine or sarin, a nerve agent, and were conducted by the Syrian government. The commission, which is currently investigating the attack on Douma, is an independent body established by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate human rights violations in Syria.









Chemical Attacks

Confirmed in Syria

Douma

An attack here killed

about 70 people on April 7

A 2013 sarin attack

in Ghouta killed

1,400 people

The U.S. launched a strike against

a Syrian air base in response to

this sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun.

At least eight attacks

were confirmed in

April 2014

Douma

An attack here killed

about 70 people on April 7

Chemical Attacks

Confirmed in Syria

A 2013 sarin attack

in Ghouta killed

1,400 people

The U.S. launched a strike against

a Syrian air base in response to

this sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun.

At least eight attacks

were confirmed in

April 2014

Douma

An attack here killed

about 70 people on April 7

Chemical Attacks

Confirmed in Syria

A 2013 sarin attack in

Ghouta killed 1,400 people

Chemical Attacks Confirmed in Syria





The New York Times
|Source: Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

It is likely that there have been more than these 34 confirmed chemical attacks in Syria. Rolando Gomez, a spokesman for the United Nations Human Rights Council, said that the commission was unable to verify reports of chemical attacks in 2015 because of a lack of access during that time.

Human Rights Watch has reported that there have been 85 chemical attacks since 2013, based on its analysis of reports verified by various sources, including United Nations investigations and Amnesty International.

“Syria’s widespread use of chemical weapons against civilians is relatively unusual,” Emma Ashford, a research fellow with the Cato Institute, said in an email. “Chemical weapons are far more effective as a tool of terror than as a battlefield weapon,” she added.

The use of chemical weapons in Syria has drawn widespread condemnation and media coverage since an Aug. 2013 sarin attack in Ghouta killed 1,400 people. Less than a month later, the Syrian government signed the Chemical Weapons Convention under pressure from the United Nations Security Council. President Barack Obama was criticized at the time for not directly retaliating militarily even after he had drawn a “red line” around chemical weapons use.

Then, in April 2017, sarin was used again in an attack on Khan Sheikhoun, in northern Syria, that killed more than 80 civilians. Mr. Trump ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base in response and, since then, “there haven’t been reliable or verified reports of the Syrian government again employing sarin gas,” Sam Heller, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, said in an email.

But neither Mr. Obama’s diplomatic approach nor Mr. Trump’s strikes worked to stop Syria’s use of chemical weapons. According to the commission, the Syrian government has continued to use chlorine as a weapon, seemingly without consequence. (Chlorine is much less toxic than sarin and therefore draws less attention.)

If Mr. Trump strikes again as he has promised, “this time the reaction will be larger by all accounts but I don’t think the outcome will be different,” said Aaron Stein, a resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank.

More than 120,000 civilians have been killed by violence, mostly by conventional, nonchemical weapons, in Syria since 2011, according to the Violations Documentation Center.

“Yet it seems like the international community is primarily concerned with preserving the taboo over the use of chemical weapons, not with civilian deaths,” Ms. Ashford said.

Chemical attacks confirmed in Syria

Date

Location

Chemical

Perpetrator

2017

Nov. 18

Harasta, Damascus

Not specified

Syrian government

Jul. 6

Jobar, Damascus

Chlorine

Syrian government

Jul. 2

Zamalka, Damascus

Chlorine

Syrian government

Jul. 1

Ain Tarma, Damascus

Chlorine

Syrian government

Apr. 7

Qaboun, Damascus

Likely chlorine

Syrian government

Apr. 4

Khan Sheikhoun

Sarin

Syrian government

Mar. 30

Latamneh

Not specified

Syrian government

Mar. 29

Qabun, Damascus

Likely chlorine

Syrian government

Mar. 25

Latamneh

Chlorine

Syrian government

Jan. 30

Marj al-Sultan

Chlorine

Syrian government

Jan. 8

Baseema

Chlorine

Syrian government

2016

Dec. 10

Aleppo

Likely chlorine

Syrian government

Dec. 9

Bustan al-Qasr, Aleppo

Chlorine

Syrian government

Kalasa, Aleppo

Chlorine

Syrian government

Dec. 8

Firdous, Aleppo

Chlorine

Syrian government

Bustan al-Qasr, Aleppo

Chlorine

Syrian government

Kalasa, Aleppo

Chlorine

Syrian government

Oct. 1

Aleppo

Chlorine

Syrian government

Sep. 6

Sukkari, Aleppo

Chlorine

Syrian government

Aug. 1

Saraqib

Chlorine

Syrian government

Apr. 5

Sheikh Maqsood, Aleppo

Chlorine

Unknown

2014

Apr. 29

Tamana

Likely chlorine

Syrian government

Apr. 21

Tal Minnis

Likely chlorine

Syrian government

Apr. 18

Tamana

Likely chlorine

Syrian government

Kafr Zeita

Likely chlorine

Syrian government

Apr. 16

Kafr Zeita

Likely chlorine

Syrian government

Apr. 12

Tamana

Likely chlorine

Syrian government

Kafr Zeita

Likely chlorine

Syrian government

Apr. 11

Kafr Zeita

Likely chlorine

Syrian government

2013

Aug. 21

Ghouta, Damascus

Sarin

Unknown

Apr. 29

Saraqib

Not specified

Unknown

Apr. 13

Sheikh Maqsood, Aleppo

Not specified

Unknown

Mar. 19

Otayba

Not specified

Unknown

Khan al-Asal

Sarin

Unknown

Source: Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

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