Syria war: Douma attack was chlorine gas – watchdog

A child is washed with a hose at a hospital in Douma, eastern Ghouta in Syria, after a suspected chemical attack (7 April 2018)Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Patients, including children, were hosed down with water to remove chemicals on their skin

A chemical weapons watchdog has found that chlorine gas was used in April’s attack on the Syrian city of Douma.

The interim report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said “various chlorinated organic chemicals” had been found but there was no evidence of nerve agents.

Dozens of civilians were killed in the attack on the rebel-held town in the Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus.

The Syrian government denies carrying out any chemical weapons attacks.

Following the Douma attack, US, British and French warplanes launched strikes against government military targets.

Medics in Douma reported on 7 April that more than 500 patients had been brought to medical facilities with symptoms suggesting exposure to a chemical agent.

Rescue workers also reported a strong smell of chlorine in the air following an air strike.

The OPCW sent a fact-finding mission to Douma about a week later.

“Along with explosive residues, various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from two sites,” the preliminary report said.

“Work by the team to establish the significance of these results is on-going. The FFM (fact-finding mission) team will continue its work to draw final conclusions.”

Syria war: Douma attack was chlorine gas – watchdog}

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