Posted tagged ‘Chemical Weapons’

Rebel warehouse with chem weapons hit by Syrian airstrike in Idlib

April 5, 2017

The Syrian Air Force has destroyed a warehouse in Idlib province where chemical weapons were being produced and stockpiled before being shipped to Iraq, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman said.

Source: Rebel warehouse with chem weapons hit by Syrian airstrike in Idlib – Russian MOD — RT News

ARCHIVE: Russian military inspect suspected chemical weapons workshop in Aleppo © Ruptly

The Syrian Air Force has destroyed a warehouse in Idlib province where chemical weapons were being produced and stockpiled before being shipped to Iraq, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman said.

The strike, which was launched midday Tuesday, targeted a major rebel ammunition depot east of the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

The warehouse was used to both produce and store shells containing toxic gas, Konashenkov said. The shells were delivered to Iraq and repeatedly used there, he added, pointing out that both Iraq and international organizations have confirmed the use of such weapons by militants.

READ MORE: Intl monitoring body & West ignoring reports of ‘chemical attack’ in Mosul – Russian MoD

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Syrian children receive treatment following a suspected gas attack in Khan Sheikhun, Idlib province. April 4, 2017. © Mohamed Al-Bakour

The same chemical munitions were used by militants in Aleppo, where Russian military experts took samples in late 2016, Konashenkov said.

The Defense Ministry has confirmed this information as “fully objective and verified,” Konashenkov added.

According to the statement, Khan Sheikhoun civilians, who recently suffered a chemical attack, displayed identical symptoms to those of Aleppo chemical attack victims.

READ MORE: Syria hands over evidence of mustard gas attack by rebels on civilians to OPCW (VIDEO)

Hasan Haj Ali, commander of the Free Idlib Army rebel group, rejected Russia’s version of the incident, saying the rebels had no military positions in the area.

“Everyone saw the plane while it was bombing with gas,” he told Reuters.

“Likewise, all the civilians in the area know that there are no military positions there, or places for the manufacture [of weapons]. The various factions of the opposition are not capable of producing these substances,” he added.

At least 58 people, including 11 children, reportedly died and scores were injured after a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun was targeted in a suspected gas attack on Tuesday morning, Reuters reported, citing medics and rebel activists. Soon after a missile allegedly hit the facility, people started showing symptoms of chemical poisoning, such as choking and fainting.

The victims were reportedly also seen with foam coming out of their mouths. While the major Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, and other pro-rebel groups put the blame on the attack onto President Bashar Assad’s government, the Syrian military dismissed all allegations as propaganda by the rebels.

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Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017 © Ammar Abdullah

“We deny completely the use of any chemical or toxic material in Khan Sheikhoun town today and the army has not used nor will use in any place or time, neither in past or in future,” the Syrian army said in a statement.

The Russian military stated it did not carry out any airstrike in the area either.
However, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, commenting on the incident, was quick to point to the Syrian government as a culprit, saying that it bears responsibility for the “awful” attack.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson echoed Mogherini, accusing the Syrian government of perpetrating the attack calling it “brutal, unabashed barbarism.” He argued, that besides the Syrian authorities, Iran and Russia should also bear “moral responsibility” for it.

Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of aiding sarin gas delivery to rebels after fresh chemical attacks

March 10, 2016

Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of aiding sarin gas delivery to rebels after fresh chemical attacks

Published time: 10 Mar, 2016 01:09 Edited time: 10 Mar, 2016 02:18

Source: Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of aiding sarin gas delivery to rebels after fresh chemical attacks — RT News

In an interview with RT, a spokesman for the Kurdish YPG militia accused Turkey of providing a clear transit route for the chemical weapons that were deployed against them near the city of Aleppo on Tuesday.

READ MORE: ISIS shelled Kurdish-controlled Iraq village with ‘poisonous substances’ – governor

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Aleppo, Syria © Hosam Katan

Syrian anti-government militants “took advantage of the ceasefire” to launch attacks against a Kurdish-controlled area near Aleppo in northern Syria, Redur Xelil told RT. The attackers targeted a civilian district of what was once Syria’s biggest city, and has since become a key battleground. According to Xelil, the shells emitted an “unnatural smell” and “yellow smoke” upon impact, indicating that chemical weapons were involved.

“Our sources inside the rebel groups have confirmed that toxic substances were used. We also have verified information that sarin gas was delivered to them from Turkey. All signs point to the fact that these factions were using banned weapons, but we cannot access the launching area, as it is located on the front between the Turkish and rebel forces,” Xelil told RT by Skype from Rojava in Syria.

Kurdish deputies in the Turkish parliament have previously accused Ankara of supplying Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other jihadist groups inside Syria with chemical weapons, which are used both in their fight against the Syrian government and to pin responsibility for their deployment on the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Tuesday’s attack, which also involved phosphorus, did not result in any severe casualties.

“This attack was a failure, but this doesn’t mean that there won’t be another one. We are convinced the enemy has improvised shells containing phosphorus and sarin gas,” said Xelil.

READ MORE: Who’s behind alleged Aleppo chemical weapons attack?

Last month, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) accused IS of using chemical weapons against Kurdish forces throughout 2015. Reports emerged on Wednesday revealing that the jihadist group had launched a new chemical attack on the Kurdish village of Zaza in northern Iraq, in which more than 40 civilians suffered chemical burns and lung damage.