Syria Again Used Chemical Weapons: HRW

Posted February 16, 2017

Syrian government forces carried out at least eight chemical attacks during the final weeks of the battle for Aleppo, a Human Rights Watch report said on Monday.

Syria and its ally Russian Federation, which helped the government's troops in the assault on Aleppo, have repeatedly denied using chemical weapons in the conflict and have instead accused rebels of deploying poison gas.

Human Rights Watch, however, said that the eight allegations they believe to have been credible suggest they were not isolated incidents but part of a coordinated policy by the military, noting hat each of the drops happened in the immediate prelude to a significant military advance into the same area.

Damascus "utterly rejects" a recent Human Rights Watch report that said its military and allied forces had used chemical weapons during their capture of Aleppo a year ago, Syrian state media reported on Wednesday. Ole Solvang, deputy director for emergencies at Human Rights Watch, details what the organization found.

Human Rights Watch said opposition-affiliated groups, first responders, activists and journalists reported that government forces also carried out chemical attacks in other locations in Syria during the same period. According to HRW, nine Syrians including four children died from the chlorine gas that was dropped from helicopters in one attack.

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Attacks took place in playgrounds, clinics, residential houses, and streets.

Injuries from the chemical weapons numbered in the hundreds.

So far, there has been a number of reports on use of chemical weapons in Syria, putting responsibility for attacks both on Syrian authorities and Islamic State (IS, banned in Russia) terrorist group.

It also urged the 192 parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention to address Syria's alleged violations of the treaty.