MESOP Syria Daily: Reports — Chlorine Bombs Kill & Wound Scores in Idlib Province

By Scott Lucas March 17, 2015 09:17 Updated – The Assad regime has allegedly dropped chlorine canisters on a town in northwest Syria, causing scores of casualties.

Syrian civil defense workers posted the news from Sarmin in Idlib Province on Monday evening, with video of victims suffering from breathing difficulties. Other footage showed treatment of injured children. See Syria Video Feature: Victims of Monday’s Chlorine Attack in Idlib Province – Unconfirmed reports said 20 people, including a family of five, had been killed and more than 100 wounded by four barrel bombs. Hadi al-Bahra, a senior official in the opposition Syrian National Coalition, accused the regime of responsibility: Since its deadly chemical weapons attacks near Damascus in August 2013, the Syrian military has used chlorine on a number of occasions, dropping the canisters in barrel bombs from helicopters. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded with a “high degree of confidence” that helicopters had used chlorine in four operations in Hama and Idlib Provinces in spring 2014, killing at least 14 people and wounding hundreds.

After the August 2013 attacks, the Assad regime agreed to hand over its stocks of chemical agents. However, because of its domestic uses, chlorine is not banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

On March 6, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2209, “condemn[ing in the strongest terms any use of chlorine as a weapon in Syria, signalling it would take “Chapter VII” action if such arms were used again in the nearly four-year-old conflict”.