MESOPOTAMIA NEWS Syria Daily: New Evidence of Assad Regime’s Sarin Attacks

Posted by Scott Lucas | Sep 26, 2019 |  – EAWORLDVIEW

An investigative website has published new evidence of the Assad regime’s deadly chemical attacks in Syria, detailing the munition used in assaults with sarin nerve agent in spring 2017.

Bellingcat uses photo, video, and information on Russian weapons to reconstruct the type of munition that was used to release sarin on Lataminah in northern Hama Province in northwest Syria in two attacks on March 24 and March 30, 2017.

There were few casualties in that attack; however, a follow-up assault on April 4 on Khan Sheikhoun in neighboring Idlib Province, less than 20 km from Lataminah, killed about 90 people and injured hundreds.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons found the Assad regime responsible for the Khan Sheikhoun attack, despite a dedicated campaign, backed by Russia and the regime, to undermine the report.

The OPCW Fact Finding Mission linked Khan Sheikhoun to other attacks, citing “similarities between the analytes in these samples and those from previous allegations”.

One of the few fragments from the bomb used in Khan Sheikhoun was identified by the OPCW-UN Joint Inveestigative Mechanism as a filler cap from a Syrian chemical bomb.

There were more fragments at the Lataminah site. Using the filler cap — described by the OPCW as “uniquely consistent with Syrian chemical aerial bombs” — and this additional evidence, Bellingcat establishes that the munition in the spring 2017 attacks is the M4000 bomb.Ironically, the conclusion is bolstered by the Russians, using their diagrams of the M4000.The report bolsters the OPCW’s assignment of responsibility to the Assad regime for the Khan Sheikhoun attack, as Russia, the regime, and supportive activists try to discredit the organization and end its investigations in Syria.

That effort has been fuelled by the OPCW’s inquiry into a claimed chlorine attack in Douma near the Syrian capital Damascus in April 2018. More than 40 people were killed in a building struck by a cylinder which released a “toxic gas”; another cylinder that hit a second building failed to release its contents.

The OPCW Fact Finding Mission found in March 2019 that it was likely chlorine was used. The organization is now carrying out the follow-up investigation which may assign reponsibility.