The US State Department has hailed a report issued earlier this month by the global chemical weapons agency on the use of chemical weapons in an attack last year in the town of Douma in eastern Ghouta.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said last week that the mission visited Douma, analyzed samples taken from the scene and from people affected, interviewed witnesses and studied toxicological and ballistics analyses.
In statement issued on Thursday, the US State Department said that “the conclusions in the FFM report support what the United States determined in our assessment of the attack last April – that the regime is responsible for this heinous chemical weapons attack that killed and injured civilians,” it added.
The data, it said, provided “reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon” took place on April 7, 2018.
The State Department said that “the Assad regime’s use of chlorine as a chemical weapon is a violation of its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, to which it is a party, as well as UNSCR 2118.”
The Syrian Coalition earlier welcomed the findings of the OPCW report. It called upon the UN Security Council and the major players in Syria to take the necessary steps to ensure accountability for the use of chemical weapons in the conflict. The Coalition reminded those countries of their commitment to respond if the use of chemical weapons is proven in Syria again.
The chemical attack on Douma killed 60 people and wounded 1,000 others during the height of the Russian-backed military campaign to recapture eastern Ghouta. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)