February 25, 2015
Residents of the towns of Haraytan and Hayan, northwest of Aleppo, confirmed that Assad’s militias dropped barrel bombs containing poisonous gas on the towns, and that three people were rushed to hospital after inhaling the toxic gas in the town of Hayan. In Nawa, Deraa, reports surfaced on Tuesday of a chlorine barrel bomb attack, with activists posting videos of victims of the attack showing symptoms consistent with effects of a poisonous gas.
The latest report by the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Syria also said: “In April 2014, the [Assad] Government dropped barrel bombs containing chemical agents, likely chlorine, on locations in Idlib and Hama governorates.” This declaration comes after chemical weapons investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concluded in January this year that chlorine gas was used as a weapon against three rebel-held villages in Syria last year, and was delivered by helicopters, to which only the regime has access.
Despite the UN Security Council banning their use in Resolutions 2139 and 2118 respectively, Assad’s militias continue to use barrel bombs and chlorine gas against the civilian population. The UN Security Council needs to send a clear message to Assad that the killing must stop once and for all, and that a transition to democracy is the only way out for Syria.