No evidence of chemical weapons in Syria’s Yarmouk Incident- OPCW

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concluded on Monday that there is insufficient evidence to confirm the use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in the reported incident in al-Yarmouk, Syria on Oct.22, 2017.

Following a report from the Syrian government regarding the incident on Nov.1, 2017, the FFM conducted a comprehensive investigation, utilizing various sources such as chemical sample analysis, witness interviews, photographs, videos, and documents.

According to the government’s report, toxic chemicals were used by the Islamic State (ISIS) against the armed group of Aknaf Beit Almaqdis in the southern area of the al-Yarmouk camp in Damascus.

The results of the sample analysis showed no signs of scheduled chemicals, their precursors, degradation products, riot control agents, chlorinated organic chemicals, or compounds containing chemically reactive chlorine.

However, the FFM, responsible for determining whether toxic chemicals have been used as weapons in the Syrian, encountered challenges in verifying the information due to the unavailability of witnesses, some of whom died or were missing, while others declined to provide their testimonies.

Based on the information gathered and analyzed, the FFM determined that there was insufficient evidence to establish the use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in the reported incident.

To date, FFM has issued 21 reports on alleged chemical weapons use, covering 74 incidents. In 20 cases, the FFM concluded that chemical weapons were likely used, including chlorine in 14 cases, Sarin in three cases, and mustard agent in three cases.

These reports were shared with the States Parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the UN Security Council.

By Shella Abdulhalim