Washington, DC (STL.News) On April 12, 2021, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) released its second report attributing yet another chemical weapons attack in Syria to the Assad regime. The IIT report concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe that on February 4, 2018, in Saraqib, Syria, the Syrian Arab Air Force dropped a cylinder containing chlorine, which dispersed over a large area. This act imposed deliberate and unconscionable suffering on Syrian victims.
This latest finding should come as a surprise to no one. The Assad regime is responsible for innumerable atrocities, some of which rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The regime has consistently responded with death and destruction to calls by the Syrian people for reform and change. These well-documented atrocities include the use of chemical weapons, and this most recent report follows the first from IIT last year that attributed three other chemical weapons attacks to the Assad regime.
The United States concurs with the OPCW’s conclusions cited in this report and continues to assess that the Assad regime retains sufficient chemicals to use sarin, to produce and deploy chlorine munitions, and to develop new chemical weapons.