Mustard gas used in Syrian conflict: Watchdog report
Nov 6, Abuja: A confidential report by the global chemical weapons watchdog has found mustard gas again being used in Syria, the Reuters news agency reported.
The gas was used during violence between Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and a rebel group in the northern town of Marea in August. It's the first confirmation of sulphur mustard being used in Syria since the country agreed to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile, news reports said.
A confidential October 29 report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a summary of which was shown to Reuters news agency, concluded "with the utmost confidence that at least two people were exposed to sulphur mustard" in the town of Marea, north of Aleppo, on August 21.
The findings provide the first official confirmation of use of sulphur mustard, commonly known as mustard gas, in Syria since it agreed to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile, which included sulphur mustard.
The report did not mention ISIL, as the fact-finding mission was not mandated to assign blame, but diplomatic sources said the chemical had been used in the clashes between ISIL and another rebel group taking place in the town at the time.
According to a source, "It raises the major question of where the sulphur mustard came from." "Either they [ISIL] gained the ability to make it themselves, or it may have come from an undeclared stockpile overtaken by ISIL. Both are worrying options, Al Jazeera reported.
Syria is supposed to have completely surrendered the toxic chemicals 18 months ago. Their use violates UN Security Council resolutions and the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention.
The Oslo Times