OPCW Confirms Use of Sarin and Chlorine in Ltamenah, Syria, in March 2017
The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), confirmed in a report that sarin was very likely used as a chemical weapon in the south of Ltamenah, Syrian Arab Republic, on March 24, 2017. The FFM also concluded that chlorine was very likely used as a chemical weapon at Ltamenah Hospital and the surrounding area on March 25, 2017.
The conclusions for the two incidents are based on separate witness testimony, epidemiological analysis and environmental samples. The collection of information and material, interviewing witnesses, as well as analysis of samples required a longer period of time to draw conclusions, according to the OPCW.
The FFM’s report on the Ltamenah incidents has been shared with States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention. The report was also transmitted to the UN Security Council through the UN Secretary-General.
In response to persistent allegations of chemical weapon attacks in Syria, the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) was set up in 2014 with an ongoing mandate “to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic”.
The FFM’s mandate is to determine whether chemical weapons or toxic chemicals as weapons have been used in Syria. It does not include identifying who is responsible for alleged attacks. Attribution was part of the mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism, set up by the UN Security Council, which expired in November 2017.
The FFM has previously confirmed with a “high degree of confidence” the use of chlorine, sulphur mustard, and sarin as weapons.