Chemical weapons group identifies new possible cases in Syria

The international body charged with establishing who is responsible for chemical attacks in Syria said Monday it has identified seven potential sites for investigation, which it hopes to begin next month.

See Full Article

Virginia Gamba, who heads the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said an initial report to the Security Council had identified five cases where chemical weapons might have been used. Further analysis led to two other suspected cases: in Binnish in Idlib governorate on March 23, 2015 and in Al Tamanah, also in Idlib, on April 29-30 and May 25-26 in 2014.

Before the Joint Investigative Mechanism, or JIM, was established in August, investigators were charged only with determining whether chemical weapons had been used in an attack. They could not lay blame on the government, opposition or other armed groups.

Gamba said investigators were still analyzing information gathered by the OPCW and hoped to finalize the list of potential cases by March 1, at which point JIM would begin in-depth investigations.

Syria's government denies using chemical weapons, but the United States and other Western nations say it is to blame, especially for dropping barrel bombs containing chlorine and other toxic agents by helicopter. The opposition doesn't have such aircraft.

Reports also have surfaced in recent months that the Islamic State extremist group has used toxic chemicals.

The potential cases cited in the report to the Security Council include Kafr Zita in Hama governorate on April 11 and April 18, 2014, and three villages in Idlib governorate: Talmenes on April 21, 2014 and Qmenas and Sarmin, both on March 16, 2015. The fifth case was on Aug. 21, 2015 in the town of Marea near the Turkish border, at a time when Islamic State fighters were attacking rebels.

"Any use of toxic substances, weapons by anybody, anywhere, under any circumstances, is totally abhorrent and I would like to assure individuals, groups, entities or governments ... that these acts will be identified and they will be held accountable for these actions," Gamba said after briefing the Security Council in a closed-door session.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Taliban announce start of spring offensive in Afghanistan

    World News CTV News
    ISLAMABAD - Afghanistan's Taliban announced the start of their spring offensive Friday, promising to build their political base in the country while focusing military assaults on coalition and Afghan security forces. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced the launch of the offensive in an email statement that boasted Taliban control over more than half of the country, referencing a February report issued by Washington's special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction. Source
  • Trump to sign order aimed at expanding offshore drilling

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Working to dismantle his predecessor's environmental legacy, President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order Friday that could lead to the expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. With one day left to rack up accomplishments before he reaches his 100th day in office, Trump will order his interior secretary to review an Obama-era plan that dictates which locations are open to offshore drilling, with the goal of the new administration to expand…
  • Sagkeeng First Nation holds vigil for Serena McKay

    Canada News CTV News
    Members of Sagkeeng First Nation in northern Manitoba gathered around a sacred fire on Thursday to mark the loss of yet another woman to violence. Serena McKay, 19, was found dead on Sunday. Two teens girls, ages 16 and 17, have been charged with second-degree murder. Source
  • TTC pulls bendy buses off the road over safety concerns

    Canada News CBC News
    The Toronto Transit Commission is grounding its entire fleet of articulated buses after maintenance staff experienced a "full throttle," or unexpected acceleration, during routine maintenance Thursday afternoon. The TTC says 153 of the 60-foot so-called bendy buses are now off the road. Source
  • Autistic man eating free cookies pepper-sprayed: Cops

    World News Toronto Sun
    ROSEVILLE, Minn. — A former security guard faces charges after allegedly pepper-spraying an autistic man who was eating free cookies at a Minnesota grocery store. Timothy Knutsen of St. Paul is charged with two misdemeanour counts of fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct for the March incident at a Cub Foods in Roseville. Source
  • Star Trek inspired licence plate deemed offensive in Manitoba

    Canada News CTV News
    Manitoba’s public insurance company has revoked a Star Trek inspired custom licence plate after receiving complaints that it’s offensive. Nick Troller’s two-year-old plate reads “ASIMIL8.” Troller keeps it inside a licence plate holder that says: “WE ARE THE BORG. Source
  • Customer pepper-sprays man with autism for eating cookies: police

    World News CTV News
    ROSEVILLE, Minn. -- A former security guard faces charges after allegedly pepper-spraying an autistic man who was eating free cookies at a Minnesota grocery store. Timothy Knutsen of St. Paul is charged with two misdemeanour counts of fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct for the March incident at a Cub Foods in Roseville. Source
  • $300K posh public potty pops up in New York [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — In a park amid skyscrapers, a gem has emerged: a posh public bathroom that cost nearly $300,000, complete with freshly delivered flowers, imported tiles, classical music and artwork. The free-of-charge, air-conditioned splendor, inspired by visits to the city’s priciest hotels, is open to everyone. Source
  • More needs to be done to ensure workplace safety: Advocate [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Too many young people don’t know their rights, which is contributing to thousands of work-related injuries and tragedies, an advocate says. Rob Ellis, of My Safe Workplace, said Thursday that last year 125,000 Canadians, ages 15-20, were hurt on the job. Source
  • Carson Morin trial: Accused murderer's criminal past revealed in court

    Canada News CBC News
    The Ottawa man on trial for murder in the fatal stabbing of 20 year-old Michael Wassill was once convicted of a brutal assault on another man with a baseball bat that put the victim in hospital with a concussion. Source