Rights Watchdog Says It Has Proof Syrian Forces Carried Out Chemical Attack

Human Rights Watch claims that all evidence suggests that forces loyal to Bashar Assad were behind the infamous chemical-weapons attack in Damascus

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Khaled Al Hariri / Reuters

A man holds a roll of pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a rally in support of him in Damascus on June 21, 2011

After collecting eyewitness testimonies and analyzing the likely weapons systems that were used to facilitate a chemical-weapons attack that targeted rebel-controlled suburbs in Damascus last month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Tuesday it believes it has enough evidence to prove that the Syrian government was responsible for the atrocity.

HRW’s extensive investigation, which relied on expert analysis from chemical-weapons and arms specialists along with witnesses’ accounts, concluded that the surface-to-surface rocket systems used to carry out the attack, along with the large quantity of nerve agent that was deployed during the assault on Aug. 21, match up with equipment that is only possessed by government troops in Syria.

The watchdog organization went on to dismiss claims that rebel groups had a hand in the attacks as “inconsistent with the evidence found at the scene.”

(MORE: Report Claims Syrian Troops Used Chemical Weapons Without Assad’s Approval)

On Monday, U.S. officials said they were prepared to consider a proposal tabled by Russia that would see the Syrian government surrender its stockpiles of chemical weapons in order to prevent a military strike from American forces.