U.N. Report Says Chemical Weapons Were Used in Syria

A final report released Thursday from U.N. investigators confirms preliminary findings

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Chemical weapons were used repeatedly during the ongoing civil war in Syria, a new report from the United Nations concludes.

The 82-page document says deadly chemical agents were likely used in five of the seven attack sites experts inspected, Reuters reports.

“The United Nations Mission concludes that chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic,” the U.N. report states.

The investigation was led by chief inspector Ake Sellstrom. A preliminary report from Sellstrom’s team in September found “clear and convincing” evidence that the chemical sarin was used to slaughter hundreds civilians in a rebel-held suburb of Demascus in August.

Thursday’s report acknowledges that chemical weapons have also been used on government soldiers.

Syrian rebels and western powers have alleged that the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the chemical attacks, but the Assad regime counters that rebels were the ones to deploy the weapons. The U.N. confirmed that rebels have indeed captured weapons from the Syrian military, though western countries say chemical arms were not among them.

The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution in September requiring Syria to destroy its chemical weapons.

The U.N. secretary-general will present findings of Thursday’s report to the General Assembly on Friday, according to NPR.