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United Nations team confirms chemical weapons used in Syria

Damascus, Dec 14 (): The joint team of the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has concluded on Thursday “that chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict” between the parties in Syria.

The report said chemical weapons were used at least five times out of the seven attacks during the 2 1/2-year civil war, which has killed more than 100,000 people and before Syria agreed to pull apart its arsenal.

Following the findings of a UN team that such weapons were used at multiple sites on several occasions against both military and civilians’ targets, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the international community to hold blame on  those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

In September, the UN team found “clear and considerable evidence” of Sarin gas attacks against civilians, including children, in the Damascus area. The latest report from UN says there are “credible information” that such weapons were used against civilians and soldiers in other parts of the country, including the attack at the Khan Al Asal district on 19 March.

Stating that a lot has happened since the first accusations in March of this year of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Ban said the Syrian Government accepted that it had chemical weapons and consequently joined the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Ban said the use of chemical weapons is a serious violation of international law and an insult to our shared humankind. He further said that all needed to remain alert to make sure that these awful weapons are eliminated, not only in Syria, but everywhere.

The confirmed use of sarin on August 21 in the Ghouta area of Damascus, and the warning of possible US military action, headed to a U.S.-Russian agreement to eliminate chemical weapons of Syria by mid-2014 and Syrian agreement to join the Chemical Weapons Convention. The process of getting Syrian chemicals that can be used to make weapons out of the country is currently under way.