Syrian opposition activists have posted photographs and video that they say shows an improvised chlorine bomb to back up claims that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in two attacks last week.
Rebels and the government have blamed each other for the alleged poison gasattacks on Friday and Saturday on rebel-held Kfar Zeita village in the central province of Hama, 125 miles(201 km) north of Damascus.
Both sides said chlorine gas - a deadly agent widely used in World War I - had been used. The gas, which has industrial uses, is not on a list of chemical weapons that Assad declared to the global chemical weapons watchdog last year for destruction.
It is a so-called dual-use chemical, which would have to be declared to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a spokesman said.
State-run television on Saturday accused the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front of carrying out the attacks, which it said wounded dozens.
On Sunday, activists from the “Syrian Revolution in Kfar Zeita” posted video footage and pictures of an unexploded canister with the chemical symbol for chlorine, Cl2, on its side which they said was found in the village.
Reuters could not verify the authenticity of the video or pictures.
Eliot Higgins, a respected UK-based researcher who trawls daily through online videos of Syria’s civil war to verify weapons in them, could not verify the opposition’s claims but said the videos did appear to show an industrial chlorine cylinder.
“It looks like they (the government) have taken an industrial chlorine cylinder, put it in an improvised barrel bomb and dropped it out of a helicopter,” he told Reuters.
The yellow paint on the cylinder complies with international standards on industrial gas color codes indicating it contains chlorine, he said.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر