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UN report: Assad involved in three chemical attacks

The UN-led joint investigative mechanism reported that Syrian Arab Armed Forces helicopters were accused of chlorine attacks

Published: Updated:

A report to the UN Security Council confirmed the involvement of the Syrian regime in a third toxic gas attack.

After a 13-month-long inquiry, the fourth report of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons blamed the Syrian regime forces for the toxic gas attack in Qmenas on March 16, 2015.

The UN-led joint investigative mechanism (JIM) reported that Syrian Arab Armed Forces helicopters were accused of carrying out chlorine attacks in Idlib; one in Talmenes in April 2014 and one in Sarmin on March 16, 2015.

The report cited that ISIS militants had used mustard gas in Aleppo in northern Syria on August 21, 2015.

Investigators said that they didn't have enough evidence to determine the responsibility for three other attacks in northern Syria. Therefore, they asked to extend the deadline of their report, otherwise it should have ended on September 23, as mentioned by the Associated Press.

The three additional incidents involve helicopters dropping barrels containing chlorine gas. Western diplomats said that the Syrian regime is the only one to have helicopters in Syria.

The three incidents took place in Kafr Zita (Hama province) on April 28, 2014, and in two towns in Idlib: Qmenas on March 16, 2015 and Binnish on March 14, 2015.

Russia has questioned the JIM findings saying that the evidence is not conclusive enough to warrant sanctions.

The report sets the stage for a vital debate in the UN Security Council between the five veto-wielding powers: Russia will be with China against the United States, Great Britain and France on the outcome.

(With AP)