The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Wednesday that tests concluded the nerve agent sarin was used in northern Syria in March, five days prior to a deadly attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun.
“Analysis of samples collected (by the OPCW) … relates to an incident that took place again in the northern part of Syria on the 30th of March this year,” OPCW director Ahmet Uzumcu told the AFP news agency in an interview. “The results prove the existence of sarin.”
In May, Human Rights Watch reported that a chemical weapons attack in Hama on March 30 had injured dozens of people.
The French Foreign Ministry’s tracking of reported chemical weapons attacks in Syria lists one on that date in Latamneh, northern Hama. According to the report, people suffered “breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, foaming at the mouth, [and] irritation.” The incident is marked in amber, indicating the “strong presumption of use of sarin by the Syrian regime.”
The Latamneh incident took place just days before a deadly attack in Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib governorate that killed at least 74 people and injured over 100 more. The French tracking table lists a second incident in Latamneh on April 6, two days after Khan Sheikhoun.
The United Nations, France, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States have concluded that the Syrian government was responsible for the April 4 attack, an allegation the Assad government and Moscow deny.