UN chief receives final report on alleged Syria chemical weapons attacks

Experts found evidence of probable chemical weapons use in 5 out of 7 attacks investigated, report said

Prof. Ake Sellstrom, left, head of the U.N. mission to investigate allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, hands U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon a report on the investigation on Thursday.
Bebeto Matthews/AP

The chief U.N chemical weapons inspector handed his final report on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria Thursday to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"The use of chemical weapons is a grave violation of international law and an affront to our shared humanity," Ban said. "We need to remain vigilant to ensure that these awful weapons are eliminated, not only in Syria, but everywhere."

Experts found evidence of chemical weapons use, probably in several locations, the report said.

Ake Sellstrom, a Swedish professor and head of the U.N. chemical inspections team, presented the report to Ban in his office at U.N. headquarters, and it is then being sent to members of the Security Council.

Ban said he would address the 193-member General Assembly on Friday and the council on Monday about the report's findings.

Sellstrom issued an initial report on Sept. 16 which concluded that evidence collected in the Ghouta area of Damascus following an Aug. 21 attack provided "clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used."

The confirmed use of chemical weapons in Ghouta, and the threat of possible U.S. military action, led to a U.S.-Russian agreement to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.

The report covered six other allegations of chemical weapons attacks — in the villages of Khan al Assal outside Aleppo, Sheik Maqsood in the suburb of Aleppo and Saraqueb near Idlib in northwest Syria before Aug. 21, and at three sites reported by the Syrian government after Aug. 21.

The U.N. said in several alleged chemical weapons attacks investigators could not establish direct links between the attack, the site and the victims.

Syria's two-and-a-half year war has killed over 100,000 and created over two million refugees.

Wire services

Related News

Find Al Jazeera America on your TV

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter