Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Khan Shaykhun chemical attack

The Khan Shaykhun chemical attack took place on 4 April 2017 on the town of Khan Shaykhun in the Idlib Governorate of Syria. At the time of the attack, the town was under the control of Tahrir al-Sham,[5][6][7][8] previously known as the al-Nusra Front.[9][10]

2017 Khan Shaykhun chemical attack
Part of the Syrian Civil War
Khan Shaykhun is located in Syria
Khan Shaykhun
Khan Shaykhun
Location of Khan Shaykhun within Syria
Type Airstrike, sarin attack (or a sarin-like substance)
Location

Khan Shaykhun, Idlib Governorate,
de-jure: Syria

de-facto: Tahrir al-Sham Emirate
35°26′20″N 36°39′4″E / 35.43889°N 36.65111°E / 35.43889; 36.65111
Date 4 April 2017
06:30 EEST[1] (UTC+03:00)
Executed by Syrian Arab Air Force[2]
Casualties 74–100+[3] killed
300–557+[3][4] injured

The town was reported to have been struck by an airstrike by government forces followed by massive civilian chemical poisoning.[4][11] The release of the toxic gas, which included sarin, or a similar substance,[12] killed at least 74 people and injured more than 557, according to the Idlib health authority.[3] The attack was the deadliest use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war since the Ghouta chemical attack in 2013.[13]

The United Nations, the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France, and Israel, as well as Human Rights Watch have attributed the attack to the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.[14][15][16][17] The Assad government denied using any chemical weapons in the air strike.[18] The Russian Defense Ministry stated that Syrian aircraft had bombed a warehouse belonging to rebels which "may have contained a rebel chemical arms stockpile".[19][20]

On 7 April, the United States launched 59 cruise missiles at Shayrat Air Base, which U.S. intelligence claimed was the source of the attack.[21][22]

Contents

Background

Use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War has been confirmed by the local sources in Syria and by the United Nations. Deadly attacks by chemical weapons during the war include the Ghouta attack in the suburbs of Damascus in August 2013 and the Khan al-Assal attack in the suburbs of Aleppo in March 2013. While no party took responsibility for the chemical attacks, a U.N. fact-finding mission and a UNHRC Commission of Inquiry have both investigated the attacks.

The U.N. mission found likely use of the nerve agent sarin in the case of Khan al-Asal (19 March 2013), Saraqib (29 April 2013), Ghouta (21 August 2013), Jobar (24 August 2013) and Ashrafiyat Sahnaya (25 August 2013). The UNHRC commission later confirmed the use of sarin in the Khan al-Asal, Saraqib and Ghouta attacks, but did not mention the Jobar and the Ashrafiyat Sahnaya attacks. The UNHRC commission also found the sarin used in the Khan al-Asal attack bore "the same unique hallmarks" as the sarin used in the Ghouta attack and indicated the perpetrators likely had access to chemicals from the Syrian Army's stockpile. Those attacks prompted the international community to pressure disarmament of the Syrian Armed Forces from chemical weapons, which was executed during 2014. Despite the disarmament process, dozens of incidents with suspected use of chemical weapons followed throughout Syria, the majority being attributed to anti-government fighters, in particular the Al Qaeda affiliate Al Nusra Front.[23]

In August 2016, a United Nations report explicitly blamed the Syrian military of Bashar al-Assad for dropping chlorine bombs on the towns of Talmenes on 21 April 2014 and Sarmin on 16 March 2015.[24][25] Several other attacks have been alleged, reported and/or investigated. In December 2016, at least 53 people were killed in an alleged chemical weapons attack in ISIL-held villages near Uqairabat that bore similarities to the Ghouta attack, with none of the dead having blast injuries.[26][27] On 30 March 2017, an airstrike hit the town of al-Lataminah in the northern Hama Governorate, around 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Khan Shaykhun. More than 70 people in the area were then exposed to an unidentified chemical agent and showed symptoms of nausea, agitation, foaming, muscle spasm, and miosis (constriction of the pupil of the eye). Cardiac arrest occurred in two of the victims[28] and an orthopedic doctor died.[29] On 3 April 2017, one day before the attack, a "regime aircraft" allegedly carried out a similar chlorine gas attack on Al-Habit, a nearby village, injuring dozens and killing two children.[30][31][32]

Attack

 
Map showing frontlines at the time of the attack, with the location of the strike marked by the hatched circle

The attack took place around 6:30 a.m. local time on 4 April, before most children and parents had left for school or work.[1][33] Witnesses reported smelling a strange odor about ten minutes after a rocket attack and airstrike, followed by visible symptoms of poisoning.[34] White Helmet workers reported four unusually weak explosions.[35] Medical workers and witnesses said the attack was different than the chlorine gas attacks they had experienced in the past, in which the chlorine gas usually killed a few people in confined spaces and buildings. In contrast, in this attack, many people died outside. Furthermore, the victims exhibited pinpoint pupils, a sign of contact with nerve agents and sarin specifically.[36][37] Other symptoms reported included coldness in the extremities, decreased heart rate, and low blood pressure.[34] Some first responders became ill when they came into contact with the victims.[36][33] According to the Turkish health ministry, medical tests have confirmed the presence of isopropyl methylphosphonic acid—a known byproduct of sarin reacting with other compounds—in blood and urine samples of the victims.[38] Tests by British scientests of samples found at the scene indicated the chemical involved was "sarin or a sarin-like substance".[39][40]

Kareem Shaheen, the first western journalist to visit the town after the attack, photographed the crater where the chemical weapon was reported to have hit and saw an apparently abandoned warehouse and silos near the crater.[41][42]

Casualties

Medical sources in Idlib in the immediate aftermath of the attack reported more than 58 people, including 11 children, were killed and over 300 were wounded.[4] Test results of samples collected from ten of them indicated they had been exposed to sarin or a sarin like substance.[43]

By 7:30 a.m. EEST 100 wounded people arrived at a local field hospital. Minister of health, Mohamad Firas al-Jundi, said victims experienced suffocation, fluid in the lungs, foaming at the mouth, unconsciousness, spasm, and paralysis.[36] A few hours after the attack, a nearby clinic treating victims was hit by an airstrike, with reports that Russians bombed the hospital with the victims in an attempt to destroy the evidence.[44] The area's largest hospital was bombed two days prior.[36] According to Dr. Abdel Hay Tennari, who treated 22 victims of the attack, the symptoms of victims are corresponding to symptoms of exposure to sarin. Patients who received pralidoxime, an antidote of sarin, reportedly stabilized their medical state in around an hour.[45] Médecins Sans Frontières visited Bab Al Hawa hospital where they determined symptoms consistent with sarin. They also visited other hospitals where victims were taken and reported, "that victims smelled of bleach, suggesting they had been exposed to chlorine." They concluded that the "reports strongly suggest that victims of the attack on Khan Sheikhoun were exposed to at least two different chemical agents."[46]

On 5 April, local doctors and rescue workers at the scene said the number of dead had risen to 74, with 600 injured,[47] while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and French Ambassador to the United Nations François Delattre said over 100 had died.[48] Rescue workers gathered soil and tissue samples and sent them to Western intelligence officials for analysis.[49][50] On 6 April, the Turkish Ministry of Health, which had conducted tests on people transported to Turkey, said it had identified the chemical used in the attack as sarin, citing lung damage found in victims.[50]

In May 2017, a report from CNN put the number of fatalities at 92.[51]

Responsibility

Many governments, such as the United States and some European countries[52][16] and the Gulf Cooperation Council[53] have attributed the attack to the Syrian government.[49][54][55][56] According to investigation by Human Rights Watch, the attack was conducted by Syrian government forces from the air using Soviet-made KhAB-250 aerial bombs designed to deliver sarin.[57][58] Syria has denied any involvement.[49] Russia initially claimed the deaths were a result of gas released when a government airstrike hit a rebel-operated chemical weapons factory[59][60] but later agreed with the OPCW conclusions. The UN Security Council session unanimously declared the need for an investigation of the chemical attack.[61] According to an OPCW report,[62] an investigation into the attack was concluded and released on 29 June, 2017, which confirmed the use of sarin gas, or a similar substance.[63][64][12][65]

The United Kingdom’s assessment is that it is almost certain that the Syrian Government was responsible for a sarin attack on Khan Shaykhun on 4 April. (...) There is no evidence to suggest that any party to the conflict in Syria, other than the Syrian Government, has access to a complex nerve agent such as sarin. We note that the FFM’s report refers to testimony from witnesses describing the presence of jets in the area at the time of the attack. Only the Syrian Air Force has the capability to launch a chemical weapons attack from aircraft, and it has already been condemned by this Council for having been found to have used chemical weapons, deployed from aircraft, on at least three occasions in 2014 and 2015.

— Sir Geoffrey Adams, UK Permanent Representative to the OPCW, [66]

On 6 September 2017, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights's Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic concluded that a Syrian Arab Air Force aircraft was responsible for dropping the sarin during the attack.[2]

Claims by the Syrian government, Syrian opposition and Russian government

Syrian opposition claims

According to the Idlib Media Centre, the chemical agent had the characteristics of sarin. The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces accused the Syrian government and the Syrian Armed Forces of carrying out the attack and called for an immediate investigation by the United Nations Security Council.[4] The opposition groups said the Syrian air force dropped chemical bombs on a civilian population.[23][67]

Syrian government claims

The position of Syrian government changed on numerous occasions. On the day of the attack, a Syrian government official told Reuters "the government does not and has not used chemical weapons, not in the past and not in the future."[68] The pro-government Al-Masdar News cited an army source as saying it had attacked a missile factory in the town using Sukhoi Su-22 bombers, whose bombs Al-Masdar News says cannot be filled with any chemical substances, and did not know the factory contained chemicals.[69] The use of Sukhoi Su-22 aircraft in the attack was also noted by pro-rebel sources (SOHR).[70] Later, the Russian Ministry of Defence reiterated the statement made by the Syrian Armed Forces, but said the attack on the ammunition depot took place between 11:30 and 12:30 EEST.[71]

In an April 13 interview to AFP, President Assad said the attack is "100 per cent fabrication" by the United States "working hand-in-glove with the terrorists", intended to provide a pretext for the airstrike on the Shayrat Airbase.[72][18] Assad stated: "You have a lot of fake videos now… We don’t know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhun. Were they dead at all?” According to numerous eyewitnesses and reporters on the ground, children did in fact die in the attack.[73]

Walid Muallem, the Syrian foreign minister told journalists at a press conference in Damascus their armed forces "did not and will not" use chemical weapons, even against "terror groups" fighting against the Syrian government. He also said "the first reports of the chemical attack appeared several hours before the government airstrike, indicating that the chemical attack may have been a cruel and cynical 'false flag' operation used by the jihadists in a bid for US support."[19] Muallem also promised to provide information to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations regarding the transfer of chemical substances from Iraq to Syria, or from Turkey to Syria.[74]

In fact, the samples collected by Syrian government officials and later passed to OPCW tested positively for sarin.[75]

Russian government claims

The Russian government denied involvement in the chemical attack; Russia's defence ministry issued a statement saying the Russian Air Force had "not carried out any strikes near Khan Shaykhun of Idlib province",[76] but said a Syrian aircraft did conduct an airstrike on a warehouse containing ammunition and equipment belonging to rebels near Khan Shaykhun, "yesterday, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m".[19][60] The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was "premature to accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapons in Idlib", and insist on full and impartial investigation.[64][77] Shortly after the attack Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the use of chemical weapons is a "dangerous and monstrous crime" and that Russia's support for Assad is not "unconditional". He also said he doubted information was based on "objective materials or evidence", and that only Syrian government can resist "terrorists on the ground."[78]

Later, President Vladimir Putin said the attack could be a provocation, but that several versions were possible, and the UN should investigate the attack.[79][80] On April 11, Putin suggested the chemical attack was a false flag operation intended to discredit the Syrian government.[20][81] On April 14, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there was "growing evidence" the attack was staged.[82][83] In May 2017, Vladimir Putin of Russia stated categorically that the other governments accusing the Syrian government was but a "provocation" and that Syria′s president Bashar Assad had not used chemical weapons.[84][85]

However, British journalist Eliot Higgins has shown that the Russian claims that a warehouse containing chemical weapons was bombed were made "two to three hours" after the first images of victims appeared, while other images from the chemical attack were posted online before the supposed airstrike on the warehouse. Russia's claims were also criticised by Dan Kaszeta, a veteran of the US Army Reserve's Chemical Corps, who called Russia's statement "an infantile argument", and by the anti-Kremlin Russian non-profit Conflict Intelligence Team.[86][87]

In July 2017, however, Russian delegates to OPCW agreed that "sarin or sarin-like substance was used" and said that there are "no grounds to disbelieve OPCW findings".[88]

United States reaction

Responsibility assessment

According to the US government, the Syrian government under Assad was behind the chemical attack,[36] and Syrian jets carried out the bombing of a rebel stronghold.[77] U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was quoted as saying "Either Russia has been complicit or Russia has been simply incompetent".[89] According to Tillerson, the U.S. appealed to Assad to cease the use of chemical weapons, and "[o]ther than that, there is no change to our military posture",[90] with ISIS remaining the primary priority.[91][92]

President Donald Trump called the attack "reprehensible" and attributed it to the Syrian government, saying the act could not be ignored "by the civilized world" during his meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan.[93][94][95] Trump also blamed the attack on supposed failures of the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama.[95][96] U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: "Anyone who uses chemical weapons to attack his own people shows a fundamental disregard for human decency and must be held accountable."[95][97] US representative to the UN Nikki Haley has stated that, though before the chemical attack the US had not considered overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power a top US priority, it is now prominent among US priorities in the region.[91] At the UN Security Council, Haley said "When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action",[98] by it implying if the UN failed to hold Assad accountable for the use of chemical weapons on civilians, the US will.[99] CIA Director Mike Pompeo confirmed on Thursday 13 April that his agency concluded the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun. “We were good and fast,” Pompeo said.[100] The top Democrat on the house intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, agreed that the Assad government was responsible for the attack.[101][102]

A few members of Congress and former officials expressed skepticism, like Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard,[103] Republican Congressman Thomas Massie,[104] and former Republican Congressman Ron Paul.[105]

Missile strike

On the morning of 7 April 2017, 72 hours after the attack, the United States launched 59 cruise missiles on Shayrat Airbase, a Syrian airfield near Shayrat, believed to be the base for the aircraft that carried out the chemical attack.[21] In contrast to the coalition's accidental air raid on Deir ez-Zor in 2016, this was both a unilateral action and the first intentional strike against the Syrian government.[106][107]

Sanctions

On 24 April 2017, the United States Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on 271 employees of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center for their alleged role in producing chemical weapons.[108][109]

International reactions

Supranational and non-governmental organizations

Secretary-General António Guterres said he was "deeply disturbed" by reports of the Idlib chemical attack, noting that the use of chemical weapons is banned under international law.[110] Federica Mogherini, the European Union's diplomatic chief, called the attack "awful" and said Bashar al-Assad's government bore "primary responsibility" for it.[111]

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) expressed "serious concern" and said its Fact-Finding Mission in Syria was "gathering and analysing information from all available sources."[112] The following day, the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW, referring to the media reports, requested all member states of the Chemical Weapons Convention to share available information on what it described preliminary as "allegations of use of chemical weapons in the Khan Shaykhun area of Idlib province in the Syrian Arab Republic."[113] Amnesty International said the evidence points to an "air-launched chemical attack",[114] while the World Health Organization said victims carried the signs of exposure to nerve agents.[114]

UN Security Council countries

France called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council after the attack.[115][116] France, Britain, and the United States (who are among the permanent members of the Security Council), circulated a draft to the Council's 15 members condemning the attack in Syria and demanding a full investigation into it. The emergency closed-door meeting was set on 5 April in New York.[117][118] United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, serving as president of the Security Council for the month, announced there would not be a vote on a draft resolution to respond to the chemical weapons attack, but instead of one resolution by the U.S. and a second resolution by Russia, there was a third resolution unexpectedly submitted by Sweden and nine other non-permanent members. When the council concluded its meeting without conclusion on the morning of 6 April, the U.S. launched a missile strike.[119] On 12 April, the proposed draft resolution was vetoed by Russia. This was the eighth time that Russia vetoed a Security Council resolution on Syria.[120][121] Instead, on April 20, Russia and Iran formally proposed to start an OPCW investigation (which was rejected as an investigation is already in progress)[122] and then on April 26 blocked UN resolution calling Syria to disclose information for the first OPCW investigation[123] at the same accusing UN of "blocking independent international investigation" earlier proposed by Russia and Iran.[124]

On April 26, 2017, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said France had concluded that the Syrian government was "unquestionably" the perpetrator of the attack.[125][126] He added that the same mixture of sarin and hexamine had been used in the 2013 Saraqib chemical attack.[125]

United Kingdom government defense minister, Michael Fallon said he believed the Syrian air force responsible for the attack. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said "There should now be an immediate ceasefire and a UN-led investigation rapidly into what is a horrific and totally illegal action by somebody using chemical weapons against innocent people."[127]

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry released a statement saying the "painful and unacceptable" images of the massacre reaffirm the necessity of reaching a political solution to end the crisis in Syria, in light of the international community decisions and Security Council Resolution 2254, as well as the Geneva Conventions.[128]

Other countries

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for an "impartial international fact-finding body" to be set up to investigate the attack.[129] Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the incident as "very painful" and condemned it, but also criticized US for attacking the Syrian airbase "without any investigation".[130] Iranian Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi condemned "all use of chemical weapons," but suggested the blame for the attack lay with "terrorist groups" rather than the Syrian government.[131]

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: "There are continuing questions ... about who is responsible for these horrible attacks against civilians, and that's why I'm impressing on the UN Security Council to pass a strong resolution that allows the international community to determine first of all who was responsible for these attacks and how we will move forward."[132] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community "to fulfill its obligation from 2013 to fully and finally remove these horrible weapons from Syria".[133] Other countries who condemned the chemical attack include the Czech Republic,[134] Italy,[135] Pakistan,[136] Saudi Arabia,[137] Switzerland,[138] United Kingdom,[117] and the Vatican City.[139]

The Iraqi government condemned the chemical attack and called for an "initiative aimed at punishing those responsible". The next day, Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr also condemned the attacks and called for President Assad to step down.[140] Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said if al-Assad was found to be behind the attack, as the United States believe, it represented "a shocking war crime."[141] Other countries who accused Assad for responsibility include Qatar[142] and Turkey.[143][144]

Other views

Former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Hans Blix, described the US retaliation as "measured" and specific,[145] but later criticized the rapid American military response.[146] He initially raised concern that the responsibility of the Syrian government was not yet proven,[145] but stated on April 11, 2017, "On balance it seems probable that the attack with gas was undertaken by the Syrian government air force," adding that "the factual circumstances known so far do not point to the rebels as arranging the gas action".[146]

Other people who have expressed skepticism of the Syrian government being responsible for the attack include former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter,[23][147] MIT professor emeritus Theodore Postol,[148] former UK ambassador to Syria and director of the British Syrian Society Peter Ford,[149][150] investigative Israeli journalist Uri Avneri,[151] and investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.[152]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Francis, Ellen (4 April 2017). "Scores reported killed in gas attack on Syrian rebel area". Beirut. Reuters. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Stephanie Nebehay (6 September 2017). "Syrian government forces used chemical weapons more than two dozen times: U.N.". Reuters. 
  3. ^ a b c "Idlib town reels following major chemical attack: ‘No rebel positions, just people’". Syria:direct. 5 April 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Syria conflict: 'Chemical attack' in Idlib kills dozens". BBC. 4 April 2017. 
  5. ^ SOHRkhan (14 February 2017). "اشتباكات هيئة تحرير الشام وتنظيم جند الأقصى تخلف نحو 70 قتيل بين الطرفين… والأخير يخسر 9 بلدات وقرى خلال الـ 48 ساعة الفائتة". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  6. ^ Charkatli, Izat (23 February 2017). "Over 2,000 radical rebels defect to ISIS following intra-rebel deal". 
  7. ^ "Search for the dead begins in Idlib after Islamic State-linked brigade leaves for Raqqa". Syria Direct. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  8. ^ Chris Tomson (16 February 2017). "Jund al-Aqsa completely besieged by rival rebel factions around two towns in Idlib". al-Masdar News. 
  9. ^ "Tahrir al-Sham: Al-Qaeda's latest incarnation in Syria". BBC News. 28 February 2017
  10. ^ "Death toll rises in Syria 'gas attack'". Deutsche Welle. 4 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Witness of Syria chemical attack gives graphic account as death toll climbs". www.thenational.ae. 6 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017. The warplane dropped three conventional explosive bombs – and a fourth that made little sound on impact but produced a cloud of smoke. 
  12. ^ a b "Syria war: Sarin used in Khan Sheikhoun attack, OPCW says". BBC News. 2017-04-20. Retrieved 2017-04-20. 
  13. ^ "Syria 'toxic gas' attack kills 100 in Idlib province". Al-Arabiya & AFP. 4 April 2017. 
  14. ^ Theodore Schleifer and Dan Merica. "Trump: 'I now have responsibility' when it comes to Syria". CNN. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  15. ^ "Syria chemical 'attack': Russia faces fury at UN Security Council". BBC. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  16. ^ a b "US attack on Syria: world leaders react". The Irish Times. 12 April 2017. 
  17. ^ "An official source at Foreign Affairs Ministry expresses Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's strong support for US military operations on military targets in Syria". 12 April 2017. 
  18. ^ a b "Syria's Assad says chemical attack '100 percent fabrication'". Agence France Presse. 13 April 2017. 
  19. ^ a b c "'Chemical Weapons': The Pipedream Excuse Used in Syria by Two US Administrations". Sputnik News. 9 April 2017. 
  20. ^ a b "Putin Applies MH17 False-Flag Template To Syria's Gas Attack To Convince Russian Public". Forbes. 13 April 2017. 
  21. ^ a b "Syria war: US launches missile strikes following chemical 'attack'". BBC News. 7 April 2017. 
  22. ^ US strikes on Syrian base: what we know[permanent dead link] – AFP. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  23. ^ a b c Ritter, Scott (9 April 2017). "Wag The Dog — How Al Qaeda Played Donald Trump And The American Media". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 April 2017. No one disputes the fact that a Syrian air force SU-22 fighter-bomber conducted a bombing mission against a target in Khan Sheikhoun on the morning of April 4, 2017. The anti-regime activists in Khan Sheikhoun, however, have painted a narrative that has the Syrian air force dropping chemical bombs on a sleeping civilian population. 
  24. ^ Syria Used Chlorine in Bombs Against Civilians, Report Says. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  25. ^ "Third report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism". 24 August 2016. 
  26. ^ Martin Chulov and Kareem Shaheen (13 December 2016). "International concern over claims of chemical weapon attack in Syria". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  27. ^ "Syrian Observatory reports suspected gas attack in Islamic State area near Palmyra". Reuters. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  28. ^ "Breaking: Chemical Weapons Attack in Latamneh, Hama Injures 70". Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations. 30 March 2017. 
  29. ^ "Warplanes strike near Syria's Hama as army counter-attacks". Reuters. 30 March 2017. Speaking to Reuters from Turkey, Abdallah Darwish, head of the health authority for rebel-held parts of Hama province, said air strikes in the south of Latamneh on Thursday morning had injured many people. "The bombardment had a substance that caused intense irritation, heavy foaming from the mouth, and constricting pupils", said Darwish, citing his medical staff on the ground. A chemical attack hit the same area on Saturday, killing an orthopedic doctor, Darwish added. 
  30. ^ "Turkish NGO urges helping hand after chemical attack". Daily Sabah. 8 April 2017. 
  31. ^ "Syrian regime continues to use chlorine gas in Idlib". Anadolu Agency. 3 April 2017. Archived from the original on 4 April 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  32. ^ "Regime helicopters drop two Chlorine barrels on Hubait town in Idlib". Zaman Al Wasl. 4 April 2017. 
  33. ^ a b Meuse, Alison (5 April 2017). "The View From Khan Shaykhun: A Syrian Describes The Attack's Aftermath". NPR. Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  34. ^ a b "Dozens Dead in Syria Chemical Attack". The Wall Street Journal. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  35. ^ "Křik o pomoc, oběti zvracely, u pusy se jim tvořila pěna, popisuje chemický útok šéf Bílých přileb" (in English with Czech subtitles). Aktuálně.TV. 
  36. ^ a b c d e Barnard, Anne; Gordon, Michael R. (4 April 2017). "Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U.S. Blames Assad". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 April 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  37. ^ "Facts About Sarin". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  38. ^ "Turkish Health Minister: Tangible evidence of sarin gas found in Syria’s Idlib attack". Yeni Şafak. April 11, 2017. Retrieved April 20, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Theresa May: Syria 'highly likely' behind attack". BBC News. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  40. ^ "UK scientists confirm sarin use in Syria chemical attack". POLITICO. 2017-04-13. Retrieved 2017-04-15. 
  41. ^ Shaheen, Kareem (2017-04-06). "'The dead were wherever you looked': inside Syrian town after gas attack". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  42. ^ Garcia-Navarro, Lourdes (9 April 2017). "The View From The Site Of The Chemical Attack". NPR. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  43. ^ "OPCW Director-General Shares Incontrovertible Laboratory Results Concluding Exposure to Sarin". OPCW. 19 April 2017. 
  44. ^ "Donald Trump’s foreign policy looks more normal than promised". The Economist. 15 April 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  45. ^ Alexandra Bradford (5 April 2017). "The Aftermath of an Alleged Chemical Weapon Attack in Idlib". News Deeply. 
  46. ^ Médecins Sans Frontières (5 April 2017). "Syria: Khan Sheikhoun victims have symptoms consistent with exposure to chemical substances". Médecins Sans Frontières. 
  47. ^ "Death Toll in Suspected Syria Gas Attack Rises". The Wall Street Journal. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  48. ^ "U.N. Security Council Meets on Syrian Chemical Attack; Death Toll Over 100". The New York Times. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  49. ^ a b c Loveluck, Louisa; Zakaria, Zakaria (5 April 2017). "World Health Organization: Syria chemical attack likely involved nerve agent". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 April 2017. ...Tuesday’s assault was widely attributed to the Syrian government... 
  50. ^ a b "Banned Nerve Agent Sarin Used in Syria Chemical Attack, Turkey Says". The New York Times. 6 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017. 
  51. ^ Ward, Clarissa; Munayyer, Waffa; Abdelaziz, Salma; Sibbett, Fiona (9 May 2017). "Gasping for life: Syria's war on children". CNN. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  52. ^ "Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the alleged chemical attack in Idlib, Syria - Consilium". www.consilium.europa.eu. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  53. ^ "Kuwait, GCC states support US missile strike on Syrian base". Kuwait News Agency. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  54. ^ Loveluck, Louisa. "Deadly nerve agent used in Syria attack was likely sarin, Turkish health ministry says". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017-04-14. ...widely attributed to the Syrian government... 
  55. ^ Greenwood, Max (13 April 2017). "Assad: Chemical attacks '100 percent fabrication'". The Hill. Retrieved 15 April 2017. The U.S. launched a missile strike last week in response to the chemical attack, which Western powers have attributed to Assad's forces 
  56. ^ Hein, Matthias von (6 April 2017). "Is Assad to blame for the chemical weapons attack in Syria?". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 15 April 2017. Western statements place blame at the feet of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, an accusation Damascus and Moscow contest 
  57. ^ "Syria: New Evidence Shows Pattern of Nerve-Agent Use. Government Enters Realm of Crimes against Humanity". Human Rights Watch. 1 May 2017. 
  58. ^ Solvang, Ole (1 May 2017). "Death by Chemicals: The Syrian Government’s Widespread and Systematic Use of Chemical Weapons". Human Rights Watch. 
  59. ^ Dewan, Angela; Yan, Holly (5 April 2017). "Survivors of Syrian attack describe chemical bombs falling from sky". CNN. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  60. ^ a b "Syria chemical 'attack': What we know". BBC. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  61. ^ "Security Council weighs options over Syria attack". Al Jazeera. 8 April 2017. 
  62. ^ OPCW (29 June 2017). "Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria regarding an alleged incident in Khan Shaykhun, Syrian Arab Republic April 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 12 July 2017. 
  63. ^ "Media Brief: Reported Use of Chemical Weapons, Southern Idlib, Syria, 4 April 2017". OPCW. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  64. ^ a b Matthew Chance; Angela Dewan (7 April 2017). "Russia challenges Trump to say what he would do about Syria". CNN. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  65. ^ "UN watchdog says sarin used in Khan Sheikhoun attack". Al Jazeera. 30 June 2017. 
  66. ^ "55th Special Session of OPCW Executive Council - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. 
  67. ^ Smith, Jerry (6 April 2017). "If Assad has been hiding chemical weapons, we need to know". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2017. Two scenarios have emerged on the source of the gassing. Opposition groups claim that the area was subject to a chemical attack from the air. The US and its allies broadly support this assertion, laying the blame on the Assad regime. However, the Syrian government and Russia insist that the agent came from an opposition weapons’ storage dump. 
  68. ^ "Syria gas attack: Children among 58 reported killed in Idlib". Middle East Eye. 4 April 2017. On Tuesday, an unnamed official told the Reuters news agency that the government "does not and has not" used chemical weapons, "not in the past and not in the future". 
  69. ^ Leith Fadel (4 April 2017). "Details of Syrian military attack on southern Idlib town". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  70. ^ Francis, Ellen (4 April 2017). "Scores reported killed in gas attack on Syrian rebel area". Beirut. Reuters. 
  71. ^ "Russia says Syria gas incident caused by rebels' own chemical arsenal". Iraqi News. Reuters. 5 April 2017. 
  72. ^ "'Were the children dead at all?' Assad says Syria chemical attack '100 per cent fabrication'". The Telegraph. 13 April 2017. 
  73. ^ Worrall, Patrick. "FactCheck: Assad’s implausible claims about chemical weapons". Channel 4 News. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  74. ^ "'Did Not' Use Chemical Weapons: Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallen". NDTV. Retrieved 6 April 2017. 
  75. ^ "55th Special Session of OPCW Executive Council - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-06. 
  76. ^ "Chemical attack in Idlib draws international condemnationw". TRT World. 4 April 2017. 
  77. ^ a b Kerner, Felix; Scott, Eugene (8 April 2017). "Tillerson, Russia's foreign minister discuss Syria strike". CNN. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  78. ^ "West Keeps Pressure On Russia Over Suspected Syria Chemical Attack". Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty. 6 April 2017.
  79. ^ "Vladimir Putin Says the UN Should Investigate the Syria Chemical Weapons Attack". TIME. 11 April 2017. 
  80. ^ "Putin says chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Idlib could be a provocation". TASS. 12 April 2017. 
  81. ^ "Idlib ‘chemical attack’ was false flag to set Assad up, more may come – Putin". Forbes. 14 April 2017. 
  82. ^ "Russia Says Evidence Growing Syria Chemical Attack Was Staged". Bloomberg. 14 April 2017. 
  83. ^ "Russia: Syrian chemical weapons attack could be 'staged'". The Hill. 14 April 2017. 
  84. ^ Poutine au Figaro : «Je suis d'accord» avec la «ligne rouge» de Macron Le Figaro, 30 may 2017.
  85. ^ "Путин назвал провокацией заявления о применении химоружия сирийской армией". 30 May 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  86. ^ "An 'infantile argument': Experts pour cold water on Russia's 'fanciful' explanation for Syrian gas attack". Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  87. ^ Staff, AOL. "'An infantile argument': Experts shut down Russia's 'fanciful' explanation of Syrian chemical attack". Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  88. ^ "Россия признала факт применения химического оружия в Сирии". The Insider (in Russian). 2017-07-05. Retrieved 2017-07-06. 
  89. ^ Karl, Jonathan; Mallin, Alexander (7 April 2017). "Tillerson: Russia 'complicit' or 'incompetent' with Syria". ABC News. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  90. ^ Rossoll, Nicki (9 April 2017). "Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: 'No change' to US military position on Syria after strike". ABC News. Retrieved 8 April 2017. 
  91. ^ a b Dewan, Angela (9 April 2017). "US envoy Nikki Haley says Syria regime change is 'inevitable'". CNN. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  92. ^ Greenwood, Max (9 April 2017). "Tillerson: Defeating ISIS 'first priority' in Syria". The Hill. Retrieved 8 April 2017. 
  93. ^ "Statement from President Donald J. Trump". The White House. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  94. ^ "Remarks by President Trump and His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan in Joint Press Conference". The White House. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  95. ^ a b c Alexander Smith, Syria Gas Attack Reportedly Kills Dozens in Idlib Province, NBC News (4 April 2017).
  96. ^ Andrew Rafferty & Stacey Klein, Trump Pins Blame for Syrian Attack on Obama Administration, NBC News (4 April 2017).
  97. ^ Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria (press release), United States Department of State (4 April 2017).
  98. ^ Sengupta, Somini; Rick, Gladstone (5 April 2017). "Nikki Haley Says U.S. May 'Take Our Own Action' on Syrian Chemical Attack". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  99. ^ "U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley warns U.S. "prepared to do more" after Syria strike". CBS News. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  100. ^ "Trump's Morphed From Spy Agency Critic to Fan, CIA's Pompeo Says". Bloomberg. 14 April 2017. 
  101. ^ "Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff Responds To Syria Airstrikes". NPR.org. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  102. ^ News, A. B. C. (9 April 2017). "Schiff says Russia is absolutely 'complicit' in Syrian chemical attack". ABC News. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  103. ^ Manduley, Christina (2017-04-08). "Rep. Tulsi Gabbard 'skeptical' that Assad regime behind gas attack". CNN. 
  104. ^ Mueller, Eleanor (2017-04-05). "Congressman: 'I don't think' Assad is behind Syria attack". CNN. 
  105. ^ "Ron Paul: Are we far from World War III?". Tulsa World. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  106. ^ Lamothe, Dan; Ryan, Missy; Gibbons-Neff, Thomas (6 April 2017). "U.S. strikes Syrian military airfield in first direct assault on Bashar al-Assad's government". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings LLC. Archived from the original on 7 April 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  107. ^ ABC News staff (7 April 2017). "US warships launch cruise missile strike against Syrian airfield in retaliation for chemical attack". ABC News Australia. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 7 April 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  108. ^ Fabian, Jordan; Lane, Sylvan (April 24, 2017). "US sanctions Syria for chemical weapons attack". The Hill. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  109. ^ "US imposes new sanctions on Syrian officials over chemical attack". Deutsche Welle. April 24, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  110. ^ Syria: UN chief 'deeply disturbed' by reports of alleged chemical attack; OPCW investigating, UN News Centre (4 April 2016).
  111. ^ "Assad regime responsible for 'awful' Syria 'chemical' attack: EU’s Mogherini". Al Arabiya. 4 April 2017. 
  112. ^ OPCW Press Release on Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use in Southern Idlib, Syria, 4 April 2017.
  113. ^ [Note verbale of the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW NV/ODG/209302/17 dated 5 April 2017
  114. ^ a b Dewan, Angela, Kareem Khadder and Holly Yan (5 April 2017). "Survivors of Syrian attack describe chemical bombs falling from sky". CNN. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  115. ^ France wants U.N. Security Council meeting after suspected Syria chemical attack, Reuters (4 April 2017).
  116. ^ Associated Press, France Seeks Emergency UN Meeting After Suspected Chemical Attack in Syria, Reuters (4 April 2017).
  117. ^ a b Syria chemical attack: UK, France, US demand action, Agence France-Presse (5 April 2017).
  118. ^ Michelle Nichols, U.N. council to meet Wednesday on suspected Syria toxic gas attack, Reuters (4 April 2017).
  119. ^ Roth, Richard (11 April 2017). "Inside the tense closed-door UN Security Council deliberations on Syria". CNN. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  120. ^ Euan McKirdy, 8 times Russia blocked a UN Security Council resolution on Syria, CNN (April 13, 2017).
  121. ^ Somini Sengupta, Russia Vetoes U.N. Resolution Condemning Syria Chemical Attack, New York Times (April 12, 2017).
  122. ^ "Chemical weapons watchdogs rejects Russia’s bid for new Syria attack probe | The National". Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  123. ^ "Russia attempts to block the investigation into the chemical attack in Syria". 2017-04-26. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  124. ^ "UK is blocking independent international investigation into Khan Sheikhoun incident (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)". Посольство России в Великобритании. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  125. ^ a b "Damas est responsable de l'attaque chimique, selon l'enquête française". Le Figaro. April 26, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017. 
  126. ^ Masri, Lena (April 26, 2017). "French intelligence says Syria behind deadly sarin gas attack". ABC13. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  127. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn says US air strikes in Syria 'wrong'". BBC. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  128. ^ "Egypt strongly condemns 'indiscriminate bombardment' in Syria's Idlib". Ahram Online. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  129. ^ "Iran's Rouhani wants chemical attack in Syria investigated". Reuters. 2017-04-08. Retrieved 2017-04-18. 
  130. ^ "PressTV-US strikes on Syria, dangerous precedent: Zarif". Retrieved 2017-04-18. 
  131. ^ "Iran condemns use of chemical weapons in Syria". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 2017-04-18. 
  132. ^ Greenwald, Glenn (7 April 2017). "The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria". The Intercept. 
  133. ^ "Israel condemns Syria chemical attack, calls it a 'stain' on humanity". The Indian Express. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  134. ^ "PM Sobotka condemns chemicals attack in Syria". Praguemonitor.com. 6 April 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  135. ^ "Syrian chemical attack crime against humanity, says Italy". Business Standard. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  136. ^ "FO condemns use of chemical weapons in Syria, urges for peaceful resolution of conflict". Dawn. Pakistan. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  137. ^ "Saudi condemns chemical attack in Syria". Al-Arabiya. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  138. ^ "Switzerland calls for truth behind Syria chemical attack". Swiss Info. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  139. ^ "'Unacceptable carnage' Furious Pope Francis condemns Syria chemical attack". Daily Express. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  140. ^ "Iraq's Shiite cleric Sadr urges Assad to step down". AFP. 8 April 2017. 
  141. ^ McIlroy, Tom (5 April 2017). "'A shocking war crime': Malcolm Turnbull condemns chemical weapons deaths in Syria". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 April 2017. 
  142. ^ Khatri, Shabina S. (5 April 2017). "'Shame on humanity's silence' – Qatar condemns gas attack in Syria". Doha News. Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  143. ^ "No Syrians will be left to decide Assad's fate if attacks continue, FM Çavuşoğlu says". Daily Sabah. 4 April 2017. 
  144. ^ "Turkey condemns Syria's gas attack, urges Russia over Astana process". Hürriyet Daily News. Ankara. 4 April 2017. 
  145. ^ a b Schultz, Teri (2017-04-07). "EU urges diplomacy in Syria as ex-weapons inspector says US acted without proof". Deutsche Welle. 
  146. ^ a b Blix, Hans (April 11, 2017). "Hans Blix: Trump's Missile Attack Motivated By Domestic Politics". www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk. Oxford Research Group. Retrieved 27 April 2017.  First published in Utrikes Magasinet.
  147. ^ Ritter, Scott (2017-06-29). "Ex-Weapons Inspector: Trump’s Sarin Claims Built on ‘Lie’". The American Conservative. 
  148. ^ Haddad, Tareq (2017-04-17). "MIT expert claims latest chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 2017-05-05. 
  149. ^ BBC News (2017-04-07), "Trump has just given jihadis a thousand reasons to stage fake flag operations" BBC News, retrieved 2017-05-05 
  150. ^ "Ex-UK ambassador to Syria: 'No proof' of chemical attack, Today - BBC Radio 4". BBC. Retrieved 2017-05-05. 
  151. ^ The 'bizarre case' of Bashar al-Assad and nerve gas |Vatican - Asianews|access-date=2017-07-09
  152. ^ "Syria: Trump‘s Red Line - WELT". DIE WELT. Retrieved 2017-07-21.