CHINA TOPIX

Updated 4:59 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 11, 2019

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United States Alarmed By Chlorine Attacks In Northern Syria

Chlorine Attacks

(Photo : Reuters / Bassam Khabieh) A man holds the body of a dead child among bodies of people activists say were killed by nerve gas in the Ghouta region, in the Duma neighborhood of Damascus August 21, 2013.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that America is alarmed by the recent findings by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) regarding the repeated chlorine attacks found in Northern Syria last week.

Reports said that the chemical attacks against civilians could continue, but this time, Kerry said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will be held accountable if they are proven guilty.

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The OPCW has not named anyone responsible for the last week's attacks, but Kerry said there were witnesses that can prove government helicopters were used. The rebels cannot be blamed because reports show they do not have access to helicopters to execute such attacks.

Earlier this month, OPCW reported that the toxic chlorine chemical was systematically and repeatedly used in the villages of Northern Syria. OPCW counter-checked the attacks by interviewing victims, witnesses and physicians.

However, reports from Damascus said the government has have already turned over all its chemical weapons and has actively cooperated with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

But Kerry thinks otherwise. The secretary of state said that because of the latest findings, Assad might be using chemical weapons, which is a blatant violation of the convention that prohibits the use chemical weapons.

The United Kingdom is also pressuring Assad regarding the possible chemical weapons violations.

Hamish de Bretton- Gordon, COO of SecureBio, an organization that monitors chemicals and toxic waste, said in a statement that steps must already be taken to stop the attacks now, since there were alreayd reported multiple incidents.

Meanwhile, the Syrian rebels are now being trained by the United States as the bill has already been passed last Thursday that the U.S. will be spending US$500 million to train and arms these rebels.

The training and the arming of the Syrian extremists are said to be a key point in defeating and dismantling the Islamic State militants.

The latest chlorine gas attack is not new. Reports of previous attacks go as way back as April for which the government and rebels blame each other.

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