Use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War
The use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War has been confirmed by the United Nations. Deadly attacks during the war included 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, the Syrian Ba'athist military was seen as the main suspect, due to a large arsenal of such weapons. A U.N. fact-finding mission and a UNHRC Commission of Inquiry have simultaneously investigated the attacks. The U.N. mission found the likely use of the nerve agent sarin in the case of Khan al-Assal (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 that the sarin used in the Khan al-Asal attack bore "the same unique hallmarks" as the sarin used in the Ghouta attack and indicated that 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, mainly blamed on Syrian Ba'athist forces, as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and on Syrian opposition forces and Turkish Armed Forces. There have been a number of evidence gathering processes developed at the international level
In August 2016, a report by the United Nations and the OPCW explicitly blamed the Syrian military of Bashar al-Assad for dropping chemical weapons (chlorine bombs) on the towns of Talmenes in April 2014 and Sarmin in March 2015 and ISIS for using sulfur mustard on the town of Marea in August 2015. Several other attacks have been alleged, reported and/or investigated.
In December 2016, at least 53 people were killed in an apparent nerve gas attack in IS-held villages near Uqairabat, marking the first major nerve gas attack since the 2013 accord. The Khan Shaykhun chemical attack on 4 April 2017 drew international condemnation and resulted in U.S. military action against the Syrian government-controlled airbase at Shayrat. The Douma chemical attack on 7 April 2018 also drew a military response from the United States, United Kingdom and France. In June 2018 the OPCW FFM confirmed sarin use in Latamenah while investigating 25 March 2017 chlorine attack. Hexamine was detected with samples, along with HFP, which the OPCW-UN JIM has previously described as being one of the key indicators that the sarin used in Khan Sheikhoun came from the Syrian governments sarin process.
- 1 Background
- 2 Incidents
- 3 Investigations
- 4 Other allegations
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 External Links
- 8 References
At the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011 concerns were raised about both the security of Syria's chemical weapon sites and about the potential use of chemical weapons. In July 2012, Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi stated: "No chemical or biological weapons will ever be used... All of these types of weapons are in storage and under security and the direct supervision of the Syrian armed forces and will never be used unless Syria is exposed to external aggression."
A Syrian defector who worked inside the chemical weapons network alleged that in January 2012 two senior Syrian officers moved about 100 kg. of chemical weapons materials from a secret military base in Nasiriyah. The Syrian source also described construction of special trucks, which could transport and mix the weapons. These mobile mixers were constructed inside Mercedes or Volvo trucks that were similar to refrigerator trucks. Inside were storage tanks, pipes and a motor to drive the mixing machinery, the defector said.
On 20 August 2012, President Barack Obama used the phrase "red line" in reference to the use of chemical weapons. Specifically, Obama said: "We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation." 
In September 2012, the Syrian military began moving chemical weapons from Damascus to the port city of Tartus. That same month, it was reported that the military had restarted testing of chemical weapons at a base on the outskirts of Aleppo. On 28 September, 2012, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said that the Syrian government had moved its chemical weapons in order to secure them from approaching opposition forces. It emerged that the Russian government had helped set up communications between the United States and Syria regarding the status of Syria's chemical weapons. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Syria had given the United States "explanations" and "assurances" that it was taking care of the weapons. On 8 December, it was reported that members of the jihadist Al-Nusra Front had recently captured a Saudi-owned toxic chemicals plant outside of Aleppo. On 22 December 2012, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Syria had consolidated chemical weapons into one or two places to prevent rebels capturing them, and that recent moves that had alarmed Western governments were part of this consolidation. Brigadier General Mustafa al-Sheikh, a Syrian army defector, confirmed that most of the chemical weapons have been transported to Alawite areas in Latakia and near the coast. Some chemical munitions remain in bases around Damascus. In December 2012 McClatchy reported various chemical weapons experts' skepticism that Syria was preparing to use chemical weapons, noting their "limited utility" in a civil war situation with fluid battlelines, and Syria's comments that such use would be "suicide" in view of US threats of retaliation.
On 6 September 2013 a bill was filed in the US Congress to authorize the use of military force against the Syrian military, mainly in response to the use of sarin in the Ghouta attack on 21 August 2013. On 9 September 2013, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the air strikes could be averted if Syria turned over "every single bit" of its chemical weapons stockpiles. Hours after Kerry's statement, the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov announced that Russia had suggested to Syria that it relinquish its chemical weapons. The Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem immediately welcomed the proposal.
In September 2013 the Syrian government entered into several international agreements for the destruction of its chemical weapons that stipulated an initial destruction deadline of 30 June 2014, a deadline apparently achieved in respect of declared chemical weapons. Prior to September 2013 the Syrian government had not publicly admitted to possessing chemical weapons, although Western intelligence services believed it to hold one of the world's largest stockpiles.
On 17 August 2017, Reuters published a report detailing the extent of Syria’s failure to abandon chemical weapons, citing information from investigators, inspectors and diplomatic sources. According to a source cited in the report, "There are certainly some gaps, uncertainties, discrepancies" regarding Syria's chemical weapons arsenal. For example, the Syrian government inaccurately or even falsely declared the types, purposes and quantities of chemicals in its possession, and is suspected of continuing to hold at least 2,000 chemical bomb shells that should have been converted to conventional weapons.
Reported chemical weapons attacks
The table below lists the reported attacks and the main points. See the main articles for details.[N 1]
|Date||Location||Governorate||Impact points||Civilian victims||Soldier/militias victims||CW-agent||Main article||Notes|
|Time of day||Coordinates||Controlled by||Deaths||Non-fatal||Deaths||Non-fatal||Unit|
|17 October 2012||Salqin||Idlib||Reported by the Government of France.(p4)[N 2]|
|23 December 2012||Al-Bayadah||Homs||Free Syrian Army||5||App. 100||Most likely Agent 15||Reported by the Government of France, UK and Qatar,(p3) and also Haaretz and Foreign Policy.[N 2]|
|13 March 2013||Darayya||Rif Dimashq||Reported by the Government of UK and Qatar.(p4)[N 2]|
|14 March 2013||Otaybah||Rif Dimashq||Reported by Le Monde.|
|19 March 2013||Khan al-Asal||Aleppo||Early morning||Syrian Army||19||107||1||17||Syrian Army||Sarin||Khan al-Assal chemical attack||Reported by the Governments of Syria, Russia, France, UK and US. Confirmed by the U.N.|
|19 March 2013||Otaybah||Rif Dimashq||Reported by the Governments of France and UK.(p6)[N 2]|
|24 March 2013||Adra||Rif Dimashq||Reported by the Government of UK.(p4)[N 2]|
|11 April 2013||Jobar||Damascus||Jobar chemical attacks||Reported by Le Monde.|
|12 April 2013||Jobar||Damascus||Jobar chemical attacks||Reported by Le Monde.[N 2]|
|13 April 2013||Sheikh Maqsood||Aleppo||Kurdish forces||3||more than a dozen||Reported by the Government of US.(p4)[N 2]|
|13 April 2013||Jobar||Damascus||Jobar chemical attacks||Reported by the Government of France.(p5)[N 2]|
|14 April 2013||Jobar||Damascus||Jobar chemical attacks||Reported by the Government of France.(p5)[N 2]|
|25 April 2013||Darayya||Rif Dimashq||Reported by the Government of UK.(p4)[N 2]|
|29 April 2013||Saraqib||Idlib||A:
|Free Syrian Army||1||10||2||Free Syrian Army||Sarin/Tear gas||Saraqib chemical attack||Reported by the Governments of UK and France.(p4) Allegedly some of the hand grenade–type munitions contained tear gas, whereas other grenades were filled with sarin. Ref. U.N. A French report of 2017 said hexamine was present in the Sarin used in Saraqib, linking it to Syrian regime later attacks in Ghouta and Khan Shakoun. The sarin present in the munitions used on 4April wasproduced using the same manufacturing process as that used during the sarin attack perpetrated by the Syrian regime in Saraqib. Moreover, the presence of hexamine indicates that this manufacturing process is that developed by the Scientific Studies and Research Centre for the Syrian regime.|
|14 May 2013||Qasr Abu Samrah||Hama||Reported by the Governments of US.(p5)[N 2]|
|23 May 2013||Adra||Rif Dimashq||Reported by the Governments of US.(p5)[N 2]|
|5 August 2013||Adra||Rif Dimashq||Ref. Human Rights Watch.|
|21 August 2013||Zamalka/Ein Tarma||Rif Dimashq||Between 02:00 and 03:00||Ein Tarma:
|734||Sarin||Ghouta chemical attack||Reported by multiple U.N. Member States.|
|21 August 2013||Muadamiyat al-Sham||Rif Dimashq||App. 05:00||Four 140mm rockets impacted next to the Rawda Mosque (). Three 140mm rockets impacted app. 500 meters to the east of the Rawda Mosque ( ).||103||Sarin||Ghouta chemical attack||Reported by multiple U.N. Member States.(p5)|
|22 August 2013||Al-Bahariyah||Rif Dimashq||App. 17:00||Syrian Army||16||Syrian Army||Reported by the Government of Syria.(p5) The U.N. mission investigated the attack, but did not find reliable information to support the allegation that a CW-agent were used.|
|24 August 2013||Jobar||Damascus||App. 11:00||Syrian Army||24||Syrian Army||Sarin||Jobar sarin attack||Ref. U.N.|
|25 August 2013||Ashrafiyat Sahnaya||Rif Dimashq||App. 20:00||Syrian Army||5||Syrian Army||Sarin||Ashrafiyat Sahnaya chemical attack||Ref. U.N.|
|10 April 2014||Kafr Zita||Hama||Midnight, night to 11 April||Syrian opposition||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW.|
|11 April 2014||Kafr Zita||Hama||18:00 – 19:00 hrs||A:
|Syrian opposition||2||107 affected, 5 seriously (12 patients)||Chlorine||2014 Kafr Zita chemical attack||Ref.OPCW, UNHRC, HRW, SOHR, VDC and SANA.|
|11 April 2014||Harasta||Rif Dimashq||Ref.|
|12 April 2014||Kafr Zita||Hama||21:00 – 22:00||Syrian opposition||5 patients||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW and UNHRC.|
|12 April 2014||Al-Tamanah||Idlib||22:45||Residential house, 100 m from Western school||Syrian opposition||–||25||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW and UNHRC.|
|13 April 2014||Al-Tamanah||Idlib||App. 22:30||Syrian opposition||–||112 affected||Chlorine||Ref. Human Rights Watch|
|14 April 2014||Halfaya||Hama||23:00||4 patients||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW.|
|16 April 2014||Harasta||Rif Dimashq||Ref. The Times of Israel.|
|16 April 2014||Kafr Zita||Hama||22:00||Al-Zowar region||Syrian opposition||4 patients||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW and UNHRC.|
|18 April 2014||Al-Tamanah||Idlib||App. 22:00||Residential house, 150 m from medical unit||Syrian opposition||4||70||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW, UNHRC and HRW.|
|18 April 2014||Kafr Zita||Hama||22:30||Syrian opposition||App. 100 affected (35 patients)||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW, UNHRC and HRW.|
|21 April 2014||Talmenes||Idlib||Around 10:30 to 10:45.||Two “barrel bombs” struck two houses 100 m from each other, in the neighbourhood around the big mosque ().||Syrian opposition||3||App. 133 (4 severely)||Chlorine||Talmenes chemical attack||Ref. OPCW, UNHRC and Human Rights Watch. According OPCW investigation the attack was conducted by Syrian Armed Forces helicopter.|
|22 April 2014||Darayya||Rif Dimashq||Ref. The Daily Star.|
|29 April 2014||Al-Tamanah||Idlib||Night to 30 April||Residential house, 20 m from northern school||Syrian opposition||–||35||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW and UNHRC.|
|19 May 2014||Kafr Zita||Hama||20:00||Syrian opposition||1||130 affected (2 patients)||Chlorine||Ref. Al Arabiya.|
|21 May 2014||Al-Tamanah||Idlib||Chlorine||Ref. International Business Times.|
|21 May 2014||Kafr Zita||Hama||20:00||Syrian opposition||4 patients||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW|
|22 May 2014||Al-Tamanah||Idlib||10:00–11:00||Residential house||Syrian opposition||4||12||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW.|
|22 May 2014||Kafr Zita||Hama||20:00||Syrian opposition||dozens (38 patients)||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW and CNN.|
|25 May 2014||Al-Tamanah||Idlib||Night to 26 May||Residential house, 50 m from main road||Syrian opposition||–||–||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW.|
|29 May 2014||Al-Lataminah||Hama||Night||17 patients||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW.|
|12 July 2014||Avdiko||Aleppo||Kurdish forces||3||Kurdish forces||Most likely Mustard gas||Ref. The Huffington Post and the MERIA Journal.|
|27 July 2014||Kafr Zita||Hama||19:00||Syrian opposition||–||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW.|
|21 August 2014||Jobar||Damascus||6||Ref. ARA News.|
|28 August 2014||Kafr Zita||Hama||21:30 – 22:00||Syrian opposition||–||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW and Channel News Asia.|
|30 August 2014||Kafr Zita||Hama||Syrian opposition||Chlorine||Ref. OPCW.|
|15 February 2015||Darayya||Rif Dimashq||Around noon||
50 to 100 m northwest of the Shrine of Sukayna
|Syrian Army||4||Syrian Army||Possibly sarin||Five to eight government soldiers were allegedly exposed to sarin or a sarin-like substance. Ref.|
|21 February 2015||Hayan||Aleppo||Syrian opposition||Noxious gas||Ref. civil defence team.|
|9 March 2015||Mzeireb||Daraa||Syrian opposition||Chlorine||Ref. anti-regime activists.|
|16 March 2015||Qmenas||Idlib||Around 20:30 – 20:45||Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa||–||70 affected, 1 seriously||Most likely Chlorine||20 of the victims were from the western neighborhood of Sarmin. The wind allegedly carried the gas from Qmenas to Sarmin. Ref. MESOP.|
|16 March 2015||Sarmin||Idlib||Around 22:30 – 22:45||Two barrel bombs were allegedly dropped by a helicopter into the southeastern neighborhood of Sarmin (Kournesh).||Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa||6||30 affected, ranged between moderate and severe.||Most likely Chlorine||Sarmin chemical attack||Ref. LCC and SOHR. According OPCW investigation the attack was conducted by Syrian Armed Forces helicopter.|
|23 March 2015||Binnish||Idlib||About 19:30||Two barrel bombs filled with chlorine gas were dropped on Binnish.||Syrian opposition||–||At least 30 affected||Chlorine||Ref. The Times.|
|24 March 2015||Qmenas||Idlib||Chlorine||Ref. activists.|
|24 March 2015||Binnish||Idlib||Early evening||–||30 wounded||Chlorine||Ref. activists.|
|28 June 2015||Tell Brak||Al-Hasakah||17 projectiles impacted south of the village.||Kurdish forces||12||Kurdish forces||Mustard gas||Ref. CAR.|
|28 June 2015||Al-Hasakah||Al-Hasakah||7 projectiles impacted in the al-Salehiyah neighborhood.||Kurdish forces||Kurdish forces||Mustard gas||Ref. CAR.|
|21 August 2015||Mare'||Aleppo||About 19:30||Islamic Front||1 (a baby)||Around 30||Mustard gas||At least 50 mortar and artillery shells were fired at residential areas. At least half of them contained poisonous gas. Ref. According OPCW investigation the attack was conducted by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.|
|7 April 2016||Sheikh Maqsood||Aleppo||People's Protection Units||23||100+||Unknown||A district of Aleppo in Syria controlled by Kurdish fighters have been the target of a chemical attack by Islamic terrorists. Videos show a yellow gas rises above the Sheikh Maksoud neighborhood.|
|1 August 2016||Saraqib||Idlib||app. 11:00||Syrian opposition||?||28 injured||None||None||-||cholorine||Reported by Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic|
|15 June 2016||Eastern Ghouta||Damascus||Syrian Army||None||Several||Syrian Army||Unknown||Reported by Syrian Army.[unreliable source?]|
|25 August 2016||Dandaniya||Aleppo||Around 17:00||Syrian Democratic Forces||Dozens||Unknown||Reported by local sources.</ref>|
|8 October 2016||Sheikh Maqsood||Aleppo||Early morning||People's Protection Units||3||4+||Unknown||Unknown||People's Protection Units||Noxious gas||Local sources reported an attack by elephant rockets loaded with chemical substances.|
|25 November 2016||Sheikh Maqsood||Aleppo||16:35||People's Protection Units||3 patients||Unknown||Unknown||People's Protection Units||Unknown||The Kurdish Red Crescent reported taking 3 patients with chemical wounds after the area was hit by shells suspected to be loaded with poisonous chemicals.|
|8 January 2017||Wadi Barada||Damascus||?||Syrian opposition||?||at least 6 injured||?||?||-||Chlorine||Reported by Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic]]|
|25 March 2017||Al-Lataminah||Sarin Chlorine |
|30 March 2017||Al-Lataminah||Hama||70+||Syrian warplanes dropping Sarin ||Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations report|
|3 April 2017||Hbit||Idlib||"evening hours"||2 children||App. 20 affected.||Chlorine||According to local activists.|
|4 April 2017||Khan Shaykhun||Idlib||06:30||58–100+||300–400+||Sarin||2017 Khan Shaykhun chemical attack||On 4 April 2017, the Syrian government bombed a city in the far-north of the rebel-held Syrian territory with what both witnesses and inspectors claim to have been aerosol dispersion munitions containing some form of an organophosphate nerve agent. It is considered the worst chemical attack in the country since 2015 and resulted in Trump implementing a strike against the air-base from which the bombers are believed to have launched. Syrian officials thoroughly denied the accusations and blamed rebel forces for the chemical release, claiming that one of the Syrian ballistic munitions unintentionally struck a factory which the regimes alleges was being used by rebel forces to manufacture chemical weapons which they intended to transport to Iran. In an emergency meeting of the UN, Russia implemented its veto power to prevent unified international retaliation against the regime in response to the re-escalation of the conflict and violating the CWC for the first time since the Syrian government formalized its accession to the treaty in 2015.|
|22 January 2018||East Ghouta||Damascus Governorate||21||Chlorine|
|5 February 2018||Saraqeb||Idlib||9||Chlorine||According to Syria Civil Defence medics.|
|16 February 2018||Aranda, Afrin||Aleppo Governorate||Syrian Democratic Forces||6||Chlorine||SOHR suspects this to be a chemical attack was launched by Turkish Armed Forces.|
|7 April 2018||Douma||Rif Dimashq||"at least 42"[N 3]||2018 Douma chemical attack|
The UN mission to investigate alleged use of chemical weapons
The United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic was a fact-finding mission to investigate possible use of chemical weapons in Syria. On 16 September 2013 the mission published a report with focus on the Ghouta attacks. On 12 December 2013, the UN mission delivered its final report.
The UNHRC commission of inquiry
The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic was set up by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on 22 March 2011 to investigate human rights violations during the Syrian civil war. In its report dated 12 February 2014 they confirmed the use of sarin in the case of Khan Al-Assal (19 March 2013), Saraqib (29 April 2013) and Al-Ghouta (21 August 2013). The UNHRC commission also found that the sarin used in the Khan al-Asal attack bore "the same unique hallmarks" as the sarin used in the Ghouta attack and indicated that the perpetrators likely had access to chemicals from the Syrian Army's stockpile. In none of the incidents, however, was the commission’s "evidentiary threshold" met in regards to identifying the perpetrators of the chemical attacks.
OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria
The OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria was established in October 2013. The Mission was tasked to oversee the elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons program. The first OPCW-UN team arrived in Damascus on 1 October 2013. The mission officially ended on 30 September 2014.
The Russian Khan al-Asal investigation
Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the UN, said that its Syrian ally had asked Russian experts to look into the Khan al-Assal attack. A Russian team investigated the Khan al-Asal incident on 19 March 2013. The Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin delivered a report with analysis of the samples taken at the site to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on 9 July 2013. Churkin said the chemical agent was carried by a "Bashair-3 unguided projectile", which was produced by the Basha'ir al-Nasr Brigade, a rebel group affiliated with the Free Syrian Army. However, following Churkin's announcement, Western governments said that they had yet to see any evidence that backs up the assertion that anyone besides the Assad regime had the ability to use chemical weapons. The Russian report was not released.
The OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria
On 29 April 2014, the Director General Ahmet Üzümcü of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced the creation of an OPCW mission to establish the facts surrounding allegations of the use of chlorine gas for hostile purposes in Syria. The Syrian Government has agreed to the mission.
On 27 May 2014, members of the mission were ambushed and briefly held by gunmen in rebel-held territory as it headed toward Kafr Zita to investigate the alleged chlorine gas attacks. According to the Associated Press, the OPCW said that the captive members of the mission were later "released after the intervention by Syria's main opposition group." The opposition Hama Media Centre said the attack on the convoy was carried out by President Bashar Assad's forces.
In early 2015 the mission disclosed previously undeclared traces of sarin and VX precursor compounds in a Syrian government military research site, the Scientific Studies and Research Centre, where use of those compounds had not been previously declared.
The UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism
On 7 August 2015, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 2235 (2015) to establish a joint investigation mechanism (JIM) to identify the perpetrators responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The resolution was drafted by the United States, and adopted by all 15 members of the Security Council. The JIM issued its first report on 12 February 2016. The second was released on 10 June 2016, while the third report was issued on 30 August 2016. The third report blamed the Syrian government for two gas attacks in 2015, and accused ISIS of using mustard gas. In October 2016 the leaked fourth report of task force determined that the Syria had conducted at least three gas attacks in 2015.
In January 2017, they declared that they had composed a list of those responsible for using chemical weapons in the war. The list, which has not been made public, is divided into three sections. The first, is titled "Inner-Circle President" and has six people, including Assad, his brother, the defense minister and the head of military intelligence. The second section names the air force chief and its four commanders, including the heads of the 22nd Air Force Division and the 63rd Helicopter Brigade. The last section titled "Other relevant Senior Mil Personnel" includes two colonels and major-generals. This they said indicates that the decision to use gas came from the very top.
On 26 October 2017, the JIM delivered the report (37 pages) to the UN.
Reuters reported in 2018 that, according to OPCW and diplomatic sources, an OPCW chemical marker analysis linked the destroyed stockpile samples to sarin samples from 21 August 2013 Ghouta attack and also to interviewees' samples from Khan Sheikhoun and Khan Al-Assal attack sites. These findings were not released because they were outside the OPCW's mandate.
In February 2012 a defector from the Syrian Arab Army, a lieutenant who worked in the chemical weapons department, told Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News that "BZ-CS, Chlorine Benzilate, which damages people’s nerves and makes them fade away, is being used in Bab Amr." He said that some Syrian soldiers had been supplied with gas masks for protection.
In December 2012, the Syrian government claimed that chemical plant SYSACCO 29 kilometers (18 mi) east of Aleppo was taken by rebel fighters from the Al-Nusra Front. The factory produces chlorine among other chemicals. On 5 November 2014, the Syrian UN-ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari, said "terrorist organizations stole about 200 tons of [chlorine gas] from" the factory.
On 30 May 2013, Turkish newspapers reported that Turkish security forces had arrested Al-Nusra Front fighters in the southern provinces of Mersin and Adana near the Syrian border and confiscated 2 kg of sarin gas. The Turkish Ambassador to Moscow later said that tests showed the chemical seized was not sarin, but anti-freeze. In September six of those arrested in May were charged with attempting to acquire chemicals which could be used to produce sarin; the indictment said that it was "possible to produce sarin gas by combining the materials in proper conditions."
On 1 June 2013, the Syrian Army reported that it seized two cylinders holding the nerve agent sarin in an area it said was controlled by opposition fighters. The Syrian government declared the two cylinders "as abandoned chemical weapons" and told the OPCW that "the items did not belong to" them. On 14 June 2014, the Joint OPCW-UN Mission confirmed that the cylinders contained sarin. On 7 July 2014, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon informed the U.N. Security Council about the findings.
In September 2015 a US official stated that ISIS was manufacturing and using mustard agent in Syria and Iraq, and had an active chemical weapons research team. In February 2016, the CIA Director John O. Brennan said on 60 Minutes that there were "a number of instances where ISIL has used chemical munitions on the battlefield".
On 8 April 2016, a spokesman for the Jaysh al-Islam rebel group said that “weapons not authorized for use in these types of confrontations” had been used against Kurdish militia and civilians in Aleppo (160 killed or wounded). He stated that “One of our commanders has unlawfully used a type of weapon that is not included in our list”. He did not specify what substances were used but, according to Kurdish Red Crescent, the symptoms were consistent with the use of "chlorine gas or other agents". Jaysh al-Islam subsequently clarified that it was referring to “modified Grad rockets,” not chemical weapons.
On 4 May 2017, the BBC reported that, according to a Western intelligence agency, Syria was violating the 2013 disarmament deal by producing chemical and biological munitions at Masyaf, Dummar, and Barzeh.
On 27 June 2017, US officials stated that the Syrian government was preparing at a Syrian base for what seemed another chemical attack. The Trump administration warned that if another attack occurred, President Assad would pay a heavy price. This threat comes as the intelligence community states that the activity is similar to the preparations leading to the attack in Khan Sheikhoun.
Around 16 February 2018, the SOHR and the U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG stated that Turkey was suspected of conducting a chemical gas attack in Afrin. Syrian state news agency SANA, citing a doctor in a Afrin hospital, stated the shelling caused choking in six people.
- List of Syrian Civil War barrel bomb attacks
- List of massacres during the Syrian Civil War
- Use of chemical weapons in the Iraqi Civil War
- All times given are given in Eastern European Time (EET), or UTC+02:00 unless otherwise stated.
- In their final report, the U.N. mission stated: "The United Nations Mission did not receive sufficient or credible information in respect of the alleged incidents in Salquin on 17 October 2012, Homs on 23 December 2012, Darayya on 13 March and 25 April 2013, Otaybah on 19 March 2013, Adra on 24 March and 23 May 2013, Jobar between 11 and 14 April 2013, and Qasr Abu Samrah on 14 May 2013."(p10)
- according to rescue workers
- "Third report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism". 24 August 2016.
- "Turkish army hit village in Syria's Afrin with suspected gas: Kurdish YPG, Observatory". Reuters. 16 February 2018.
- Syria Used Chlorine in Bombs Against Civilians, Report Says, New York Times, Rick Gladstone, 24 August 2016 retrieved 25 August 2016.
- Martin Chulov and Kareem Shaheen (13 December 2016). "International concern over claims of chemical weapon attack in Syria". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
- "Syrian Observatory reports suspected gas attack in Islamic State area near Palmyra". Reuters. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
- Black, Ian (24 July 2012). "Syria insists chemical weapons would only be used against outside forces". The Guardian.
- Ignatius, David (18 December 2012). "A defector's account of Syrian chemical weapons on the move". Washington Post. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
- Wordsworth, Dot (8 June 2013). "What, exactly, is a 'red line'?". The Spectator magazine. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Kessler, Glenn (2013-09-06). "Analysis | President Obama and the 'red line' on Syria's chemical weapons". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
- "Syria transferred chemical weapons to port city last month, raising alarm bells, report says". The Times of Israel. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- "Syria Tested Chemical Weapons Systems, Witnesses Say". Der Spiegel. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- "Syria 'moving chemical weapons to safety' – Panetta". BBC. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- Aneja, Atul (29 September 2012). "Russia helps U.S., Syria establish contact, Turkey in shock". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- "Syria warns 'terror groups' may use chemical arms". Ahram. AFP. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Syria's Chemical Weapons 'Safe for Now'". RIA Novosti. 22 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Steve Gutterman (24 December 2012). "Russia says Syria is acting to secure its chemical weapons". Reuters. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Syria 'secures chemical weapons stockpile' 23 Dec 2012". Aljazeera.com. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- "Israel vows Syria strike at any sign of chemical arms transfer January 28, 2013". Blogs.aljazeera.com. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- "Dismantling Syria chemical weapons arsenal would be tough task". reuters. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- mcclatchydc.com, 7 December 2012, Experts skeptical Syria is preparing to use its chemical arsenal
- Cox, Ramsey (6 September 2013). "Reid files resolution to authorize force against Syria". Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- Steve Gutterman; Alexei Anishchuk; Timothy Heritage (10 September 2013). "Putin, Obama discussed Syria arms control idea last week: Kremlin". Reuters. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- Julian Borger and Patrick Wintour (9 September 2013). "Russia calls on Syria to hand over chemical weapons". Guardian (UK). Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- "Syrian official: Chemical weapons deal a 'victory'". USA Today. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- "Last of Syria's chemical weapons shipped out". BBC News. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- "Syria's Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. 30 September 2013.
- Deutsch, Anthony. "How Syria continued to gas its people as the world looked on". Reuters. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- "United Nations Mission on Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic". United Nations. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2014. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "UN" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- Harel, Amos (24 December 2012). "Syrian rebels claim Assad regime uses chemical weapons 24 December 2012". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- Rogin, Josh (15 January 2013). "Secret State Department cable: Chemical weapons used in Syria". Foreign Policy The Cable. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- "Chemical warfare in Syria". Le Monde. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- Foreign Policy, syrian scientists made sarin used in chemical attacks
- "Attacks on Ghouta" (PDF). Human Rights Watch. 10 September 2013.
- "Human rights situations that require the Council's attention – Session 25". United Nations Human Rights Council. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- Sellström, Åke; Cairns, Scott; Barbeschi, Maurizio (16 September 2013). "Report of the United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic on the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Ghouta area of Damascus on 21 August 2013" (PDF). United Nations. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
- "THIRD REPORT OF THE OPCW FACT-FINDING MISSION IN SYRIA" (PDF). OPCW. 18 December 2014.
- "Human rights situations that require the Council's attention – Session 27". United Nations Human Rights Council. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
- "Syria: Strong Evidence Government Used Chemicals as a Weapon". Human Rights Watch. 13 May 2014.
- "Claims of new poison gas attack in Syria". BBC. 12 April 2014.
- "Gas attack alleged in Syria". CNN. 23 May 2014.
- "Syrian state TV, rebels trade allegations over poison gas attack". Haaretz. 12 April 2014.
- "Allegations of the Use of Internationally Prohibited Gases in Kafer Zeta". VDC. 14 April 2014.
- Kafr Zeita Poison Gas Claims, nbcnews.com.
- "Experts identify cases of Syria chemical attacks to probe". The Washington Post. AP. 12 February 2016. Archived from the original on 14 February 2016.
- Official: U.S. looking into reports of poison gas use, dailystar.com.lb.
- UN called on to investigate poisonous gas usage in Syria, worldbulletin.net.
- In footage, rebels claim new Assad chemical attack, timesofisrael.com
- Renewed chemical weapons claims mount against Syrian regime, dailystar.com.lb.
- Syrian activists report fresh poison gas attack, english.alarabiya.net.
- Hollande issues warning on chemical strikes, dailystar.com.lb.
- Syria War: Three More Chemical Attacks Reported As Russia, China Veto International Criminal Court Action, ibtimes.com.
- "U.S. Mishandling Of Iraq's Chemical Weapons Worse Than Previously Thought". The Huffington Post. 6 November 2014.
- "MERIA SPECIAL REPORT: DID ISIS USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST THE KURDS IN KOBANI?". The GLORIA Center of the IDC Herzliya university. 12 October 2014.
- al-Ali, Jawad (21 August 2014). "Syrian regime launchs [sic] chemical attack against Jobar in Damascus: opposition". ARA News.
- Syrian villagers recount terror of seeping yellow gas attacks Archived 12 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine., channelnewsasia.com.
- "Letter dated 27 January 2016 from the Secretary General addressed to the President of the Security Council". UN. 28 January 2016.
- Assad ‘dropping chemical barrel bombs’, thetimes.co.uk.
- Rebel groups seize land north of Aleppo, dailystar.com.lb.
- "Field report about the gas attack in Sarmin city & Qmenas village". MESOP. 16 March 2015.
- "Syria conflict: Government accused of chlorine attack". BBC. 17 March 2015.
- "Assad Regime Accused of Chlorine Gas Attacks". Newsweek. 17 March 2015.
- "Monitors say Assad regime launched gas attack on Syria town". Financial Times. 17 March 2015.
- "Dozens hurt in Assad chlorine attack". The Times. 26 March 2015.
- "Syria rebels storm Idlib city in three-pronged attack". The Daily Star. 25 March 2015.
- "Syrian rebels launch offensive on government-held city". San Antonio Express-News. Associated Press. 24 March 2015. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015.
- "Isis using chemical weapons against Kurds, say British investigators". Newsweek. 20 July 2015.
- "Islamic State used poison gas in northeast Syria -Kurds, monitor". Reuters. 17 July 2015.
- "ISIS Steps Up Use Of Chemicals In Iraq, Syria". Leadership. Al jazeera. 22 July 2015.
- "ISIL Used Chemical Weapons against Syria Kurds in Hasakeh". Al-Manar. AFP. 18 July 2015.
- "ISIS uses CHEMICAL weapons: Chilling development as monitoring group reveals pictures of chemical shells used against Kurdish forces". Daily Mail. AFP. 19 July 2015.
- "Testing Confirms ISIS Used Mustard Gas in Syria". Arutz Sheva. 16 August 2015.
- "ISIL suspected of using mustard gas in Syria's Aleppo". Yahoo! News. AlJazeera. 24 August 2015.
- "Islamic State accused of using mustard gas in Syria attack". The Washington Post. 25 August 2015.
- "SAMS Hospital Sees Mustard Gas Victims in Mare'e, Aleppo". SAMS Foundation. 23 August 2015.
- "MSF Treats Patients with Symptoms of Exposure to Chemical Agents". Médecins Sans Frontières. 25 August 2015.
- "Islamic State used mustard gas again in Syria: report". The Washington Times. 25 August 2015.
- "Syria conflict: OPCW finds signs of sarin exposure". BBC News. 5 January 2015.
- "L'attaque à l'arme chimique d'un quartier d'Alep confirmée à RT par un journaliste local (VIDEO)". RT en Français (in French). Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic: Human rights abuses and international humanitarian law violations in the Syrian Arab Republic, 21 July 2016- 28 February 2017
- Adra, Zen (16 June 2016). "In Video: Ghouta rebels attack Syrian Army with nerve gas". Al Masdar News. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- "Turkey shells north Manbij, YPG reports possible chemical weapons". Rudaw. 25 August 2016.
- "AKP gangs use chemical gas in Dendeniyê village". Hawar News Agency. 26 August 2016.
- "SNC attacking Sheikh Maqsoud with hand-made elephant rockets". Hawar News Agency. 8 October 2016.
- "Sheikh Maksoud is shelled with chemicals". Hawar News Agency. 26 November 2016.
- Bellingcat chlorine attack al lataminah
- opcw ffm confirms sarin chlorine use
- "Breaking: Chemical Weapons Attack in Latamneh, Hama Injures 70". Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations. 30 March 2017.
- "Rex Tillerson refers to 30 Mar Hama attack". CBS News. 9 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- "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.
- "Regime helicopters drop two Chlorine barrels on Hubait town in Idlib". Zaman Al Wasl. 4 April 2017.
- "OPCW Fact-Finding Mission Confirms Use of Chemical Weapons in Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017". www.opcw.org. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- ANNE BARNARD and MICHAEL R. GORDON (4 April 2017). "New York Times: Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U.S. Blames Assad".
- Kareem Khadder, Schams Elwazer, Elizabeth Roberts, Eyad Kourdi and Tamara Qiblawi, CNN (7 April 2017). "CNN:Suspected gas attack in Syria reportedly kills dozens".
- Wintour, Patrick (23 January 2018). "Rex Tillerson: Russia bears responsibility for Syria chemical attacks". the Guardian.
- "Another chlorine attack by the Assad regime leaves scores injured, suffocating". Cii Radio.
- "20 Suffocation Cases Among Civilians After Bombing Douma City Eastern Damascus With Chlorine - Qasioun News Agency".
- Schwirtz, Michael (13 April 2018). "U.S. Accuses Syria of New Chemical Weapons Use" – via NYTimes.com.
- Editorial, Reuters. "Rescuers in rebel-held Syrian area accuse government of gas attack".
- "'Chlorine attack' on rebel Syrian town". BBC News. 5 February 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
- Editorial, Reuters. "Turkish army hit village in Syria's Afrin with suspected gas:..." U.S. Retrieved 2018-05-30.
- Hubbard, Ben (8 April 2018). "Dozens Suffocate in Syria as Government Is Accused of Chemical Attack". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "REFILE-Chemical weapons used in Syria appear to come from army stockpile -UN". 5 March 2017 – via Reuters.
- "Russia claims Syria rebels used sarin at Khan al-Assal". 9 July 2013 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Syria rebels accused of sarin use". BBC News. 2013-07-09. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
- "Russia gave UN 100-page report in July blaming Syrian rebels for Aleppo sarin attack". mcclatchydc. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
- "SUMMARY REPORT OF THE WORK OF THE OPCW FACT-FINDING MISSION IN SYRIA". OPCW. 16 June 2014.
- "Report of the Secretary General on Security Council Resolution 2139". New York Times. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- "OPCW-UN fact-finding mission was ambushed". Associated Press. 28 May 2014.
- "Chemical weapons team in Syria attacked but safe: OPCW". REUTERS. 27 May 2014.
- Louisa Loveluck (9 May 2015). "UN inspectors find undeclared sarin-linked chemicals at Syrian military site". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Deutsch, Anthony. "Exclusive: Weapons inspectors find undeclared sarin and VX traces in Syria – diplomats". Reuters. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- "U.S. and Russia to Back U.N. Vote on Chemical Attacks in Syria". nytimes. 6 August 2015.
- "Who is responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria". EuropaNewswire. 7 August 2015.
- "First report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism". 12 February 2016.
- "Second report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism". 10 June 2016.
- "Syria blamed for 2015 'chemical attack'". BBC News. 22 October 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
- "Syrian chemical attacks linked to President Assad for first time". Deccanchronicle.com. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "OPCW-UN JIM 7th Report".
- UN panel blames Syrian forces for Khan Sheikhoun attack, Al-Jazeera, 27 October 2017
- Syrian government to blame for April sarin attack - U.N. report, Reuters, 26 October 2017
- The Guardian, 23 January 2018russia bears responsibility
- Deutsch, Anthony (30 January 2018). "Exclusive: Tests link Syrian government stockpile to largest sarin attack - sources". Reuters.
- "Report Of The OPCW Fact-finding Mission In Syria Regarding An Alleged Incident In Khan Shaykhun, Syrian Arab Republic April 2017" (PDF). OPCW Technical Secretariat. 29 June 2017. p. 50.
- Chemical weapons used against Syrians, says defected soldier. Hurriyet Daily News, 21 February 2012. Retrieved on 22 September 2014.
- "Rebels could resort to chemical weapons, Syria warns". France 24. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "Al-Jaafari: Syria is committed to close cooperation with OPCW". SANA. 6 November 2014.
- "Report: Police foil al-Nusra bomb attack planned for Adana". 30 May 2013. Archived from the original on 7 June 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- "No Chemical Arms Seized from Syrian Militants, Turkish Envoy Says". Global Security Newswire. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
- Aydınlık, 12 September 2013, Al-Nusra Linked to Chemical Production in Turkey Archived 20 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Two 'abandoned' cylinders seized in Syria contained sarin: UN". The Straits Times. Reuters. 8 July 2014.
- Paul Blake (11 September 2015). "US official: 'IS making and using chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria'". BBC. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- Lizzie Dearden (11 September 2015). "Isis 'manufacturing and using chemical weapons' in Iraq and Syria, US official claims". The Independent. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- Scott Pelley (14 February 2016). "CIA Director John Brennan on 60 Minutes". CBS News.
- "MAPPING MILITANT ORGANIZATIONS: Jaish al-Islam". Stanford University. 31 August 2017.
- "Middle East Concerns grow about abuses, war crimes in Syria". Deutsche Welle. 25 May 2016.
- "Kurdish Officials: Rebels May Have Used Chemicals in Aleppo". Voice of America. Archived from the original on 11 April 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- Sam Heller One Kurdish Neighborhood in the Crossfire, Daily Beast, 15 April 2016
- Cite error: The named reference
stanford17was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
- "Syria 'still producing chemical weapons'". BBC News. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
- CNN, Madison Park and Steve Brusk. "US: Syria may launch new chemical attack". CNN. Retrieved 8 July 2017.