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Syrian government used chemical weapons, says HRW

Syrian government forces used toxic chemicals in barrel bomb attacks between March 16-31 2015, said Human Rights Watch in a statement released on Tuesday.

Calling on the UN Security Council and country members of the Chemical Weapons Convention to “respond strongly,” the Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch, Nadim Houry, said,

“Syrian authorities appear once again to have shown complete disregard for human suffering by violating the global prohibition against chemical warfare.”

Three attacks examined by Human Rights Watch, found that people near the impact site exhibited symptoms consisted with exposure to toxic chemicals, said Human Rights Watch.  Witnesses also reported finding canisters usually used to hold gas with the remnants of barrel bombs.

An independent expert who looks at war time atrocities, Keith Ward, upon reviewing video footage of victims, told Human Rights Watch that the symptoms of the victims were consistent with exposure to a choking agent.