Monitoring body opens probe into suspected chemical attack in Idlib

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An advance team of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arriving in Damascus, Syria, on 1 October 2013. UN Photo/Hend Abdel Ghany (file)

An investigation into a suspected chemical attack in southern Idlib in Syria has got underway, overseen by the UN-recognized chemical weapons watchdog or OPCW.

The attack in the rebel-held Khan Shaykhun area, reportedly took place on Tuesday.

The conflict in Syria just entered its seventh year and it remains the largest humanitarian challenge in the world.

Jocelyne Sambira has the story.

A Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) is currently in the process of gathering and analysing information from all available sources regarding Tuesday's alleged chemical attack in southern Idlib, the UN Joint Investigative Mechanism on Chemical Weapon Use in Syria or OPCW, confirmed.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the OPCW said it "strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances".

Syria is a party to the international Chemical Weapons Convention, giving the OPCW the authority to assess the allegations.

Back in 2014, the UN joint-body was set up to verify reports of toxic chlorine gas attacks taking place in several parts of the country.

Since then the OPCW has deployed the FFM to Syria and the region many times and has kept States Parties informed of its work. 

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’00″

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