Coalition Says Conclusive Evidence Assad used Chemical Weapons Again

Interim Defense Minister displayed a photo of a bomb that did not explode, weighing up to 90 kg and filled with chlorine gas

Member of the political committee of the Syrian National Coalition, Nasser al-Hariri, said that the massacres perpetrated by the Assad regime in Syria "do not need further evidence, but they have not yet been met by a serious attitude from the international community."


At a press conference in Istanbul, Asaad Mustafa, the Interim Defense Minister, condemned the world’s silence on the crimes of the Assad regime, and his continual crossing of red lines even though “compelling evidence about Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians has been provided."


"Assad’s air force dropped two barrel bombs on the town of Tal Minnis in rural Idlib on April 21st," he said.


"One of the barrels exploded while the other one crashed into the ground without exploding. The helicopters used in the attack are type Mi-17 which took off from Hama air base. The barrel bomb exploded and released chlorine gas in an area with a diameter of 2 km. As a result, 400 people suffered from suffocation while a six-year-old child died of exposure to the toxic gas," Mustafa said.


Mustafa displayed a photo of a bomb that did not explode, weighing up to 90 kg and filled with chlorine gas. The outer casing was marked with the serial number 100858 plus the manufacturer, the Chinese company Norico which has been subject to sanctions for illegally selling weapons to Iran.


"We sent the photos to the international organizations and to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical (OPCW), but they replied asking rebels to bury the bomb inside a cave in a mountain,” he said.


Regarding Russia’s intention to provide the Assad regime with new warplanes, Mustafa said that “it is strange how the international community allows these Russian and Iranian shipments of advanced weapons to the Assad regime, while denying the victims the chance to obtain the weapons to defend themselves.”


Abdel Basset Al Tawil, commander of the northern front, said that “we collected all the technical and material evidence proving Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. The team tasked with collecting the evidence found many empty canisters that were filled with toxic gases. In the town of Saraqeb of Edlib province, the team found a bomb containing Sarin, which did not explode because it landed in a swamp."


"Though we sent the evidence to international organization, the response has been disappointing," he added.


"They told us that we should immediately hide these bombs.”


Concluding the press conference, Mustafa warned of the Assad regime’s attempt to sow division among rebels in East and West Ghouta through the assassination of revolutionary figures. 


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer



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