Photo
Victims of a sarin attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, in April. Credit Alaa Alyousef, via Associated Press

The Syrian Air Force was responsible for a lethal sarin chemical attack on a northern rebel-held village on April 4, a United Nations investigative panel said Thursday.

The report represented the first time that a politically neutral investigation had concluded which side in the Syrian civil war had carried out the attack on the village, Khan Shekhoun.

The early morning attack killed dozens of civilians and is regarded as one of the worst chemical weapons atrocities in the nearly seven-year-old conflict.

The use of chemical weapons is a war crime.

The investigative panel, created two years ago by the United Nations Security Council to determine who has been using chemical weapons in Syria, is a collaboration of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, The Hague-based group that polices the global ban on such munitions.

Its report, which was shared with Security Council members and seen by The New York Times, said investigators were “confident that the Syrian Arab Republic is responsible for the release of sarin at Khan Shekhoun on 4 April 2017.”

The results were likely to be assailed by Russia, the Syrian government’s most important ally. Russia had signaled before the report was finished that it was likely to dispute any conclusion of Syrian government responsibility.

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The Syrian Air Force was responsible for a lethal sarin chemical attack on a northern rebel-held village on April 4, a United Nations investigative panel said Thursday.

The report represented the first time that a politically neutral investigation had concluded which side in the Syrian civil war had carried out the attack on the village, Khan Shekhoun.

The early morning attack killed dozens of civilians and is regarded as one of the worst chemical weapons atrocities in the nearly seven-year-old conflict.

The use of chemical weapons is a war crime.

The investigative panel, created two years ago by the United Nations Security Council to determine who has been using chemical weapons in Syria, is a collaboration of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, The Hague-based group that polices the global ban on such munitions.

Its report, which was shared with Security Council members and seen by The New York Times, said investigators were “confident that the Syrian Arab Republic is responsible for the release of sarin at Khan Shekhoun on 4 April 2017.”

The results were likely to be assailed by Russia, the Syrian government’s most important ally. Russia had signaled before the report was finished that it was likely to dispute any conclusion of Syrian government responsibility.

Nytimes

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