Syria: Government Likely Culprit in Chemical Attack
(New York, September 10, 2013) – Available evidence strongly suggests that Syrian government forces were responsible for chemical weapons attacks on two Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. These attacks, which killed hundreds of civilians including many children, appeared to use a weapons-grade nerve agent, most likely Sarin.
The 22-page report, “Attacks on Ghouta: Analysis of Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria,” documents two alleged chemical weapons attacks on the opposition-controlled suburbs of Eastern and Western Ghouta, located 16 kilometers apart, in the early hours of August 21. Human Rights Watch analyzed witness accounts of the rocket attacks, information on the likely source of the attacks, the physical remnants of the weapon systems used, and the medical symptoms exhibited by the victims as documented by medical staff.