Russia, Rebels Spar Over Evidence of Chemical Weapons Use in Aleppo

Russia Has Evidence Rebels Used Chlorine in Southwest Offensive

The Russian Defense Ministry is facing a major rebel pushback in Syria after revealing today that they have collected considerable evidence of the use of chlorine and white phosphorous weapons by Nusra Front forces in the invasion of southwestern Aleppo’s District 1070.

Russia provided soil samples and unexploded shells the rebels fired at Syrian troops defending the district during their recent push, detailing their findings to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and urging them to send a team themselves.

Ironically, the Nusra Front was silent on the matter, and it was the rebel Syrian National Coalition (SNC), a rival faction with no significant ties to the Aleppo forces, that issued a statement denying Russia’s claims, and insisting they believe the Syrian military used the chemical weapons.

Syria had a considerable chemical weapons arsenal early in the Civil War, but agreed to disarm it early on. The chemicals were shipped out of the country and dis incorporated, though empty chemical shells have found their way into several groups’ hands, and have been filled with primitive chemical agents. Though such attacks have caused relatively minimal casualties, the fear of “chemical weapons” in any form has provided a propaganda boost for those using them.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.