Turkey: Chemical Weapons Use Allegations ‘Baseless’

Afrin Doctor Claimed Six Sickened by Gas Exposure

Turkey’s government is reacting angrily to reports last week that they used gas-containing artillery shells in attacks on Syria’s Afrin District, saying that the allegations of chemical weapons are “baseless.”

The Kurdish YPG and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights both reported chemical use in the attack, and Syria’s state media quoted an unnamed Afrin doctor as saying six people were sickened by exposure.

Turkish diplomats say no chemical weapons were used by them in Syria. Indeed, Turkey isn’t believe to have ever had a chemical weapons arsenal in the first place, and this would be a very strange time to find out they have some, sickening a handful of villagers.

There is no explanation yet for what happened, though some other “gas attacks” in Syria’s war have been suggested to have been conventional attacks that simply caused leaks of industrial gas from sites on the ground. It’s always difficult to prove such things either way, especially in an active war zone, and that means the allegations will likely continue to circulate for the time being.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.