- Title: U.N. report says Syrian government responsible for Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack
- Date: 6th September 2017
- Summary: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (SEPTEMBER 4, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF UNITED NATIONS BUILDING GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (SEPTEMBER 6, 2017) (REUTERS) CHAIRMAN OF UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON SYRIA, PAULO PINHEIRO, SITTING AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON SYRIA, PAULO PINHEIRO, SAYING: "In several incidents, government forces used chemical weapons against civilians in opposition-held areas including in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib on 4th April. We gathered extensive evidence including 43 interviews with victims, eyewitnesses, first responders, medical staff and persons who visited the site as well as photos of remnants and satellite imagery. On the basis of this information we concluded that the chemical attack was carried out by a Syrian SU-22 aircraft which dropped three conventional bombs and a sarin bomb in Khan Sheikhoun. The sarin attack killed over 80 individuals, most of them women and children, and injured hundreds of others." PINHEIRO SITTING AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (French) CHAIRMAN OF UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON SYRIA, PAULO PINHEIRO, SAYING: "You'll see that we looked at all the other interpretations of this attack. The fact that the Syrian government has denied this attack... The Syrian government has the right to inform, to say what it wants. But it's our job to verify these allegations and we have concluded through what you've just said that this attack was perpetrated by the Syrian air force." PINHEIRO AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON SYRIA, PAULO PINHEIRO, SAYING: "Finally, our latest report finds that the United States forces failed to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians and civilian objects when attacking alleged terrorists and destroying part of a mosque complex in al-Jina, Aleppo, on 16 March, resulting in an alarming loss of civilian life, a serious violation of international humanitarian law." PINHEIRO COVERING EYES
- Embargoed: 20th September 2017 13:02
- Keywords: Syria war crimes United Nations investigation Paulo Pinheiro Khan Sheikhoun chemical weapons
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- City: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0016XGLAH3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Syrian forces have used chemical weapons more than two dozen times during the country's civil war, including in April's deadly attack on Khan Sheikhoun, U.N. war crimes investigators said on Wednesday (September 6).
A government warplane dropped sarin on the town in Idlib province, killing more than 80 civilians, the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria said, in the most conclusive findings to date from investigations into chemical weapons attacks during the conflict.
The Commission also said U.S. air strikes on a mosque in the village of al-Jina in rural Aleppo in March that killed 38 people, including children, failed to take precautions in violation of international law.
In their 14th report since 2011, U.N. investigators said they had in all documented 33 chemical weapons attacks to date.
Twenty seven were by the government of President Bashar al-Assad, including seven between March 1 to July 7. Perpetrators had not been identified yet in six early attacks, they said.
The U.N. investigators interviewed 43 witnesses, victims, and first responders linked to the attack. Satellite imagery, photos of bomb remnants and early warning reports were used.
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