The head of a global arms watchdog said April 19 that “incontrovertible” test results from an alleged chemical strike in Syria showed sarin gas or a similar substance had been used.
Samples from 10 victims of the April 4 attack on Khan Sheikhun analyzed at four laboratories “indicate exposure to sarin or a sarin-like substance,” said Ahmet Üzümcü, head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The suspected attack on the rebel-held town in Idlib province killed at least 87 people, including many children, and images of the dead and of suffering victims provoked global outrage.
Samples had been taken from three people who died in the attack, and were analyzed at two OPCW-designated laboratories, Üzümcü told delegates to the OPCW’s executive council, according to a statement from the watchdog.
Another set of biomedical samples from seven people being treated in hospitals were also analyzed in two other labs.
“While further details of the laboratory analyses will follow, the analytical results already obtained are incontrovertible,” Üzümcü told the meeting of the body’s executive council which resumed April 19 at its headquarters in The Hague.
A fact-finding mission set up by the OPCW is ready to deploy to the town “should the security situation permit,” he said, adding the team was continuing to conduct interviews, and collect samples.