A new analysis of government chemical weapons has revealed the Syrian regime used a centrifugal pumps explosion in a chemical attack that killed hundreds of civilians in March, a U.S. official said.
The U.N. weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, issued the report Friday.
The OPCW report, which is based on a study of satellite images, also found the Syrian government’s use of the explosive weapon, dubbed “Kassim,” in the attack on March 20 killed at least 8,000 people, including 1,000 children, U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.
“This is a very, very shocking new development, and it is the latest indication that Assad used chemical weapons against the Syrian people,” Johnson said at a news conference in Washington, D.C. “It is also a bombshell that we haven’t heard before.
The Syrian regime has been using chemical weapons on a massive scale for the past 30 years, and they continue to do so today.”
Johnson said that the new analysis also showed that at least one chemical weapon was used in the April 3 attack, when Syrian forces launched a surprise attack on a rebel-held area in the eastern part of the country.
The British government has accused Assad of using chemical arms in the past, but said it has found no evidence of that using chemical or biological weapons.
It also said the OPCS report “confirms that chemical weapons were used against civilian populations in April 3, 2013.”
A Syrian opposition group, which has been monitoring the war since March, has said Assad’s forces used sarin gas against civilians.
A Syrian government official said Friday the new report was not an attempt to “undermine the credibility” of the OSC.
“There are no details on how the investigation was conducted, the analysis was carried out and there is no evidence to suggest it was not done in accordance with international law,” the official told The Associated Press.
“The report confirms that there were chemical weapons used in April.”
The Syrian opposition, the Syrian National Coalition and U.k.
Foreign Minister Boris Johnson met Friday in Moscow to discuss the latest findings of the investigation.
The coalition has said it hopes the report will help bring the Assad regime to justice.
The chemical weapons attack on April 3 was the worst chemical attack on civilians since the U. S.-led coalition began bombing the Syrian military in 2014.
The report was released in response to a request from the OUN, which oversees the investigation into the April incident.
The commission is expected to complete its work by the end of the month, a source close to the investigation told AP.
It will not include findings about the April attack.
“We are very grateful to the OLC for allowing us to make these findings public,” said David Walker, a British diplomat and expert on Syria.
The new findings are based on satellite imagery from a military base in Latakia province, and the findings were based on analysis of the chemical weapon and its residue, Walker said.
U. N. weapons inspectors will now be able to conduct additional analyses of the site, and a joint OPCK-U.N.-OECD team will examine any other evidence.
The attack also damaged a military helicopter that was flying near the attack site, which caused the helicopter to explode, according to a statement from the coalition, the Russian state news agency Tass and the OIC.
It said the attack “affected the life and safety of at least 10 civilians and damaged or destroyed at least 15 aircraft.”
The OIC is an independent body of experts whose mandate is to review the conduct of armed forces in international armed conflicts.
In March, the OOC released a report accusing Syria of using banned weapons including sarin, mustard gas, mustard and sarin-filled barrel bombs, which are prohibited under U.n. resolutions.
It has said Syrian forces also used chlorine gas against opposition fighters.
The government has rejected the findings.
In the latest report, the U,N.
agency said it could not confirm the chemical weapons attacks but said the Syrian authorities had conducted a systematic, systematic and systematic attack on the civilian population in the city of Khan al-Assal, where the OCLO is based.
“Given the severity of the evidence and the grave humanitarian impact, the Commission strongly urges the Syrian Government to immediately cease all military and chemical weapons operations in Syria and to immediately stop all such operations,” the report said.