The Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reconvened today to further address the allegation of chemical weapons use in the Khan Shaykhun area of southern Idlib in Syria. OPCW’s Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü informed Council members on recent developments regarding the OPCW Technical Secretariat’s activities. This was reported by OPCW on the site of the organization.
The bio-medical samples collected from three victims during their autopsy were analyzed at two OPCW designated laboratories. The results of the analysis indicate that the victims were exposed to sarin or a sarin-like substance. Bio-medical samples from seven individuals undergoing treatment at hospitals were also analysed in two other OPCW designated laboratories. Similarly, the results of these analyses indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin like substance.
“The results of these analyses from four OPCW designated laboratories indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin like substance. While further details of the laboratory analyses will follow, the analytical results already obtained are incontrovertible,” Director-General Üzümcü stated.
In the meantime, the Fact-Finding Mission is continuing with interviews, evidence management and sample acquisition. The Director-General reported that an FFM team is ready to deploy to Khan Shaykhun should the security situation permit. He reminded the Executive Council of the 27 May 2014 attack on an FFM team and the action the Council subsequently took in emphasizing the importance of safety and security of OPCW experts deployed to Syria.
The FFM is still anticipated to complete the first report of its findings to be submitted to States Parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention within two weeks and the Director-General will make the report available to the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism.
Earlier it was reported that he United States has concluded Russia knew in advance of Syria's chemical attack last week, according to senior US official.