Blogs | 2 February 2018 | by Helena de Jong

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For the Third Time This Year, Chlorine is Used as a Chemical Weapon in Douma, Damascus

By Eliot Higgins, Bellingcat. The research for this publication was supported by PAX.

As international concerns grow about Syria’s use of chemical weapons, new evidence of the Syrian military’s chemical weapon use continues to emerge from Syria. On the morning of February 1 2018, local activists reported the use of chemical rockets filled with chlorine against opposition held territory in the west of Douma, Damascus. This represents the 3rd chemical attack reported in Douma since the start of 2018, with two earlier attacks on January 13, and January 22.

While munitions are not known to have been recovered from the January 13 attack, munitions used in the January 22 attack were recovered and documented, as were munitions used in the February 1 attack. The design of the munitions recovered in both attacks are identical, and match a design of munition used in a January 30 2017 chlorine attack in Marj al-Sultan, around 8km southeast of Douma.

The rockets are based on modified Iranian 107mm artillery rockets, with the explosive warhead replaced by a large gas cylinder, and additional tail fins added to the rocket. In all three attacks the design of the rockets are identical, and in some cases rockets from the 2018 attacks share the same lot numbers, indicating they are from the same manufacturing batch. This strongly indicates that the rockets used in the 2018 attacks would have originated from the same source.

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