by Neta Bar
During Syrian war, 336 chemical attacks perpetrated, many more than was known, international report says • 98% of attacks attributed to Assad regime
Syrians wounded in a chemical weapons attack Photo: AP
The Syrian regime under President Bashar Assad has perpetrated over 300 discrete attacks using chemical weapons during the seven-year Syrian war, according to a new report by the Berlin-based Global Public Policy Institute published on Sunday.
The report, titled "Nowhere to Hide: the Logic of Chemical Weapons use in Syria," states that GPPI researchers had found clear evidence of "336 chemical weapons attacks over the course of the Syrian civil war – significantly more than has commonly been known."
The report said that over 98% of the attacks were carried out by forces aligned with the Assad regime, including the Tiger Forces, whose members were trained and equipped by the Russians. The rest of the chemical attacks were attributed to the Islamic State, and only one chemical attack was attributed to the rebel forces.
The GPPI began tracking the use of chemical weapons in Syria in 2012. According to the report, most of the chemical attacks took place after former U.S. President Barack Obama declared that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government comprised a "red line" for the U.S. administration.
GPPI staff said they based the report on testimony by local residents and on field surgeries conducted by doctors in Syria, both at government and rebel-run hospitals. Researchers also made use of chemical analysis of the scenes of some of the attacks, obtained by foreign observers.
"The Assad regime did not merely 'get away' with its use of these banned weapons, but succeeded in using them for strategic ends," the report states.
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