In further evidence that shows the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria used chemical weapons on its citizens, a new report by a chemical weapons watchdog offers a "high degree of certainty" that toxic chlorine gas was used on civilians.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has compiled a new 117-page report with concrete accounts from eyewitnesses from three Syrian villages in Hama and Idlib, many of whom saw helicopters and "smelled chlorine" when bombs struck. Only the Syrian regime reportedly had access to helicopters during the civil war.
The United Nations Security Council reviewed the report on Tuesday, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said through her Twitter account.
"UNSC met on Syria CW today and reviewed more compelling eyewitness evidence of chlorine gas use by Syrian regime," Power tweeted.
"32 witnesses saw or heard sound of helicopters as bombs struck; 29 smelled chlorine. Only Syrian regime uses helos (helicopters)," she said.
However, the report does not name any side that used the chemical weapons. The report also has photographs and screen grabs of purported barrel bombs with chlorine and yellow clouds following the attacks that took place last year, Reuters reported.
Western nations have consistently blamed the Assad regime for the use of chemical weapons on Syrians, though the Syrian government put the blame on rebel forces.
The move to end the use of chemical weapons in Syria gathered momentum after a sarin gas attack in the village of Ghouta in August 2013 killed hundreds of people.
The UN disarmament head Angela Kane has said that all chemical weapons production facilities in Syria will be destroyed by June.
Latest OPCW report: 32 witnesses saw or heard sound of helicopters as bombs struck; 29 smelled chlorine. Only Syrian regime uses helos.
— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) January 6, 2015
Regime must be shown it is not enough to destroy declared CW; must stop dropping chemical-laden explosives on civilians. — Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) January 6, 2015