Agencies (Qasioun) - An interim report shared by chemical weapons watchdog has found that chlorine gas was used in April's attack on the Syrian city of Douma. The report released by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that chlorine may have been deployed by the Syrian regime. Around 40 people choked to death in an alleged April 7 attack on the then rebel-held town, which provoked Western air strikes on Syrian military installations.
"The results show that no organophosphorus nerve agents were detected either in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples from the alleged casualties," the report stated. However, the fact-finding mission did find "along with explosive residues, various chlorinated organic chemicals".
The team's mission to Douma was launched following international outrage over images of adults and children from the effects of a poison gas attack, AFP reported.
There had been claims that residents were victims of exposure to sarin gas – but that has been ruled out by Friday's interim report.
Russia backed its ally Syria and blamed the White Helmets volunteer rescue service for staging the attack. Western powers, however, blamed the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In response, the United States, France, and Britain launched coordinated air strikes on Syrian military installations for the first time in the seven-year civil war.
Late last year, Russia had opposed the UN resolution on Syria chemical weapons probe and vetoed the proposal which was meant to identify perpetrators of chemical weapon attacks.