“Shell allegedly used on Marea ..”
An article published yesterday by Reuters news agency confirms my concerns detailed in an article on September 3rd 2015 that insurgents used chemical weapons against another insurgent group in Marea, northern Syria. On that day I wrote,
“yesterday I received an image via Twitter from a local journalist which sent a chill down my spine. It showed a long canister spilling a dark liquid that had allegedly been fired on Marea close to Aleppo, northern Syria. The question was… was the image authentic, when was it taken and if so what weapon was being fired in the area? I had already heard rumblings that Islamic State had access to chemical weapons. The fear was that this was the deadly sulfar mustard gas a cytotoxic and vesicant agent meaning that it can seriously affect body cells and causes large skin blisters and due to its properties is now banned from use.”
Another tweet I recorded stated,
Sept 2nd from the Local Coordination Committees of Syria (LCCS) referring to a Facebook page alleged the following,
“yesterday morning, ISIS targeted #Marea city in the northern suburbs of Aleppo with more than 20 Gvozdika shells loaded with chemical agents and others loaded with toxic gases. The shells were launched from ISIS-controlled areas in #Tel_Malid village, about 3 km from the city, which led to dozens of casualties. The medical units in the region received many of them.”
See my article for further details
“From a gassed grandfather to alleged use of chemical weapons by IS, the horrors of mustard gas”
My article also highlighted an earlier alleged incident of mustard gas on 21st August 2015.
Reuters article (6th November) states,
“A confidential Oct. 29 report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a summary of which was shown to Reuters, concluded “with the utmost confidence that at least two people were exposed to sulfur mustard” in the town of Marea, north of Aleppo, on Aug. 21.”
Washing off chemicals, image unconfirmed believed to be from September 1st attack which I received
Reuters also reported that according to Kurdish authorities earlier this month, “blood samples taken from around 35 fighters who were exposed in the attack southwest of the regional capital of Erbil showed “signatures” of mustard gas.” Photos I received in September showed what appear to have been the first two fighters to die from mustard gas exposure. The first was unknown, the second named as Ayman Hafez.
Alleged… “The first casualty of isis chemical attack on marea. .died today ..”
Alleged “Second casualty of isis chemical attack on marea died today 22 years old Ayman Hafez. ..”
Suspected mustard gas victim (Image via Yasser Alhaji, Aleppo)
The Guardian had detailed the 21st August incident highlighting that “50 civilians showing symptoms of chemical exposure” arrived at a field hospital in Marea. This included the family of Ahmed Latouf whose 4 year old daughter was not expected to live. In the recent Reuters report they state, “it is very likely that the effects of sulfur mustard resulted in the death of a baby.
It is likely the chemical weapons were left over from a stockpile belonging to the Bashar al-Assad regime which Syria was supposed to have surrendered 18 months ago. Any use of such arsenals would violates U.N. Security Council resolutions and the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. I sent a list of questions to Islamic State regarding their alleged use of chemical weapons but have not received a response on this issue to date.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.