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Mustard gas used in Syrian town: UN watchdog

The UN chemical weapons watchdog on Friday confirmed that mustard gas used in Syria during fighting between rebels and jihadists.

Sulphur mustard which is known as chemical weapon causes severe, delayed burns to the eyes, skin, and lungs. “It’s obviously very, very dangerous and extremely toxic, so it’s a new level of concern,” said an OPCW member.

Marea a town in northern Syria was the focus of clashes between IS and another rebel group earlier this year.

Experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also found toxic chemicals, including chlorine, were likely used as a weapon in an attack in Idlib province in March, the OPCW said in statement.

It’s the first confirmation of sulphur mustard being used in Syria since the country agreed to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile.

Chemical weapons have been a major storyline in Syria’s war, with international forces accusing Assad’s forces of using them against civilians.

Faced with such allegations not to mention threats of direct force by world powers, Assad’s government agreed in 2013 to give up and turn over its chemical weapons stockpiles.

“It is very likely that the effects of sulphur mustard resulted in the death of many,” it said. “It raises the major question of where the sulphur mustard came from,” one source said.