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Terror groups using chemical weapons: Syria

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Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad says foreign-backed terrorist groups are using chemical weapons such as chlorine gas in their fight against the government forces.

Addressing a meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Monday, Mekdad said the Syrian government had never used such weapons during the war against the militants.

He emphasized that terrorist groups “have used chlorine gas in several of the regions of Syria and Iraq.”

The Syrian official’s comments underscored what appeared to be the OPCW’s next major challenge as it fully eliminated Syria’s chemical stockpile.

UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said on October 1 that the international mission to eliminate Syria’s chemical stockpile has wrapped up its operations in the war-torn country after almost a year.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in September last year to rid the war-torn country of its chemical arms. Under the resolution, the OPCW was mandated to oversee the elimination of Syria’s stockpile.

US war rhetoric against Syria intensified last year after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of the capital, Damascus, on August 21, 2013.

Damascus has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. The Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – are reportedly supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

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