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Russia finds signs of militant gas attacks in Syria

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A file photo of a Syrian suffering from breathing problems in the aftermath of a chemical attack.

The Russian military chemical warfare defense unit has found signs of the use of chemical agents by militants against the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday that forces with the Russian Radiological, Chemical, and Biological Defense unit found the evidence in the 1070 district of the Syrian city of Aleppo.

The experts “found evidence of chemical weapon use by terrorists against the civilian population and Syrian servicemen” in the form of un-exploded shells bearing chlorine and white phosphorus, it said.

A recent chemical attack on the area killed two people and injured dozens of others.

Aleppo has been divided over the past four years between government forces in the west and foreign-backed militants in the east, making it a front-line battleground.

Back in September, the Russian military had warned that terror groups might start deploying chemical agents against the city’s government-controlled areas.

On September 16, at least eight people, including five civilians, suffered breathing difficulties after Daesh terrorists fired mortar shells containing toxic gases in the towns of Harbal and Um Hosh, north of Aleppo.

Also on Friday, UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said that the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh was reportedly stockpiling ammonia and sulfur agents in civilian areas in the northern Iraq city of Mosul possibly for use as chemical weapons.

Late last month, at least three dozen people were reportedly affected after foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants launched a barrage of shells loaded with poisonous gas against two government-held residential neighborhoods in Aleppo.

The Syrian government turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States back in 2013. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has overseen operations to remove the government chemical arsenal from Syria.

The deal came after hundreds of people were killed in an August 2013 chemical attack in the Ghouta suburb of Damascus. The Syrian government agreed to turn over its arsenal of chemicals despite denying any role in the Ghouta attack.

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