01:49 GMT25 July 2021
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    Israeli Defense Minister claimed the Syrian governmental forces had used chemical weapons against civilians during the ongoing ceasefire.

    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) — Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon accused Tuesday the Syrian governmental forces of using chemical weapons against civilians during the current ceasefire, reached at the initiative of Russia and the United States.

    "The Syrians initially used industrially produced chemical weapons, but lately they have started to use such substances as chlorine and they use it against civilians. They continue doing it now, during the allegedly holding ceasefire. The are mainly dropping barrels of chlorine from the air," Yaalon said in a speech to a conference near Tel Aviv.

    In 2013, a massive chemical weapons attack was carried out in the Syrian suburb of Ghouta which killed more than 1,300 civilians. Both the Syrian government and the militant factions that oppose it blamed one another for the attack.

    A mission to eliminate Syria's chemical arsenal was announced after the deadly 2013 gas attack. The Syrian government placed its chemical weapons under international control on Russia’s urging.

    On February 22, Russia and the United States reached an agreement on a ceasefire in Syria which has been in a state of civil war since 2011. The army loyal to President Bashar Assad is considered to be the only side of the conflict in Syria, which has military aircraft and helicopters.

    The ceasefire took effect on Saturday. The cessation of hostilities does not apply to groups designated by the United Nations to be terrorist organizations, such as Islamic State and the Nusra Front, outlawed in a number of countries worldwide including Russia.

    The truce has been backed by the UN Security Council, which adopted a resolution on Friday, shortly before the ceasefire came into force. The ceasefire is said to be generally holding.


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    chemical weapons, Syrian ceasefire, ceasefire violation, Moshe Yaalon, US, Russia, Syria, Israel
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