OPCW scrutinises alleged use of white phosphorus in northern Syria


(The Independent) – The OPCW says it is ‘collecting information’ on claims Turkish forces used white phosphorus, as Ankara denies wrongdoing.

Claims by Kurdish medics that Turkey may have used white phosphorus on children in northeastern Syria are being assessed by the global chemical weapons watchdog.

At least six civilians injured in airstrikes on the border town of Ras al-Ayn were treated for severe burns, leading to the comments by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. 

The OPCW told The Independent it had been “made aware of the situation in northern Syria” and was collating information about the allegations. 

Turkey’s foreign ministry said Turkey has no chemical weapons in its inventory, dismissing the claims as “flagrant slanders” in a Friday statement to local media. 

Syrian medics in the northeastern city of Hasakah, where the six are being cared for, shared photos and medical reports with The Independent showing blistering burns across their faces, torsos and arms. The doctors say they suspect the patients, the youngest of whom is just four years old, may have been exposed to substances such as white phosphorus in Ras al-Ayn.

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