Question: Is the United States doing a separate analysis of the relevant evidence and will we draw our own conclusions?
Answer: The OPCW released a preliminary report on June 16 to States Parties which found that the evidence supports the conclusion that “toxic chemicals, most likely pulmonary irritating agents such as chlorine, have been used in a systematic manner in a number of attacks.”
The Fact-Finding Mission was tasked with determining whether or not toxic chemicals were used in Syria. The mandate of the Mission was not to attribute blame of the alleged attacks to one party.
The findings of the Fact-Finding Mission seriously heighten our concerns. These attacks have only targeted opposition areas and, as we have seen from social media, some of these devices appear to have been dropped from helicopters much like the regime’s use of barrel bombs. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and review the full findings when complete.
The United States will study the preliminary report and will continue to support the Fact-Finding Mission and the OPCW Technical Secretariat. As the mission is ongoing, the United States will continue to work with the OPCW Technical Secretariat and await the final report before determining next steps.