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Syrian Arab Republic, February 17, 2019

Syria used chemical weapons more than 300 times, researchers say

Original source

The Hill

The Syrian government has been responsible for more than 300 chemical weapons attacks during the nation's civil war, according to a new research.

The Global Public Policy Institute, based in Berlin, published findings Sunday revealing at least 336 chemical weapons attacks during the war.

About 98 percent of those attacks can be attributed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, according to the report. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been responsible for the rest, researchers said.

According to the study, the Assad regime used the chemical weapons as part of its strategy in the war. More than two-thirds of Syria's population is displaced and opposition to the government is surrendering or buckling, researchers found.

The report's researchers write that bringing the use of chemical weapons by Syria to an end "will require halting its overall machinery of indiscriminate violence."

"In order to effectively disrupt the Syrian chemical weapons complex and deter their future use in Syria and other conflicts, the United States and the wider international community should directly target the military formations that would be responsible for any future attacks," the researchers add.

The Syrian regime was thought to be behind the April 2018 chemical weapon attack on Douma that killed at least 70 people. The attack prompted the U.S., Britain and France to respond by launching missile strikes against Syria.