A leading international human rights group said on Tuesday that evidence strongly suggests Syrian government forces fired rockets with warheads containing a nerve agent — most likely sarin — into a Damascus suburb in August, killing hundreds of people.
The report by Human Rights Watch was the latest voice to condemn Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government for the alleged chemical attack on the sprawling, rebel-held Ghouta suburb on Aug. 21.
The attack brought the United States to the brink of a military intervention in Syrian.
The New York-based group said it examined documents from the alleged chemical attack on Ghouta, and that the nerve agent used was “most likely, Sarin.”
The group said its activists were unable to go to Ghouta to collect remnants of weapons, environmental and bodily samples such as hair and blood to test for the chemical agent but that they sought technical advice from an expert on the detection and effects of chemical warfare agents.
To support its claims, the rights group said it analyzed witness accounts and “the type of rockets and launchers used” in the attack. HRW also said its experts studied documented medical symptoms of the victims and analyzed activist videos posted on the Internet after the attack.