Justice minister says autopsy results show use of chemical weapons in Idlib attack

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Bekir Bozdağ

Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has said autopsies performed on three bodies that were brought from the Syrian province of Idlib to the southern Turkish province of Adana have revealed the use of chemical weapons in an attack on Tuesday that claimed the lives of dozens of civilians.

Tuesday’s air raids on the Khan Sheikhoun neighborhood left at least 70 civilians dead and 557 wounded, according to local medics. The United Nations said it would investigate the attack as a possible war crime.

Speaking to reporters in the central province of Kırıkkale on Thursday, Bozdağ said autopsies were performed on three bodies that were brought from Idlib to Adana with the attendance of a World Health Organization (WHO) representative and a delegation from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

“The forensic medicine report has revealed the use of chemical weapons very clearly… [Bashar] al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons has also been detected through this scientific examination,” Bozdağ said.

Syrian opposition groups and activists blamed the attack on the government of al-Assad. But the Syrian military rejected the accusation, saying it “denies using any toxic or chemical agents in Khan Sheikhoun today, and it did not and never will use it anywhere.”

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