Nov. 26 (UPI) -- The Hague's chemical weapons watchdog group will investigate the use of toxic gas on civilians in Aleppo, Syria, the group announced Monday.
The mortar attack on Saturday left 50 to 100 people--mostly women, children and the elderly--choking and struggling to breathe. The shells hit a residential area, damaging homes.The Syrian government blames the attack on terrorists.
Bassam al-Sabbagh, Syria's representative to OPCW, said he believes the chemical agent was chlorine.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will review security before sending in the fact-finding team to look into the claims. Syrian's official government requested the OPCW's assistance.
"The fact finding mission is mandated to look into all serious allegations of the use of toxic chemicals for hostile purposes in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic," OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias.
Nasr al-Hariri, head of the Syrian opposition negotiation delegation to Geneva, told Saudi state media that the attack came from pro-regime Iranian militias and is being used as an excuse to launch military strikes against the country.
This latest alleged gas attack comes six months after a vicious gas attack on Douma, Syria that killed dozens of civilians and left more wounded. Several groups blamed the Syrian Arab Army on that attack but pro-regime forced denied it.
In April 2017, 80 people died in a sarin attack in Khan Sheikhoun, prompting a retaliatory cruise missile attack by the United States.
Syria continues to deny having any chemical weapons.