On Tuesday, April 4, one of the deadliest chemical bombings in Syria has claimed the lives of at least 58 people. The chemical agent that was delivered by air strikes in the northwestern town of Khan Sheikhounh has not yet been identified, but sources on the ground believe it to be the nerve agent Sarin, which is highly toxic and 20 times as deadly as cyanide. A number of possible explanations have been offered by the Syrian government, including accusing insurgents of the attack, and suggesting that there had been an explosion at an al-Qaeda chemical weapons factory in Khan Sheikhoun that was caused either by an air strike or an accident. Syria’s Foreign Ministry denied involvement in the attack, and stated that the government was committed to its obligations under the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Syria joined the CWC in 2013 after launching sarin attacks on several Damascus neighborhoods that killed hundreds of civilians.
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