UNITED NATIONS — The international body charged with establishing who is responsible for chemical attacks in Syria said Monday it has
identified seven potential sites for investigation, which it hopes to begin next month.
Virginia Gamba, who heads the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said an initial report to the Security Council had identified five cases where chemical weapons might have been used. Further analysis led to two other suspected cases: in Binnish in Idlib governorate on March 23, 2015 and in Al Tamanah, also in Idlib, on April 29-30 and May 25-26 in 2014. Before the Joint Investigative Mechanism, or JIM, was established in August, investigators were charged only with determining whether chemical weapons had been used in an attack. They could not lay blame on the government, opposition or other armed groups. Gamba said investigators were still analyzing information gathered by the OPCW and hoped to finalize the list of potential cases by March 1, at which point JIM would begin in-depth investigations.