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Case against Turkey for chemical weapons attack grows

THE case against Turkey for a chemical weapons attack during its invasion of northern Syria continued to grow today after the testimony of a doctor who treated the victims confirmed the use of white phosphorus.

Dr Abbas Mansouran — a medical volunteer from Sweden — was working at the hospital in Heseke where many of the victims presented with horrific burns and other injuries.

In a report seen by the Morning Star, he said he had seen many patients with burns he described as “abnormal” based on his previous experiences.

Dr Mansouran is an experienced clinician who first worked on the specialist burns unit during the first half of the Iran-Iraq war.

He states that the injuries he treated in northern Syria were “clearly very different from typical burns.”

“It was immediately apparent to me that they were specifically manifestations of chemical weapon use. 

“They show that Turkish Armed Forces have been using chemical munitions. I can emphasise that white phosphorus, some other unknown chemical such as dense inert metal explosive munitions were used in Rojava in October,” Dr Mansouran claimed. 

Turkey has denied using chemical weapons during its killing spree in northern Syria, allied with jihadist forces in the Free Syrian Army.

But it stands accused of war crimes with mounting evidence of extrajudicial killings, including the brutal execution of Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf.

Kurdish forces claimed that the town of Serekaniye — which had been the scene of fierce fighting — was bombed with white phosphorus and napalm during an attack earlier this month.

Investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are due to report on their findings having been examining evidence.

Reports suggest that the white phosphorus may have been sold to Turkey by Britain — one of the biggest arms dealers to the brutal regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Dr Mansouran explained that hundreds of patients, mainly civilians including women and children, had been treated for injuries inflicted by Turkish forces and their jihadist allies.

At least 30 presented with “burn types very different to those I would expect to have been caused by anything other than chemical incendiary weapons like white phosphorus,” he insisted.

“White phosphorous munitions can adhere to clothing and deeply penetrate the skin, causing severe and often fatal burns to the bone. 

“They continue to burn even when deprived of atmospheric oxygen and do so until complete depletion of the phosphorous material.

”This chemical can cause heart, liver, and kidney damages, and inhalation of white phosphorus smoke may cause fatal respiratory issues,” the report explained.

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