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Aleppo: No deployment of posion gas in Sheikh Maqsud

KurdWatch, April 17, 2016—On April 7, 2016, Islam ʿAlloush, spokesman of the Jaysh al‑Islam (»Army of Islam«), one of the Syrian opposition’s largest armed militias, admitted to the use of prohibited weapons. He confirmed that a local commander of the militia deployed »weapons that are not allowed in such battles« against the People’s Defense Units (YPG) of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the Aleppo neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsud. The commander was apparently transferred to the militia’s military court. Exactly what weapons were used is unclear. Rumors that it was poison gas, spread mainly by media with close ties to the PYD like Ronahî‑TV, could not be confirmed. In contrast to earlier cases, the PYD also did not publish a press release to condemn the use of poison gas. ʿAlloush himself said on April 8 in response to the rumors that it had to do with heavy artillery and not chemical weapons. The Kurdish National Council in Syria was among those wrongly condemning the use of poison gas in Sheikh Maqsud.

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