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HRW 'Strongly' Thinks Regime Carried Out Syrian Chemical Attack

A woman mourns over one of the shrouded bodies of children and other victims that Syrian rebels claim were killed in a toxic gas attack by pro-government forces in eastern Ghouta on August 21.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) says "available evidence strongly suggests that Syrian government forces" carried out the August 21 chemical-weapons attack in that country.

The U.S.-based rights group said in a report on September 10 that it had reached this conclusion after analyzing witness accounts, remnants of weapons that were used in the attack, and medical records of victims.

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The 22-page report, "Attacks on Ghouta: Analysis Of Alleged Use Of Chemical Weapons In Syria," says HRW's investigation found that a "weapons-grade nerve agent, most likely sarin," was used.

The report was issued as the Obama administration seeks the approval of the U.S. Congress for possible military strikes against the Syrian regime over the attack, which Washington says killed more than 1,400 people.

The Obama administration is also considering a Russian-backed proposal to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control.

Based on reporting by Reuters and RFE/RL