ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey is testing injured Syrians seeking treatment across the border for chemical weapon wounds, the foreign minister said Thursday.
Ahmet Davutoglu also said more substantial tests were being conducted on a dozen injured Syrians and that the results of those tests would be made public as soon as they are available.
The move follows allegations of possible chemical weapons use in Syria’s civil war between President Bashar Assad’s regime and rebels who want to overthrow him.
“We will continue to test every injured (Syrian) who arrives so that no one can dare to carry out a humanitarian crime, like in Halabja, in Syria,” Davutoglu said. He was referring to Iraq’s use of chemical weapons against Iraqi Kurds in Halabja in 1988.
Earlier, the state-run Anadolu Agency said Turkey had stationed a team of eight experts to screen injured Syrians at the frontier. They were manning a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense vehicle deployed at the main Cilvegozu border gate with Syria.
The agency says the team is examining injured Syrians for signs of chemical agents before sending them to nearby hospitals for treatment.
Officials in Syria’s capital, Damascus, deny claims the Assad regime has used chemical weapons. The rebels also deny any allegations of chemical weapon use.