Incident Summary:

03/19/2013: A rocket loaded with unidentified chemical agents struck near a military post in Khan al-Assal town, Aleppo governorate, Syria. The attack killed at least 25 people, including 16 soldiers, and wounded approximately 130 others. Syrian regime officials blamed the incident on opposition forces and requested a United Nations (UN) inquiry into the event. Representatives of the Syrian opposition denied these claims and insisted that the attack was perpetrated by members of the Syrian armed forces. In June, 2013, the United States released a statement which attributed a unknown number of chemical weapons attacks in Syria to forces of the Syrian regime; however, it is not clear from the statement if this incident was part of the assessment. In July, 2013, Russia released the findings of its own investigation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The report blamed the Khan al-Assal attack on opposition rebels. To date, various UN attempts to establish who was behind the attack have been inconclusive.




Middle East & North Africa

region/u.s. state:


Khan al-Assal

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Military
Name of Entity Syrian Armed Forces (SAF)
Specific Description Post
Nationality of Target Syria
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Not Applicable
Specific Description Civilians
Nationality of Target Syria
Additional Information
Hostages No
Property Damage Unknown
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Chemical Explosive
Weapon Details
A rocket with chemical agents was used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) Yes
Alternate Designation (more) State Actor
Additional Information There is doubt that this incident meets terrorism-related criteria. Sources are conflicted regarding whether the attack was carried out by government forces or an opposition group.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 25 Fatalities / 130 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 25
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 130
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Syrian rebels say not behind chemical weapon attack, blame government," Reuters, March 19, 2013."
"Syria says rebels use chemical weapon in "dangerous escalation"," Reuters, March 19, 2013."
"Syria asks UN to investigate Aleppo chemical attack," Xinhua News Agency, March 21, 2013."