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A child receives treatment in Damascus for a suspected chemical attack. Photo: Hamza Al-ajweh/AFP/Getty Images

The U.N. commission investigating and documenting possible war crimes in Syria released a report Wednesday that left out seven pages of gruesome details regarding potential chemical attacks on civilians, according to the NYT.

Why it matters: The omitted pages allege chemical weapons use that is far broader than previously known, though one of the authors claims that additional corroboration is necessary. It also identifies the weaponry used in some of the attacks as Iranian-made, which would be the first use of such technology.

How we know: The NYT obtained an early draft of the commission report, which had seven pages detailing six different chemical attacks, though the published report truncated them into three paragraphs.

  • What they’re saying: A member of the commission told the Times the omissions could be included in a later report, but that they need more corroboration and clarification.
  • Yes, but: "[T]he conclusions in the omitted information seemed unambiguous."

The details:

  • In three attacks that occurred in January and February, government forces fired “most probably chlorine” in a residential part of eastern Ghouta. There was evidence that the rockets were Iranian-produced in two of the three attacks. 31 people, including 11 children, were sickened in these attacks.
  • Two instances of possible chlorine use in February and March killed two children, including an infant. The attacks injured 18 other civilians.
  • An aerial attack hit a residential building in April, releasing “large amounts of a substance.” This caused foaming at the mouth, among other symptoms consistent with exposure to a choking agent. 49 people died, including 11 children. This attack led the U.S., France, and Britain to launch retaliatory strikes.

The losers: The U.N. identified Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime as responsible for the atrocities without any conditions or qualifications. Assad suggested the April attack was faked, and Iran claimed it was faked by the West to launch military attacks.

What's next: The final report will be delivered to the U.N. Human Rights Council next week.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Stephen Breyer formally announces retirement from Supreme Court

Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Justice Stephen Breyer on Thursday sent a letter to President Biden formally announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court.

State of play: Breyer said his retirement will take effect when the court "rises for the summer recess (typically late June or early July) assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed."

COVID created an epic U.S. trade gap

Chart: Axios Visuals. Data: Census Bureau/Bureau of Economic Analysis

The details of the blockbuster fourth quarter GDP report released Thursday morning tell a vivid story of how the underpinnings of the world economy have been reshaped by the pandemic.

One example: In the arithmetic around U.S. economic output, trade acted as a more severe drag last year than it has in a generation.

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

Pandemic gave cover to online dating scams

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Crooked Casanovas used online dating scams to steal an estimated $500 million from lonely victims last year, according to a new analysis of government fraud data by Atlas VPN, an internet security provider.

Why it matters: The isolation of the lingering pandemic provided cover to fraudulent suitors who had an excuse for not meeting up in person even as they fleeced their would-be lovers out of gift cards, money — even cryptocurrency.