Syria condemned by OPCW for use of chemical weapons

Jul. 9 – The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) certified that Syrian air force used banned chemical weapons on the village of Ltamenaha, in the Hama region, in March 2017.

Specifically, in a report, OPCW investigators stated that Syrian Sukhoi Su-22 military planes and a helicopter dropped the banned sarin and chlorine bombs. From its side Syria, which joined the OPCW in 2013, said it fully destroyed the chemical weapons that they declared to the Organization. However, the inspectors found undeclared toxins and munitions during their site visits.

โ€œThe Council โ€ฆcondemned the use of chemical weapons as reported by the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), which concluded that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Syrian Arab Republic used chemical weapons in Ltamenah, Syria in March 2017.โ€

OPCW Headquarters (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), The Hague, Netherlands (Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Together with its military ally Russia, Syria has always denied the use of chemical weapons in this civil war.

According to the OPCW statement, after this decision Damascus has 90 days to reveal “the facilities where the chemical weapons, including precursors, munitions, and devices, used in the 24, 25, and 30 March 2017 attacks were developed, produced, stockpiled, and operationally stored for delivery.โ€

If they should fail to meet the deadline, the council will recommend to take some actions limiting Syria’s membership rights inside the OPCW Conference of States Parties, which may also report Damascus to the U.N. Security Council.

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