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Syria is likely to have used chemical weapons 17 times

Cameroon – The Secretary of the International Chemical Weapons Observatory told the UN Security Council that its experts investigated 77 allegations against Syria, with 17 likely or reliable chemical weapons being used. He said he concluded.

Fernando Arias called eight years after Syria’s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans the manufacture or use of such weapons, as a “worrisome reality.”

He said Thursday that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons would address a new issue in the next talks with Syria: “A new chemical weapons substance was found in a sample collected in a large storage container in September 2020.”

Arias will send a letter to the Syrian government to send an OPCW team to investigate the issue from May 18th to June 1st, requesting a visa but not responding. He said he had told Damascus that he would postpone his arrival to May 28.

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“We decided to postpone the mission until we were notified later,” he said, as there was no response from Syria by May 26.

Syria was forced to join the Chemical Weapons Convention by its close ally Russia in September 2013 after a deadly chemical weapons attack blamed on Damascus by the West. By August 2014, President Bashar Assad’s government had declared that the disposal of chemical weapons had been completed. However, Syria’s first declaration of OPCW remains controversial.

In April 2020, OPCW investigators blamed the Syrian government for three chemical weapons attacks in 2017. The OPCW Executive Council responded by requesting Syria to provide details.

If that was not done, France submitted a bill in November on behalf of 46 countries to suspend Syria’s “rights and privileges” in global surveillance agencies. In an unprecedented vote on April 21, OPCW suspended Syria’s rights until all open issues were resolved.

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Russia has accused OPCW and its investigators of de facto and technical error and has sharply criticized them for acting under pressure from Western nations.

Russia’s UN ambassador, Vasily Nebenzia, continued to attack on Thursday, with chemical weapons surveillance agencies using information “from biased sources against the Syrian government” to collect evidence remotely and rely on “pseudo-witnesses.” I accused him of doing so.

He said that the purpose of the council meeting was not to “cross-examine” Arias by asking “unpleasant” questions, as some council members said, but to “depress the dire situation developed at OPCW.” To work together to improve. “

When the OPCW voted to “neutralize …”, “we need to speak openly with the OPCW leadership to prevent further loss of authority and prevent the recurrence of the dire situation that occurred in April. There is. ” The Chemical Weapons Convention was said by Nevensia. “We are concerned about the politicization of the work, initiated by our Western colleagues.”

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The Russian ambassador said Arias was surprised that Syria was not cooperating with the investigation team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

“It’s not surprising that Syria didn’t recognize the legitimacy of the group. We didn’t, either,” said Neventia. “The group was founded illegally. We can’t expect Syria to cooperate with it,” he said.

“The facts of this case are clear,” said Barbara Woodward, the United Nations Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

“Syria’s first declaration of chemical weapons has 20 open issues, which is a serious concern,” she said. “The United Nations and OPCW attribute eight chemical weapons attacks to the Syrian regime. It is clear that the regime retains the capabilities of chemical weapons and their willingness to use them.”

Mr Woodward said the Security Council will continue to insist on full cooperation with Syria’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and “complete and verifiable destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons program.”

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“Disinformation endorsed by Syria and its very few supporters can deny or undermine the credibility of the evidence presented to us by the OPCW,” said Richard Mills, Deputy Ambassador of the United States. I can’t. “

“Russia-backed Assad administration continues to ignore requests from the international community to fully disclose and verifyably destroy its chemical weapons program,” Mills said. “Without accountability for the atrocities committed against the Syrian people, Syria’s permanent peace remains unrealizable. The United States is a key factor in moving Syria towards a political resolution of the conflict. , Seeking justice and accountability again. “

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Syria is likely to have used chemical weapons 17 times

Source link Syria is likely to have used chemical weapons 17 times

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