Watchdog slams Syria for reported use of chemical weapons

A joint investigation by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has concluded that Syrian government forces were behind three attacks involving chlorine gas and the Islamic State extremist group was responsible for one involving mustard gas. Syria denies using chemicals as weapons.

“For the first time in the convention’s 19-year history, a state party has been found to have violated the treaty’s most fundamental tenet,” Canadian representative Sabine Noelke said, referring to the Chemical Weapons Convention that banned such weapons and established the OPCW.

The convention and the organization that polices it have been seen as disarmament success stories — the OPCW won the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize — but repeated reports of the use of chemicals as weapons during the Syrian crisis are casting a shadow over that success.


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