Chemical Weapons – OPCW report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria (13 June 2018)

On June 13, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) published a new report investigating the use of chemical weapons. It confirms with a high degree of certainty that sarin was used in Latamneh, Syria, on March 24, 2017, and that chlorine was used in another attack on the same town on March 25.

The fight against the proliferation of chemical weapons is a priority. France is strongly committed to this issue, and on January 23 launched the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, supported by 34 nations. This OPCW report underscores the urgency of establishing, as swiftly as possible, a new mechanism to determine those responsible for these attacks, as Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian emphasized at the Partnership’s first meeting in Paris on May 18. There can be no impunity for those who develop or use such weapons.

This is the sixteenth OPCW report confirming the use of a chemical weapon or a toxic substance similar to a chemical weapon in the Syrian conflict. As a reminder, the UN and OPCW’s Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) had determined that the Syrian armed forces were responsible in at least four cases. Russia vetoed attempts to renew its mandate three times.