UN inspecting additional Syria chemical attacks

The UN said Sept. 27 that inspectors returned to Syria this week to investigate seven chemical weapon attacks, including three that occurred after the Aug. 21 incident in Damascus. The investigation is set to be finished by early next week, followed by a separate visit by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to inspect Syria’s chemical weapon stockpile. The OPCW is also set to vote on a draft agreement which will be incorporated into a UN Security Council resolution, to which the US and Russia have agreed.

Last week UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the Syrian government’s formal agreement to sign and abide by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). CWC signatories must agree to “chemically disarm” by destroying chemical weapon stockpiles and creating enforcement mechanisms to ensure that chemical weapons will not be produced, acquired or transferred within their jurisdiction. Rights groups accused the Syrian government of responsibility for Aug. 21 chemical weapon attacks, which allegedly involved the use of sarin nerve gas. Syria’s main opposition group in August urged the UN to probe numerous massacres they say were committed during Ramadan by forces loyal to Assad.

From Jurist, Sept. 27. Used with permission.

  1. UN Syria resolution ‘fails to ensure justice’: HRW
    Human Rights Watch on Sept. 28 criticized the UN Security Council resolution ordering the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal. “This resolution fails to ensure justice for the gassing of hundreds of children and many other grave crimes,” said the group’s United Nations director, Philippe Bolopion. He renewed HRW’s longstanding call for the UN to “refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and adopt targeted sanctions against those responsible for mass killings.” (AFP)