Britain accuses Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad of stockpiling chemical weapons. PHOTO/Reuters
NEW YORK – Government English on Tuesday (7/2/2023), accused the President of Syria Bashar Assad replenish his regime’s arsenal of chemical weapons. According to the British, Assad did that for at least the last five years.
Barbara Woodward, the UK’s permanent representative to the United Nations, told the UN Security Council that her country is “deeply concerned that the Assad regime has been working actively to rebuild its chemical weapons stockpile since at least 2018.
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“This is a flagrant violation of its obligations (under) the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Woodward said, as quoted by Arab News.
His accusations came during a board meeting to discuss implementation of Resolution 2118. That follows a recent report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the watchdog responsible for implementing the KSK, which concluded there was sufficient evidence to conclude that the chemical attack on the city of Douma in April 2018 was carried out by the Arab Air Force Syria.
Resolution 2118 was unanimously adopted in September 2013, following a United Nations investigation that confirmed the use of chemical weapons against civilians during attacks on the outskirts of Damascus.
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The agreement orders the Syrian regime to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile by mid-2014, and stipulates punitive measures to be applied for non-compliance. It also prohibits Syria from using, developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling or storing chemical weapons, or transferring them to other countries or non-state actors.
In October 2013, Syria submitted to the OPCW a formal preliminary declaration of its chemical weapons program, including plans for the destruction of its stockpile.
Meanwhile, Fernando Arias, Director General of the OPCW on Tuesday briefed the board on the latest report by the organization’s Investigation and Identification Team. He said there were “reasonable reasons” to believe the Syrian Arab Air Force was responsible for the chemical attack in Douma five years ago.
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