Watchdog probing over 20 reports of alleged Syria chemical attacks


The Hague (AFP) – The global watchdog tasked with destroying chemical weapons is probing more than 20 reports of the alleged use of toxic arms in Syria since August, its chief told AFP Friday.

Experts with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also believe the so-called Islamic State group may have itself manufactured mustard gas used in attacks in Syria and Iraq, the body’s director general Ahmet Uzumcu said.

It was an “extremely worrying” development for the OPCW, he said, as the organisation marks its 20th anniversary in 2017 having overseen the destruction of 94 per cent of the world’s declared chemical weapons.

With the United States and Russia now on target to destroy their last remaining stockpiles within the next seven years, Uzumcu said stopping jihadists and individual groups getting hold of chemical weapons was “a challenge” which was “at the top of the agenda” for the organisation based in The Hague. – READ MORE

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