Syria Has Likely Used Chemical Weapons 17 Times

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Syria Has Likely Used Chemical Weapons 17 Times

The head of the international chemical weapons (OPCW) watchdog told the U.N. Security Council that its experts have investigated 77 allegations against Syria, and concluded that in 17 cases chemical weapons were likely or definitely used.

Background:

A few years ago Western countries blamed Syria (Damascus) for a deadly chemical weapons attack. After this, since September 2013, Syria was being pressured by its ally Russia to join the ‘Chemical Weapons Convention’ (CWC).

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

  • ‘OPCW’ is an international organization established by the ‘Chemical Weapons Convention’ (CWC), held in the year 1997.
  • It acts primarily as a key body for enforcing and implementing the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • Until 2001, the OPCW reported its inspections and other actions to the United Nations through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, as the relationship agreement between the OPCW and the United Nations was established by then.
  • In 2013, OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.

Powers of ‘Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’:

The ‘Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ has the power to conduct inspections to verify the compliance of the ‘Agreement’ by the signatory countries.

The following actions are prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC):

  • Developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, or retaining chemical weapons.
  • Direct or indirect transfer of chemical weapons.
  • Use of chemical weapons or preparation for military use.
  • To assist, encourage or induce other states to engage in CWC-prohibited activities.
  • The use of riot control agents ‘as a method of warfare’.

Source – The Hindu

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