The U.S. has welcomed the recent Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) report accusing the Syrian military of carrying out three chemical weapon attacks.
The report, that was released by the organization’s Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) on April 8, claims that the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) conducted three airstrikes with Sarin and chlorine bombs on the town of al-Lataminah in northern Hama on March 24, 25 and 30 of 2017.
In a statement, the U.S. Department of State said it shares the organization’s conclusions and assesses that the Syrian military has sufficient experience to develop, produce and deploy chemical weapons, especially Sarin and chlorine.
“The United States condemns the use of chemical weapons as reported by the OPCW IIT and demands that the Syrian Arab Republic immediately cease all development, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons,” the statement released on April 8 reads.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated the OPCW’s accusations, slamming Damascus’ allies Russia and Iran for spreading “misinformation” on the matter.
“No amount of disinformation from Assad’s enablers in Russia and Iran can hide the fact that the Syrian regime is responsible for numerous chemical weapons attacks. Today’s OPCW report confirms the regime’s continued use of chemical weapons and utter disregard for human life,” Pompeo said on Twitter.
Syria joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013 as a part of a deal brokered by Russia. The U.S. military played a key role in the mission to destroy the country’s chemical weapons. The OPCW confirmed that Syria’s stockpiles were destroyed as well as all production and research facilities.
The OPCW is yet to clarify the source of the chemical weapons it claims they were used by the SyAAF. The organization has not asked to inspect any new suspected facility in Syria, despite having the authority to do this. This raises serious questions about the recent accusations, which could be used to justify new sanctions on the war-torn country.
- “Shocking Surprise”: OPCW Holds Syrian Army Responsible For Three “Chemical Weapons” Attacks In 2017