Chemical weapons watchdog to probe Syria's alleged chlorine gas attacks

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Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inventory a stockpile of 22mm chemical artillery projectiles (file photo). Credit: OPCW

A fact-finding mission led by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is going to Syria to investigate the alleged use of chlorine in the war-torn country.

The OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu made the announcement on Tuesday.

In recent weeks, there have been unverified reports of toxic chlorine gas attacks taking place in several parts of the country.

Stéphane Dujarric is the UN spokesperson.

"The Syrian Government, which has agreed to accept this mission, has undertaken to provide security in areas under its control. The Secretary-General has expressed his support and assured the assistance of the United Nations in meeting the significant security and logistical demands of this mission. The team is expected to depart for Syria soon."

Syria is now a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention which is why the OPCW is the appropriate body to assess these allegations.

OPCW's probe of the incidents would not be conducted with the UN, its partner in "overseeing the timely elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons programme".

The Joint UN-OPCW Mission announced on Monday the disposal of more than 92 per cent of Syria's declared stockpile of chemical weapons material ahead of its 30 June 2014 deadline.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’17”

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