One more warning for Bashar-El-Assad. Member states of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) warned Syria on Thursday that they could take action against it following a report designating for the first time the Syrian regime as responsible for chemical attacks on his own soil.
A majority of the countries of the OPCW Executive Council, which includes 41 of its 193 member states, voted in favor of this proposal which aims to enjoin Syria to share all the details available on the facilities where sarin and chlorine used during attacks in 2017 were “produced and stored”.
A decision comes after the organization’s identification and investigation team based in The Hague established in April that Bashar al-Assad’s air force had dropped bombs containing these two substances. Latamné, in the north of Syria, thus violating the Chemical Weapons Convention.
According to diplomats, the motion proposed by France was adopted by majority with 29 votes, Russia, China and Iran having been the only countries to vote against. “A good result for international security and the fight against impunity”, reacted the French ambassador to the Netherlands, Luis Vassy.
Syria will face “appropriate action” against it
Damascus now has 90 days to “rectify the situation” by declaring in particular all the remaining chemical weapons at its disposal, including sarin and chlorine. If it does not comply, Syria will face a vote recommending “appropriate action” against it at the annual meeting of all OPCW member states, scheduled for November. Syria could also see its voting rights suspended, the highest sanction allowed by the OPCW, if it does not take action, diplomatic sources said.
The Syrian government constantly denies involvement in chemical attacks, claiming to have released all of its chemical weapons stocks under international supervision under an agreement reached in 2013.
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