Syria chemical inspectors find sarin traces
Weapons inspectors have found traces of precursors for the deadly VX and sarin nerve agents at an undeclared site
Chemical weapons inspectors have found traces of precursors for the deadly VX and sarin nerve agents at an undeclared site in Syria, according to a European Union document seen Friday.
Maris Klisans, Latvia's permanent representative at the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), told fellow delegates at a closed-door meeting Thursday that the 28-country bloc had a number of "concerns" over Damascus's handling of its chemical weapons issue.
"Last but not least, the recent finding of the (OPCW) Declaration Assessment Team, showing traces of precursors of VX and sarin were found on a site where they were not supposed to be, figure high on that list," Klisans told the delegates, delivering the statement on behalf of the EU.
"The EU is particularly concerned that, due to the above, Syria may still hold chemical weapons materials or undeclared chemical weapons agents," added the statement, which was later published on the OPCW's website.
OPCW spokesman Peter Sawczak declined to give further details, saying he was bound by confidentiality on the matter.
After an August 2013 sarin attack outside Damascus that much of the international community blamed on President Bashar al-Assad's government, the regime agreed to turn over its chemical arsenal.
The United States threatened military action against Damascus over the attack, but held off following the chemical disarmament agreement.
A total of 1,300 metric tonnes of chemical weapons have been removed from Syria, with the majority being destroyed aboard the US Navy ship MV Cape Ray.
The United States however on Wednesday asked the UN Security Council to set up an investigation on the use of chemical weapons in Syria following reports of chlorine gas attacks.
Britain, France and the United States have accused Assad's forces of carrying out the chlorine attacks, using barrel bombs thrown from helicopters.
The three countries argue that only the Syrian regime has helicopters, but Russia maintains there is no solid proof that Damascus is behind the attacks.
The move by the United States follows a Security Council meeting last month during which Syrian doctors gave graphic first-hand evidence of chlorine attacks.
A video of the doctors treating children after a chlorine bomb attack on the village of Sarmin in Idlib province left many council members in tears.
Said Latvian representative Klisans, delivering the statement: "The EU... stresses that those responsible for these illegal acts must be held accountable."
Syrian opposition reports chemical attack in IdlibActivist groups said government helicopters dropped at least two barrel bombs containing chlorine on the town of Saraqeb Middle East
Assad says no Iran troops in Syria, denies fresh chemical attacksIran is Assad’s main regional ally, and Tehran has acknowledged sending military advisers to assist his forces Middle East
Syrian doctors ask Russia to help unblock aidThe meeting came a day after the U.N. heard the two doctors give a detailed account of treating victims of chemical attacks Middle East
‘Strong’ evidence of Syria regime chemical attacks: HRWA high-ranking Syrian security official denied the claim, saying the accusations were lies the insurgents say Middle East
Blast hits China chemical plant, one injury reportedThe blast happened around 7 p.m. (1100 GMT) at a pumping station for a condensate storage at the plant in Zhangzhou Asia
Yemen’s Saleh may possess chemical weaponsSaudi army spokesman says the deposed Yemeni leader is 'an unpredictable man and any behavior can be expected' Middle East
Chemical arms body to investigate claims of Syrian chlorine gas attackThe use of industrial chemicals as weapons is banned under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention Middle East
Kurds probe 2 possible ISIS chemical weapon attacksThe two purported chemical weapon assaults resemble one claimed Saturday by Kurdish officials Middle East
Kurdish govt: ISIS ‘used chlorine gas’ in IraqChlorine is a banned choking agent whose use as a chemical weapon dates back to World War One Middle East
U.S. calls for U.N. action over Syrian deadly chlorine gas attacksThe U.S. draft demands that Syria cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons fact-finding mission Middle East