New chemical weapons team to launch first Syria investigations

A close up shot shows an empty rocket reportedly fired by regime forces on Douma. (File photo: AFP)

A new team established by the global chemical weapons watchdog to attribute blame for the use of banned munitions in Syria will investigate nine alleged attacks during the country’s war, including in the town of Douma, sources briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was created in 1997 as a technical body to enforce a global non-proliferation treaty. It had until now only been authorized to say whether chemical attacks occurred, not who perpetrated them.

Last June, the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) was established by the OPCW’s member states during a special session, a move that has brought deeper political division to the UN -back agency. Now it has identified the locations of its first investigations to be conducted in the coming three years.

The British-led proposal creating the 10-member team was supported by the United States and European Union, but opposed by Russia, Iran, Syria, and their allies.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
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