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Atrocities in Syria: Declaration by France and Germany on the FFM reports concluding that Sarin and Sulfur Mustard have been used in the Syrien Arab Republik

05.07.2017 - Article

The States Parties subscribing to this Declaration are deeply outraged by the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, which has resulted in the injury and death of hundreds of civilians.

The States parties subscribing to this Declaration welcome the efficient, thorough, dedicated work of the Fact Finding Mission, who drew on information from a wide range of sources including from the Syrian Arab Republic, enabling it to reach conclusive findings.

The States Parties subscribing to this Declaration wish to express their grave concern with the conclusions of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) in Syria that incontrovertible evidence was found that people were exposed to sarin or a sarin-like substance, that this substance was used as weapons in Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017, and that victims were also exposed to sulfur mustard in Um Housh on 16 September 2016.

The States Parties subscribing to this Declaration condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anyone, under any circumstances, and express their strong conviction that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable. They, therefore, condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons as documented in the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission reports.

The States Parties subscribing to this Declaration would like to recall their grave concern with the findings of the OPCW-United Nations (UN) Joint Investigative Mechanism that the Syrian Arab Armed Forces had been involved in the use of toxic chemicals as weapons in three cases in the Syrian Arab Republic in Talmenes in 2014, in Qmenas in 2015, and in Sarmin in 2016, and that the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Daesh) was responsible for one such use in Marea in 2015.

The States Parties subscribing to this Declaration express their deepest sympathy for the victims of chemical weapons attacks. They demand that all parties involved in the use of toxic chemicals as weapons immediately desist from any further use.

The States Parties subscribing to this Declaration would like to recall that the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic constitutes a serious violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention itself and goes against international norms and that any retention, development or use of chemical weapons in Syria represents an illegal and unacceptable threat to international peace and security. In this context, they are deeply concerned that, despite years of follow up by the OPCW with the Syrian authorities, the declaration submitted by Syria still cannot be certified by the OPCW as accurate and complete, which constitutes a serious threat to the Syrian people.

The States Parties subscribing to this Declaration demand that Syria fully comply with its international obligations and resolve the outstanding issues related to its CW program identified by the OPCW Declaration Assessment Team.

The States Parties subscribing to this Declaration would like to express their continued support to the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria and to the OPCW Declaration Assessment Team, express appreciation for the continuing courage and dedication of their members, urge the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism to provide clear and swift conclusions on the reported attacks, and also urge the OPCW-FFM in Syria to quickly report on other recent reports of chemical weapon use in Syria that are currently under investigation.

Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria regarding an alleged inicdent in Khan Shaykhun/Syria in April 2017 PDF / 2 MB

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