A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (12 April) on the publication of the second report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) Investigation and Identification Team:
Thanks to the professional and independent investigations by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the report published today on the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian town of Saraqib is an important contribution to the fight against impunity in the Syria conflict.
The report reaches the conclusion that the Syrian regime’s air force was responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Saraqib in February 2018. The OPCW has thus been able to attribute a further use of chemical weapons in Syria to the Syrian regime. We condemn these illegal uses of chemical weapons in the strongest possible terms. We firmly believe that such a blatant violation of international law must have consequences. Those responsible must be held accountable.
All OPCW Member States are now called upon to respond to these continued breaches by Syria of the Chemical Weapons Convention and to ensure adherence to it with the help of the available means it contains.
On 12 April, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) published the second report by the attribution mechanism deployed in June 2018 (the Investigation and Identification Team ‒ IIT) on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The IIT was created at the Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention aimed at identifying the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons against civilians and civilian targets in Syria under the OPCW. The IIT’s first report, which was presented in April 2020, identified the Syrian Arab Air Force as responsible for three cases of the use of chemical weapons in Ltamenah in March 2017. Over the past months, the second report, which was published today, addressed the circumstances surrounding a chlorine-gas attack in Saraqib on 4 February 2018. As in the case of Ltamenah, this report establishes reasonable grounds for believing that at least one cylinder filled with chlorine gas was thrown out of a Syrian Arab Air Force helicopter during the attacks on Saraqib on 4 February 2018.