‘Western Hatred’: Assad Rebukes Chemical Exports Resolution
The Bashar al-Assad-led government has slammed the West for pushing the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to limit chemical exports to Syria. Rejecting the resolution, Syria said this reflects Western hatred towards developing countries.
A majority of OPCW member countries, on Thursday, voted for collective measures to stop the transfer of certain chemicals and chemical-making technology to Syria. The Hague-based organization based its resolution on Syria’s continued possession and use of chemical weapons and its failures to submit an accurate and complete declaration, and to destroy all its undeclared chemical weapons and production facilities.
OPCW has accused Damascus of carrying out a series of chemical attacks during the civil war. Syria became a member of OPCW in October 2013. Earlier this year, the organization said it has reasonable grounds to identify Syrian Arab Air Forces as perpetrators of the 2018 Douma chemical attack.
Assad Rejects Chemical Attacks
The Syrian government has denied allegations of chemical attacks on civilians. In 2021, Syria’s OPCW voting rights were suspended. The OPCW conducted a comprehensive investigation and concluded that on the evening of 7 April 2018, at least one helicopter of the Syrian Tiger Forces Elite Unit dropped two yellow cylinders containing toxic chlorine gas on two apartment buildings in a civilian-inhabited area in Douma, killing 43 named individuals and affected dozens more.
Fernando Arias, OPCW Director-General Ambassador, stated in the report that the Chemical Weapons Convention was signed 30 years ago. “It represents a legally binding commitment of 193 State Parties to ban chemical weapons chemically. OPCW’s Technical Secretariat was given a mandate by the Conference of the State Parties in June 2018 to identify the perpetrators of chemical weapons use in Syria.”
Syria Still Possesses Chemical Weapons
According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the Assad regime still possesses a chemical weapon arsenal. It said at least 1,514 Syrian citizens suffocated to death in chemical weapons attacks, including 214 children and 262 women, while 12,000 are still waiting accountability for the Syrian regime.
The group also accused Russia of helping the Syrian regime with hiding its massive chemical weapon stockpile, which has ultimately led to the repeated use of chemical weapons over and over again.