Russia claims it is highly probable ISIS are using chemical weapons in Syria
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Russia have claimed it is ‘highly probable’ that ISIS are illegally using chemical weapons in Syria.
Traces of the deadly nerve gas sarin were found in samples of victims by a global arms watchdog who have been tasked with investigating the use of chemical weapons in the civil war.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has for months been warning of the continued use of mustard, sarin and chlorine gas in the brutal conflict.
Ahmet Uzumcu, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) chief, explained how blood samples had revealed blood samples showed the use of sarin gas.
‘In one instance, analysis of some blood samples indicates that individuals were at some point exposed to sarin or a sarin-like substance.
‘Further investigation would be necessary to determine when or under what circumstances such exposure might have occurred.’
The news come as it was declared Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal has been completely destroyed.
The announcement came after more than two years of work, a global arms watchdog said today.
After years of denials, the regime caved to international pressure in September 2013 and agreed under a US-Russia deal to hand over its toxic stockpile to the OPCW for destruction.
The admission came after a sarin gas attack in August that year on rebel-held areas near Damascus that was blamed by the West and the opposition on the regime. Hundreds of civilians were killed.
The removal of the weapons was the result of a historic deal which averted threatened US air strikes against Damascus after the August attacks.
‘One hundred percent has been destroyed,’ Malik Ellahi, the OPCW spokesman, told AFP on Tuesday.
With the UN Security Council poised to discuss the chemical weapons issue on Tuesday, OPCW director general Ahmet Uzumcu said: ‘This process closes an important chapter in the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapon programme.’
But he acknowledged the organisation based in The Hague was still continuing ‘efforts to clarify Syria’s declaration and address ongoing use of toxic chemicals as weapons in that country.’
The first shipment of chemical weapons left Syria from its port of Latakia in January 2014.
A total of 1,300 metric tonnes of chemical weapons have now been removed from Syria, with the majority neutralised on the US Navy ship MV Cape Ray and turned into less harmful effluent.
The OPCW’s work in Syria saw it being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.
Source: Daily Mail