CBRNE & EOD Defence

OPCW addresses Syrian chemical weapon claims

10 July 2013

As cross-accusations grow over the alleged use of chemical weapons (CW) in Syria's civil war, identifying who used them would require detailed investigation of their delivery systems and difficult forensic analysis of samples to determine their delivery origin, according to Ahmet Üzümcu, head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Also, despite the latest 'hard' evidence handed over on 9 July to UN authorities by Russia, which Moscow claims proves Syria's rebel forces used CW, only on-site sampling by a UN inspector team can resolve the issue, said Üzümcu.

"The samples would have to be collected by the team members themselves," Üzümcu told a policy audience in Brussels hosted by think-tank Carnegie Europe on 10 July.

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