The official dismantling of Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons began in October 2013, the result of painstaking negotiations.
The then US President Barack Obama made his opinion on chemical weapons clear:“A red line for us is, we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”
Symptoms included muscle spasms constricted pupils & involuntary defecation, consistent w/ exposure to a neurotoxic agent like #saringas 4/7— MSF UK (@MSF_uk) April 5, 2017
In August 2013 two opposition controlled areas of Damascus were hit by sarin many hundreds of people died.
The US Senate filed a resolution to authorise the use of force against the Syrian military in response to the Ghouta attack.
Assad warned against any intervention:“It’s going to get worse with any foolish strike or stupid war.’‘
‘‘What do you mean worse?’‘
“Worse because of the repercussions. Because nobody can tell what the repercussion of the first strike, when you talk about one region. bigger regions. It’s not only about Syria, it’s interlinked region.”
As many as 192 states have ratified or acceded to Chemical Weapons Convention.
OPCW (@OPCW) April 4, 2017
Israel has signed, but not ratified the treaty.
Egypt, North Korea,South Sudan have neither signed nor acceded to the Convention.
There are penalties for noncompliance the OPCW may recommend collective punitive measures.
In cases of “particular gravity,” the OPCW can bring the issue before the UN Security Council and General Assembly.
However, the Security Council is stymied if one of its members plays the veto card.
Last February a Security Council vote against the use of chemical weapons by Damascus was blocked by Moscow and Beijing.
Human Rights Watch say the Syrian government bombarded Aleppo eight times with
chlorine gas between Nov. 18 and Dec. 9, last year.
Assad has routinely denied using chemical weapons in the civil war.