UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday that he is greatly concerned over the results of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) fact-finding mission in Syria.
In a report discussed by the UN Security Council this morning, and obtained by Anadolu Agency, the secretary-general added that the fact-finding mission concluded, in its second report, that chemicals (toxic chlorine) were used for hostile purposes in Syria.
The report did not name the party that used the toxic chlorine but confirmed that “toxic chlorine, either pure or mixed, was systematically and repeatedly used by parties in the Syrian conflict”.
In his report today, Ki-moon strongly condemned “any such use by any party to the conflict. I trust that those found responsible will be brought to justice”.
According to the second report by the OPCW’s fact-finding mission, obtained by Anadolu Agency, “based on the witness reports and data collected by the fact-finding mission, there has been compelling confirmation that a toxic chemical was used systematically and repeatedly as a weapon in villages in the villages of Talmanes, Al Tamanah and Kafr Zeta, all located in northern Syria. The descriptions, physical properties, behaviour of the gas, and signs and symptoms resulting from exposure, as well as the response of patients to the treatment, leads the fact-finding mission to conclude with a high degree of confidence that chlorine, either pure or in mixture, is the toxic chemical in question.”
OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu condemned the use of toxic chemicals as weapons. In his monthly report on the activities of the UN regarding the execution of UN Security Council Resolution 2118 for the year of 2013, Uzumcu said that “it is necessary for the fact-finding mission to continue its work, which includes documenting the recorded evidence and data obtained by the mission, as well as continuing its investigation into other alleged incidents.”
The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2118 unanimously in 2013 after the chemical attack on civilians in rural Damascus last year. The resolution requires the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons.