Below the headlines: CBW matters (2)

(A weekly digest from the internet on chemical and biological warfare issues. Emphasis is on incidents and perspectives, but inclusion of an item does not equal endorsement or agreement with the contents. This issue covers items collected between 20 – 26 February 2017.)

Assassination of Kim Jong-Nam

Chemical warfare in Syria

  • Red Line Redux: How Putin Tore Up Obama’s 2013 Syria Deal (Aron Lund, 3 February 2017): The so-called “red line” episode in September 2013, when, in a last-minute decision, President Barack Obama called off U.S. air strikes in Syria, has continued to shape his legacy. Instead of striking the Syrian government in retaliation for a nerve gas attack near Damascus, Obama took Russian President Vladimir Putin up on an offer to peacefully dismantle the Syrian chemical weapons program and craft a United Nations resolution to make sure no gas attacks ever occurred in Syria again.
  • U.N. Security Council to vote on Syria sanctions over chemical weapons -diplomat (Reuters, 23 February 2017):   The draft resolution also seeks to ban the sale or supply of helicopters to the Syrian government and to blacklist 10 government and related entities involved in the development and production of chemical weapons and the missiles to deliver them.
  • UN eyes Syria sanctions for chemical weapon use (AFP, 24 February 2017): The UN Security Council is likely to vote next week on a draft resolution that would slap sanctions on Syria over the use of chemical weapons, but Russia is almost certain to veto the measure, diplomats said.
  • Trump Administration Poised to Collide With Russia Over Syrian Chemical Weapons (Colum Lynch, 24 February 2017): The Trump administration is headed toward a diplomatic confrontation with Moscow at the United Nations, as the United States, Britain, and France pressed for the passage of a resolution sanctioning Syria’s use of chemical weapons in the face of a certain Russian veto.
  • UN Syria sanctions vote sought next week; Russia vows veto (Jennifer Peltz, 24 February 2017): Nations urging the U.N. to ban helicopter sales to Syria and impose other sanctions over chemical weapons use are seeking a Security Council vote next week.
  • Russia Vows to Veto Sanctions on Syria Over Chemical Weapons (Rodrigo Campos, 24 February 2017): Russia is ready to veto a draft resolution calling for sanctions against Syria over the use of chemical weapons on civilians, a top Russian diplomat to the United Nations said on Friday, prompting a rebuke from the United States.
  • Syria: Draft Resolution Imposing Sanctions Regarding the Use and Production of Chemical Weapons (What’s In Blue, 25 February 2017): Early next week, the Security Council is scheduled to vote on a draft resolution establishing a sanctions regime, a committee and a panel of experts to ensure accountability for the use and production of chemical weapons in Syria.

CBW threats

CBW armament

UNSC Resolution 1540

  • UN Security Council document S/2017/126 (10 February 2017): Letter to the UNSC President outlining the sixteenth programme of work of the Committee for the period from 1 February 2017 to 31 January 2018.

Victims of chemical warfare

Terrorism with CBW

  • Israeli Arab with ISIS ties charged with planning sarin gas attack ( Israel Hayom, 21 February 2017): The Central District State Prosecutor’s Office on Monday issued an indictment against 35-year-old Anas Haj Yihya, from the town of Tayibe in central Israel, for planning terrorist attacks against Israelis on behalf of the Islamic State group.

Riot control and incapacitating agents

Counter-proliferation

Preparedness

Biosecurity

Disease surveillance

  • Naval Research Lab Works to Put a Stop to Pandemic Disease (Yolanda R. Arrington, 14 February 2017): The U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2 (NAMRU-2) has been working for over a decade in the Kampong Cham Province of Cambodia to help establish epidemiological surveillance studies and increase biosecurity capacities.
  • The Biotechnological Wild West: The Good, the Bad, and the Underknown of Synthetic Biology (Yong-Bee Lim, 14 February 2017): Report from a panel on emerging biotechnologies at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Biothreats conference.
  • Mathematics supports a new way to classify viruses based on structure (Greta Keenan, 23 February 2017): Professor Robert Sinclair at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) and Professor Dennis Bamford and Dr. Janne Ravantti from the University of Helsinki have found new evidence to support a classification system for viruses based on viral structure. Application of this new structure-based classification system could make it easier to identify and treat newly emerging viruses that cannot easily be classified with existing classification systems.

 Industry news

This entry was posted in Biological, Chemical, Press on by .

About JP Zanders

Jean Pascal Zanders (Belgium) has worked on questions of chemical and biological weapon (CBW) armament and disarmament since 1986. He was CBW Project Leader at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Director of the BioWeapons Prevention Project and Senior Research Fellow responsible for disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation questions at the European Union Institute for Security Studies. He now owns and runs The Trench.