Category Archives: Chemical

Below the headlines: CBW matters (11)

(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 24 – 30 April 2017.)

Chemical warfare in Syria

The chemical strike against Khan Sheikhoun

Perpetrator of second largest chemical attack in Syria identified (Orient Net, 5 April 2017): Observatories operating in the provinces of Hama and Idlib revealed the identity of the commander of the aircraft that carried out the massacre on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib countryside, which marked the second largest chemical attack in Syria after the August 2013 attacks on both eastern and western Ghoutas in Damascus. Evidence Contradicts Russia’s Account of the Syria Chemical Attack (Jeffrey Marcus, 5 April 2017): The Russian government has sharply contested accounts by international leaders and witnesses that a deadly chemical attack in northern Syria last week was carried out by Syrian government forces. Here’s what the available evidence, including a declassified four-page American intelligence report, tells us about the reliability of the Russian account. Syria’s government helped create a rebel bastion — then attacked it with poison gas, the U.S. says

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CWC 20th anniversary: Speeches and impressions

Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Entry into Force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (The Hague, 26 April 2017)

Invitation to the Commemoration

The Programme

Collection of speeches

  • Welcome address by Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the OPCW
  • Video message by Mr António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Address by Mr Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands
  • Address by Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • Address by Mrs Pauline Krikke, Mayor of The Hague
  • Address by Ambassador Dr Christoph Israng, Chairperson of the Conference of the States Parties

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Below the headlines: CBW matters (10)

(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 17 – 23 April 2017.)

Chemical warfare in Syria

The chemical strike against Khan Sheikhoun

Did Iran just violate the Chemical Weapons Convention? (Majid Rafizadeh, 10 April 2017): Both Iran and Syria are signatories of the international treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention. International attention has been directed toward the Syrian government for the use of chemical weapons against innocent people. Nevertheless, the critical role that Assad’s staunchest ally and bedfellow, the Islamic Republic of Iran, has played in these attacks should not be overlooked. Did Russia know of Syria chemical attack in advance? U.S. officials want to know (Matthew Schofield, 11 April 2017): White House officials on Tuesday said they have strong suspicions that even as Syrian jets lifted off with ghastly Sarin-loaded bombs, Russia was aware of the horror about to be dropped on the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Senior White House officials, who conducted a briefing on the attack on the condition of anonymity, described “with a high level of confidence” that Syrian warplanes dropped “at least one munition” loaded with Sarin that ended up killing about 86 people in the Syrian town April 4. They insisted that Russia and Syria had been running a disinformation campaign to create doubt internationally about the attack. What we know about the April 4 chemical attack in Syria (Dino Pisaniello, 11 April 2017): The April 4, 2017 chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria led to at least 70 deaths and more than 100 people requiring medical attention, prompting an outcry from the international community. It led to the April 7 US bombing of the Shayrat air base. It is alleged that sarin was used in the Khan Sheikhoun attack. This particular chemical became famous in 1995 with the Tokyo subway attack, launched by members of the cult movement Aum Shinrikyo. Die Indizien, die Verschwörungstheorien, die Fakten

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Below the headlines: CBW matters (9)

(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 10 – 16 April 2017.)

Chemical warfare in Syria

The chemical strike against Khan Sheikhoun

The Aftermath of an Alleged Chemical Weapon Attack in Idlib (Alexandra Bradford, 5 April 2017): Dr. Abdel Hay Tennari, who treated at least 22 critical victims from the alleged toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun, said his patients’ symptoms were consistent with Sarin gas and the field hospital where he works has run out of the antidote. Syrian village hit by suspected chlorine attack hours after US condemns Assad (MEE staff, 6 April 2017): The Syrian government has been accused of carrying out a chlorine attack in Syria, hours after the US had condemned a chemical attack in southern Idlib that killed scores. Video footage shared on social media showed what appeared to be Syrian government helicopters dropping barrels filled with chlorine on the village of al-Lataminah in northern Hama. Russia must explain possible role in chemical attack, top Trump adviser says (Mike DeBonis, 9 April 2017): President Trump’s top national security adviser said Sunday that Russia should be pressed on whether it knew the Syrian regime would carry out a deadly chemical attack against civilians in a rebel-held area last week. Official: Russia knew Syrian chemical attack was coming

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Below the headlines: CBW matters (8)

(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 3 – 9 April 2017.)

Chemical warfare in Syria

The chemical strike against Khan Sheikhoun

‘Toxic gas attack’ in Syria kills at least 58 people (Al Jazeera, 04 Apr 2017): Opposition says government or Russian jets pounded the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib. At least 58 people, including nine children, were killed in an air raid that released “toxic gas” on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun on Tuesday, a monitor said. Syria Conflict: ‘Chemical Attack’ Kills 58 People in Rebel-Held Town (Jack Moore, 04 Apr 2017): A suspected chlorine gas attack on a rebel-held town in Syria killed at least 58 people in the northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday, according to a monitoring group. The attack took place in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province. Syria: suspected chemical attack kills dozens in Idlib province (Kareem Shaheen, 4 April 2017): Dozens of people have been killed in a suspected chemical attack in northern Syria, aid workers and local activists have said, in one of the largest mass casualty incidents using a toxic gas in the six-year conflict. Gas Attack Is Said to Kill Dozens in Syria

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Hate mail for standing up for CW disarmament – A first?

The news just broke that the Trump administration launched cruise missiles against al Shayrat airfield in Syria in response to the chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib Province on 4 April.

I then got the following message:

As usual with such religion-infused hate messages, the basic facts are all wrong and ignorance reigns supreme.

It is really sad that with so much intolerance concerning social relations, ethnicity and personal identity, the efforts at disarmament – a core tool in creating international stability, preventing the outbreak of war, or should that fail, escalation of the conflict – now too become the object of highly individualised hatred.

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CW attack in Khan Sheikhoun: Documents from the UNSC debate on responsibility

{Update 4 – 12 April 2017}

This posting brings together the most important documents circulating at this stage.

First, the minutes with the statements by UN Security Council (UNSC) members and debate on 28 February, during which a resolution to sanction certain Syrian individuals deemed responsible for the earlier CW attacks was vetoed, can be downloaded here.

On 5 April, the UNSC held an emergency debate after the chemical weapon attack against Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib Province, Syria that killed scores of civilians – the death toll is now approaching 100 – and hundreds of other casualties.

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Below the headlines: CBW matters (7)

(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 27 March – 2 April 2017.)

CBW disarmament

Russia Destroys Last Remaining Supplies of Deadly Chemical Weapon Soman (Sputnik News, 26 March 2017): Russia’s last supplies of the deadly chemical weapon soman have been destroyed, Russia’s Federal Administration for the Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons announced on Saturday. OPCW Director-General delivers keynote address at the international symposium on toxic substances in Singapore (HPN News Desk, 28 March 2017): The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü recently paid an official visit to Singapore, where he gave the keynote address at the Singapore International Symposium on Protection Against Toxic Substances. Colorado chemical arms waste may be trucked to another state

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Below the headlines: CBW matters (6)

(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 March 2017.)

CBW disarmament

Poroshenko replaces Ukrainian ambassador to the Netherlands (Interfax, 18 March 2017): Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has dismissed Oleksandr Horin from the post of Ukrainian Ambassador to the Netherlands and the post of permanent representative of Ukraine in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. King to attend OPCW’s 20th anniversary commemoration in The Hague (Royal House, 23 March 2017): On Wednesday 26 April, His Majesty the King will attend a commemorative ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the founding of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), at the Hall of Knights in The Hague. His Majesty the King of the Netherlands and High Dignitaries to Attend OPCW 20th Anniversary Commemoration

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Below the headlines: CBW matters (5)

(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 13 – 19 March 2017.)

Chemical warfare in Iraq

Iraq says there is no evidence of ISIS chemical attack in Mosul (Rudaw, 12 March 2017): Iraq has “no evidence” that ISIS had used chemical weapons in Mosul, the country’s ambassador to the United Nations Mohamed Ali Alhakim told reporters on Friday. Alhakim made the remarks as the UN Security Council was briefed on the situation of Mosul behind the closed doors. VIDEO: ISIS chemical attack hits Iraqi forces (GEOPOLMonitor Staff, 14 March 2017): A mortar believed to be fired by ISIS landed near a Rudaw news agency team embedded with Iraqi forces in Mosul, causing severe respiratory problems among the advancing Iraqi soldiers and media. Doctors ‘100 percent sure’ chemical weapons used near Mosul (Chad Garland, 15 March 2017): The incident followed allegations earlier this month that Islamic State fighters turned chemical weapons on civilians in the battle for Mosul, now in its fifth month. The United Nations has said it would be a war crime, if confirmed, but Iraq’s U.N. ambassador said last week there is no evidence to support the allegations. Medical workers, however, say they’ve seen and treated the evidence — the symptoms of about a dozen civilian patients. Russian Foreign Ministry reiterates IS systematically uses chemical weapons in Mosul

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