Chemical Weapons Watchdog Spurns Russian Call for New Syria Probe

Russia, Iran Sought More Details on Accused Syria Gas Attack

by Jason Ditz, April 20, 2017

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is conducting a very limited fact finding into this month’s accused gas attack in Syria’s Idlib Province, simply determining what sort of chemical people were exposed to.

Russia and Iran were both pushing for a new, bigger investigation, but the OPCW has “overwhelmingly” rejected that idea, arguing that it would harm the credibility of the fact finding mission if they had to carry out the broader investigation seeking specifics.

The Russian proposal sought an investigation into whether or not the chemical exposure was actually an attack with a weapon, how such a weapon would’ve been delivered, and most importantly visiting the Shayrat airbase, which the US attacked after the incident, to follow through on US claims that chemicals are being stored at the site.

The OPCW fact-finding mission found that the people were likely exposed to sarin or something similar, but all the other questions remain totally unanswered. This is likely to be a victory for the West, as the US and other nations have opposed any deeper investigation, claiming Syria’s guilt is obvious.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz