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Statement by Tánaiste on the investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria

 

Statement by Tánaiste Simon Coveney, T.D. on the investigation into

the use of chemical weapons in Syria

 

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) published the first report of its Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) on 8 April 2020.  The report addresses the use of chemical weapons in Ltamenah, Syria in March 2017.

 

Responding to the publication, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, said:

 

“I welcome the first report of the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) which represents an important step in tackling impunity for the use of chemical weapons.  The report found that the Syrian Air Force was responsible for the use of chemical weapons on three occasions in March 2017 in Ltamenah, Syria, affecting at least 106 persons.  I condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms.  International investigations are an important first step towards accountability and an end to impunity.  I commend the work of the IIT, work which strengthens efforts to improve respect for, and implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention globally.  Ireland supports the ongoing work of the IIT in investigating other incidents of chemical weapons use.

 

Even in the current crisis, the suffering of the Syrian people, who have endured more than nine years of war, is not forgotten. At a time like this, when we are more conscious than ever of the vital work done by health staff, it is unconscionable that hospitals and health facilities in Syria have frequently come under attack in the course of this brutal conflict. Ireland will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to address the needs of the Syrian people.

 

ENDS

Press Office

9 April 2020

 

Notes to Editors

 

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) was established in 2018 by the Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention “to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons” in Syria and elsewhere if requested. This first report focuses on the incidents of chemical weapons use in Ltamenah, Syria on 24, 25 and 30 March 2017 and is available here

 

 

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