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Statement by Minister Coveney on the report into the use of chemical weapons in Saraqib, Syria

On 12 April 2021, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) published the second report by its Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). The report reached the conclusion that there are reasonable grounds to believe that, on 4 February 2018, the Syrian Air Force dropped at least one cylinder of chlorine on eastern Saraqib. 

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

“I unequivocally condemn this confirmed use of chemical weapons in Syria in 2018 and call for accountability for the perpetrators. The IIT report concludes that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Syrian Air Force dropped at least one cylinder of chlorine on eastern Saraqib, in Idlib province, on 4 February 2018. I commend the work of the Investigation and Identification Team in attributing responsibility in this case.

The use of chemical weapons anywhere and at any time is completely unacceptable, and it is incumbent upon the Syrian Government to live up to its international legal obligations.

At the Conference of State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention later this month, Ireland will support proposed measures against Syria within the framework of the Convention. I support all efforts to ensure accountability and to end impunity for the use of chemical weapons. Ireland will also continue to call for accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria at the UN Security Council”.

 

ENDS

Press Office

 

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. Their second report is available here.

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