The United Nations Security Council is due to vote on a U.S.-drafted resolution to condemn the use of chlorine as a weapon in Syria and threaten to take action if such arms are used again in the conflict on Friday.
The new draft resolution “condemns in the strongest terms any use of any toxic chemical, such as chlorine, as a weapon in the Syrian Arab Republic.” It also “stresses that those individuals responsible for any use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, must be held accountable.”
The new draft threatens action against further violations under a council resolution in 2013 banning Syria’s use of chemical weapons. The resolution also applies to any party in the Syrian conflict. It says such actions should be imposed under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, meaning they could be militarily enforced.
Although chlorine is not a prohibited substance, its use as a chemical weapon is prohibited under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, which Syria joined in 2013.
The Syrian Coalition calls on the OPCW “to refer Assad’s chemical weapons file to the International Criminal Court (ICC), along with the files we submitted in this regard which providers compelling evidence on the responsibility of the Assad regime for the use of chemical weapons in many locations across Syria.
“We also demand the inclusion of the chlorine gas in the list of chemical weapons that the Assad regime has to abandon. Assad has exploited the exclusion of the chlorine gas from the list and used it in many attacks on particularly civilian targets across Syria,” the Syrian Coalition said. (Source: Syrian Coalition)