chemical weapons - updates

Rappler's latest stories on chemical weapons


Big powers set to clash at chemical weapons watchdog

Nov 19, 2018 - 11:00 AM

The meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague is the first since member states agreed in June to let it point the finger over attacks

OPCW. This picture taken on April 20, 2017 shows the logo of OPCW (The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) at the headquarters in The Hague.  File photo by John Thys/AFP

Western trio warns Syria over chemical weapons use

Aug 22, 2018 - 4:20 PM

In a joint statement, the 3 powers say they are 'gravely concerned' over the military offensive in Idlib and the resulting humanitarian consequences

IDLIB. A Syrian fighter fires a rocket-propelled grenade as he attends a mock battle in anticipation of an attack by the regime on Idlib province and the surrounding countryside, during a graduation of new Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) members at a camp in the countryside of the northern Idlib province on August 14, 2018. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Protests as Syria takes chair of world disarmament body

May 29, 2018 - 8:10 AM

'The Damascus regime has neither the credibility nor moral authority to preside over the CD,' says US ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament Robert Wood

PROTESTS. US Permanent Representative to the Geneva conference, Robert Wood, during a plenary meeting of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, on August 30, 2017 in Geneva. File photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Experts take samples from site of alleged Syria gas attack

Apr 22, 2018 - 12:35 AM

Analysts say that if toxic chemicals were used, OPCW inspectors would still be able to find important traces in clothes, walls, rocks and soil in Douma, although their potency decreases with time

OPCW. The logo of OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) at the headquarters in The Hague. File photo by John Thys/AFP

UN in security talks with Syria after chemical probe put on hold

Apr 19, 2018 - 1:45 PM

The United Nations Department of Safety and Security is trying to make arrangements for fact-finding experts to travel to Douma 'at the earliest possible time'

Britain accuses 'reckless Russia' of breaking chemical arms ban

Apr 19, 2018 - 8:38 AM

The accusations come as diplomats from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons meet behind closed-doors in The Hague to discuss the crisis

THE SKRIPALS' POISONING. British Military personnel wearing protective coveralls work to remove a vehicle connected to the March 4 nerve agent attack in Salisbury, from a residential street in Gillingham, southeast England on March 14, 2018. File photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP

Chemical inspectors await all-clear to begin work in Syria's Douma

Apr 18, 2018 - 9:10 AM

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari tells a meeting of the UN Security Council that the team of experts will begin work on Wednesday, April 18, once they receive the all-clear from the security detail

DOUMA. The former rebel Syrian town of Douma on the outskirts of Damascus is seen on April 17, 2018 after the Syrian army declared that all anti-regime forces have left Eastern Ghouta, following a blistering two month offensive on the rebel enclave. AFP/STRINGER

Watchdog confirms UK findings on nerve agent used on Russian spy

Apr 12, 2018 - 11:52 PM

Samples tested by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 'confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical,' says a summary of the Hague-based group's report

CHEMICAL. In this file photo taken on March 10, 2018, members of the emergency services in protective coveralls and breathing equipment cover ambulances with tarpaulins at the Salisbury District Hospital in Salisbury, southern England, on March 10, 2018, in connection with the major incident sparked after a man and a woman were apparently poisoned in a nerve agent attack. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Divided UN fails to agree on response to Syria chemical weapons use

Apr 11, 2018 - 8:50 AM

Russia vetoes a US-drafted resolution on setting up a panel to identify the perpetrators of toxic gas attacks after chemical weapons were allegedly used in the rebel-held town of Douma

ANOTHER VETO. This file photo shows a UN Security Council meeting. File photo from the United Nations

Russia, U.S. headed for clash at UN over Syria gas attacks probe

Apr 10, 2018 - 8:18 AM

(UPDATED) The US push for a new inquiry comes amid heightened tensions over possible US military action in Syria, with President Donald Trump saying 'major decisions' would be taken within 48 hours

UNITED NATIONS. A session of the UN Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York, February 13, 2017. File photo by Eskinder Debebe/UN Photo

Kremlin furious as Britain blames Putin for ex-spy attack

Mar 17, 2018 - 9:28 AM

Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Britain Foreign Minister Boris Johnson's claims violated all rules of diplomatic protocol

ESPIONAGE. A police officer stand in front of a cordon in front of The Mill pub in Salisbury, southern England, on March 11, 2018, as investigations continue in connection with the major incident sparked after a man and a woman were apparently poisoned in a nerve agent attack a week ago. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Russia ex-spy poisoning 'extremely worrying' – Chemical weapons watchdog

Mar 13, 2018 - 7:26 PM

'It is extremely worrying that chemical agents are still being used to harm people. Those found responsible for this use must be held accountable for their actions,' Ahmet Uzumcu director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, says.

AHMET UZUMCU. Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), holds a press conference in Rome on January 16, 2014. File photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP

U.S. makes new push for UN Syria chemical weapons probe

Mar 02, 2018 - 10:28 AM

The US push to establish the new panel comes 3 months after Russia killed off a previous UN-led investigation by vetoing the renewal of its mandate, arguing that the probe was flawed

A session of the UN Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York, February 13, 2017. File photo by Eskinder Debebe/UN

U.S., Russia clash at UN over Syria chlorine attacks

Feb 06, 2018 - 10:43 AM

The United States and Russia clash at the UN Security Council over a push by Washington to condemn reported chlorine gas attacks in Syria that have left many injured in recent days

SURVIVORS. A Syrian boy holds an oxygen mask over the face of an infant at a make-shift hospital following a reported gas attack on the rebel-held besieged town of Douma in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on January 22, 2018. Hasan Mohamed/AFP

North Korea flouts sanctions, earning $200M from banned exports – UN

Feb 03, 2018 - 10:18 AM

A UN panel of experts also finds evidence of military cooperation by North Korea to develop Syria's chemical weapons programs and to provide Myanmar with ballistic missiles

GATEWAY. In a photo taken on November 21, 2017, a truck entering the Rason Special Economic Zone makes its way across a bridge over the Tumen river marking the border between North Korea (bottom) and China (top). Ed Jones/AFP

South Sudan to join Chemical Weapons Convention – watchdog

Dec 02, 2017 - 12:51 PM

That would leave Israel, Egypt and North Korea as the only countries yet to join the arms treaty which came into force in 1997

CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION. This file photo shows the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. File photo from Wikipedia

Japan in UN bid to save Syria gas attacks probe

Nov 17, 2017 - 11:17 AM

Japan presents a draft resolution that would give the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) another 30 days as the United States and Russia work to reach a compromise on the future of the panel

ATTACK. A picture taken on April 4, 2017 shows destruction at a hospital room in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, following a suspected toxic gas attack. File photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

US says Assad may be preparing chemical attack

Jun 27, 2017 - 10:47 AM

UPDATED The White House says the preparations are similar to those undertaken by the Assad regime ahead of an apparent chemical attack on a rebel held town

The flag of the Syrian Arab Republic (centre right) flying at United Nations headquarters in New York, July 2016. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Russia slams watchdog probe of alleged Syria chemical attack

Apr 14, 2017 - 10:17 PM

We consider it unacceptable to analyze events from a distance says Russia s foreign minister in criticizing the OPCW

UN Security Council to vote on Syria gas attack probe

Apr 12, 2017 - 10:06 AM

The vote comes as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Moscow to pressure Russia to reconsider its support for Syrian President Bashar al Assad

YOUNG VICTIM. An unconscious Syrian child receives treatment at a hospital in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, following a suspected toxic gas attack on April 4, 2017. Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Russia, Syria hit back as pressure builds over 'chemical attack'

Apr 06, 2017 - 7:05 PM

UPDATED World powers point the finger at the government of Bashar al Assad but Foreign Minister Walid Muallem repeats the government s denial

TREATMENT. An unconscious Syrian child receives treatment at a hospital in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, following a suspected toxic gas attack on April 4, 2017. File photo by Omar Haj Kadour/ AFP

Turkey says chemical weapons used in Syria attack

Apr 06, 2017 - 5:25 PM

UPDATED Autopsies were carried out on 3 of the bodies after they were brought from Idlib The results of the autopsy confirms that chemical weapons were used Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag says

BEKIR BOZDAG. Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag speaks at a press conference at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC, on October 27, 2016. File photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP

'Suddenly, she fell to the ground': Tales of horror from Syria gas attack

Apr 06, 2017 - 7:57 AM

We put some masks on but it didn t do anything People just started falling to the ground

YOUNG VICTIM. An unconscious Syrian child receives treatment at a hospital in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, following a suspected toxic gas attack on April 4, 2017. Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

U.S. warns of 'own action' after Syria chemical massacre

Apr 06, 2017 - 7:20 AM

Ambassador Nikki Haley: When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action

'HORRIFIC ACTS' Nikki Haley (center), United States Permanent Representative to the UN and President of the Security Council for April, addresses the meeting of the council on the alleged use of chemical weapons in an April 4 airstrike in Idlib, Syria, April 5, 2017. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Russia defends Syria against 'chemical attack' outcry

Apr 04, 2017 - 4:08 PM

4th UPDATE The incident brings swift international condemnation with France and Britain demanding an emergency UN Security Council meeting and President Francois Hollande denouncing a massacre

Britain urges Malaysia to share evidence on Kim VX attack

Feb 28, 2017 - 10:55 AM

British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said information on the February 13 attack at Kuala Lumpur airport that killed Kim Jong Nam should be sent to the Hague based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Members of Malaysia's Hazmat team conduct a decontamination operation at the departures terminal of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) in Sepang on February 26, 2017. Manan Vatsyayana/AFP

North Korea has large chemical weapons stockpile – Seoul

Feb 24, 2017 - 1:00 PM

UPDATED Pyongyang is believed to have up to 5 000 tons of chemical weapons including the VX nerve agent allegedly used to kill Kim Jong Nam

This picture taken on February 15, 2017 and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on February 16, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) attending a national meeting at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang to celebrate the 75th birth anniversary of the late leader Kim Jong-Il. / AFP PHOTO / KCNA VIA KNS / STR / South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PHOTO IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY AFP. /

Syrian forces used chemical weapons in final push for Aleppo – HRW

Feb 14, 2017 - 12:06 PM

The rights group said it interviewed witnesses collected photos and reviewed video footage indicating that chlorine bombs were dropped from government helicopters during the offensive from November 17 to December 13

Syrian pro-government forces patrol the northern embattled city of Aleppo on December 14, 2016. George Ourfalian/AFP

Syria calls chemical arms accusations 'campaign of lies'

Nov 28, 2016 - 10:44 PM

Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad speaking at an annual conference of countries belonging to the Chemical Weapons Convention says the accusations are part of a coordinated and repeated campaign of lies without evidence

UN extends Syria gas attacks probe

Nov 18, 2016 - 1:12 PM

The UN Security Council adopts a US drafted resolution to prolong the joint investigation by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons until November 2017

Syria opposition makes new push for transition

Sep 08, 2016 - 10:05 AM

The opposition s proposal during one day talks in London comes as the world s chemical weapons watchdog said it is disturbed by the alleged use of toxic chemicals in the battleground city of Aleppo

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (C) talks with members of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee, during their meeting at The Foreign Office in central London on September 7, 2016. Leon Neal/Pool/AFP

Syria regime launched chemical attacks, ISIS used mustard gas – UN report

Aug 25, 2016 - 9:36 AM

A UN panel is able to identify the perpetrators of 3 chemical attacks carried out in 2014 and 2015 but is unable to draw conclusions in the other 6 cases that it has been investigating over the past year

ABOUT SYRIA. A wide view of the Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria, United Nations, New York, August 22, 2016. JC McIlwain/UN Photo

Will Syria gas attacks probe nail the Assad regime?

Aug 23, 2016 - 1:48 PM

Diplomats are hoping that the 24 member panel tasked with identifying those responsible for deadly chemical attacks in Syria will finally point the finger at President Bashar al Assad s forces

ABOUT SYRIA. A wide view of the Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria, United Nations, New York, August 22, 2016. JC McIlwain/UN Photo

CIA director says ISIS group has used, can make chem weapons

Feb 12, 2016 - 4:00 PM

We have a number of instances where [ISIS] has used chemical munitions on the battlefield says CIA director John Brennan

CHEMICAL WEAPONS? A file photo dated March 13, 2015 shows Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John O. Brennan speaking during an appearance at the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York, New York, USA. File photo by Justin Lane/EPA

UN watchdog finds traces of Syria sarin gas exposure

Jan 05, 2016 - 9:03 AM

The mission by the Hague based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons OPCW says it is investigating 11 incidents of the use of toxic chemicals reported by the Syrian government

A file photo dated August 31, 2013 showing the logo of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) outside its building in The Hague, The Netherlands. Evert-Jan Daniels/EPA

Syria denies using chemical weapons in civil war

Nov 30, 2015 - 10:55 PM

Damascus rebuttal comes amid accusations it is not transparent with the world s chemical watchdog

In this file photo, Syrian men inspect the site of a reported Syrian government forces barrel bomb attack in the northern city of Aleppo on September 27, 2014 which killed at least one child. Khaled Khatib/AFP

UN panel head gears up for tough Syria gas attacks probe

Nov 03, 2015 - 4:28 PM

Virginia Gamba stresses that the team of 24 multi skilled experts she is assembling will adhere to sound objective impartial guidelines that no one can question to find the culprits

Norway honors PH seafarers for role in difficult Syria mission

Sep 19, 2015 - 10:47 AM

The Philippine seafarers are part of the mostly Filipino crew of a Norwegian cargo ship tapped by Norway to remove chemical weapons from Syria on behalf of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

HONOR. Filipino seafarers and their representatives proudly display their Operational Medal Award the Norwegian Armed Forces. Photo from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila

Myanmar signs Chemical Weapons Convention

Aug 07, 2015 - 11:07 PM

Myanmar ratified the chemical arms treaty on July 8 but in line with convention rules it comes into force 30 days later

ISIS working to develop chemical weapons – Australia

Jun 06, 2015 - 12:23 PM

The use of chlorine in homemade bombs has been reported in several parts of Iraq and Syria with car and roadside bombs easy to rig with chlorine canisters

Air strike kills ISIS 'chemical weapons expert' – US

Jan 31, 2015 - 10:04 AM

Before joining the ISIS chemical weapons specialist Abu Malik had worked at a chemical weapons production plant under Saddam s regime and later forged an affiliation with Al Qaeda in Iraq in 2005

 AIR RAIDS. Smoke rises from buildings behind Iraqi security forces during the second day of a military operation launched by the Iraqi army, supported by pro-government militia, to retake positions held by Islamic State (IS) group jihadists near the village of Sharween, in Diyala province, north of the capital Baghdad on January 24, 2015. File photo by Younis Al-bayati/AFP

Syria used chlorine gas in attacks – OPCW

Jan 07, 2015 - 9:35 AM

The UN Security Council discuss the report prompting a clash between Britain France the United States and Russia diplomats say

File photo EPA

Japan starts chemical weapon destruction in China

Dec 01, 2014 - 9:01 PM

The Japanese built facility in China is believed to contain 300 000 to 400 000 chemical weapons abandoned from World War II

Pentagon cites progress destroying Syria chemical arms

Aug 13, 2014 - 9:56 AM

The Pentagon says specialists on a US military ship had neutralized 100 of a precursor used to make lethal Sarin gas

The Spanish patrol boat Infanta Elena (P-76), left, escorts the container ship MV Cape Ray (T-AKR 9679) through the Strait of Gibraltar en route to the Mediterranean Sea June 26, 2014. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Desmond Parks

UN chemical weapons team to return to Syria – envoy

Aug 06, 2014 - 8:33 AM

A team of chemical weapons experts will travel to Syria next month to follow up on Damascus pledge to hand over its arsenal

File photo EPA

Transfer of Syrian chemical weapons complete – Pentagon

Jul 03, 2014 - 8:26 AM

UPDATED The transfer of Syrian chemical weapons from a Danish container ship to a United States vessel is completed in an Italian port

DANGEROUS CARGO. Tug boats help to maneuver the Danish ship Ark Futura as it is docking in the harbor of Gioia Tauro, Italy, 02 July 2014. The vessel is carrying the final batch of Syria's chemical weapons, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said. Franco Cufari/EPA

Last dangerous chemicals shipped from Syria

Jun 23, 2014 - 10:23 PM

Syria previously shipped out 92 of its stockpile of chemical weapons under the terms of a UN backed and US Russia brokered agreement last year But the remaining 8 remains at one site because of security concerns

CHEMICAL WEAPONS. According to media reports, Sigrid Kaag, special representative overseeing the mission to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria, said that 92.5% of Syrian chemical stockpile has now been removed or destroyed. File photo from EPA/STR

The Dutch 'Iron Lady' destroying Syria's chemical weapons

Jun 07, 2014 - 10:45 PM

The diplomat ridding the world of Syria s chemical weapons is Sigrid Kaag a statuesque and impeccably dressed mother of 4 who speaks 6 languages and is fearless in a war zone

'IRON LADY'. The media has touted her a possible successor to Lakhdar Brahimi as mediator on the stalled Syrian peace process

China, Russia veto UN attempt to refer Syria to ICC

May 22, 2014 - 11:28 PM

It is the 4th time China and Russia have blocked Western resolutions on the conflict paralyzing UN efforts to end a war estimated to have killed more than 160 000 people

CITY DESTROYED. Syrian government troops take position in a heavily damaged area in the old city of Aleppo in northern Syria on January 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO/STR

Dozens killed in Syria, watchdog to probe chlorine claims

Apr 30, 2014 - 12:18 PM

The regime and rebels have blamed each other for using chlorine in at least one attack

ALMOST THERE. Syria's chemical weapons are due to be destroyed by June 30. A majority of storage and productions sites are now closed, according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical and the United Nations. File photo by Evert-Jan Daniels/EPA