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John Kerry accuses President Bashar al-Assad of violating the international agreement on its chemical arsenal

BEIRUT |, with agencies - September 20, 2014, 12h02
According to the American Secretary of State, John Kerry, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has used weapons of chlorine gas during the year. These attacks took place even as the destruction of the chemical arsenal of the Syrian army was in progress under the supervision of a joint mission of the United Nations and the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ).
This accusation, issued Thursday by Kerry in the House of Representatives, thus implies that the Syrian regime has violated the international agreement signed with the UN to ensure the elimination of its chemical arsenal.

This was agreed in September 2013: after the regime’s sarin gas attack on a Damascus suburb in August 2013, which claimed hundreds of civilian lives, the United States and its allies had threatened Bashar al-Assad with air strikes. They finally backed down in exchange for the promise of the Syrian regime to destroy its chemical weapons under the control of a joint mission of the United Nations and the OPCW.

According to John Kerry, there is evidence of use of chlorine by the regime of Bashar al-Assad since the signing of the agreement.

On 10 September, the OPCW has announced that chlorine was systematically and repeatedly used as a chemical weapon in Syria. The organization announced the results of the investigation that led from the end of April, at the request of the United States and France, which accused the Syrian regime of perpetrating gas attacks against the rebel bastion.

John Kerry’s accusation comes as the United States are currently building an international coalition against the Islamic state, with a strategy of air strikes on its positions in Iraq and Syria.

The Islamic state is officially opposed to the regime of Bashar al Assad. But the Americans have accused Assad of having done nothing to prevent fighters from IS to settle in Syria to weaken the Free Syrian Army who are forced to fight on two fronts: against IS and against the regime.

The Syrian Air Force has started bombing the positions of the Islamic state a few months ago, whilst the IS advanced in Iraq, taking several towns and sparking an outcry from the international community.
#John_Kerry, #chemical_weapons, #Syria
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