Poisonous tools of war

Poisonous tools of war

By | Sep 2, 2013

While chemical weapons are stockpiled around the world, there is a long standing prohibition against using these malicious tools of war. The Syrian government’s alleged chemical attack violates international norms against the use of chemical weapons, which are capable of widespread, indiscriminate killing.

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday outlined details from a US intelligence report that said that 1,429 people were killed in a Syrian chemical weapons attack outside of Damascus, Syria on August 21, including at least 426 children. Kerry said findings pointing to Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime as responsible for launching the attack against civilians “are as clear as they are compelling.”

All but seven countries are signatories of the 1993 arms control agreement, the Chemical Weapons Convention, which outlaws the production, possession, and use of these poisonous tools. Syria is one of the few nations which has not agreed to the CWC prohibitions, and thus it has never made a formal declaration of its stock.

We don’t know exactly what chemical weapon’s Syria has, but other countries have worked to eliminate their chemical stockpiles. Here, Chinese Abandoned Chemical Weapons experts pack away the canisters containing mustard gas that was removed from the chemical bombs excavated at a site, which is opposite a Chinese middle school in Mudanjiang, northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province in 2006.

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