Syria’s adherence to CWC comes within its commitment to achieve international peace and security

 

Syria’s adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) it joined in 2013 without any pressure and within the framework of its sovereignty and independence hinders the attempts of the United States, which goes ahead with using false-flag chemical attacks as pretext to carry out aggressions, to impose its conditions on Damascus.

This is one of the main points mentioned in a joint seminar held on Sunday at al-Assad Library in Damascus between Deputy Minister of Expatriates and Foreign Affairs Dr. Faisal al-Mikdad and the Parliamentarian Dr. Ahmad Merei to shed light on a book entitled ‘Syria and Chemical Weapons- Facts and Documents”.

The book written by Dr. Merei explains in details the history of the use of chemical weapons in the world, Syria’s accession to the CWC in the light of public international law and Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties adopted in 1969, the official statements of the Syrian Ministry of Expatriates and Foreign Affairs on CWC, the UNSC resolution No. 2118 and International peace and security.

It puts forward (1) the necessity of the continuity of compliance with the CWC’s obligations by signatories and state-parties because the break of obligations damages human rights, (2)the need to clarify the standards of humanitarian conventions, (3)the importance of making world public opinion aware of the destructive effects of chemical weapons in order to gather world support for affecting political decisions of world countries to destroy any chemical weapons that they own or possess.

Add to that, the author underlines (4)the need to make public opinion aware of the danger of the terrorist groups’ possession of chemical weapons and using them and (5)to consider the possession or production or the use of CW as an international crime as these weapons pose threat to all mankind.

“The first countries used the chemical weapons in the modern era were the ones that took part in the  World War I ,i.e. Germany, France, UK, and US. Over 100.000 persons were killed by toxic gases in this war that claimed the lives of 1.300.000 persons,” Dr. Merei said.

 

He made it clear that the huge number of persons died by toxic gases accelerated the signing of the 1925 Geneva Protocol which prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons in war. 

But in 1936-1938, the German chemist Gerhard Schrader, discovered Tabun and sarin. While in 1944, the Soman was discovered..

The number of the victims of the use of chemical weapons in WW2 was 600 persons, according to the book, which elaborates the importance of the CWC .

CWC

Around 83 person out of 600 ones were killed in the accidental attack carried out by German warplanes – in 1943- against US ship loaded with mustard gas. While the US used chemical and biological weapons during the Korean war and in Vietnam.

The fact that the 1925 Geneva protocol had not deterred the countries from using chemical weapons in wars and developing them pushed the United Nations –since the beginning of 1960s-to reach a multilateral treaty that bans chemical weapons and requires their destruction within a specified period of time.

CWC negotiations started in the UN Conference on Disarmament.  The convention opened for signature on January 13, 1993, and entered into force on April 29, 1997.

But some countries that posse chemical weapons have not signed the convention for political reasons, such as the conflict between Syria and Israel [Zionist entity] as each of them seek to have ways of deterrence.

On this point, Dr. al-Mikdad said: “In the mid of 1970s and 1980s, the international situation changed and the Soviet Union was on the brink of the abyss and it was necessary then to create anything to deter Israel from invading Syria. So the only way was to develop chemical weapon.”

“Syria had not joined the CWC before 2013 because of its agreement with Egypt based on Arab solidarity and joint action in the field of disarmament. Moreover, there were no money to destroy tons of chemical weapons that costed the US hundreds of millions of dollars to do it,” he added.

Chemical attacks in Syria   

The international conflict Syria is witnessing has led to shed light on the chemical weapons in Syria, especially when chemical attack took place in the eastern Ghouta of Damascus on August 21, 2013 causing the death of hundreds of persons, most of them children.

This chemical attack aimed at paving the way for surrounding Damascus by foreign-backed terrorist groups and distracting attention from the first chemical attack happened in Khan al-Assal area in Aleppo countryside on March, 19,2013 where over 16 persons were martyred and 90 others wounded , including Syrian soldiers, according to Dr. al-Mikdad.

The chemical attack in Khan al-Assal occurred seven months after armed extremist groups captured the only chlorine plant in Syria- located 40km east of Aleppo- And this was mentioned in a letter sent by the Syrian government to the UN.

The Syrian government called on the UN to send a fact-finding mission to investigate the attack , but the demand was ignored for 5 months because of pressures put by some UN members. And even after accepting the demand there were attempts to hinder the investigation by the UN.

“The most noticeable thing about the work of the UN mission is that the Ghouta chemical attack happened several hours before the head of the mission towards Khan al-Assal area,” Dr. al-Mikdad said, pointing out that the UN mission investigated the chemical attack in Ghouta but it did not go to Khan al-Assal. It had blamed no side for the attack because this was not its task.

He went on to say: “As of yet, the UN mission has not visited Khan al-Assal area to investigate the chemical attack, and this proves that the countries that claim their keenness on protecting Syria people’s lives are liars. “

According to the deputy minister of foreign affairs, the US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from INF treaty with Russia does not only threaten peace and security between Moscow and Washington but also harms the European countries.

“Unlike the US that does not hesitate to use any weapon that serves its interests, Russia works on protecting international peace and security,”Dr. al-Mikdad stated, asserting that Syria has never and will never use chemical weapons in the ongoing war in the country.

On December, 29, 2003, the Syrian Arab Republic presented- On behalf of Arab countries and Iran- a draft resolution to the UN to make the Middle East region free of mass destruction weapons, including nuclear weapons, under the supervision of the UN for enhancing the role of the international conventions related to disarmament.

This draft resolution has been put in blue in order to prevent the US from using veto against it and to put it to vote later.

The decision was taken after then- US representative to the UN told Dr. al-Mikdad, who was Syria’s representative to the UN, that they will vote against the resolution.

Basma Qaddour 

 

 

 

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