Statement from the OPCW Director-General on Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use in Uqayribat, Hama Governate, Syria

13 December 2016

The allegations regarding the use of chemical weapons in the area of Uqayribat, in the Hama Governate in Syria, reported by the media recently are of serious concern. This area is located to the northwest of Palmyra and in territory understood to be controlled by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention deem the use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances as reprehensible and wholly contrary to the legal norms established by the international community.

The OPCW through its ongoing Fact-Finding Mission continues to examine any credible reports it receives including pertinent information that might be shared by States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Background

The Chemical Weapons Convention comprehensively prohibits the use, development, production, stockpiling and transfer of chemical weapons. Any chemical used for warfare is considered a chemical weapon by the Convention.

As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. 

To date, nearly 94 per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.

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