Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on the OPCW-UN Report on Syria
The United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have announced the latest results of a year-long expert, independent, and neutral investigation into multiple allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria. The report supplements the August 24, 2016, OPCW-United Nations report, which determined that the Syrian regime used industrial chlorine as a weapon against its own people in 2014 and 2015. This new report sheds light on a third incident where chlorine was used, and in all three cases provides details about which regime elements are responsible. The report also calls for accountability for those involved in conducting these attacks.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Asad regime's defiance of the longstanding global norm against chemical weapons use and Syria's abrogation of its responsibilities under the Chemical Weapons Convention, which it joined in 2013. The Syrian regime has violated the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 2118 by using industrial chlorine as a weapon against its own people.
The United States continues to work with our international partners to enforce accountability through appropriate diplomatic mechanisms, including through the United Nations Security Council and the OPCW. We strongly urge all UN member states and parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, including Russia and Iran, which continue to conduct military operations on behalf of the Asad regime, to unequivocally support these efforts and sustain our shared commitment to the international standard against chemical weapons use.
Russian military and economic support to Syria enables the Asad regime to continue its military campaign against its own people, which it has done in violation of international law as demonstrated by the findings of this report. Together, we must send a strong signal that the use of weapons of mass destruction will not be tolerated by the international community.