The browser or device you are using is out of date. It has known security flaws and a limited feature set. You will not see all the features of some websites. Please update your browser. A list of the most popular browsers can be found below.
At a meeting of the OPCW Executive Council held today, the Director-General announced the creation of an OPCW mission to establish facts surrounding allegations of use of chlorine in Syria.The Syrian government, which has agreed to accept this mission, has undertaken to provide security in areas under its control. The mission will carry out its work in the most challenging circumstances.Delegations speaking at today’s Executive Council meeting expressed their full support for this mission. The UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon has also expressed his support and assured the assistance of the United Nations in meeting the significant security and logistical demands of this mission.The team is expected to depart for Syria soon.
The Director-General of the OPCW welcomed delivery of a further consignment of chemicals to the port of Latakia by the Syrian government today. The chemicals were immediately boarded onto cargo ships upon arrival at the port and removed from the country.
This raises the overall portion of chemicals removed from Syria to 86.5% of the total, including 88.7 % of all Priority 1 chemicals. Today’s consignment was the 17th to date and the sixth consignment since 4 April, marking a significant acceleration in the pace of deliveries to Latakia this month.
“This latest consignment is encouraging," the Director-General said. “We hope that the remaining two or three consignments are delivered quickly to permit destruction operations to get underway in time to meet the mid-year deadline for destroying Syria’s chemical weapons."
Both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin are following a similar procedure that allows them to stretch the boundaries of legality without worrying about consequences from the United States, Republican Sen. Bob Corker said Sunday.
Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, blasted President Barack Obama's foreign policy on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, saying he just hopes they do nothing to overtly "embarrass" the U.S. He drew a connection between the current U.S. response to Russia's moves in Ukraine and the response to Assad's use of chemical weapons in Syria last August.
"I've urged in every way that I can for this administration to go ahead and, again, push back now. It's going to be too late," said Corker, who argued Friday the U.S. should consider sending lethal aid to Ukraine in addition to their non-lethal steps.
"Just like we did in Syria, where in essence, let's face it — I hate to say such a crass thing on Easter Sunday morning — the wisest thing that Assad did really was to kill 1,200 people with chemical weapons. Because, in essence, we said, 'Don't embarrass us anymore that way. You can go ahead and kill another 60,000 people with barrel bombs and by other means, but don't embarrass us.'
The UN refugee agency and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), with agreement from the government and opposition forces, have delivered the first humanitarian aid into a besieged area of Aleppo since last June.
The ceasefire, agreed for the duration of the operation, was fully respected as two truck-loads of supplies were moved by hand into the Boustan al Qaser neighbourhood of eastern Aleppo.
The food, medicine, blankets, plastic sheeting, hygiene kits and kitchen sets were unloaded at the last checkpoint on the outskirts of the city. The aid -- moved the final 1.5 km to a SARC warehouse using 54 pull-carts and 75 workers in 270 separate trips -- will now be distributed to the population.
UNHCR staff had seen the dire humanitarian situation inside eastern Aleppo, reporting acute shortages of food, water and basic supplies. No humanitarian aid has reached the population since UNHCR last accessed the area in June 2013.
It is estimated that some 6.5 million of Syria's 22 million people have been displaced inside the country, while another 2.6 million are now refugees, mainly in neighbouring countries. The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate.