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UN Commission of Inquiry expresses grave concern over chemical weapons in Syria

[JURIST] The UNs Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic said [press release] Friday they are "gravely concerned" over the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The commission condemned the use of chemical weapons and noted that they have 34 documented incidents of the use of chemical weapons. The commission called for the secretary-general to investigate the use of chemical weapons to determine who is responsible. They also stressed the importance of preserving evidence at sites of suspected uses of chemical weapons.

The Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will be dispatched to complete a technical investigation into the events. The Syrian Arab Republic's representative to the UN Security Council has stated that the OPCW will be able to fulfill its task and the Commission has urged the Syrian authorities to full cooperate to ensure "unfettered access and freedom of movement for investigators."

There has been ongoing reports of chemical use in Syria for several years. In April 2017 Russia had vetoed [JURIST Report] a UN resolution that would have condemned Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad's use of neurologic gas. In November 2016 IHS Conflict Monitor reported [JURIST report] 52 uses of chemical weapons by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

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