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Kerry: Syria Uses Chlorine Gas Despite Chemical Weapons Agreements

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US Secretary of State John Kerry has accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of breaking global agreements on the use of chemical weapons, Agence France-Presse reported on Thursday.

MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - US Secretary of State John Kerry has accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of breaking global agreements on the use of chemical weapons, Agence France-Presse reported on Thursday.

"We believe there is evidence of Assad's use of chlorine, which when you use it – despite it not being on the list – it is prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention," Kerry told US lawmakers, according to the agency.

In September, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that chlorine gas had been used "systematically and repeatedly" earlier this year in northern Syria. However, OPCW had no information on who was using the toxic chemical. Syrian authorities have blamed Jabhat al-Nusra, a radical group linked to al-Qaeda, for carrying out chemical weapons attacks.

In August 2013, sarin gas was used in a chemical attack that killed almost 1,500 people in Damascus. US President Barack Obama then urged the Congress to approve a limited military operation to prevent chemical weapons proliferation in Syria.

Shortly before the congressional vote on the issue, the Syrian government announced it would voluntarily get rid of its toxic weapons arsenal, placing its stockpiles under international control.

In late August 2014, OPCW reported that it had destroyed 93 percent of chemical weapons agents removed from Syria.

Tags:
Bashar al-Assad, chlorine, chemical weapons, John Kerry
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