05/07/2016, 17.16
IRAQ – SYRIA
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Islamic State may have “chemical weapons” making potential

The head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons sees “extremely worrying” signs that Daesh might have the right technology, knowhow, and access to materials. Recently, China and Russia called for a UN Security Council resolution.

Baghdad (AsiaNews/OLJ) – Ahmet Üzümcü, head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPGW), warned that that there are “extremely worrying” signs that the Islamic State (IS) group may be making its own chemical weapons and may have used them already in Iraq and Syria.

The global watchdog’s fact-finding teams found evidence that Daesh, an alternative name for the Jihadi group, “have the technology, know-how and also access to the materials which might be used for the production of chemical weapons,” Üzümcü said.

CIA director John Brennan in February told US media that IS fighters had the capability to make small quantities of chlorine and mustard gas.

In view of this, the international coalition decided to carry out air strikes against IS positions to degrade its chemical production capabilities.

The OPGW had already reported in February an IS attack using mustard gas in Iraq as well as in Marea, near Aleppo in Syria.

Without referring to any specific attacks, Ahmet Üzümcü said that there was enough evidence to be suspicious that the Jihadis “may have produced it themselves”.

Early last month, Russia and China presented a draft Security Council resolution that calls on all countries, in particular those neighbouring Syria such as Turkey and Iraq, to report any move by armed groups to acquire or produce chemical weapons.

According to intelligence sources, the mustard gas could come from Syria’s own chemical stocks.

Although the latter were destroyed following an agreement between the US and Russia in September 2013, IS fighters might have seized some small quantities to produce chlorine and mustard gas.

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