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Chemical Weapons

ACS and ACC condemn chemical weapons use in Syria

Societies say attacks violate the Chemical Weapons Convention; offer assistance in the investigation

by Linda Wang
April 13, 2018

An attack in Douma, Syria, on April 7 killed at least 40 people. Authorities suspect that chemical weapons, possibly a nerve agent or chlorine, were involved in the incident.

In a joint statement, the American Chemical Society and the American Chemistry Council condemn the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The full statement follows:

“The use of chemicals as a weapon is in direct violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention(CWC) and abhorrent to society. The American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) condemn the continued use of chemical agents as weapons against the citizens of Syria. The most recent alleged chemical use occurred on Saturday, April 7, in an attack in Douma, Syria, that reportedly killed at least 40 people. Rescue workers reported an overpowering smell of chlorine in the affected area. CWC, of which 192 nations are signatories, outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors. CWC is implemented by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). These indiscriminate chemical attacks, possibly carried out by member state(s) of CWC, are, if verified, in direct violation of the convention. ACS and ACC support the Fact-Finding Mission currently being conducted in Douma by OPCW, which is gathering information from all available sources to determine whether chemical weapons were used. The Fact-Finding Mission will report its findings to States Parties to CWC, which will determine next steps. ACS and ACC have been working cooperatively with the OPCW over the past several years in areas of chemical education and training and continue to offer their assistance as OPCW conducts their investigation in this urgent matter.”

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