The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a UN body, said on Friday that it believes the sulfur mustard gas that was used in terrorist attacks in Syria and Iraq might have been manufactured by Islamic State on its own.
In an interview with French news agency AFP, the head of the global watchdog tasked with destroying chemical weapons Ahmet Uzumcu said that the terrorist-made substance was “poor quality, but still harmful,” adding that it was an “extremely worrying” development, following an analysis of samples used in an attack in August last year.
The OPCW is probing more than 20 reports of the alleged use of toxic arms in Syria since August, its chief told AFP Friday.
Just last week, the OPCW’s executive body condemned both Syria and ISIL for using toxic weapons – in what was the first time for the watchdog to find a member state in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
On Friday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously extended OPCW’s mandate to investigate the use of illegal chemical weapons in Syria for another year.
A week earlier, Russia said that its military experts had unearthed evidence that the Islamist Syrian rebels in Aleppo had resorted to the use of chemical weapons against military and civilians alike.
“While conducting reconnaissance in the ‘1070’ area [south-western suburbs of Aleppo], the officers of the scientific center of the Russian Troops of Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defence (RChBD) have found evidence of chemical weapon use by terrorists against the civilian population and Syrian servicemen,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies