Syrian Air Force Behind Chemical Attacks
- 09 Apr 2020
- 3 min read
Why in News
Recently, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has said that the Syrian air force carried out three chemical attacks on a village in Syria's western Hama region in 2017.
- The OPCW Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) was established by OPCW in 2018 to identify the perpetrators of illegal attacks.
- It concluded that the Syrian air force helicopter dropped bombs containing poisonous chlorine and sarin nerve gas
- The Syrian government has denied using chemical weapons.
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
- It is an international organization established by the Chemical Weapons Convention, 1997 to implement and enforce the terms of the non-proliferation treaty, which prohibits the use, stockpiling, or transfer of chemical weapons by signatory states.
- The OPCW is authorized to perform inspections to verify that signatory states are complying with the convention.
- This includes a commitment to grant inspectors full access to chemical weapons sites.
- The OPCW also performs testing of sites and victims of suspected chemical weapons attacks.
- By the 2001 Relationship Agreement between the OPCW and the United Nations, the OPCW reports on its inspections and other activities to the UN through the office of the Secretary General.
- The OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. Its headquarters are located in the Hague, Netherlands.
- Chlorine is a choking agent. Its greenish-yellow clouds of gas cause shortness of breath, wheezing, respiratory failure, irritation in the eyes, vomiting, and sometimes death.
- Sarin is a chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent.
- They are similar to certain kinds of insecticides (insect killers) called organophosphates in terms of how they work and what kind of harmful effects they cause.
- It was originally developed in 1938 in Germany as a pesticide.
- Sarin is a clear, colorless, and tasteless liquid that has no odor in its pure form. However, sarin can evaporate into a vapor (gas) and spread into the environment. It is also known as GB.