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Briefing on Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

Content by: South-South News

7 July 2017, New York, USA | South-South News — The Head of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) on the use of chemical weapons in Syria said his team was “not working in a vacuum” and found itself in a “highly politicized environment” appealing to the Security Council to allow them to perform their work in an impartial, independent, and professional manner.

Speaking to the media following his closed briefing to the Security Council on July 6, Edmond Mulet said the JIM regularly receives “direct and indirect messages” from many sides on how the team should conduct its work. He added that some of those messages were “very clear in saying that if we don’t do our work according to them, to these different visions, then they will not accept the conclusions of our work.” He appealed to the Council to allow the team to work adding it would work “in a very independent manner, objectively, impartially” and will present its results in October.

Mulet stressed that it was an “indisputable fact” that chemical weapons have been used Syria. He said people have died “because of such deadly and insidious weapons which the world found inhumane already more than 100 years ago.” He said the JIM was currently investigating two incidents in which chemical weapons were allegedly used; the April 4 attack in Khan Sheikhoun and another incident which took place September last year in Idlib. He said the team intended to visit the Khan Sheikhoun site and Shayrat airbase, which was bombed by the US in response to the alleged attack. Mulet said all the parties, including Russia and the Syrian Government agree that chemical weapons were involved in the Khan Sheikhoun incident adding that this was not in question.

The JIM was created by the Security Council to identify “to the greatest extent feasible” individuals, entities, groups or Governments perpetrating, organizing, sponsoring or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons in Syria. Mulet said his team condemned the use of chemical weapons and hoped that its work would help stop the erosion of the ban on these weapons.

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