Jump to search Jump to main navigation Jump to main content Jump to footer navigation

Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

Produced by
NationalJournal logo

U.N.: Syria Says It Found Sarin in 'Abandoned' Containers

People walk through dust after a reported Syrian government airstrike in the city of Aleppo on Monday. International authorities have authenticated sarin nerve agent allegedly "abandoned" in Syria, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a letter last month. People walk through dust after a reported Syrian government airstrike in the city of Aleppo on Monday. International authorities have authenticated sarin nerve agent allegedly "abandoned" in Syria, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a letter last month. (Zein al-Rifai/AFP/Getty Images)

International authorities authenticated sarin nerve agent inside two containers that Syria's regime said it found in rebel-held territory, Reuters reports.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said President Bashar Assad's forces allegedly recovered the substance last August, the month of a sarin-gas strike that killed hundreds of people in a Damascus suburb, the news agency said in a Monday article. Assad's government recently finished handing over 1,300 metric tons of warfare substances under an agreement forged after the Aug. 21 incident, but the regime has continued to blame opponents for every chemical strike in Syria's 3-year-old civil war.

A June 14 analysis by the United Nations and the world's chemical-weapons watchdog "confirmed that these [cylinders] contained sarin," Ban told the U.N. Security Council in a letter later that month.

Assad's government said the containers had been "abandoned" and "did not belong to it," according to a separate statement by Ahmet Üzümcü, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. His agency last October said the regime had reported finding the cylinders, but it is unclear how long they have been in international custody.

The U.N. chief pressed for the elimination of the Syrian government's remaining chemical-warfare assets "at the very earliest opportunity, including the destruction of remaining production facilities and the resolution of any possible remaining technical discrepancies in the original [stockpile] declaration."

Meanwhile, the U.S. vessel MV Cape Ray began destroying roughly 600 tons of warfare chemicals relinquished by Syrian authorities, the Defense Department announced on Monday.

"When neutralization is complete, Cape Ray will deliver the result effluent by-products to Finland and Germany for destruction ashore," Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said.

Note to our Readers

GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.

NTI Analysis

  • UNSCR 1540 Resource Collection

    Oct. 6, 2014

    The UNSCR 1540 Resource Collection examines implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in all of the regions and countries of the world to-date.

Country Profile

Flag of Syria

Syria

This article provides an overview of Syria's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

Learn More →