FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today, the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reported yet another instance of the use of the deadly chemical agent sarin, in a part of the country under routine attack by the Syrian regime. The United States strongly supports the work of the OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission and the UN’s Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM). They are the international community’s independent, impartial tools for ensuring accountability for chemical weapons use.
In response, Ambassador Haley said, “For years the Assad regime has used chemical weapons to murder and terrorize innocent Syrian civilians. Unfortunately, it’s clear that the Syrian regime not only lied about the extent of their chemical weapons program, but that they will continue to refuse to cooperate with watchdog organizations like the OPCW. We cannot stop future chemical weapons attacks until we are able to hold the Syrian regime accountable.”
“With its mandate set to expire next month, renewing the UN Joint Investigative Mechanism now should be the Security Council’s top priority. We owe it to the innocent people – including children – who have suffered and died at the hands of the Syrian regime to continue to push for full accountability for these horrific crimes,” Ambassador Haley continued.
The UN Security Council voted unanimously to create the JIM in 2015 and again to renew it in 2016.