Alleged chemical weapons use raises OPCW concern in Iraq

Alleged chemical weapons use raises OPCW concern in Iraq.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced on Monday its concern over reports of possible use of chemical weapons in Iraq.

An article from Newsweek stated that U.S. officials have found reason to believe that militants associated with the Islamic State (ISIS) have utilized mustard gas agents on Kurdish forces. Authorities in Iraq announced that Peshmerga forces near the city of Erbil earlier this past week, according to a report from Reuters.

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü stated that the organization is keeping contact with Iraq's government in order to obtain further information and will consider related information available by other state parties.
Iraq is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC); the OPCW acts as the enforcing agency
behind the international treaty.

The CWC prohibits the use, stockpiling, development and any other activity relating to chemical weapons. As the enforcing body, the OPCW takes part in fact-finding missions in order to determine validity and to what extent on reports and cases of violation of the CWC by both state and non-state actors.

According to Newsweek, U.S. officials state that it is possible that they had acquired mustard gas from Syria or from within Iraq. The OPCW, the U.S. and others in the international community will continue to investigate these reports.


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