Purported Syrian chemical attack would be investigated under CWC

An investigation into an alleged chemical weapon attack near Nabak, Syria, would fall under the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks during a press briefing on Friday in Washington. Harf responded to questions about reports of an alleged chemical weapon attack on Thursday in Syria. While she said the U.S. could not confirm the reports, she said investigations of such allegations would fall under the provisions of the CWC.

"Syria is now a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention," Harf said. "So investigations of these kind of allegations would actually fall under the provisions of the CWC. Obviously, we condemn the use of chemical weapons anywhere, period, full stop. But I don't want to get ahead of it here. We don't have confirmation that this is what happened, but we've been very clear what our position is on any use of chemical weapons."

When asked if a confirmation of the purported attack would mean that not all of Syria's chemical arsenal was secured, Harf said the U.S. would not make a judgment on a totally unconfirmed report.

Harf also responded to a question about potential consequences if the attack is confirmed.

"Well, we're in the process right now as a consequence of when the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in August of destroying the entire stockpile of Syria's chemical weapons," Harf said.

Harf said she would issue an update when the U.S. has more information.