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Chemical weapons watchdog strips Syria’s rights over poison gas attacks

10 26 2

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AFP) — The global chemical weapons watchdog voted Wednesday to take the unprecedented step of stripping Syria of its rights at the organization after a probe blamed Damascus for poison gas attacks.

Syria will have its own voting rights revoked at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and will be banned from holding any offices at the Netherlands-based agency.

The measures are in response to an OPCW investigation last year that found the Syrian air force had used the nerve agent sarin and chlorine gas in three attacks on the village of Lataminah in 2017.

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It is the first time a country has been hit with such punishment in the history of the OPCW, which was founded nearly a quarter of a century ago to rid the world of chemical weapons.

Syria and its ally Russia have consistently denied that Damascus has used chemical weapons during the ten-year civil war, arguing that the watchdog has become politicized by the West.

A two-thirds majority of the regulator’s 193 member states voted in favor of a proposal by 46 nations including France, Britain, and the United States to deprive Syria of “rights and privileges.”

“In light of........

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