Lecturers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Leicester and Bristol have accused rescue workers the White Helmets of mass murder in Syria – to condemnation from Amnesty International and others.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was established in 1997 to help destroy the stockpiles of global chemical weapons. It’s annual conference this November looks to be contentious, with Russia under fire for its role in the Skripal poisonings and for attempting to hack The Hague headquarters.
More recently, and in relation to Syria, it was discovered that between 2004 and 2010, Britain had issued five licences for the export of sodium fluoride which can be used to make sarin, the most potent of nerve agents, used in the chemical weapons attacks in Syria in 2013. Further such licences were granted in 2012.
The agreement brokered between the USA and Russia on the transfer and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons by mid 2014 is not just ambitious, but almost certainly unachievable... The logistical challenge of disarming a regime of chemical weapons whilst it is fighting a brutal civil war are extremely daunting.