Today the OPCW confirmed that the town of Ltamenah, in northern Syria was attacked on 24 March 2017 with sarin and on 25 March 2017 with chlorine. This is confirmation of a spate of chemical attacks in the town in just one week, the OPCW having previously confirmed that a sarin attack took place on 30 March 2017.
Tragically there is still no international mechanism to attribute responsibility for these attacks on Ltamenah. Just a few days after the OPCW confirmation of sarin use on 30 March in Ltamenah, the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism was shut down, putting an end to their ability to investigate responsibility for such attacks.
Repeated chemical attacks within Syria in such a short space of time only serve to underline the grave threat to the integrity of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Close to 90 countries have recognised that threat, and supported a call for an urgent Special Session of the Conference of States Parties on 26-27 June. The international community should come together and strengthen the OPCW’s capability to prevent the further use of chemical weapons, including by attributing responsibility for these heinous crimes.