Resurgence of Chemical Weapons Use: Issues for Congress [Updated September 18, 2020]   [open pdf - 551KB]

From the Document: "With increasing numbers of incidents, the use of chemical weapons (CW) has become a growing international concern two decades after the international community decided to ban them under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Syrian government forces have used the nerve agent sarin and chlorine bombs dozens of times since 2013 in that country's civil war. [...] Prior to the Syrian civil war, there had been no major recent use of chemical weapons since the 1995 terror attack by the Aum Shinrikyo in Tokyo and by Iraq in the 1980s during its war with Iran. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), originally established to oversee the destruction of chemical weapons stocks under the CWC and promote the safe and peaceful use of chemicals, now has additional challenges and responsibilities. States may request OPCW assistance in investigating cases of CW use. CWC states may also request challenge inspections at facilities in member states suspected to be in violation of the convention. To date, the CWC challenge inspection provision has never been invoked."

Report Number:
CRS Insight, IN10936
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
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