US ambassador condemns chlorine use in Syria

Washington’s ambassador to United Nations speaks during congressional testimony,condemning the use of chlorine gas in Syria

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Claiming its battlefield application equal to chemical weapon, Washington’s ambassador to United Nations strongly condemned Syrian government’s use of chlorine gas during during congressional testimony on Tuesday.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power continued her condemning saying, ”We also have alarming and grave reports that the Syrians, seemingly incapable of fighting without drawing on chemical weapons, have now found a new way, even with the dismantlement of their declared chemical weapons regime, which is to turn chlorine into a chemical weapon.”

Two years ago, Syrian President Bashar al Assad allowed a UN-led force to dismantle declared chemical weapons stockpile in the country.

Though the administration of US President Barack Obama confirmed last year that all asserted chemical weapons had been destroyed and removed from the country, reports show that this has not stopped the use of chlorine gas by multiple parties in the country.

“At the Security Council we’ve just in the last few months, secured another resolution,” Power said. “To make it very clear to the world that just because chlorine is a household product, doesn’t make it not a chemical weapon when it is put in a barrel bomb and dropped on civilians.”

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to a crowd of reporters through a video conference saying that the US is "certain" that the Syrian government is responsible for the wide majority of chlorine chemical attacks in the country.

The US and its P5+1 allies – Britain, China, France and Russia, and plus Germany – have until June 30 to come to an agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear programme.

Though Iran has insisted its programme is for peaceful intentions,the negotiators have been long searching for a deal that would lift nuclear-related sanctions on Iran in return for unprecedented inspections and curbs on its nuclear programme.

Power denied all claims that the Obama administration has been restraining reports of Iranian sanctions violations because of fear of derailing talks.

"Absolutely not," she said. "And I myself am often involved in raising sanctions violations that Iran has carried out.”