On Friday, December 12th, the EU revealed a report on its cooperation and assistance in Syria. It continues to “condemn in the strongest terms the continuing violence and the widespread and systematic violations of human rights in Syria.” In total the EU has provided upwards of 17 million euros in assisting the OPCW-UN Joint Mission that disbanded on September 30th. It hopes its continued humanitarian support, one the largest donors to the region, will facilitate development and humanitarian aid to contain the violence from neighbouring countries.
Just a couple days after the 19th CWC Conference of the State Parties at the OPCW, Syria has been accused of using chemical weapons on ISIS (The Islamic State). The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed on Saturday, December 6th, that ISIS fighters demonstrated the effects of a chlorine gas attack employed in the east of Syria. The group cited fighters with breathing problems. Syrian State TV said its troops attempts to repel the terrorists resulted in the death of tens of ISIS fighters and the destruction of their vehicles and weapons. The area under question is in the Deir Ezzor province, one of the last government held areas used as an outpost by the Syrian Government to launch raids on ISIS positions in the area. While ISIS controls the majority of this province, the Syrian government retains half of the provincial capital. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, director of Avon Protection, cites chlorine barrel bombs, as a occurring on a regular basis. He alleges that the “…regime doesn’t think the international community will do anything about it because they are too busy fighting ISIS.” Ironically, ISIS has been accused previously of using chemical weapons themselves against Syrian and Iraqi soldiers and civilians.