Alleged Syria chemical weapons usage to be investigated

Chemical weapons watchdog to investigate alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria

Chemical weapons watchdog to investigate alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria

HAGUE - A chemical weapons watchdog announced Tuesday that it will investigate alleged chlorine gas usage in Syria. 

A statement from the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said it will send a fact finding mission to Syria shortly.

Syria's government has accepted the mission and will ensure the security of the team in controlled areas. 

Several countires have voiced conerns in recent days that the Syrian regime may have used chemical weapons. 

French President Francois Hollande said that there was "information" - but no firm proof - that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime was still using chemical weapons.

About eight percent of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile still remain in the country.

The chemical weapon "relocation process" had been extended to April 27 under the watchdog's plan, as the Syrian regime had failed to complete the initial process in time.

A final deadline of 30 June this year has been set for the complete destruction of the weapons after the regime voiced concerns over security and a lack of equipment.

The effort to destroy the weapons followed a chemical attack that killed hundreds of people in the suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus on August 21 2013.

The OPCW earmarked up to €40 million ($55 million) for the commercial processing of 500 tons of industrial chemicals and millions of liters of toxic waste.

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