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"I want to thank the Arms Control Association … for being such effective advocates for sensible policies to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and most importantly, reduce the risk of nuclear war."
– Senator Joe Biden
January 28, 2004
UN Reports Syrian Chlorine Attacks

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A UN report found the Syrian government used chlorine as a weapon four times from January to July 2018, as the international community issued strong warnings against future chemical weapons attacks in a prospective Syrian assault on the Idlib province. The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, established in 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council, has issued 15 other reports, finding that chemical weapons were used in 34 attacks in Syria as of January 2018, most of which were attributed to the Assad regime.

Syrians reportedly suffering from breathing difficulties following Syrian regime’s Feb. 4 air strikes on the northwestern town of Saraqeb rest around a stove at a field hospital. (Photo: Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images)The report blamed the Syrian government for weaponized chlorine use in Karm al-Rasas, near Douma, on Jan. 22 and Feb. 1; in Saraqeb on Feb. 4; and in Douma on April 7. Investigations of the April 7 attack are ongoing, and the report could not confirm if another agent in addition to chlorine was used. (See ACT, May 2018.) The Syrian American Medical Society and the investigative website Bellingcat reported five chemical weapons attacks in January and February and two in March. (See ACT, April 2018.)

France, the United Kingdom, and the United States publicly declared that they will launch airstrikes against governmental targets if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons in Idlib province, where about 3 million civilians are imperiled.—ALICIA SANDERS-ZAKRE