According to media reports, at least 72 people, among them 20 children, were killed in Tuesday’s attack in rebel held Khan Sheikhun in Syria, and dozens more were left gasping for air, convulsing and foaming at the mouth. The World Health Organisation is said to have stated that there was reason to suspect a chemical attack, with some victims displaying symptoms suggesting exposure to “a category of chemical that includes nerve agents.”
The situation brings to one’s mind the use of chemical weapons by Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein against country’s Kurdish population in particular. He was internationally condemned for his use of such weapons during the 1980s campaign against Iranian and Kurdish civilians during and after the Iran-Iraq war. Agent Orange was a powerful mixture of chemical defoliant used by the US military forces during the Vietnam War. The question now is: where is the Chemical Weapon Convention (CWC) that aims to eliminate the entire category of such and similar weapons?
A fair and judicious global inquiry must find out whether or not the Bashar al-Assad government had used chemical weapons. It must also investigate the government claims that it was targeting a weapons and ammunition depot belonging to rebel group al-Nusra Front which happened to contain chemical weapons.-Business Recorder