Canada condemns use of chemical weapons in Syria 


October 28, 2017 - Ottawa, Canada - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

‘‘Canada welcomes the impartial report issued by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism. We are deeply concerned by this report’s findings, which demonstrate that the Assad regime and Daesh are responsible for killing scores of people using chemical weapons in Syria.

‘‘This is evidence pointing to the use of sarin gas by the Assad regime in the April 4, 2017, attack in southern Idlib province that killed dozens of civilians, including children─and confirmation that Daesh used sulphur mustard in an attack in Umm Hawsh in September 2016.

‘‘Canada vigorously condemned these attacks in the past on various occasions and announced sanctions affecting high-ranking individuals in the Syrian regime linked to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

“Canada is a top contributor to the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism which works to attribute responsibility for the use of chemical weapons.

“The use of chemical weapons by any actor is a breach of international law, continued impunity is unacceptable, and the perpetrators must be held to account.

‘‘We are deeply disappointed by Russia’s decision to veto renewal of the Joint Investigative Mechanism at the UN Security Council earlier this week─the ninth veto it has cast to shield the Assad regime.

‘‘Canada will continue to rally the international community to hold perpetrators of war crimes in Syria to account.’’

Quick facts

  • Since 2016, Canada has contributed $9 million to support the critical verification and fact-finding work of the OPCW in Syria, as well as the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism for attributing responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
  • The OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism has concluded in the past that the Government of Syria has used chemical weapons against its own people.


Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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