Syria and chemical weapons – documents

International law

The Geneva Protocol (1925) 
"For the prohibition of the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of bacteriological methods of warfare."

Chemical Weapons Convention (effective from 1997)
"On the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction."


UN Security Council resolutions

Security Council Resolution 2118
27 September 2013
Demands Syria's compliance with the OPCW in "the expeditious destruction" of its chemical weapons programme. Adopted unanimously. 

Security Council Resolution 2209
6 March 2015
Expresses "deep concern" that toxic chemicals, including chlorine, have been used as a weapon in Syria. Calls on all parties in Syria to extend their full cooperation to the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission

Security Council Resolution 2235 
7 August 2015
Asks the UN Secretary-General to make plans for establishing a OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism to "identify to the greatest extent feasible individuals, entities, groups, or governments who were perpetrators, organisers, sponsors or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons ..."

Security Council Resolution 2314
31 October 2016
Extends the mandate of UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism to 18 November 2016.

Security Council Resolution 2319 
17 November 2016
Renews mandate of the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism for a further year.


Draft Security Council resolutions (not adopted)

Note: In order to be adopted, draft resolutions on non-procedural matters need affirmative votes from nine of the 15 council members, including those of all five permanent members.  

S/2018/175 
10 April 2018
Russian draft resolution on proposal to establish a United Nations Independent Mechanism of Investigation. Failed to gain the necessary nine votes.

S/2018/321
​10 April 2018
US draft resolution on proposal to establish a United Nations Independent Mechanism of Investigation. Vetoed by Russia.

S/2018/322
​10 April 2018
Russian draft resolution on the OPCW Douma investigation. Failed to gain the necessary nine votes.

S/2017/970
17 November 2017
Japanese draft resolution to extend mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism by 30 days. Vetoed by Russia.

S/2017/962
16 November 2017
US draft resolution to renew mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism for a further 12 months. Vetoed by Russia.

S/2017/968
​16 November 2017
Russian draft resolution to renew mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism for a further 12 months. It was put to a vote by Bolivia but failed to gain the necessary nine votes.

S/2017/884
24 October 2017
Draft resolution to renew mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism for a further year. Vetoed by Russia.

S/2017/315
12 April 2017
Draft resolution calling on Syria to cooperate with investigations. Vetoed by Russia.

S/2017/172
28 February 2017
Draft resolution calling on member states to prevent supply of certain chemicals, plus helicopters and spare parts. Vetoed by Russia and China.
See also: UN press release giving an account of the debate, and a letter from France, UK and US dated 24 February 2017.


UN mission on Ghouta

S/2013/553
13 September 2013
Report of the United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic on the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Ghouta area of Damascus on 21 August 2013. 


OPCW Fact-Finding Mission reports

S/1731/2019
1 March 2019
Report of the Fact-Finding Mission Regarding the Incident of Alleged Use of Toxic Chemicals as a Weapon in Douma, Syrian Arab Republic, on 7 April 2018

S/1645/2018
6 July 2018
Interim Report on the Progress of the Fact-Finding Mission Regarding an Incident of Alleged Use of Toxic Chemicals as a Weapon in Douma, Syrian Arab Republic, on 7 April 2018. See also corrigendum: S/1645/2018/Corr.1

S/1642/2018
2 July 2018
Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Regarding the Incidents in Al-Hamadaniyah on 30 October 2016 and in Karm Al-Tarrab on 13 November 2016

S/1636/2018
13 June 2018
Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Regarding Alleged Incidents in Ltamenah, the Syrian Arab Republic on 24 and 25 March 2017

S/1626/2018
15 May 2018
Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Regarding an Alleged Incident in Saraqib, Syrian Arab Republic on 4 February 2018. See also corrigendum: S/1626/2018/Corr.1

EC‑88/CRP.1
25 April 2018
Draft Report of the OPCW on the Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction in 2017

S/1548/2017
2 November 2017
Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Regarding An Alleged Incident in Ltamenah, the Syrian Arab Republic, 30 March 2017

S/1510/2017
29 June 2017
Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria regarding an alleged incident in Khan Shaykhun, Syrian Arab Republic April 2017

S/1491/2017
1 May 2017
Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Regarding the Incident of 16 September 2016 as Reported in the Note Verbale of the Syrian Arab Republic Number 113 dated 29 November 2016

S/1445/2016
27 December 2016
Summary Update of the Activities Carried Out by the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria in 2016

S/1444/2016
21 December 2016
Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Regarding the Incident of 2 August 2016 as Reported in the Note Verbale of the Syrian Arab Republic Number 69 dated 16 August 2016

S/1318/2015/Rev.1/Add.1
29 February 2016
Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Regarding the Incidents Described in Communications from the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates and Head of the National Authority of Syria - Addendum

S/1318/2015/Rev.1
17 December 2015
Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Regarding the Incidents Described in Communications from the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates and Head of the National Authority of Syria. See also S/1318/2015.

S/1319/2015
29 October 2015
Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Regarding Alleged Incidents in the Idlib Governorate of the Syrian Arab Republic Between 16 March and 20 May 2015

S/1320/2015
29 October 2015
Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Regarding Alleged Incidents in Marea, Syrian Arab Republic, August 2015

S/1230/2014
18 December 2014
Third Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria

S/1212/2014
10 September 2014
Second Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Key Findings. See also corrigendum: S/1212/2014/Corr.1

S/1191/2014
16 June 2014
Summary Report of the Work of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Covering the Period from 3 to 31 May 2014. See also corrigendum: S/1191/2014/Corr.1


Elimination of Syria's chemical weapons programme

Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons
14 September 2013
Joint national paper by Russia and the United States

Monthly progress reports from OPCW to the UN Security Council:

EC-91/DG.7
68th report, 24 May 2019

EC-91/DG.2
67th report, 24 April 2019

EC-91/DG.1
66th report, 25 March 2019

EC-90/DG.11
65th report, 25 February 2019

EC-90/DG.7
64th report, 24 January 2019

EC‑90/DG.4
63rd report, 21 December 2018

EC-90/DG.2
62nd report, 23 November 2018

EC-90/DG.11
61st report, 23 October 2018

EC‑89/DG.24
60th report, 24 September 2018

EC‑89/DG.10
59th report, 24 August 2018

EC‑89/DG.1
58th report, 24 July 2018

EC‑88/DG.16
57th report, 22 June 2018

EC‑88/DG.8
56th report, 24 May 2018

EC‑88/DG.3
55th report, 24 April 2018

EC‑88/DG.1
54th report, 23 March 2018

EC‑87/DG.16
53rd report, 23 February 2018

EC‑87/DG.10
52nd report, 22 January 2018

EC‑87/DG.7
51st report, 22 December 2017

EC‑87/DG.4
50th report, 24 November 2017

EC‑87/DG.2
49th report, 23 October 2017

EC‑86/DG.23
48th report, 25 September 2017

EC‑86/DG.7
47th report, 23 August 2017

EC‑86/DG.2
46th report, 24 July 2017

EC‑85/DG.21
45th report, 23 June 2017

EC‑85/DG.11
44th report, 24 May 2017

EC‑85/DG.5
43rd report, 24 April 2017

EC‑85/DG.2
42nd report, 23 March 2017

EC‑84/DG.22
41st report, 23 February 2017

EC‑84/DG.11
40th report, 24 January 2017

EC‑84/DG.6
39th report, 22 December 2016

S/2016/998
38th report, 29 November 2016

S/2016/928
37th report, 2 November 2016

S/2016/825
36th report, 29 September 2016

S/2016/748
35th report, 29 August 2016

S/2016/678
34th report, 2 August 2016

S/2016/577
33rd report, 27 June 2016

S/2016/494
32nd report, 27 May 2016

S/2016/391
31st report, 27 April 2016

S/2016/285
30th report, 28 March 2016

S/2016/196
29th report, 26 February 2016

28 JANUARY 2016
S/2016/85
28th report, 28 January 2016

S/2015/1049
27th report, 29 December 2015

S/2015/908
26th report, 24 November 2015

S/2015/820
25th report, 26 October 2015

S/2015/737
24th report, 24 September 2015

S/2015/668
23rd report, 26 August 2015

S/2015/572
22nd report, 28 July 2015

S/2015/485
21st report, 26 June 2015

S/2015/391
20th report, 28 May 2015

S/2015/295
19th report, 28 April 2015

S/2015/211
18th report, 25 March 2015

S/2015/138
17th report, 25 February 2015 

S/2015/56
16th report, 26 January 2015

S/2014/948
15th report, 26 December 2014 

S/2014/853
14th report, 26 November 2014

S/2014/767
13th report, 27 October 2014

S/2014/706
12th report, 26 September 2014

S/2014/622
11th report, 25 August 2014

S/2014/533
10th report, 25 July 2014

S/2014/444
9th report, 26 June 2014

S/2014/368
8th report, 23 Mat 2014

S/2014/300
7th report, 25 April 2014

S/2014/220
6th report, 26 March 2014

S/2014/133
5th report, 26 February 2014

S/2014/52
4th report, 27 January 2014

S/2013/774
3rd report, 27 December 2013

S/2013/700
2nd report, 27 November 2013

S/2013/629
1st report, 28 October 2013


Joint Investigative Mechanism

1st report
12 February 2016

2nd report
10 June 2016

3rd report
24 August 2016 (also revised version)

Syrian response to 3rd report
20 October 2016

4th report
21 October 2016

5th report 
13 February 2017

6th report
28 June 2017

Remarks by Edmond Mulet
6 July 2017
Transcript of news conference given by the head of the JIM

Russian critique of the Khan Shaykhun investigation
10 October 2017

7th report
26 October 2017


International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism

UN General Assembly resolution (A/RES/71/248)
21 December 2016
Resolution establishing the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism "to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes under international law committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011". Resolution drafted by Liechtenstein and passed with 105 votes in favour, 15 against and 52 abstentions.

Terms of reference of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism

A/72/764
28 February 2018
First report of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism

A/73/295
3 August 2018
Second report of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism

A/73/741
13 February 2019
Third report of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism


Conference of the States Parties

At Britain's instigation, a special session of the Conference of the States Parties was held on 26-27 June, 2018. This paved the way for establishing the OPCW's Investigation and Identification Team (IIT)

EC-M-60/1 
29 May 2018 
Request for a special session of the Conference of the States Parties to discuss "upholding the global ban against chemical weapons use". Submitted by the United Kingdom on behalf of Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Statement by Iran
4 June 2018
Opposing a special session of the Conference of the States Parties

Russian draft proposal
21 June 2018
"Enhancing the capacity of the OPCW to combat the threat of use of chemical weapons"

C-SS-4/DG.4
Opening Statement by the Director–General to the Conference of the States Parties at its Fourth Special Session
26 June 2018

C-SS-4/DEC.3
Decision of the Conference of the States Parties: "Addressing the Threat from Chemical Weapons Use"
27 June 2018

C-SS-4/3
Report of the Fourth Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties
27 June 2018

Statements by member countries at the Conference of the States Parties (compilation of links to individual statements)

C-SS-4/INF.1/Rev.1
List of Participants of the Fourth Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties
27 June 2018

C-SS-4/DEC.1
Attendance and Participation by Non-Governmental Organisations at the Conference of the States Parties
26 June 2018

Statement by Paul Walker of Green Cross International
26 June 2018

Statement by Professor Ulf Schmidt of Fritz-Haber-Institute
26 June 2018


Investigation and Identification Team (IIT)

EC‑89/DG.2 
27 July 2018
Initial Implementation of Decision C-SS-4/DEC.3 on Addressing the Threat from Chemical Weapons Use

EC‑89/DG.29
4 October 2018
Progress in the Implementation of Decision C-SS-4/DEC.3 on Addressing the Threat from Chemical Weapons Use

C‑23/DG.16 RC‑4/DG.4
15 November 2018
Note by the Director-General: Report on Proposals and Options Pursuant to Paragraph 21 of Decision C-SS-4/DEC.3, dated 27 June 2018, on Addressing the Threat from Chemical Weapons Use

EC‑90/DG.14
7 March 2019
Progress in the Implementation of Decision C-SS-4/DEC.3 on Addressing the Threat from Chemical Weapons Use


The Douma controversy

Documents relating to the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Douma, Syria, on 7 April 2018.

United States Government Assessment of the Assad Regime’s Chemical Weapons Use
13 April 2018

French national assessment
14 April 2018
"Chemical attack of 7 April 2018 (Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Syria); Syria’s clandestine chemical weapons programme"

S/1645/2018
6 July 2018
Interim report by the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission

S/1731/2019
1 March 2019
Final report by the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission

EC‑90/NAT.41
26 April 2019
Russian response to the Fact-Finding Mission's report

S/1755/2019
21 May 2019
OPCW replies to Russian and Syrian critiques of its Douma report

Leaked "Engineering Assessment"
Internal document authored by OPCW employee Ian Henderson which disputed the Fact-Finding Mission's report on Douma