British delegation heads to OPCW with report on Turkey’s use of chemical weapons in Iraqi Kurdistan
A delegation from Britain is heading to the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague to press for action from the watchdog.
A delegation from Britain is heading to the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague on Tuesday to press for action from the watchdog.
The delegation has requested an appointment with the OPCW on the afternoon of Tuesday May 17.
Steve Sweeney, who has spent more than a year documenting Turkey’s alleged use of chemical weapons in Iraqi Kurdistan, will launch a report into his findings which includes damning testimonies from Kurdish villagers, medics and security forces.
He will deliver this, along with soil samples, video footage and other evidence, directly to the OPCW which has so far ignored letters, petitions and requests from Kurdish organisations and politicians.
A letter calling for a fact-finding team to be sent to the region as a matter of urgency will be hand-delivered.
Steve will be joined by Margaret Owen OBE, Andi Kocsondi and Melanie Gingell who will also address a rally at a protest event organised by local Kurdish groups at 1pm.
He said: “Turkey is alleged to have used chemical weapons hundreds of times since it launched its illegal invasion codenamed Operation Claw Lightning in April 2021.
“Banned munitions have been used in guerrilla tunnels and also against Kurdish villagers for more than a year, many of whom I met and are clearly suffering the effects of exposure to chemicals months after exposure.
“Medics and peshmerga have also confirmed this to me but have been threatened by both Turkish intelligence and security forces affiliated to the regionally dominant Kurdistan Democratic Party.
“While all eyes are on Ukraine. Nato’s second-largest army is committing war crimes in Iraqi Kurdistan.
“33 years ago the world remained silent and 5,000 Kurds were gassed by Saddam in Halabja.
“Now history is repeating itself once more. The OPCW must investigate as a matter of urgency and the international community must break its silence on the attempted genocide of the Kurds.”