Poison gas supplied to Syria: Van Bommel demands explanation

22 May 2013

Poison gas supplied to Syria: Van Bommel demands explanation

SP member of Parliament Harry van Bommel has asked the government for its comments on the report that Syria was until at least 2010 importing raw materials from which chemical weapons may have been produced. ‘For some years it’s been known that Syria has access to such weapons,’ says Van Bommel. ‘Despite this the raw material for the poison gas has been imported into the country without hindrance. That’s unacceptable, so I’m asking the government if it can account for it.’

The report states that the Syrian government had explained that it wanted to use the glycol for non-military purposes, but the Netherlands had major doubts as to the veracity of this. In 2003, the United States warned the Dutch government against furnishing the materials, while five years later a number of other countries urged that a stop be put to the exports. Nevertheless in that same year, 2008, and for the two years which followed, glycol continued to be shipped to Syria from the Netherlands.

‘It’s incomprehensible that the government of the Netherlands authorised the supply of this raw material,’ says Van Bommel, ‘yet it even seems from the report that glycol can still be exported there. The minister has a great deal to explain when it comes to the debate on the matter.’

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