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OPCW refuses to investigate Turkey’s phosphorus use, whilst UK’s trade continues

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has reportedly refuse to investigate the alleged use of white phosphorus against Kurds by Turkey, reports The Times, whilst Britain also continues its sales of phosphorus products to Ankara.

“The OPCW has not initiated an investigation regarding recent developments in northern Syria,” a statement sent to The Times from the international body read. Investigators reportedly refused to test tissue samples from injured Kurdish civilians from suspected Turkish white phosphorus attacks.

Meanwhile The Times also revealed that Britain was continuing its phosphorous sales to Turkey despite the latest reports. A British government spokesperson responded by saying “We are monitoring the situation in Syria very closely when assessing export licence applications against our strict licencing criteria. We keep all our defence exports under careful and continual review”.

In an editorial entitled ‘Burning Injustice’, the newspaper went on to say,

“The suspicion is that the OPCW’s reluctance to investigate reflects western hesitancy to embarrass a Nato member at a time when relations with Turkey are strained. But if the West does not respond to Turkey’s use of banned weapons, as it did not when the Syrian regime used them against its own people in 2013, it will further erode respect for international law, guaranteeing that in future conflicts such weapons will be used with impunity.”

Read more from The Times here, here and here.