Switzerland allowed sarin gas component export to Syria

Wednesday, 25 April 2018 17:56

In 2014 a Swiss firm exported to Syria a chemical substance which can be used to produce deadly sarin gas, Swiss media reported on Wednesday.

According to public Swiss Radio and Television RTS, a Swiss firm exported five metric tons of the chemical isopropanol to Syria in 2014.

In May 2014, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Syria had destroyed 120 metric tons of isopropanol.

"However, six months after the elimination of the stock, a Swiss firm was able to export five metric tons of isopropanol to Syria without any opposition from the Swiss authorities," RTS said on Tuesday.

The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said that the client was "a private Syrian pharmaceutical firm" and there was "no indication that it had links to the Syrian regime at the time, nor today."

The EU has imposed sanctions on the Syrian regime, including on the export of several chemicals, including Isopropanol. But authorities of Switzerland, a non-EU member, did not add Isopropanol to its list of banned products for Syria.

Syrian regime forces have carried out 214 chemical attacks against the opposition since 2011, killing at least 1,421 people, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) watchdog group.