To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government was aware that Barzeh had been found by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to be clear of chemical weapons six months before missile strikes were initiated against that location on 14 April 2018.
13 September 2018
Laboratory facilities at Barzeh form part of Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), and were inspected by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in November 2017. The UK assesses that the SSRC, including the Barzeh facility, was a centre for the research and development of Syria's chemical and biological programme. The OPCW has stated that Syria's Declaration of its SSRC under the Chemical Weapons Convention remained incomplete, and continues to report that gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies remain in Syria's account of its declaration under the Convention. The targets of missile strikes on 14 April were selected on the basis of rigorous intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to degrade the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability and deter further chemical weapons use by the regime.