DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's government has strongly criticized a report issued by the global chemical weapons watchdog that said chlorine was likely used as a weapon in a deadly attack on the...
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The global chemical weapons watchdog said Friday it found "reasonable grounds" that chlorine was used as a weapon in a deadly attack on the Syrian town of Douma last...
EU slaps sanctions on Syrians, Russians over attacks
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on four Russians blamed for a nerve agent attack in Britain as well as a Syrian research center and its staff as the 28-nation bloc stepped up its action against the use of chemical weapons.
EU foreign ministers slapped travel bans and asset freezes on nine people and on Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Center.
US says Syrian forces likely fired tear gas on civilians
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. on Friday accused forces backed by the Syrian government and Russia of firing tear gas at civilians and falsely claiming it was a rebel chemical weapons attack.
UN chief urges Syria to resolve gaps on chemical weapons
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is again urging Syria to resolve "gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies" in its declaration of chemical weapons after the global watchdog reported no progress on these outstanding issues.
Russia says Islamic State militants plan chemical attack
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Defense Ministry says militants are preparing a chemical attack on the U.S.-backed fighters in eastern Syria.
The ministry said in Wednesday's statement that it had learned from multiple intelligence sources that militants from the Islamic State group were rigging mortar rounds with combat chemical agents in preparation for the attack on the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
Watchdog mulls sending team to Syria after gas attack
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The global chemical weapons watchdog is considering sending inspectors to investigate an alleged poison gas attack by rebels in Syria that wounded dozens, its director-general said Monday.
Syria's state-run SANA news agency said the suspected chemical attack late Saturday was carried out by "terrorist groups positioned in Aleppo countryside" that fired shells containing toxic gases on three neighborhoods in Syria's largest city.
The Latest: Syrian rebels dismiss poison-gas claims
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local):
Syrian rebels have dismissed government accusations they used poison gas to attack government-held Aleppo city.
Rebel commander Abdel-Salam Abdel-Razak says the opposition doesn't possess poisonous gases or the capabilities to lob them. Abdel-Razak served in Syria's chemical weapons program before defecting to join the opposition in the early years of the conflict, which began in 2011.
Russian challenge to chemical weapons watchdog rejected
BRUSSELS (AP) — The global chemical weapons watchdog's initiative to apportion blame for poison gas and nerve agent attacks survived two institutional challenges from Russia on Tuesday and is set to become operational next year.
The U.S. and other Western powers at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons staved off a challenge by Russia and China to a June decision to set up an investigative team with the power to name perpetrators of chemical attacks.
US, UK clash with Russia at OPCW over new investigative team
BRUSSELS (AP) — The U.S. and Western powers on Monday clashed with Russia and others over whether the global chemical weapons watchdog could start apportioning blame for poison gas and nerve agent attacks.
At a heated session of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' annual conference, both sides bitterly fought over a June decision for the group to set up a new investigative team which could name the perpetrators of chemical attacks — a major change in the group's rules.
US to accuse Iran of violating chemical weapons treaty
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is poised to accuse Iran of violating an international treaty that bans chemical weapons, two U.S. officials said Friday.
Chemical attack investigative team to start work next year
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A new investigative team being set up to apportion blame for poison gas and nerve agent attacks in Syria will be ready to start work early next year, the chief of the global chemical weapons watchdog said Tuesday.
US plan for destroying chemical weapons clears legal hurdle
PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — The Army's plan to change the way it destroys some chemical weapons stored in Colorado has met one regulatory requirement, but other steps remain.
The Army said Friday a review concluded there would be no significant environmental impact from using closed detonation chambers to destroy problematic chemical weapons at the Pueblo Chemical Depot.
Russia rejects US accusations on chemical weapons
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has rejected the U.S. claim that it has flouted an international ban on chemical weapons.
The Russian Industry and Trade Ministry that oversaw the dismantling of Soviet-era chemical arsenals denounced what it called "blackmail and unlawful pressure" by Washington. It emphasized Friday that Russia completed the destruction of its chemical stockpiles last year.
Putin praises Russian GRU military intel for its 100 years
MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russia's GRU military intelligence on its centenary Friday, hailing the agency that has been accused by the West of election meddling, nerve agent poisonings and hacking attacks against chemical weapons probes and anti-doping sports bodies.
"I'm confident of your professionalism, courage and determination," the Russian leader said in a speech to GRU officers in Moscow.
Colorado chemical weapons destruction plant gearing back up
PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado plant destroying obsolete U.S. Army chemical weapons has taken a step toward resuming full operations.
Officials said Monday the Pueblo Chemical Depot restarted one of the final steps in the process, using bacteria to treat liquid hazardous waste.
The plant is destroying 780,000 shells containing 2,500 U.S. tons (2,270 metric tons) of mustard agent under an international treaty.
EU leaders order sanctions mechanism against cyber-attacks
BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders have commissioned work on a new system for slapping sanctions on the perpetrators of cyberattacks, in the wake of the attack on the world chemical weapons watchdog.
EU Council President Donald Tusk said Thursday that the leaders want EU "ministers to work on a sanctions regime that will be specific to cyberattacks."
Tusk said the system "should help to protect our citizens, companies and institutions from all kinds of cybersecurity threats."
Non-lethal munition ignites clothing of suspect in Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 35-year-old man left his pickup truck with his clothes on fire after sitting on a non-lethal chemical weapon fired into the truck by Alaska State Troopers.
The man was treated for injuries and was not in custody Friday.
Troopers have recommended that state prosecutors charge the man with weapons misconduct and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Russia dismisses suspected spy actions as routine Dutch trip
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign minister on Monday dismissed accusations made in the Netherlands against suspected Russian spies, saying they were intended to distract public attention from stark divisions between Western nations.
Sergey Lavrov's comments were a defiant statement that comes amid soaring Russia-West tensions.
Alleged operations by Russia’s GRU in recent years
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — In a series of coordinated announcements, authorities in United States, Britain, The Netherlands and Australia on Thursday accused the shadowy Russian military intelligence agency known as GRU of a huge array of cyberattacks around the world.
Russia accused of targeting chemical weapons watchdog
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Dutch defense minister on Thursday accused Russia's military intelligence unit of attempted cybercrimes targeting the international chemical weapons watchdog and the investigation into the 2014 Malaysian Airlines crash over Ukraine.
The Latest: UK warns Russia about using chemical weapons
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the nerve agent poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain (all times local):
Britain's foreign secretary says he has warned Russia it will pay a "high price" if it continues to use chemical weapons like the nerve agent used against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.
Jeremy Hunt said Thursday he had a "frank" discussion with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov when they met during the UN General Assembly meetings in New York.
More chemical weapons wastewater sent from Colorado to Texas
PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Army is again shipping liquid hazardous waste from a chemical weapons destruction plant in Colorado for disposal in Texas.
The Pueblo Chemical Depot in southern Colorado began loading tanker trucks on Tuesday. They were bound for an incinerator in Port Arthur, Texas.
The waste would normally be processed at the Colorado facility, but officials say that part of the plant is undergoing modifications and isn't operating.
11 years for soldier who pleaded guilty to chemical weapon
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced a soldier to more than 11 years in prison for making bombs that released chlorine gas and injured two Army investigators near a base in Louisiana.
Two investigators inhaled chlorine gas, "and effectively ended their military careers," according to a Justice Department news release Tuesday about 24-year-old Ryan Keith Taylor's sentencing.
Soldier could get life in prison for chlorine gas explosion
Sentencing is scheduled Monday for a soldier who pleaded guilty to making bombs that released chlorine gas in a forested training area near a U.S. Army base in Louisiana.
Twenty-five-year-old Ryan Keith Taylor, of New Llano, could get life in prison and a $250,000 fine on the single count of using a chemical weapon, a charge he pleaded guilty to in June.
Dutch ousted Russians for alleged attempt to hack Swiss lab
GENEVA (AP) — Dutch authorities arrested and expelled two suspected Russian spies months ago for allegedly trying to hack a Swiss laboratory that conducts chemical weapons tests, Switzerland's government confirmed Friday as it summoned the Russian ambassador to protest an "attempted attack."
The Latest: UK repeats assertion that Russia is lying
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the nerve agent poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in Britain (all times local):
The British government has repeated its assertion that Russian authorities were lying about the poisoning of a Russian former spy in the English city of Salisbury.
Merkel: Germany must respond to chemical weapon use
BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested Wednesday that Germany must be prepared to respond if chemical weapons are used in war zones, remarks that come amid a debate over possible military involvement in the Syrian conflict.
Merkel told lawmakers: "to simply say we can look away if somewhere chemical weapons are being used and international conventions are not kept, that can't be the answer."
US lacks leverage as assault on Syrian enclave looms
WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite dire U.S. warnings and fears of a humanitarian disaster, the Trump administration has little leverage to stop Russia, Iran and Syria pressing ahead with a massive military assault against Syria's northwest Idlib province.
Washington has threatened military action in case of a chemical weapons attack but its mixed messaging on retaining a U.S. presence in Syria and a cut in aid has diminished its already limited influence over the seven-year conflict.
UK charges 2 Russians in absentia in nerve agent attack
LONDON (AP) — Britain deepened its diplomatic feud with Moscow on Wednesday, charging two men it says are Russian military intelligence officers with the nerve-agent poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a double agent who betrayed the service by spying for the West.
But U.K. authorities acknowledged there was little chance Russia would hand over the suspects, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, to face justice in Britain.
White House warns Syria against chemical weapons use
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House warned Syria's President Bashar Assad on Tuesday that if he chooses to use chemical weapons, the U.S. and its allies "will respond swiftly and appropriately," pushing back against an expected Syrian government offensive against an opposition stronghold.
Chemical weapons watchdog confirms UK nerve agent findings
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The global chemical weapons watchdog on Tuesday confirmed findings by British authorities that the Novichok nerve agent killed one person and sickened another in the English town of Amesbury in June.
The Latest: White House warns Syria over chemical weapon use
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the Syria conflict (all times local):
The White House is warning Syria's President Bashar Assad that if he chooses to use chemical weapons again, the U.S. and its allies "will respond swiftly and appropriately."
President Donald Trump's administration said Tuesday that it's monitoring the situation in the rebel-held Idlib province, where it says millions of innocent civilians are under threat of an attack by Assad's government.
US warns Russia, Syria against chemical weapons use
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior U.S. officials warned the Russian and Syrian governments Tuesday against chemical weapons use in Syria as forces allied with its President Bashar Assad prepare for an offensive on a rebel stronghold.
The United States "will respond to any verified chemical weapons use in Idlib or elsewhere in Syria ... in a swift and appropriate manner," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters in Washington.
Russia again claims Syrian rebels preparing chemical attack
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia on Tuesday again accused Syrian rebels of preparing a chemical attack which Moscow says will be used to justify a Western strike against Syrian troops.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Tuesday that the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee is preparing the attack in the northern Idlib province, and that it would be filmed by first-responders known as the White Helmets, who Russia has accused of fabricating past attacks.
US sanctions on Russia over nerve agent attack take effect
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sanctions against Russia over the poisoning of a former spy and his daughter in the United Kingdom go into effect Monday.
The Trump administration announced earlier this month its intention to impose the sanctions after the U.S. determined that Russia had illegally used a chemical weapon in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.
Russia’s military warns of possible chemical attack in Syria
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's Defense Ministry says that militants in a rebel-controlled province of Syria are preparing a chemical weapons attack.
The ministry in a statement on Saturday quoted unnamed sources saying that the Levant Liberation Committee is preparing an attack against civilians in the northwestern Idlib province to blame it on the Syrian government.
Syria’s al-Qaida leader vows to fight on in rebel province
BEIRUT (AP) — The leader of Syria's al-Qaida affiliate has vowed to fight on in Idlib province, the country's last major rebel stronghold, in the face of a possible government offensive there.
The rare public statement by Abu Mohammed al-Golani came as Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces have been sending reinforcements into areas around Idlib in the country's northwest, along the border with Turkey.
US, UK, France vow to act against new Syria chemical attacks
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States, Britain and France vowed on the fifth anniversary of a chemical weapons attack that they blame on the Syrian government to take action as they have in the past against any further attacks by President Bashar Assad's regime.
WASHINGTON (AP) — New sanctions against Russia will be imposed later this month for illegally using a chemical weapon in an attempted assassination of a former spy and his daughter in Britain earlier this year, the United States said.
The penalties come despite President Donald Trump's efforts to improve relations with Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, and his harsh criticism of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
US to impose sanctions on Russia over nerve agent attack
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States announced Wednesday it will impose new sanctions on Russia for illegally using a chemical weapon in an attempt to kill a former spy and his daughter in Britain earlier this year.
The new sanctions, to be imposed later this month, come despite President Donald Trump's efforts to improve relations with Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, and his harsh criticism of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Chemical weapons watchdog to return to UK
LONDON (AP) — The international chemical weapons watchdog says it is returning to Britain collect more evidence in the poisoning probe of a couple sickened by the nerve agent Novichok.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons says a technical assistance team will collect additional samples and send them to designated laboratories.
The organization was asked to investigate after two people fell ill in June in the town of Amesbury in southwestern England.
Report: Blast kills Syrian arms program researcher
BEIRUT (AP) — A research director at a military agency linked to Syria's chemical weapons program was assassinated, a newspaper close to the Syrian government reported Sunday.
The pro-government al-Watan newspaper reported on its website that Aziz Esber, of the Scientific Studies and Research Center, died in a blast targeting his car Saturday night, in Syria's Hama province.
It said Israel was suspected of carrying out the attack. There was no comment from Israeli or Syrian government officials.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The international chemical weapons watchdog says there are still gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies in Syria's declaration of its chemical weapons, and the number of issues needing a response has increased.
The latest report from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said the Syrian government has remained engaged with the OPCW, but the information it has provided has not resolved the issues.
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A U.S. guided-missile destroyer that targeted chemical weapons facilities in Syria is returning to its home port in Virginia.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the USS Laboon is scheduled to arrive at Naval Station Norfolk on Friday. The ship with a crew of more than 300 sailors left in February.
LONDON (AP) — Authorities conducted extensive forensic tests Saturday looking for the source of a nerve agent that sickened two people thought to have handled a contaminated item from the March attack on a Russian ex-spy and his daughter.
A police officer also underwent a precautionary test at a hospital to check for possible contamination related to the case, but Wiltshire Police said late Saturday that he had been cleared.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The global chemical weapons watchdog said Friday in an interim report that "various chlorinated organic chemicals" were found at the site in Syria where a chemical attack is suspected of being carried out in April.
MOSCOW (AP) — Novichok, a lethal nerve agent that nearly killed a former Russian spy and his daughter in March and recently sickened another couple in England, was the product of a highly secretive Soviet chemical weapons program. Here are key highlights of the program and the agent.
WHEN WAS NOVICHOK DESIGNED?
The Soviet program to design a new generation of chemical weapons called Foliant began in the 1970s to counter the latest U.S. chemical weapons.