The use of chemical weapons in the East Ghouta area of Damascus in 2013 led to an unprecedented international effort to remove chemical weapons and associated materials from a conflict zone. At a British Pugwash discussion meeting on 1 July 2015, Richard Guthrie and Dr Caitriona MacLeish explored the highly contradictory themes of narratives developed about the Syrian chemical weapons programme and the international responses to it. These events had many ongoing consequences, not least the continuing use of chlorine in barrel bombs which could weaken the taboo against the use of poisons as weapons.
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