Samantha Power: Make it Clear to the World that Chlorine is a Chemical Weapon

June 16, 2015

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said the U.N. has taken actions to make it clear to the world that just because chlorine is a common household product does not mean it cannot be used as a chemical weapon.

Two years ago, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to let U.N. weapons inspectors dismantle Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons. Last month, it was reported Assad was caught again with chemical weapons.

During a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Power was asked about recent reports of Assad’s use of chemical weapons.

"We also have alarming and grave reports that the Syrians, [who] are seemingly incapable of fighting without drawing on chemical weapons, have now found a new way, even with the dismantlement of their declared chemical weapons regime, which is to turn chlorine into a chemical weapon," Power said.

When it was first reported that Assad again used chemical weapons on its citizens, President Obama downplayed the use of chlorine as a chemical weapon.

Power said she does not share the same view.

"At the Security Council we’ve just in the last few months, secured another resolution," Power said. "To make it very clear to the world that just because chlorine is a household product doesn’t make it not a chemical weapon when it is put in a barrel bomb and dropped on civilians."