Chomsky demands investigation into chemical warfare

Chomsky demands investigation into chemical warfare
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American intellectual suggested Nobel prize winner IPPNW could conduct an independent investigation in the site where Turkey allegedly used chemical agents against the PKK militants

Prominent American intellectual Noam Chomsky on Sunday demanded an independent investigation into chemical warfare allegations in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, suggesting such an investigation could be conducted by the Swedish government, which previously awarded the Nobel Prize to IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.)

Speaking to Medya Haber, Chomsky said that individual protests were not sufficient to urge international bodies to launch investigations into Turkey’s alleged use of chemical weapons against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in Kurdish Region of Iraq.

“An effective protest is going to have to come from some international organization or state with enough credibility to reach the general public,” he said.

According to Chomsky, IPPNW,  a non-partisan global federation of medical organizations dedicated to research, education, and advocacy relevant to the prevention of nuclear war as well as chemical warfare, is an utterly reliable organization and could form an independent body which could go to the region and investigate allegations. 

“If there is a way to take this case as an appeal to the United Nations, they should immediately act,” he said, adding that the IPPNW had doctors like Jan Van Aken and Josef Beppe Savary who were highly respected and highly qualified researchers.

“There is certainly a legitimate basis for an investigation/review. Perhaps some national governments may wish to spearhead such an initiative. Maybe this could be the Swedish government that awarded IPPNW the Nobel prize," Chomsky said. 

An IPPNW mission in September found material near an area which it said abandoned by the Turkish Army included containers for hydrochloric acid and bleach, which could be used to produce chlorine, a classical chemical warfare agent, a report by the organization said. 

At the same site containers for gas masks protecting against chemical weapons were also found.

“While this is not a definitive proof of chemical weapons use, it warrants further independent investigation. We call for an international fact finding mission – for example by OPCW or the UN Secretary General – into the region to once and for all confirm or dispel the allegations of chemical weapons use in the region,” the report said.