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July 31, 2013

5 Things You Should Know About Chemical Weapons and International Law

Syrian rebels have accused the Assad regime of perpetrating a chemical weapons attack on civilians in a village outside Damascus. This attack - which is said to have killed upwards of 1,300 people, including women and children - was committed as U.N. researchers arrived in the country to investigate the suspected use of chemical weapons. 

A year ago President Obama called the use of chemical weapons in Syria a “red line.” The most recent attacks have renewed calls for the administration, as well as the United Nations, to become more involved in quelling the violence in Syria. Even Russia is urging the Assad regime to cooperate with a U.N. investigation into the alleged chemical weapons attack. 

As the debate continues over the level of involvement the United States and the international community should have in the Syrian civil war, here are five things you should know about the use of chemical weapons in international law.

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