0h 21min, apr 25, 2013 y - Letter Sent to McCain accusing Syria of using Sarin
A letter sent to Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) from the U.S. intelligence community said that the Assad regime may have used the nerve agent sarin “on a small scale” in Syria, but that the United States needs more evidence to provide “some degree of certainty” for any decision-making on further action. The letter also said that the Assad regime maintains custody of the chemical weapons in Syria.
A colorless, odorless liquid, it is used as a chemical weapon due to its extreme potency as a nerve agent. Exposure is lethal even at very low concentrations, where death can occur within one to ten minutes after direct inhalation of a lethal dose, due to suffocation from lung muscle paralysis, unless antidotes are quickly administered. People who absorb a non-lethal dose, but do not receive immediate medical treatment, may suffer permanent neurological damage.
It is generally considered a weapon of mass destruction. Production and stockpiling of Sarin was outlawed as of April 1997 by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, and it is classified as a Schedule 1 substance. In June 1994, the UN Special Commission on Iraqi Disarmament reported that it had destroyed Iraq's stockpiles of Sarin.
Added to timeline:
Syrian Civil War