Links – April 16, 2018

I’m quoted in articles in The Verge and the Daily Beast (also Bellingcat) on chemical weapons in Syria. Rachel Becker discusses the long-term effects of chemical weapons. Adam Rawnsley debunks Russian disinformation.

Factbox: Chemical weapons inspectors – how do they work?

OPCW has issued a report on the assistance it gave to the UK on the Skripal poisoning.

Long read: Ariane Tabatabai on what Iran is getting out of its involvement in Syria.

America’s three bad options in Syria. There is no easy way to stop Assad from war crimes, particularly with Russia protecting him. Last week’s air strike is more a show of weakness than the strength Donald Trump would like to project. That article is from Marc Thiessen, but there have been multiple commenters from all parts of the political spectrum saying similar things.

During the heyday of attempts to use nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes, the Soviet Union set off a blast in 1979 in the Yunkom coal mine in Ukraine to clear the mine of explosive methane. Water will fill the mine if pumping is stopped, which is what the Russian occupiers want to do. There is concern that water will leach radionuclides into drinking water aquifers. Work done on simulated material like that from the nuclear explosion suggests that extremely low levels of radionuclides, well below the health limits, will be leached.