Three Belgian companies are being prosecuted for exporting chemicals to Syria, one of which could be used in the production of sarin gas.

The firms say they acted with the seeming consent of Belgian customs between 2014 and 2016, but were subsequently alleged to have failed to apply for the permits that would protect them from falling foul of a current EU ban on the exports.

According to a UK research group, Bellingcat, and a German non-profit organisation, Syrian Archive, Belgium is the only EU country to have exported a chemical called isopropanol since July 2013, when strict EU controls came into force. Read more