18.09.2013 Author: Vladimir Simonov

So, Who Used Chemical Weapons in Syria?


Source: The Voice of Russia

Having visited Damascus, international inspectors from the staff of the United Nations, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the World Health Organization gave UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria on August 21 this year in the capital’s suburb Huta. From this, only one thing is clear: sarin was indeed used, but there is no indication as to who did it – the opposition or the government forces.

Meanwhile, back on September 14, the UN secretary-general, without waiting for the report, managed to place all responsibility for this incident on official Damascus. The materials were not yet published, but Ban Ki-moon already accused Assad of “crimes against humanity”. It’s true that he did not say whether the Syrian leader was to blame for the use of chemical weapons on August 21. And after, all the origin of the missiles that were used in those chemical attacks near Damascus is unknown.

Following the chemical weapons inspectors’ report, as the UN secretary general reported yesterday, international inspectors are to verify reports of a chemical attack in the suburbs of Aleppo. During a speech at a meeting of the Security Council, Ban Ki-moon urged the UN Security Council to adopt a “clear resolution” aimed at finding ways to ensure the implementation of the plan to destroy the Syrian arsenal of chemical weapons.

Remember, on September 14, Moscow and Washington agreed on the transfer of the Arab country’s chemical weapons to international control. On the same day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon received all necessary documents for Syria’s accession to the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons.

Thus, the UN experts confirmed the mere fact of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. “Environmental, chemical and medical samples that we have collected indicate clear and compelling evidence that “ground-to-ground” missiles used in attacks on Huta (a suburb of Damascus) contained sarin,” the report says. – This means that the chemical weapons were widely used against the civilian population, including against children, in the ongoing conflict in Syria. ”

The mission was held to very strict guidelines in the course of the investigation, including the protection of the samples taken for analysis, said Ban Ki-moon. According to the documents, the staff of the UN, the OPCW and WHO interviewed more than 50 witnesses and medics, determined the symptoms of the victims, and collected biological samples of hair, blood and urine; they conducted an inspection of buildings and military ammunition and took 30 environmental samples. The samples were sent for analysis to four laboratories under the supervision of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. According to UN staff, the chemical attack was carried out by artillery fire, after which many victims lost consciousness, while others were killed. The victims’ symptoms included difficulty breathing, disorientation, eye irritation, blurred vision, nausea, weakness.

However, in the report did not specify who, according to UN experts investigating the case, was responsible for the use of sarin. The logic throughout the history of mankind tells us one thing – look for the person who is set to gain. For Damascus – which not only let the UN inspectors into the country, but also provided them with the conditions to work at the site where sarin was used – it was not necessary. It was of benefit only to the rebels and the Saudis, to push the United States to use military force against Syria. As for the Saudis, one of the most interested parties in this provocation is Prince Bandar – the Saudi kingdom’s intelligence chief and chairman of its National Security Council.

Immediately after the submission of the international chemical weapons inspectors’ report to the UN Secretary General, threats to use force against Damascus began to be heard from Washington, although it appears that it’s the rebels who should be getting a beating. There’s something like a weak state of affairs at the White House with the base of evidence! Apparently aware that were mixed up, they want to hide all traces of tampering by their “allies” – Saudi Arabia and anti-Assad rebels.

And any accusation of Damascus, in the absence of evidence of guilt from high places including the UN, cannot be justified. Or have the “pillars of democracy” forgotten about the presumption of innocence?

No wonder there’s a saying: “If you want to hide one felled tree – cut down a whole forest!” It’s exactly in the style of cowboys! And so the threats of military aggression by the United States just don’t stop!

Vladimir Simonov, expert on the Middle East, and Candidate of Historical Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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