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Syria. UN has “overwhelming evidence” of the use of sarin gas

Translated Friday 20 September 2013, by Elaine Scott

UN experts carrying out an inquest in Syria have submitted their report. They reveal the discovery of “overwhelming and convincing evidence” that sarin gas was used in the massacre that occurred on 21st August near Damas. However, the investigators did not indicate which camp was responsible for the bombing.

The report states that, “Based on the evidence collected during the course of the investigation of the Ghouta incident, the conclusion is that chemical arms have been used in the ongoing conflict between various groups in the Syrian Arab Republic (…) against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale”. The document specifies that the attack of the 21st August, which caused more than 1400 deaths according to Washington, was carried out with the help of “ground to ground rockets containing sarin gas”. “The chemical, medical and on-site samples which have been gathered provide clear and convincing proof that ground to ground missiles containing the nerve agent sarin were used”.

This report, presented on Monday to ambassadors of the 15 nations of the Security Council, “overwhelmingly” confirms the use of chemical weapons, explains the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon. However, the report does not directly name those responsible, as the mandate of the investigators did not allow any comment on this point.

Washington, London and Paris nevertheless intend to use the UN report in order to maintain pressure on Bashar al-Assad’s regime, so that agreements to dismantle Syria’s chemical arms are followed down to the letter, despite Moscow rejecting any military threat against its Syrian allies. Heads of diplomacy from France, the US and the United Kingdom met in Paris where, on Monday, they announced the overseeing of the plan to disarm Syria’s chemical weapons as part of the Security Council’s “strong and restrictive” resolution with regards to Damas, according to chapter VII, authorising the use of force. Russia has warned that a resolution which threatens Syria will sabotage any possibility of negotiations in Syria.

Western countries are accusing the Syrian regime of having led the attack on 21st August and 13 other chemical arms attacks since the start of the war in Syria.

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