News24

West has proof of Syria chemical weapons

2013-04-12 07:55

United Nations - Western nations have "hard evidence" that chemical weapons have been used at least once in the Syrian war but a UN investigation is now unlikely to get into the country, diplomats said on Thursday.

President Bashar Assad's government asked the UN to investigate its claims against rebel forces. But it is now refusing to let international experts into the country because the UN wants to look into claims against Assad's forces.

"In one case we have hard evidence," a western diplomat told reporters, commenting on the rival claims.

"There are several examples where we are quite sure that shells with chemicals have been used in a very sporadic way," added the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity and without giving details of the evidence.

A diplomat from a UN Security Council nation also said that "quite convincing" evidence had been sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to back accusations against Assad's forces.

Britain and France have submitted information to the United Nations about allegations that government forces used chemical arms in the city of Homs on 23 December and at Ataybah near Damascus last month.

Neither has disclosed details but the Homs case is said to be the most serious of the two.

Security Council 'totally blocked'

The Syrian government called for a UN investigation after it said opposition rebels fired a chemical weapon shell into Khan al-Assal in Aleppo province on 19 March.

Syrian government troops were among those killed or wounded in the attack, according to diplomats.

The UN has assembled a team of international experts, led by Ake Sellstrom of Sweden, in the region.

But Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem wrote to Ban this week saying his government could not accept an inquiry that went beyond the Aleppo incident.

"It is regrettable that the Syrian government has rejected my offer to engage in [an] investigation," Ban said Thursday after talks with US President Barack Obama in Washington.

Ban had demanded "unfettered access" to all of Syria before sending the team. "They are now ready. They can be deployed any time soon; so this is my urgent appeal," Ban told reporters.

UN Security Council diplomats said communications between the Syrian government and the United Nations had been severely cut back. They added that the chemical weapons inquiry was now likely to fall victim to divisions on the 15-nation council.

Russia and China have blocked three council resolutions intended to increase pressure on Assad over the conflict, including by threatening sanctions.

But with the conflict worsening - well over 70 000 people have now been killed - the international showdown over the conflict has also deteriorated. Ban has blamed the divisions for the failure to make progress on a negotiated settlement to the war.

"It is obvious that the Security Council is going to go nowhere on Syria. It is totally blocked," said a senior council envoy.

Comments
  • Themba Khumalo - 2013-04-12 08:10

    West also had definite proof tha Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

      AllcoveredinNinjas - 2013-04-12 08:59

      He did have wmd's just not anything that could have struck the states and no stockpiles of nuclear bombs . He did have sarin gas , blister tip scuds , mustard gas ect .They were also implicated in the 2003 nuclear proliferation network ,trying to buy off the shelf nukes from Nkorea , designs from Pakistan (AQ khan) and materials from Niger. Then there is Georges Hormiz Sada (former Iraqi National Security Advisor) who stated ""Well, I want to make it clear, very clear to everybody in the world that we had the weapon of mass destruction in Iraq, and the regime used them against our Iraqi people...I know it because I have got the captains of the Iraqi airway that were my friends, and they told me these weapons of mass destruction had been moved to Syria."

      Johan Mostert - 2013-04-12 09:56

      It is a fact that Saddam used chemical weapons on his enemies in the eighties and early nineties during the Iran-Iraq war. http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iraq/cw/program.htm http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/1988/mar/22/iraq.davidhirst http://history1900s.about.com/od/saddamhussein/a/husseincrimes.htm

      AllcoveredinNinjas - 2013-04-12 10:07

      "WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years afterward, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins and uncover weapons of mass destruction. An initial glance at the WikiLeaks war logs doesn’t reveal evidence of some massive WMD program by the Saddam Hussein regime — the Bush administration’s most (in)famous rationale for invading Iraq. But chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield." " American troops were still finding WMD in the region. An armoured Buffalo vehicle unearthed a cache of artillery shells “that was covered by sacks and leaves under an Iraqi Community Watch checkpoint. “The 155mm rounds are filled with an unknown liquid, and several of which are leaking a black tar-like substance.” Initial tests were inconclusive. But later, “the rounds tested positive for mustard.” Blah , blah , blah .... they did . you can also go through the war resolutions to find the entire case for going into Iraq which was more than just the WMD's but when your intelligence says its a issue , its not something to be dismissed especially when Saddam had a ministry of concealment .

      AllcoveredinNinjas - 2013-04-12 10:11

      What was the other nuclear ambitious regime doing ? From the same reports : "The documents indicate that Iran was a major combatant in the Iraq war, as its elite Quds Force trained Iraqi Shiite insurgents and imported deadly weapons like the shape-charged Explosively Formed Projectile bombs into Iraq for use against civilians, Sunni militants and U.S. troops. A report from 2006 claims “neuroparalytic” chemical weapons from Iran were smuggled into Iraq. (It’s one of many, many documents recounting WMD efforts in Iraq.) Others indicate that Iran flooded Iraq with guns and rockets, including the Misagh-1 surface-to-air missile, .50 caliber rifles, rockets and much more."

      AllcoveredinNinjas - 2013-04-12 10:52

      Ok , they went in because for 10 years he had been in violation of every condition placed on him from the Kuwait invasion . He was in violation of every single sovereign obligation required of state . He committed genocide and continued wars of aggression against his neighbours . The US had set up the base in Saudi specifically to enforce the no-fly zone to protect the Kurds from Saddam bombing them with deadly gas. So America is attacked 9/11 because they have a base in Saudi , Al-queada second in command is in Iraq fighting Kurdish rebels and intelligence is coming in about WMD production , international attempts to acquire them and the continued use of the nation as his families personal slaves . Then there is the continued human rights abuses of torture prisons , child imprisonment, the attempted assassination of the US president ect. So when a rogue leader in charge of strategically important country with a history of wmd use, human rights atrocities and regional aggression coupled with the change in foreign policy of engagement rather than containment is now being reported to be involved in wmd production it becomes the prime mover . Add to this the fact that sanctions were only hurting the Iraqi people because Saddam and the UN were manipulating the oil for food program so he could continue building palaces while children starved the number of options becomes limited apart from letting him be in the hope he'll change his spots .

      AllcoveredinNinjas - 2013-04-12 11:37

      An Austrian company gave Iraq calutrons for enriching uranium. The nation also provided heat exchangers, tanks, condensers, and columns for the Iraqi chemical weapons infrastructure . Singapore gave 4,515 tons of precursors for VX, sarin, tabun, and mustard gases to Iraq. The Dutch gave 4,261 tons of precursors for sarin, tabun, mustard, and tear gases to Iraq. Egypt gave 2,400 tons of tabun and sarin precursors to Iraq and 28,500 tons of weapons designed for carrying chemical munitions. India gave 2,343 tons of precursors to VX, tabun, Sarin, and mustard gases. Luxembourg gave Iraq 650 tons of mustard gas precursors. Spain gave Iraq 57,500 munitions designed for carrying chemical weapons. In addition, they provided reactors, condensers, columns and tanks for Iraq’s chemical warfare program, 4.4% of the international sales. China provided 45,000 munitions designed for chemical warfare. Portugal provided yellowcake between 1980 and 1982. Niger provided yellowcake in 1981.

      AllcoveredinNinjas - 2013-04-12 11:37

      The United States exported support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq war over $500 million worth of dual use exports to Iraq that were approved by the Commerce department. Among them were advanced computers, some of which were used in Iraq's nuclear program. The non-profit American Type Culture Collection and the Centers for Disease Control sold or sent biological samples of anthrax, West Nile virus and botulism to Iraq up until 1989, which Iraq claimed it needed for medical research. A number of these materials were used for Iraq's biological weapons research program, while others were used for vaccine development. For example, the Iraqi military settled on the American Type Culture Collection strain 14578 as the exclusive anthrax strain for use as a biological weapon, according to Charles Duelfer

      AllcoveredinNinjas - 2013-04-12 12:47

      Lol.. even if you pay in euro's the dollar is the exchange primary .It has no real effect anyway. America doesn't have control of Iraqi oil fields , contracts went to Russia , China , Norway and a few other periphery states.

      Pam Seymour - 2013-04-12 13:26

      @Johan Mostert Wow...I stand back, jaw gaping, utterly astounded! Now please continue with chapter 2: who supplied those chems? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-153210/Rumsfeld-helped-Iraq-chemical-weapons.html http://www.theinsider.org/news/article.asp?id=241

      AllcoveredinNinjas - 2013-04-12 15:31

      Clearly you need to read what I write , even if China accepts kangaroo's for oil or the Saudi's do , to change the kangeroo's to whatever currency ,it first gets transferred to dollars .The petro dollar is just the acceptance of the dollar for oil because the exchange will occur in dollars anyway , the only thing they doing is adding costs to conversion .This is why China pegs its currency to the dollar so it can jimmy its economy via manipulated currency in its favour. As I stated above , the invasion was based on more than just wmd's , because the intelligence was quite indicting it becomes a primary reason . The extent to the WMD program is the question .

  • Kennedy Mataruse - 2013-04-12 08:32

    What happened in Iraq?who is Ban ki moon?where did he come from.?Who is Ake?Ake comes from Sweden and he is the one who shout that Iraq have weapons of mass destruction.what happened after a dacade of war?so In syria what did u expect from him?

  • Dane Herbst - 2013-04-12 09:15

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha what a joke!!!!!!!! this is Iraq/Afghanistan all over again, but everyone will eat it up and believe these war criminals

  • kobus.hattingh.5 - 2013-04-12 10:14

    When last have anyone seen life footage of Assad? Some expressed the opinion that he might be dead already and is kept on ice until the right time comes to reveal this to make another big @$$hole look like a hero.

  • Fidel Chavista - 2013-04-12 10:47

    What I do know is when the media and politicians speak with one voice, it is best to remain sceptical. It was only a few years ago we were told Iraq must be attacked because Saddam had WMD. The humanitarian bombers are hiding again behind more WMD lies, that their intelligence agencies wont touch (they aren't going to be the fall guys like they were for Iraq), and supposed concern with human rights. The world has seen your so-called concern for human rights in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc and are not impressed!

      Pam Seymour - 2013-04-12 13:58

      nonsense, fidel. as any rational, well informed and adjusted being knows, democracy is a franchise and its best delivered by squadrons of B2's, as it absolutely guarantees the deaths of innocent millions and the displacement of tens of innocent millions more. the true bonus is we can all now suck emperor schlong into eternity for "freeing" them of some tyrant.

      Shane Loxton - 2013-04-13 11:38

      EXPOSED: Syrian Human Rights Front is EU-Funded Fraud NYT admits fraudulent Syrian human rights group is UK-based "one-man band" funded by EU and one other "European country." In reality, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has long ago been exposed as an absurd propaganda front operated by Rami Abdul Rahman out of his house in England's countryside. According to a December 2011 Reuters article titled, "Coventry - an unlikely home to prominent Syria activist," Abdul Rahman admits he is a member of the so-called "Syrian opposition" and seeks the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. One could not fathom a more unreliable, compromised, biased source of information, yet for the past two years, his "Observatory" has served as the sole source of information for the endless torrent of propaganda emanating from the Western media. The New York Times also for the first time reveals that Abdul Rahman's operation is indeed funded by the European Union and a "European country" he refuses to identify:

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