chemical weapons syria investigation

Massacre in Khan al-Assal (Source: SANA)
Massacre in Khan al-Assal (Source: SANA)

Syria: UN experts begin their investigations today.

The team of UN experts will begin with their investigations whether chemical weapons have been already used by a side of the conflict in Syria (e.g. Sarin nerve gas) today and the UN experts will initially investigation three locations on Syrian soil – Khan al-Assal (Khan al-Asal) near Aleppo, an area in Homs as well as a location near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

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The heads of the UN investigation team arrived in the Syrian capital yesterday, according to the United Nations Secretariat. The Swedish arms expert and scientist Ake Sellström is one of the two heads of this UN mission in Syria in order to probe whether chemical weapons were already used in the Syrian conflict.

As it has been verified by Martin Nesirky, the spokesperson of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the UN mission in Syria will start its work today. However, due to security reasons it is not known where the UN experts will start with their work today.

It might be the case that the initial investigations about the use of chemical weapons in Syria begin in Khan al-Assal (Khan al-Asal) near the strategically important city of Aleppo (Halab). The mission of investigation by the UN experts in Syria will last for two weeks. This period can be extended upon a mutual consent between the Syrian government in Damascus and the officials of the United Nations (UN).

After the attack by a group of foreign-backed terrorists against Syrian soldiers and civilians in Khan al-Assal (Khan al-Asal) in March this year, the Syrian government in Damascus requested an independent international investigation whether the attacking terrorists have used chemical weapons (e.g. Sarin nerve gas) in their attack on Syrian soldiers and civilians in this suburb of the city of Aleppo.

At least 26 Syrians were killed and about 86 wounded in the attack by the foreign-supported terrorist group in Khan al-Assal in March, 2013. An investigation by Russian experts of samples from the location of attack near Aleppo came to the result that the group of terrorists has used Sarin nerve gas in their attack against the Syrian civilians and soldiers in Khan al-Assal (Khan al-Asal).

Moscow gave the results and documentation on the investigation of the samples from the location of attack into the hands of the United Nations (UN) about four weeks ago. Since then, the UN stayed almost quiet about the Russian investigation, which has led, according to several ministers of the Russian government to the “first-hand evidence” that the foreign-supported group of terrorists have used Sarin nerve gas in their attack against the Syrian civilians and soldiers.

After the request by the Syrian government in Damascus for an international investigation of the attack and the alleged use of chemical weapons by the terrorist group in Khan al-Assal, the officials of the United Nations (UN) and several Western governments have immediately insisted that the mission of investigation in Syria should also probe other locations whether chemical weapons / toxic substances have been used at other locations in the Syrian conflict.

Massacre in Khan al-Assal (Source: SANA)
Massacre in Khan al-Assal (Source: SANA)

The Western officials especially wanted the investigation by the UN experts to happen in in Homs and in an area of the Syrian capital, Damascus. In clashes in Homs on December 2012 and near the capital of Syria in March 2013, it is said that chemical weapons have been used – by the Syrian Arab army (SAA).

However, the urban warfare and the usual kind of battles by the Syrian army against the foreign-supported terrorist and jihadist forces do not demand the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army units. The use of chemical weapons in the majority of battles and clashes against the terrorist groups would even be counterproductive. In addition, one can just hope that the results and statements by the Swedish scientist and weapons expert Ake Sellstrom will be objective and balanced, which would then be a difference to the usual double-standards by the officials of the United Nations (UN) in terms of Syria, but also Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.

The Swedish scientist and arms expert, Ake Sellstrom, and the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, paid a visit to the Syrian capital Damascus in July in order to debate about the possibility of an investigation by the United Nations in Syria in terms of the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict.

The visit by Angela Kane and Ake Sellstrom to Syria was successful. Both sides agreed on the important modalities about such an investigation of the (alleged) use of chemical weapons at three locations in Syria (Khan al-Assal / Homs / Damascus). The final agreements between the Syrian government in Damascus and the two representatives of the United Nations (UN),Angela Kane and Ake Sellstrom, were reached last week.

According to the information about the investigation by the UN experts Ake Sellstrom and Angela Kane whether chemical weapons have been already used in the Syrian conflict, the team of experts are said to simultaneously examine three alleged cases of the use of chemical weapons, as mentioned. This includes the attack by a group of terrorists against Syrian civilians and soldiers in Khan al-Assal from March 2013 as well as a location in Homs and the capital, Damascus.

As also mentioned already, a team of Russian experts, who have visited the area of Khan al-Assal (Khan al-Asal) near the strategically important city of Alepp, came finally to the result that a group of terrorists has fired a shell, filled with Sarin nerve gas at Syrian civilians and soldiers in Khan al-Assal. The expert examination by the Russian specialists were conducted in a certified laboratory in Russia and in accordance with every international standard.

The results were handed over to the United Nations (UN) by Vitaly Churkin (Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN) on July 9. However, as said, the United Nations (UN) remained very quiet afterwards and also the recent statements by Russian officials did not mention these results again and spoke about the “alleged use of chemical weapons” in Syria.

The team of experts by the UN, headed by Angela Kane and the Swedish scientist and weapon expert Ake Sellstrom, includes about 10 further persons. The experts are said to be from the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). However, due to security reasons, the names of the experts are not known. It is only publicly known that these further members of the chemical weapons investigation by the United Nations (UN) in Syria are no representatives of the permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) – United States, France, Russia, Britain and China.

As stated above, the UN investigation by the team of chemical weapons experts will begin its work today in Syria. It is not known where the investigation will start in Syria. The investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons could begin in Khan al-Assal (Khan al-Asal),but also in one of the other two locations (Homs / Damascus).

In addition, it could be the situation that all three locations where alleged chemical weapons have been already used (according to the allegations of a side that is involved in the Syrian conflict) are simultaneously investigated by the team of experts in Syria, although the team is not really that large..

At least, the UN mentioned something about a simultaneously investigation whether chemical weapons have been already used at one of these locations (Khan al-Assal / Homs / Damascus) in Syria. But the UN often said much when the day is long and especially when they want to maintain some propaganda against a state.

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5 Comments

  1. Should this have happened 1 year ago, I would probably say the UN would just go with the countries supporting the terrorists and say the Syrian Government has used CW, but now since SAA 2013 victories, Carla del Ponte interview, Russian CW analysis, more Syrian people supporting the Government/SAA and last but not least the clear perception that all that CW talks by the US, France and UK were indeed based on dirty sources, the UN may indeed develop a more balanced view without taking sides (Syria vs rebels) but will address it unbiased and hopefully (my wish here) against terrorism. Should that happen it would be a huge step for the Syrian cause since it would distance the Syrian Government from CW allegation while in time it would give a possibility to further connect FSA rebels with all terrorists in Syria should FSA does distance itself from the Al Qaeda thugs and make peace with Assad regime.
    Crossing my fingers, the above would be a roadmap for peace in Syria, may the leaders in this planet have the decency to give peace a chance over greed.

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