UN Insists Assad Used Chemical Weapons Despite Evidence to Contrary

UK drafts resolution blaming Assad for ‘chemical weapons’ attack

RT Published time: August 28, 2013 12:35                                                                          

Free Syrian Army fighters (AFP Photo/Abo Shuja)  Free Syrian Army fighters (AFP Photo)

Britain has drafted a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Despite witness reports that rebels may have been behind last week’s attack, the West is insisting Assad was responsible. UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced the resolution would be  tabled in New York later Wednesday on his Twitter feed.

Cameron said the resolution would condemn “the chemical  weapons attack by Assad” and authorize “necessary measures  to protect civilian lives.” He also stressed that any  intervention in Syria would have to be “legal,  proportionate” and aimed at minimizing further loss of life.

Earlier this week, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said  that the unanimous backing of the UN Security Council could  potentially be sidestepped, given the extreme circumstances.

The Syrian government has faced a barrage of accusations from the  West, alleging the government of President Bashar Assad was  behind the alleged chemical weapons attack last Wednesday in the  Damascus neighborhood of Ghouta.

  Evidence rebels used sarin

French charity Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders)  reported that 355 people died in the attack.  However,  evidence from witnesses indicates Syrian rebels used a chemical  weapon in last week’s attack, not regime forces, a senior UN  official has said.

Carla del Ponte, a member of the UN Independent International  Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said there were “strong,  concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof,” that  rebels had used sarin nerve gas in the Damascus suburb attack.

She added that even so, more investigation was needed, as she had  not yet seen evidence that the Syrian government had used  chemical weapons.

U.N. chemical weapons experts visit wounded people affected by an apparent gas attack, at a hospital in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya, August 26, 2013. (Reuters/Abo Alnour Alhaji)U.N. chemical weapons experts visit wounded people affected by an apparent gas attack, at a hospital in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya, August 26, 2013. (Reuters/Abo Alnour Alhaji)

The new evidence comes as the US, UK and France are drawing up  possible plans for a military response against Syria.

Western media, citing US and UK government sources, have  speculated about what form a possible targeted missile strike  might take. Fox News said that a targeted missile strike would  likely be launched from American and British ships stationed in  the East Mediterranean on Thursday night.

Britain’s parliament has been recalled from summer recess for an  emergency debate on Thursday to decide on an appropriate course  of action for Syria.

  Russian opposition to intervention

Russia opposes any foreign military intervention in Syria and has  reiterated on a number of occasions that there is no concrete  evidence the Syrian government was behind last Wednesday’s  supposed attack.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned the West that any  attempts at military intervention would trigger further   “destabilization” and could be catastrophic for the Middle  East. The Russian government has also urged the international  community not to jump to any conclusions while UN investigators  are carrying out their probe into the attack.

A team of UN experts is currently at the site of the Ghouta  attack in an attempt to discern who was behind the alleged  chemical weapons attack. In spite of doubts that too much time  has elapsed since the incident for the probe to be accurate, the  team insists it has enough evidence to come to a valid  conclusion.

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