USA, UK and France under Suspicion for Systematic Omission of Evidence for “Opposition´s Chemical Weapons Use, to Justify Military Aggression against Syria.
UN Secretary General Ban Kyi Moon has received the UN Inspectors` report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The report was presented at a close session of the UN Security Council.
The report clarifies that the experts did not find standard chemical weapons warheads as used by the Syrian Arab Army.
The way in which the debris of the missiles was scattered suggests, that a multiple rocket launcher (MRL) could have been used to launch the chemical laden projectiles. A procedure not used by Syria´s military forces.
Even though the report clearly supports Syrian and Russian statements and mounting evidence which points towards foreign-backed terrorists as perpetrators of the chemical weapons attack on 21 August, the report is ambiguous and leaves dangerously much room for political interpretations.
Analysts fear, that the USA, UK and France systematically omit evidence of the “opposition´s” use of chemical weapons, in an attempt to justify military action.
Even though the report in principal vindicates the Syrian government and military, it implies that the possibility exists, that “material evidence of the chemical weapons attack could have been transported from one location to another one immediately after the projectiles were fired or before the arrival of the UN inspectors at the scene”.
The attack on 21 August coincided with the arrival of UN inspectors to Damascus on invitation of the Syrian government. The territory in question was at that time held by the foreign-backed insurgents. At arrival near the scene, the UN inspectors were fired at by opposition snipers.
The report states that chemical weapons were used on a relatively large scale. UN Secretary General Ban Kyi-moon however, criticized the report, saying that the UN inspectors have failed to specify the number of victims of the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta, near Damascus.
The number of reported casualties varied from dozens to almost 1.300 dead. Early on 21 August, al-Arabiya reported first dozens, then 280 casualties. Later on, al-Arabia issued an updated report, quoting the Free Syrian Army as stating, that 1.188 had been killed in the attack.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported considerably lower numbers but stressed that many women and children had been among the victims. News agencies, including Reuters, reported that hundreds had fallen victim to the chemical weapons attack.
The report fails at referring to factual evidence, such as death certificates, autopsy reports and medical records. The vague statements about the number of casualties leave room for speculation and falsification. Falsification of purported photo and video evidence has already been reported and documented the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
During the 24th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, on Monday, 9 September, international experts provided evidence, documenting that purported photo and video evidence about the chemical weapons attack on 21 August had been falsified and fabricated.
Moreover, eyewitnesses corroborated the expert´s reports and confirmed that opposition fighters had used chemical weapons in Ghouta on 21 August.
In this regard, the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed, that the results of the investigation and the testimony had been handed over to the UN Human Rights Council´s Commission of Inquiry on Syria. The 24th Human Rights Council session was held under the title “The US Threats of Using Force against Syria”.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that all participants of the Human Rights Council session agree, that carrying out the military scenario in Syria and bypassing the UN Security Council would be a blatant violation of international law.
On Monday, 16 September, UN Secretary General Ban Kyi-moon condemned the chemical weapon attacks in Syria as a war crime and said, that UN investigators had indisputable evidence of their use. Ban Kyi-moon called on the UN Security Council to impose consequences for any failure by President Bashar al-Assad to keep to the US – Russian plan to destroy Syria´s chemical weapons arsenal.
At a meeting behind closed doors, the Secretary General told representatives of the 15 nations at the Security Council that UN investigators had now, ”unequivocally and objectively confirmed that chemical weapons have been used in Syria”, adding: “This is a war crime. I trust all can join me in condemning this despicable crime”.
Kyi-moon also informed the Security Council about doctors, who had treated civilians with no external signs of injuries in the streets of Ghouta and that the weather conditions that morning, of 21 August, had been conductive to maximizing the potential impact, saying:
“The downward movement of air would have allowed the gas to easily penetrate the basements and lower levels of buildings and other structures where many people were seeking shelter”.
The UN investigators stated, that there now was clear and convincing evidence, that chemical weapons had been used on 21 September in Ghouta, Damascus and that chemical weapons were used in Syria “on rather large scale”. The report states, that:
“Basing on the samples collected in the course of the investigation into the incident in Ghouta, experts came to the conclusion that chemical weapons had been used on rather large scale during the ongoing conflict between the rival parties in Syria and against the civilian population, including children”.
All members at the Security Council agreed that chemical weapons had been used, and that chemical weapons had been used on a large scale, throughout Syria. The Council members however, are deeply divided with regards to interpreting the ambiguous report and with regards to assigning guilt for the chemical weapons use.
The USA, Great Britain and France categorically blame “President Bashar al-Assad” or the “Syrian Regime” for the chemical weapons use that has occurred in Syria, including the attack on 21 August in Ghouta.
Arguments in support of the claims and accusations are, among others, based on statements, such as the one, that “the rebels would not have had or have the capability nor the capacity to produce the lethal chemicals in sufficient amounts; that the rebels would not have the necessary expertise, and similar arguments which are being forwarded by the British and US governments.
The argumentation, used by the USA, UK and France leads many analysts, the author of this article included that these governments attempt to systematically omit evidence to the contrary.
Evidence for Chemical Weapons Capabilities, Possession of Chemical Weapons and Chemical Weapons Use by “Opposition” Forces.
On 5 March 2013 a chemical weapons attack in Khan al-Assal kills at least 25 and injures more than 100. A team of Russian experts investigated the incident, following international standards and procedure, using internationally recognized laboratories, concluding that a chemical weapon had been used by a specified terrorist group. At the end of July a new massacre is committed in Khan al-Assal, with 123 being murdered by the terrorists, who were specifically interested in liquidating witnesses to their use of a chemical weapon earlier.
On 28 May 2013, officers of the Turkish General Security Directorate arrested 12 members of the al-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusrah in the Turkish city of Adana. The terrorists were in possession of 2 kg Sarin.
On 2nd June 2013, nsnbc international reported, that the Syrian Armed Forces had confiscated 2 kg of Sarin from terrorists in the Faraieh district of the city of Hama.
On 10 July, nsnbc international reported that the Syrian Arab Army had confiscated 281 barrels of chemicals from terrorists in the city of Banias. The event prompted Syria´s UN Ambassador, Bashar Ja´afari to say: “The Syrian authorities have discovered yesterday, in the city of Banias, 281 barrels filled with dangerous, hazardous chemical materials, capable of destroying a whole city, if not the whole country”.
On 14 July, nsnbc international reported, that the Syrian military had confiscated a cache of chemicals, along with weapons and equipment form terrorists in a Damascus suburb. The chemicals were from Saudi Arabia.
Large scale chemical weapons use, so the source reported, would be used to justify renewed calls for a “military intervention”.
On 29 June 2013, nsnbc international reported, that a Palestinian nsnbc correspondent in Jordan reported, that the additional 300 US Special Forces, which have remained in Jordan after a regional military exercise a month ago, who are stationed in and near the Jordanian city al-Mafraq, are involved in training foreign insurgents, including insurgents with ties to al-Qaeda associated organizations, in special operations. Special operations are reportedly being prepared, with the intention to target high-profile political and military targets in Syria, in support of a major military push against Syria in August and September. The Palestinian nsnbc correspondent reports, that staff, following US Secretary of State, John Kerry, on his Middle East visit, has been taking part in talks with Israeli, Jordanian and Turkish diplomats, military, and intelligence experts, to discuss the coordination of the assault on Syria from a Jordanian, Israeli and Turkish front.
On 7 July 2013, nsnbc international reported, that an nsnbc source with close ties to the intelligence service of a Syria – based Palestinian faction reports, that there are strong indications for a preparation of a renewed military campaign against Syria in August or September 2013, and that it is highly probable, that Western, Arab and Israeli Forces will be playing an active role. The current, relative calm in Syria is reportedly deceptive and tied to attempts to increase the different insurgent forces and militia´s interoperability, communication, and the attempt to build a more centralized command and liaison structure.
On 11 July 2013, nsnbc intertnational reported, that The report ( from nsnbc´s Palestinian source) explicitly states that analysts expect that chemical weapons were to be used during the planned campaign in August and September, to establish an apparent pretext for an intervention.
On 16 July 2013, nsnbc international reported, that the Russian envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, had told the United Nations, that the Free Syrian Army had used Sarin in their attack on the Khan al-Assal district of Aleppo in March 2013. The Russian UN Ambassador stated, that Russian experts had analyzed samples from the site and established that the rocket that was fired contained Sarin. Churkin said: “Therefore, there is every reason to believe that it was armed opposition fighters who used the chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal. According to information at our disposal, the production of `Basha’ir 3′ unguided projectiles was started in February 2013 by the so-called `Basha’ir al-Nasr’ brigade affiliated with the Free Syrian Army.” The Russian experts had followed international standards in their investigation and provided a full report to the White House and the office of the UN Secretary General. A White House spokesperson, Jay Carney, stated that the Sarin, which was used by the insurgents, could have come from Iraqi stockpiles which ended up in Libya, and made their way from Libya to the terrorists.
The UN report states clearly, that the attack on 21 August was not carried out with standard ammunition as used by the Syrian military.
The report fails to define the exact composition of the Sarin, by which it is possible to identify whether it was a standard product or whether it was manufactured under non-industrial conditions, such as the Sarin that was used by terrorists in Khan al-Assal, Aleppo, in March 2013.
While the report implies, that the Syrian military “could have moved evidence” even though the evidence was in rebel-held territory, it fails to address the substantial body of evidence for chemical weapons use by the “opposition”.
The lack of actual scientific data, the omission of the obvious evidence for chemical weapons use by terrorists, and the implied statement that “the regime” could have used a chemical weapon is bound to aggravate the diplomatic dispute about chemical weapons use, and increase the likelihood of an aggression.
Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at firstname.lastname@example.org