Topic: Protests in Syria
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon© RIA Novosti. Ilya Pitalev
UN Urges Probe into Alleged Nerve Gas Attack in Syria© REUTERS/ Nour Fourat
MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has asked the Syrian Government to allow a team of UN experts to investigate the latest claims that chemical weapons were used in Syria, the United Nations has reported on its website.
“The secretary general believes that the incidents reported yesterday need to be investigated without delay,” Ban’s spokesperson told reporters in New York on Thursday.
The UN chief is deeply troubled about the alleged chemical weapons use in Syria, the spokesperson said, adding that Ban was sending one of his senior officials to Damascus in that regard.
The Syrian opposition has accused the government of killing scores of people in a massive nerve gas attack in Damascus on Wednesday, with death toll estimates varying from a hundred to more than a thousand people. The Syrian government promptly denied the reports as baseless.
The UN team of chemical weapons investigators, headed by Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom, started working in Damascus on Monday. The team is expected to visit three sites where chemical weapons attacks allegedly occurred earlier. One site is the town of Khan al-Assal, in Syria’s northern Aleppo province, where the Syrian government claimed rebels used chemical weapons in March.
The unrest in Syria began in March 2011 and later escalated into a civil war. More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far, according to the UN.
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- BlizzardToo quick - too weak11:19, 23/08/2013Too many European newspapers are too quick to jump into conclusion and to accuse Syrian government of committing such atrocity.
In Der Spiegel International one person named DOCE gave following comment and I believe is very viable and therefore advisable to study it:
Western experts on chemical warfare who have examined at least part of the footage are sceptical that weapons-grade chemical substances were used, although they all emphasize that serious conclusions cannot be reached without thorough on-site examination.
Dan Kaszeta, a former officer of the U.S. Army's Chemical Corps and a leading private consultant, pointed out a number of details absent from the footage so far:
"None of the people treating the casualties or photographing them are wearing any sort of chemical-warfare protective gear," he says, "and despite that, none of them seem to be harmed." This would seem to rule out most types of military-grade chemical weapons, including the vast majority of nerve gases, since these substances would not evaporate immediately, especially if they were used in sufficient quantities to kill hundreds of people, but rather leave a level of contamination on clothes and bodies which would harm anyone coming in unprotected contact with them in the hours after an attack. In addition, he says that "there are none of the other signs you would expect to see in the aftermath of a chemical attack, such as intermediate levels of casualties, severe visual problems, vomiting and loss of bowel control."
Steve Johnson, a leading researcher on the effects of hazardous material exposure at England's Cranfield University who has worked with Britain's Ministry of Defense on chemical warfare issues, agrees that "from the details we have seen so far, a large number of casualties over a wide area would mean quite a pervasive dispersal. With that level of chemical agent, you would expect to see a lot of contamination on the casualties coming in ,and it would affect those treating them who are not properly protected. We are not seeing that here."
Beside that described above as very viable doubt in gas attack, there are other points to consider:
1. Syrian army has upper-hand in military operations and does not need nerve gas to gain advantage, especially as gas kills indiscriminately without distinguishing between friend and foe.
2. Attack happened exactly when UN commission come to Damascus to study previous gas attack allegations. That would be the worst stupidity committed by even illiterate idiot, not to mention well educated and knowledgeable people in Syrian army and government.
3. Many of the rebels are deserters from the Syrian army, and many of them had access to chemical weapon storage, and surely if they had opportunity to take it with them they did it, and there are no doubts about that. Now they (rebels) have a weapon that is easy to use and easy to to point the blame on government.
4. It is jihads who have no second taught in killing innocent people as they are doing it every day around the world. They are the only one who see righteousness in killing innocent people. They would be more that willing to use it against anyone if that would serve to their cause.
I think that Western world should overcome their blind hate towards Syrian government and once do something really wise and execute unbiased independent investigation and only after the facts have been established beyond doubt decisively act against perpetrator no matter who is it.
Western world is not prepared to face reality as their only aim is to destroy any political establishment that has close ties with Russia thus isolating it even further. Rebels are only encouraged by such attitude and are willingly pouring more and more fuel on fire.
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