Syrian chemical attack used sarin and was worst in 25 years, says UN
The UN has confirmed that the worst chemical weapons attack in 25 years took place in eastern Damascus last month, involving specially designed rockets that spread sarin nerve agent over rebel-held suburbs of the Syrian capital.
The report did not assign blame for the attack but the US, Britain and France said the details on the sarin, the rockets used and their trajectories all proved that Bashar al-Assad’s regime was responsible.
However, Russia argued that the western powers had “jumped to conclusions” and said claims of rebel use against their own supporters to provoke foreign intervention “should not be shrugged off”.
There was also sharp disagreement about what kind of UN resolution was needed to implement the agreement struck by the US and Russia on Saturday in Geneva on dismantling the Assad regime’s chemical weapons programme.
Did The Rebels Use Chemical Weapons: See The UN Report and Evidence For Yourself
The long-awaited UN report on the usage of chemical weapons in Syria has been released. While the White House and the New York Times have already taken the report and argued that it helps their argument that Assad used chemical weapons, it may be more prudent to look at what the UN report states and how the possibility remains that the Syrian rebels could have used chemical weapons.
In the report, the UN stated the following: Information about the delivery systems used was essential for the investigation. Indeed, several surface to surface rockets capable of delivering significant chemical payloads were identified and recorded at the investigated sites.
Syria: Britain willing to send experts to rid Assad regime of chemical weapons
Britain is willing to send experts to Syria to assist international efforts to rid the Assad regime of chemical weapons, Foreign Secretary William Hague has said.
But Mr Hague ruled out UK troops being deployed to provide them with security, adding that such action might create strong feelings within Syria and alternative arrangements would be looked at.
Under an agreement between the United States and Russia, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s regime is required to submit a full inventory of its chemical stockpile by the end of the week, allow international inspectors into the country by November and complete the surrender of its arsenal by mid-2014.
Mr Hague said he hopes a UN security resolution enshrining the Syrian regime’s responsibility to hand over its chemical weapons stocks will be drawn up over the weekend.
Asked if British troops could be deployed to Syria, Mr Hague told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “No. We will not be sending British troops into Syria. Not for these or any other circumstances.
Monday 16 September, 2013
News From World War 3 – September 16
Syria: nearly half rebel fighters are jihadists or hardline Islamists.
Opposition forces battling Bashar al-Assads regime in Syria now number around 100,000 fighters, but after more than two years of fighting they are fragmented into as many as 1,000 bands, reports a defence consultancy firm.
The new study by IHS Janes, estimates there are around 10,000 jihadists who would include foreign fighters fighting for powerful factions linked to al-Qaeda.
Another 30,000 to 35,000 are hardline Islamists who share much of the outlook of the jihadists, but are focused purely on the Syrian war rather than a wider international struggle.
Warmongering US Senators McCain and Graham say US-Russia agreement on Syria meaningless, rebels need more weapons
Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham slammed the U.S.-Russia agreement on Syrias chemical weapons on Saturday, calling it meaningless while also saying that the U.S. should be sending more weapons to Syrian rebels.
This comes soon after it was yet again reported that the U.S. is sending weapons, vehicles and other critical equipment to opposition fighters in Syria.
While McCain and Graham think the agreement gives Syrian President Bashar al-Assad too much leeway, President Barack Obama himself said that the military option will be taken if diplomatic efforts fail.
In their joint statement issued Saturday, McCain and Graham draw some quite interesting conclusions from the U.S.-Russian agreement, including the claim that it sends the wrong signal to Iran.
Russian FM Lavrov says China sending its fleet to the Med
(AGI) Moscow, Sept 15 – Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, announced that China will also be sending its naval forces to the Mediterranean. Minister Lavrov believes it is a ‘comprehensible’ move.
There are already U.S. French, Russian and British warships off Syrian shores.
Cracks appear between US and Russia over Syrian chemical weapons deal
The first divisions have appeared in the Geneva agreement on Syrian chemical disarmament as Russia dismissed calls for a swift UN resolution threatening punitive measures against Damascus.
The spat focused on the timing of a resolution under chapter 7 of the UN charter, which includes enforcement measures such as the possible use of military action to bolster a security council decision.
The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said calls for an immediate chapter 7 resolution showed a “lack of understanding” of Saturday’s Geneva agreement with the US about the process of declaring, inspecting and dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons.
Any resolution this week cannot include chapter 7, Lavrov insisted. “I am certain that despite the statements we are hearing from certain European capitals, the American side will firmly adhere to what was agreed,” the Russian foreign minister said.