17 September 2013, 16:39

UN wise not to assign blame for chemical attacks in Syria: al-Gharbi

Ake Sellstrom (R), a Swedish chemical weapons expert, listens as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) speaks to reporters at United Nations Headquarters following a closed UN Security Council meeting discussing a just-released UN chemical weapons inspector's report about the use of sarin gas in Syria last month in New York, 16 September 2013. Ban Ki-moon demanded that the perpetrators of the 21 August 2013 attack in Syria be brought to justice now that there is 'clear and convincing evidence' that chemical weapons were used. The report said surface-to-air rockets containing the nerve gas sarin were used in Ein Tarma, Moadamiyan and Zamalka in the Ghouta area of Damascus.

Ake Sellstrom (R), a Swedish chemical weapons expert, listens as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) speaks to reporters at United Nations Headquarters following a closed UN Security Council meeting discussing a just-released UN chemical weapons inspector's report about the use of sarin gas in Syria last month in New York, 16 September 2013. Ban Ki-moon demanded that the perpetrators of the 21 August 2013 attack in Syria be brought to justice now that there is 'clear and convincing evidence' that chemical weapons were used. The report said surface-to-air rockets containing the nerve gas sarin were used in Ein Tarma, Moadamiyan and Zamalka in the Ghouta area of Damascus.

Ake Sellstrom (R), a Swedish chemical weapons expert, listens as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) speaks to reporters at United Nations Headquarters following a closed UN Security Council meeting discussing a just-released UN chemical weapons inspector's report about the use of sarin gas in Syria last month in New York, 16 September 2013. Ban Ki-moon demanded that the perpetrators of the 21 August 2013 attack in Syria be brought to justice now that there is 'clear and convincing evidence' that chemical weapons were used. The report said surface-to-air rockets containing the nerve gas sarin were used in Ein Tarma, Moadamiyan and Zamalka in the Ghouta area of Damascus.

By Crystal Park

WASHINGTON (VOR)— The UN says it has overwhelming and indisputable proof of chemical weapon usage in Syria. However, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stopped short of assigning blame for who used them.

The U.S. and its allies assert the UN report released Monday undeniably shows the Syrian regime is the only party responsible. Russia continues to suspect the rebels.

To help understand the impasse and explore the possibilities going forward, VOR’s Crystal Park spoke with Musa al-Gharbi, a research fellow with the Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts based at the University of Arizona.

Al-Gharbi believes the UN was wise to refrain from assessing blame in reporting the results of its investigation, both because they retain flexibility and can focus their efforts on disabling chemical weapons, not choosing sides in the Syrian civil war.

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