Monday, September 16, 2013
Chemical weapons attack: UN-report indirectly inculpates Syrian armed forces
Human Rights Watch:
The UN experts’ report on the August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria has few surprises for those of us who have been investigating that deadly attack.
The UN experts collected “clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent Sarin were used in Ein Tarma, Moadamiya, and Zamalka in the Ghouta area of Damascus.”
The experts’ mandate does not allow them to say who was responsible for the deadly barrage. But if you read between the lines, it isn’t difficult to figure it out.
The rocket systems identified by the UN as used in the attack – truck-launched 330mm rockets with around 50 to 60 liters of Sarin, as well as 140mm Soviet-produced rockets carrying a smaller Sarin-filled warhead – are both known to be in the arsenal of the Syrian armed forces. They have never been seen in rebel hands. The amount of Sarin used in the attack – hundreds of kilograms, according to Human Rights Watch’s calculations – also indicates government responsibility for the attack, as opposition forces have never been known to be in possession of such significant amounts of Sarin.