30 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 09/09/2013
SYRIA -USA- VATICAN
Bashar Assad : I did not use chemical weapons. U.S. intelligence proves him right
In an interview with CBS the Syrian President denounces lack of evidence. U.S. intelligence sources speak of "manipulated evidence". Pope Francis’ condemnation of chemical weapons and the Holy See's commitment to a peace conference . Among the priorities: to ensure Syrian national unity, equal citizenship for Christians and Muslims, denouncing of rebels tied to Al - Qaeda.

Washington (AsiaNews) - Bashar Assad denies having used chemical weapons against his own people.  He did so in an interview with CBS television, which will be broadcast later today . The Syrian president also says that there is "no proof" that his government has used such weapons. His statements are at odds with those of Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who are working to increase international support for an attack against Syria, guilty of having used chemical weapons .

In recent days, Kerry has been in Paris and London to urge the members of the European Union to attack. He said that "the evidence speaks for itself " and that the link between chemical weapons and the Assad government is "irrefutable ."

In fact, U.S. intelligence sources quoted by the Washington Blog, say that the so-called "irrefutable evidence" was manipulated to reach the desired conclusion, that of a military attack against Syria.

The intelligence sources speak of a telephone call intercepted by Israel's famed Unit 8200 in which the Syrian Foreign Ministry demands an explanations from the Military as to whether there had been an unauthorized attack with chemical weapons. From the tone of the conversation , it was clear that the member of the ministry " was out of hi mind with panic ." According to the original Unit 8200 transcript, the military officer "vehemently denied the use of any missile "and urged the ministry member to see for themselves that all weapons [ chemical ] were present and accounted for. In the end, the military has concluded that "all the weapons were under control."

In the descriptions of Kerry and the U.S. administration this last important detail is never mentioned. .

In fact, many observers and analysts fear that the rebels are in possession of chemical weapons , and that they used them against their own people to push the international community to hit Assad and promote their cause.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the Obama campaign continues to win public opinion and snatch a vote in the Senate and Congress , which resume sessions today after the summer break.

Obama will give interviews to four national television channels and with his staff is contacting senators and parliamentarians one by one. But so far it seems that he can only rely on a third of politicians. Public opinion in the U.S. is 60% against the attack on Syria.

Some commentators contrast Obama's outrage at the scandal of the use of chemical weapons and several hundred dead, and his silence over the 100 thousand dead Syrians in these two years and more of civil war. Ezra Klein , on Bloomberg , notes with irony that " the American intervention will encourage future dictators to kill with firearms, rather than with sarin ."

Yesterday Pope Francis again urged Christians to pray for Syria and the Middle East , thanking Catholics , Christians of other denominations , members of other religions for taking part in the prayer vigil for peace organized on September 7 evening in St Peter's Square . Announcing the vigil, at the Angelus of September 1 , the pope said : " With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons: I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart. There is a judgment of God and of history upon our actions which are inescapable!".


It is clear that a peace conference rather than chemical weapons should be the priority.

On September 5 , Msgr. Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States, expressed the Vatican 's concerns for Syria to all ambassadors to the Holy See:

" First of all - he said - it is indispensable to do one's utmost for the revival of the dialogue between the parties and for the reconciliation of the Syrian people. Then the unity of the country must be preserved, avoiding the establishment of different zones for the various components of the society. Finally, next to the unity of the country, its territorial integrity must also be guaranteed.

It will be important to ask all the groups - in particular those who hope to recover posts of responsibility in the country - to offer guarantees that in tomorrow's Syria there will be posts for all, also and in particular for the minorities, including the Christians. The concrete application of the said principle can take various forms, but in every case the importance of respect for human rights cannot be forgotten and, in particular, that of religious liberty. Likewise, it is important to have as reference the concept of citizenship, on the basis of which everyone, regardless of their ethnic or religious membership, has the same citizen's standard and dignity, with equal rights and duties, free "to profess publicly their own religion and to contribute to the common good" (cf. Benedict XVI, Address to the Diplomatic Corps, January 7, 2013). Finally, a cause of particular concern is the growing presence in Syria of extremist groups, often coming from other countries. Hence the importance of exhorting the population and also opposition groups to distance themselves from such extremists, to isolate them and to oppose terrorism openly and clearly."

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/28/2013 SYRIA -UN
Unanimous approval for UN resolution on chemical weapons in Syria. Peace conference for mid-November
09/10/2013 SYRIA -USA- RUSSIA
Obama holds off on attack after Russia's proposal that Damascus hand over all chemical weapons
01/23/2014 VATICAN - SYRIA
Geneva II: For the Vatican, dialogue, not war, is the only solution to the Syrian crisis
08/29/2013 US- SYRIA
Obama 'sure' of Damascus’ use of chemical weapons, but unsure of what action to take
09/19/2013 SYRIA -UN
Assad reiterates his innocence. A year and a billion dollars to destroy chemical weapons

Editor's choices
ISRAEL - IRAN
After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally
by Uri AvneryThis is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.
ASIA
PIME in China: new men in new facilities
by Piero GheddoThe mission in China is possible. It should focus more on educational facilities. Old and new martyrs offer a role model. Here is a commented review of a letter the PIME superior general sent out to his confreres after a trip to China.
EUROPE – ISLAM
For Nîmes imam, the Islamic State group kills Christians, but also threatens Islam in Europe
by Hocine Drouiche*Political Islam is becoming a "thuggish Islam," one that values ​​lying, hate, and enmity. Christians and the West are its enemies. However, Islam has had periods in which dialogue, reason, encounter, assimilation were held in high esteem. The belligerent Islam that fascinates so many young people is the result of myths and manipulations and causes Islamophobia. It is time to create and develop Europe’s own Islam, one that guarantees freedom of conscience and coexistence with Christians and Jews. Solving the Palestinian problem requires dialogue.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.