05/07/2013, 00.00
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UN falters on attributing use of chemical weapons by rebels

The UN Commission of Inquiry on War Crimes confirms that you have not reached any " definitve conclusions “ on who used prohibited weapons. The media had given value to concluding statements of Commissioner Carla Dal Ponte against the rebels.

Damascus (AsiaNews) - The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on War Crimes confirms that it has not yet reached any definitive conclusion on who had used chemical weapons in Syria. In a statement, the Commission claims that "up to now it has not reached results that would allow it to attribute  the use of chemical weapons to a specific part... any comment about it is impossible at this time."

The text, though with caution, uses the same terms as the Commissioner Carla Del Ponte, who in an interview a few days ago with the Swiss Italian Radio, spoke of very obvious evidence of the use of sarin gas by the Syrian rebels but pointed out that "the investigation is still far from a definitive conclusion." The official pointed her finger at the jihadi militias active in the ranks of opposition fighters. Under examination there were some cases in the area of ​​Homs, Damascus and Aleppo, but the Commission investigators had access only to a part of these areas, not Damascus. The interviews cited by Del Ponte were made especially with displaced persons and doctors who have fled to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

While waiting for the official report that will be delivered next June 3rd, Jay Carney, a spokesman for the U.S. executive, expresses "skepticism about the evidence against the rebels. It's very likely that any use of gas was by the regime." However, denials and conflicting statements on the subject abound and alone could provide the pretext for an attack on the Assad regime.

After various allegations made in recent months of Assad's almost certain use of chemical weapons on April 30, Barak Obama, U.S. president, pointed out that although there was no evidence on the use of such weapons, it was not yet clear who had used them, how and when. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, argues that there is evidence that the Assad government has launched sarin gas against its own people, but needs further confirmation. He has called on the United States, Britain and Canada to open an investigation on the subject.

Meanwhile, Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General has expressed a lot of concern over recent Israeli air strikes on Syrian territory in the province of Damascus. He urged both sides to exercise maximum calm and restraint in order to avoid a more serious escalation of the conflict that has already claimed more than 70 thousand deaths.



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