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UN chemical weapons report splits opinion on who used them in Syria

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UN chemical weapons report splits opinion on who used them in Syria


There have been mixed reactions to the long awaited report from United Nations inspectors on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

While it confirmed that sarin nerve agent was used in an attack near Damascus last August, the document did not say who was responsible.

However Britain, France and the US claim the technical evidence points to Syrian government culpability.

Mark Lyall Grant who is the UK’s ambassador to the UN gave the British point of view:

“The type of munitions, the trajectories which confirm the analysis that British experts have done about the provenance of where the rockets were fired from, all of that confirms in our view that there is no remaining doubt it was the regime that used chemical weapons.”

Syria and Russia who have blamed the August attack on rebels, countered western opinion saying ‘there was no need to jump to conclusions’.

“We had a quick glance but were not really able to study the report. We want everybody to treat it as an extremely serious technical matter and we want everybody to look at the report with the eyes of experts,” said Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon who has accused Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad of committing crimes against humanity, condemned the use of sarin against civilians, but did not specifically blame the Syrian president for the recent attack.

More than 1400 people are said to have died from gas poisoning in August. The US, France and Britain are pushing for a robust UN resolution binding Syria on the removal of its chemical weapons.

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