UN report:

UN: Syrian rebels use deadly sarin gas

UN: Syrian rebels use deadly sarin gas
Mon May 6, 2013 17:54:39

Militants in Syria have used the deadly nerve agent sarin, classified as a weapon of mass destruction, on civilians, United Nations investigators have found.

The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Carla Del Ponte said in a television interview on Monday that "Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated".


"This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities," said Del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney-general who also served as prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.


The Syrian government has repeatedly accused the militants of using chemical weapons against civilians, once near Aleppo and second time near Damascus, and another time in Homs in December last year.


On December 17, Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari said in letters to the UN Security Council and the UN secretary general that the foreign-sponsored militants could use chemical weapons against Syrians and try to shift the blame to the government.


Damascus is "genuinely worried" that Syria’s enemies could provide chemical weapons to armed groups "and then claim they had been used by the Syrian government," Ja’afari stated.


The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.


In an interview recently broadcast on Turkish television, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that if the militants take power in Syria, they could destabilize the entire Middle East region for decades.

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