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Guilty! UN Report on Syria Does Not Say What John Kerry Says It Said

By: Peter Van Buren, Firedog Lake

Friday September 20, 2013 5:52 pm

The UN released its report on chemical weapons use in Syria. You can read it here. It’s not that long, just some forty pages including legal appendices. John Kerry says it confirms that the Assad regime fired the gas rockets. Unfortunately, that is not what the actual report says. In a court, Kerry’s case might be seen as circumstantial at best, certainly not enough for a jury to return a guilty verdict in a murder trial.



The problem is that the report does not confirm anything other than chemical weapons were used. I can’t give you a quote because the report simply does not say- anywhere- that the Syria Army, or the rebels, or anyone by name- used the weapons. But don’t believe me. Unlike Kerry, I provide links, so check the full text of the report. If you don’t care to read it all, skip to page five, “Conclusions.” It just isn’t there. No one is named as the culprit.



Who shot the gas rockets? Could they have been fired by rogue military elements not acting under Assad’s orders? Could the Syrian army have lost control of some rockets which were picked up by the rebels (Vladimir Putin has made that very claim, that the rebels themselves fired the gas rockets in an attempt to draw the United States into the conflict)? Could a third party have supplied such rockets to the rebels to create a pretext for war? As there is no evidence in the UN report that the trigger was pulled by the Syrian Army under Assad’s orders, there is no evidence that the rebels pulled it and no evidence that someone else did. That’s why the UN report does not draw a conclusion of guilt- there’s no evidence on which to base such a conclusion.



The U.S. is wholly misrepresenting facts in favor of another Middle East war. Unlike a fictional murder trial where one man’s life is on the line, should the U.S. attack Syria many, many people will lose their lives.

2 comments

    • TMC on 09/21/2013 at 17:04

    Bruce A. Dixon asked that question at Black Agenda Report:

    Most glaringly of all, there are pockets of Syria under control of the so-called rebels, many of them mercenary jihadists, armed, supplied and financed by the US, the Saudis, the Turks and the Israelis. Syria’s rebels are widely believed to possess their own stocks of chemical weapons, and since they are losing the war, they have an urgent need to provoke the US into heavier involvement to rescue them from defeat by the Syrian regime. The rebels have not signed this agreement, or even been asked to.

    Who will inspect the rebel zones and what, if any, sanctions will be applied if they do not surrender any chemical weapons in their possession? While the US says its clients are only the victims of chemical weapons, not their users, its evidence remains classified, with even US intelligence officials admitting that it’s “no slam dunk.”

    The Russians on the other hand claim the Syrian rebels used sarin gas against civilians back in March 2013, apparently trying to provoke US intervention. Russia submitted a 100 page report, far more detailed than the sketchy American allegations, detailing their findings back in July, and asked the UN to follow up. By the time poison gas was used again in late August, UN inspection teams were already in Damascus awaiting the arrival of their supervisors so that inspections of the areas where gas was used months earlier, allegedly by the rebels, could begin. This is why much of the world believes the Assad regime is quite unlikely to have used chemical weapons, with UN inspections teams only a few miles away.

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