UN commission downplays claim Syria rebels used sarin

BBC News reports: The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria has sought to distance itself from comments made by one of its members that there was evidence of the nerve gas sarin being used by rebels.

Carla Del Ponte said testimony from victims and doctors had given rise to “strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof”.

But the commission stressed that it had not reached any “conclusive findings”.

The commission’s press release says:

The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic wishes to clarify that it has not reached conclusive findings as to the use of chemical weapons in Syria by any parties to the conflict. As a result, the Commission is not in a position to further comment on the allegations at this time.

The Chair of the Commission of Inquiry, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, reminds all parties to the conflict that the use of chemical weapons is prohibited in all circumstances under customary international humanitarian law.

In line with its mandate, the Commission is currently investigating all allegations of violations of international law in the Syrian Arab Republic and will issue its findings to the Human Rights Council on 3 June 2013, as mandated by resolution 22/24.

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One thought on “UN commission downplays claim Syria rebels used sarin

  1. Norman

    It will be interesting to read what the conclusions are. As for what Carla Del Ponte said, well, it wasn’t according to the script, so the Commission had to say something. After all, if it turn[s] out that the so called Rebels did use WMD-poison gas, that wouldn’t look very good for the backers now, would it?

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