Nerve Gas Used in Syria

sarin in SyriaSources in the United Kingdom and France have confirmed that Syrian attack victims have tested positive for a chemical weapon – the nerve agent sarin. French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, passed evidence of the claim to the head of the United Nations inquiry into chemical weapon use in Syria but not venture to say who, directly, was responsible for the use of sarin.

Sarin is a colourless, odorless liquid that has bee used as a chemical weapon because of its strength as a nerve agent. The chemical was classified as a weapon of mass destruction in United Nations Resolution 687 that was adopted in 1991.

As is the case with the French officials, British officials also note that they have no proof that the regime of Syria’s President Bashar Hafez al-Assad was to blame. Officials strongly believe that all available circumstantial evidence points towards the government, but no proof will be gathered concretely without a full inspection conducted by UN investigators of the Syrian battlefield. At this stage, White House spokesperson Jay Carney has stated that the U.S needs “more information” and is not ready to take action on this matter.

The discovery may change the question of intervention for the United States, but it doesn’t change the argument as to whether U.S. assistance to Syrian rebels would damage the legitimacy of their own domestic forces, thereby damaging any cohesiveness that will be needed towards building a future Syrian state – nor does it change the views of anyone who would rather not be involved in yet another protracted U.S. battle.

 

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