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World Awaits UN Findings on Syria


The long-awaited United Nations report on Syria's alleged chemical weapon attack on civilians in August is due out Monday.

The images of the aftermath of the alleged attack are haunting - children suffering and bodies lined up on the ground.

Now, after U.N. inspectors have examined the site and collected boxes of evidence, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says the findings likely will leave little doubt.

“I believe the report will be an overwhelming report that the chemical weapons was used,” he said.

The secretary-general also took aim at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"He has committed many crimes against humanity. And therefore, I'm sure that there will be, surely, the process of accountability when everything is over," he said.

But how any of this affects a civil war that has taken more than 100,000 lives remains unclear, especially since the report itself will not assign blame.

“Russia will continue to deny that it was the Syrian government and the United States and Britain and France will continue to insist it was. And that division will continue to hamper a clear U.N. resolution with enforcement power,” said Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

In the meantime, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has continued his public offensive, appearing on Russian TV, denying that Syria used chemical weapons and dismissing U.S. threats of a military response.

At the U.N., Syria's ambassador Bashar Ja'afari sounded confident.

"We have nothing to hide. On the contrary, we are waiting, expecting, calling on the team of investigators to come up with their full report," he said.

But as the conflict rages, Murhaf Jouejati, a former member of the rebel Syrian National Council, believes the U.N. report may finally sway many in the U.S. and elsewhere who don't want to get involved.

"I think that [undecided] segment of the population will change their minds, therefore releasing or enabling authorities in the U.S. or even in Britain to have a stronger case for a show of force against Syria," said Jouejati.

For now, the fate of Syria is being left in the hands of diplomats, hoping to rid Syria of chemical weapons and somehow get all sides to lay down their arms.

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