News / Middle East

    Syria Denies Delaying Chemical Weapons Probe

    Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, Apr. 30, 2013.Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, Apr. 30, 2013.
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    Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, Apr. 30, 2013.
    Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, Apr. 30, 2013.
    Margaret Besheer
    Syria’s United Nations' ambassador blamed what he called "some influential countries" for the delay in sending a chemical weapons investigation team to his country. 
     
    On March 20, the Syrian government asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to set up an independent and impartial investigation to probe its concerns that chemical weapons were used by armed groups in the town of Khan Asal in Aleppo province that week.
     
    Ban acted quickly, announcing the next day that he would send a team to investigate. But more than a month later, the 15-person technical mission awaits permission from the Syrian government to enter the country. 
     
    At issue is the scope of the investigation. Syria wants only Khan Asal investigated, but Britain and France have raised another possible incident of chemical weapons use in Homs. The U.N. chief has said the team should investigate all credible allegations and has urged the Syrian authorities to give the mission full and unfettered access to do their work.

    Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told reporters Tuesday that his government is cooperating with the U.N. and is still willing to receive the team, but wants to see the Khan Asal incident investigated before it is willing to begin considering the investigation of other allegations.
     
    “We said let us now fulfill, achieve, in a credible manner, impartial, independent manner, the investigation in Khan Asal. Then if the Syrian government and the Secretary-General and the Security Council members, feel that these allegations are also credible, the Syrian government, might - might - examine the possibility of asking for a further investigation," he said. 
     
    The Syrian envoy accused hostile governments of seizing on the chemical weapons issue to increase political pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.
     
    He side-stepped the question of whether the Syrian authorities possess chemical weapons, repeating the government line that if they do, they would not use them on their own people.
     
    Speaking to reporters Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon again called for full access to locations in Syria, saying it is necessary if the United Nations is to be able to establish the facts and clear up doubts surrounding this issue.
     
    “A credible and comprehensive inquiry requires full access to the sites where chemical weapons are alleged to have been used. I again urge the Syrian authorities to allow the investigation to proceed without delay and without any conditions," he said. 
     
    Ban’s spokesman said Tuesday that the Syrian government’s efforts to expedite the deployment of the mission to investigate Khan Asal are welcome, but that cooperation should be extended to other sites.

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    by: Dr. Hans F. from: Germany
    April 30, 2013 6:45 PM
    let me tell you something... I have been privileged to sit in an Israeli intelligence briefing level 2 (EU intel conf - they have 5 levels... the fifth is the top - actionable intelligence...) and it is incredible!!! they know EVERYTHING!!! they know when Assad is on the internet - which he uses quite a lot... what he watches... what he says and to whom... they listen to his phone calls... they advance people they control in his administration... people they can not co opt suddenly die of heart attacks... and all this is applicable to Egypt and Iran...
    now, if Putin listen to them so attentively, I believe Obama should do the same... before he commits US forces to protect Jordan, he should know that US forces will come under attack from the Jordanians themselves... listen, Turkey is imploding under Islamic fascism, Lebanon has been hollowed from within by Hezbullah, Syria is a battle ground between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Egypt is reverting to Islamic Fascism... Obama, make your move wisely...

    by: Dr. Hollenbrook from: UK
    April 30, 2013 5:20 PM
    did you hear that "The head of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has declared that Syria has real friends who will not let it fall to the US/Israel and Islamic radicals..." someone must remind this idiot that HE IS ISLAMIC RADICAL!!!!

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