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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Emergency meeting at the UN about the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria

The alleged attack with chemical weapons in Syria, in the neighborhoods of Al damascene Ghuta and Al Sharkiya, which the opponents have left 1,300 dead, including many children-has shocked the international community, demanding an investigation. United Kingdom and France are among the countries that have announced they will send a letter to the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, with an official request to be carried out an investigation, as confirmed by a diplomat at the UN the condition of anonymity. For its part, the UN secretary general said he was "shocked" by the allegations and has "reaffirmed their determination to start a research in depth on the alleged incidents. From Turkey, the Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu , said it was clear from television pictures from Syria that chemical weapons were used. "We have asked for an immediate investigation by the UN teams," he added.

'Red Line'

On Monday, once again , the U.S. president, Barack Obama, said in a press conference that any attempt by Syria to move or use chemical weapons would change the "calculations" of his government in the area, which evokes the possibility of a direct action in the conflict. So far, the U.S. is providing "non-lethal assistance" to the Syrian opposition and refuses to give them weapons for fear that they may fall into the hands of terrorist groups. Obama has marked the use of chemical weapons as a "red line" that would make him reconsider the military option in Syria, but urged caution Tuesday and said he will wait to have on hand "facts" precise about it before making a decision.

The UN mission

It so happens that for three days, a team of researchers from chemical weapons UN finally entered the country. The team, led by Ake Sellström, former chemical weapons inspector in Iraq for the UN, was ready since last April to enter Syria, but could not do so due to disagreements between the international organization and the Syrian government. It is expected that this mission independently investigate three possible cases in which they would have used chemical weapons.One of the places to which researchers will access will be the town of Khan al Asal , in the northern province of Aleppo, where according to the scheme, 26 people were killed in March in a suspected rebel attack with chemicals. Ahead of any attempt by the UN, the Syrian information minister,Omran to SOABI , said that the Syrian government has no plans for now to allow a visit by UN experts to areas east of Damascus, where according to the opposition have produced the poison gas attacks.This requires an "agreement with the government," said the minister. According to U.S. media reports, the Security Council of the UN will maintain this evening an emergency meeting to discuss the matter. The request was made ​​by France , United Kingdom ,Luxembourg , South Korea and the United States . The decision has been taken by Argentina, which holds the Council's rotating presidency this month. Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Saud al Faisal, also called an urgent meeting of the Security Council of the UN. Shortly after learning of the attacks in those stubborn areas of the capital, the Syrian government denied using poison gas. Moreover, Al SOABI said not to rule out that Islamist brigades have used chemical weapons east of Damascus, "as before in Aleppo". Sellström Ake, from Syria, said the attack denounced by the opposition "should be investigated".

Reactions

For its part, the European Union has also reacted to the brutal attack and called for an immediate investigation. The EU reiterates that any use of these weapons, by any side, would be totally unacceptable ", said a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief, Catherine AshtonThe secretary general of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabi , has urged the UN mission in the field to be directed "immediately" to the outskirts of Damascus to investigate the attacks. In his opinion, the attack is "a violation of international humanitarian law". Russia, one of the main allies of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, at first crossed the alleged attack to be a "hoax" in the words of Vice President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Duma, Leonid Kalashnikov. He added, "If you really were used chemical weapons, that looks more like the style of the rebels." Hours later, the spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Lukashevich, said an investigation should be done "fairly and professionally". Lukashevich added that "All this does not suggest but once again it is a planned provocation. This is supported by the fact that the criminal act was committed near Damascus, in the same time that the UN mission was working on the investigation of alleged use of chemical weapons there." The general command of the Syrian army has said the accusations are " categorically false "and has been attributed to opposition propaganda.

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