If true, this could be why the Obama administration is hesitant to intervene between Syrian rebels and the Assad regime. And, more troubling, if true, it could also mean U.S. (Read: CIA) intervention has already occurred in Syria behind the scenes. (I sincerely hope the latter is just my cynicism speaking)
According to one of the lead investigators from the United Nations, they've gathered testimony from both medical staff and the casualties of the civil war currently raging in Syria indicating that it was not the Assad regime who used chemical weapons but rather the rebels.
The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.This information is kinda tough to reconcile with the rhetoric we're hearing in the U.S. right now. Of course, our media rarely pays attention to anything the United Nations has to say about anything.
"Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated," Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.
"This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities," she added, speaking in Italian.
Del Ponte is a former Swiss attorney-general who at one time served as prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. She didn't offer any details of where or when sarin gas may have been used.
Separate from the investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons, the inquiry based in Geneva covers war crimes and human rights violations during the current Syrian conflict.
Reuters is carrying the story:
President Bashar al-Assad's government and the rebels accuse each another of carrying out three chemical weapon attacks, one near Aleppo and another near Damascus, both in March, and another in Homs in December.Is it just me who thinks the phrase, "varying degrees of confidence" doesn't bode well for the reliability of the intelligence our government is presently gathering in the region?
The civil war began with anti-government protests in March 2011. The conflict has now claimed an estimated 70,000 lives and forced 1.2 million Syrian refugees to flee.
The United States has said it has "varying degrees of confidence" that sarin has been used by Syria's government on its people.
President Barack Obama last year declared that the use or deployment of chemical weapons by Assad would cross a "red line".