Syrian rebels naughty?

#1
[h=1]Syria crisis: UN's del Ponte says evidence rebels 'used sarin'[/h]
Testimony from victims of the Syrian conflict suggests rebels have used the nerve agent sarin, according to a leading United Nations investigator.


Carla del Ponte told Swiss TV there were "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof".
However, she said her panel had not yet seen evidence of government forces using chemical weapons.
Syria has recently come under growing Western pressure over the alleged use of such weapons.


Ms del Ponte, who serves on the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said in an interview with Swiss-Italian TV: "Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals.


"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."


Ms del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney-general and prosecutor with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, did not rule out the possibility that government troops might also have used chemical weapons, but said further investigation was needed.


"I was a little bit stupefied by the first indications we got... they were about the use of nerve gas by the opposition," she said.


Ms del Ponte gave no details of when or where sarin may have been used.


Her commission was established in August 2011 to examine alleged violations of human rights in the Syrian conflict since March 2011.


It is due to issue its latest report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in June.


Her comments might also complicate matters for the US Secretary of State John Kerry ahead of his visit to Moscow this week, says the BBC Diplomatic correspondent, Bridget Kendall.


If he was hoping to cite fears that the Assad regime was now using chemical warfare as a reason why the Russians should shift their position, that argument will not be so easy to make, our correspondent says.


Mutual accusations

A separate United Nations team was established to look specifically into the issue of chemical weapons.


It is ready to go to Syria but wants unconditional access with the right to inquire into all credible allegations.


Both the Syrian government and the rebels have in the past accused each other using chemical weapons.


The United States and the UK have said there is emerging evidence of Syrian government forces having used sarin, with the US saying it had "varying degrees of confidence" that chemical weapons had been deployed.


US President Barack Obama called in April for a "vigorous investigation", saying the use of such weapons would be a "game changer" if verified.


President Bashar al-Assad's government says the claims do not have any credibility, denouncing them as "lies".


Sarin, a colourless, odourless gas which can cause respiratory arrest and death, is classed as a weapon of mass destruction and is banned under international law.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22424188

If confirmed, it seems that the seemingly automatic supposition that Arab government bad, Arab rebel good is about to be rethought.
 
#2
Just read that on Yahoo too. I wonder if this will change all the ideas of supplying weapons to the rebels?
 
#3
From what I've heard sections of each Side are as bad as each other... A wholesale cancelling out would be no bad thing.
 
#4
Pretty much what everyone was scared of. Once Assad started dispersing his stuff, the odds were always in favour of it falling into rebel hands as the bases got over-run.
I suspect that any use is sporadic, and quite possibly by people who don't actually know or care what the munition is that they are firing. There's probably rounds changing hands like Top Trumps cards all over the place by now.
 
#5
I've seen on the odd 'conspiracy' (not really the right word) website and blog that much of what we've been led to believe about Syria is propaganda. It's alleged that rebels comit attrocities then film them to give the appearance that it was government troops who did so. I've no idea what the reality is. I wouldn't be unwilling to believe that the rebels are the ones with the sarin gas and that they are using it on the people they claim to fight for just to get the attention they want and see the world accuse the government of using WMD. I'll have a google and see if I can spot an article or two that I've read.

How long has the Syrian civil war been going on for now? It must be a couple of years at least.
 
#6
#7
#8
Perhaps the fact we aren't backing anyone is proof we did lessons learned.


"I have 120 pairs of naive enhancing rose coloured spectacles for sale, they come comple with an idiots guide to blissful ignorance, all for the princely sum of 59.05"
 
#13
I reckon it's a similar situation to Libya and that the rebels ARE using propaganda tactics. I also believe that we (The West) are aware of this and allowing it to happen because if the rebels do take the country and are not the good people they were originally thought to be then we will have an excuse to put our boots on the ground under the guise of liberation at a later date when it suits.

Tinfoil hat quite sweaty today.
 
#14
What do the USA or UK (or any Western nation for that matter) stand to gain from doing anything for Syria?
Not much but they would stand to lose a lot more if the conflict spread (which it is) and destabilised the Middle East even further.

An increasingly twitchy Israel brought about as a result of an even more****ed up Syria will cause a lot more problems for the US than Syria itself ever could.

And on top of all this, once Assad falls (if he does) then Syria will inevitably become the latest jihadi summer destination and will serve as a base for all sorts of ne'erdowells to operate from.

In a nutshell, what is actually happening IN Syria is obviously very sad (etc) but isn't that important unless you're actually in Syria. It's what happens to neighbouring countries as a result of the Syrian conflict and also what transpires after Assad's departure that the West needs to really be worried about.

We're buggered if we intervene and there's every chance we'll end up regretting it if we don't as well.

Meh.
 
#15
What I cannot understand is why Russia is not getting involved as it is their only port in the Med?
The regime is not to everyones taste but has kept the lid on.
I cannot see the rag bag of Jihadists etc creating anything but chaos?
 
#16
I've seen on the odd 'conspiracy' (not really the right word) website and blog that much of what we've been led to believe about Syria is propaganda. It's alleged that rebels comit attrocities then film them to give the appearance that it was government troops who did so. I've no idea what the reality is. I wouldn't be unwilling to believe that the rebels are the ones with the sarin gas and that they are using it on the people they claim to fight for just to get the attention they want and see the world accuse the government of using WMD. I'll have a google and see if I can spot an article or two that I've read.

How long has the Syrian civil war been going on for now? It must be a couple of years at least.
If it's anything like Iraq, the 'rebels' are made up from decent people who've had enough, religious crazies, and people with **** all better to do than cause trouble; all operating independently, but often under the same banner.
 
#17
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the rebels sunni whilst the regime is shi'ite (or vice versa) but the Bahraini regime are the same branch as the Syrian regime and there could be implications on the US being allowed to use Bahrain as a naval base..or something???
 
#18
What do the USA or UK (or any Western nation for that matter) stand to gain from doing anything for Syria?
Well, I'd get my bar back, for a start.
 

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