Syria Asks UN to Immediately Investigate 3 New Chemical Attacks by Rebels
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Syrian government is demanding that the United Nations immediately investigate three alleged chemical attacks carried out by rebel groups on the outskirts of Damascus last week, Syria’s envoy to the UN said.
Ambassador Bashar Jafari said he had requested of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the team of experts currently in Damascus investigating an alleged use of chemical weapons last week also investigate these other attacks.
The attacks took place on August 22, 24 and 25 in Jobar, Sahnaya, and al-Bahariya, Jafari told journalists Wednesday.
The “militants” used toxic chemical gas against the Syrian army, the diplomat said.
"We are asking UN to incorporate 3 more locations where the Syrian soldiers inhaled the nerve gas also in the suburbs of Damascus. So the spectrum of investigation is increasing compared to the initial phase of investigation," Jafari said.
Jafari spoke shortly after an informal meeting of the UN Security Council, where its five permanent members discussed the UK’s proposed draft resolution. The text blames Assad’s government for an alleged chemical attack on August 21, and demands a swift response.
“There is no consensus in the Council on any draft of the resolution, whether it is British or French or American... because members of the Council do not believe the authenticity of the accusations provided by this delegation or that delegation,” the Syrian diplomat said.
Jafari also accused the US, UK and France of being “part of the problem,” rather than “a solution to the crisis.”
These Western states are providing “armed terrorists groups” in Syria with weapons and all kinds of logistical support, he stated.
Following the alleged chemical weapons attack on March 19 in Khan al-Assal near Aleppo, which killed over 30 people, the Syrian government asked the UN chief for assistance in investigating the attack and identifying who was behind it, Jafari said.
But Ban Ki-moon, “his experts in the department of disarmament, as well as the three Western delegations in the Council, objected to the second part of our request,” he said.
“They objected to our request to identify who did it from day one, because they knew who did it in Khan al-Assal."
The diplomat said that, even though “everyone agreed” that the March 19 attack involved chemical weapons, the UK, the US and France did not submit any draft resolutions to the UN Security Council then.
“They did not raise a finger in the media to say that what happened in Khan al-Assal was wrong,” Jafari said, RT reported.
After the incident near Aleppo, the UN set up a fact-finding mission. The investigation, however, got stalled as a group of Western countries insisted on a more thorough inquiry, which would also look into alleged chemical weapons use in Homs in December 2012. The rebel groups insisted that Assad’s forces were responsible for that attack.