UN: “Clear and Convincing” Evidence of Chemical Weapons Attacks in Syria

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 12 2013 8:10 PM

UN: “Clear and Convincing” Evidence of Chemical Weapons Attacks in Syria

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A UN arms expert collects samples on in Damascus' eastern Ghouta suburb.

Photo by Ammar al-Arbini/AFP/Getty Images

UN investigators on Thursday confirmed that chemical weapons were used in Syria. “The United Nations Mission concludes that chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic,” read a UN report by chemical inspectors released Thursday. The report adds that inspectors had collected “clear and convincing evidence” of chemical weapon use against civilians, including children.

The report adds new and growing evidence that chemical weapons have been used in the years long conflict. Inspectors had previously concluded that sarin gas was used in an attack outside of Damascus in August, killing hundreds. The report, however, did not assign responsibility to the government or the rebels for the chemical attacks. “The report by U.N. chemical weapons experts, led by Swedish professor Ake Sellstrom, examined seven alleged chemical weapons attacks and said it lacked information to corroborate the allegations at two locations,” the Associated Press reports. “The inspectors' limited mandate barred them from identifying whether the government or opposition fighters were responsible for any of the attacks.”

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is scheduled to brief the General Assembly on the findings in a closed session on Friday.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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