Syria

Chemical arms pressure tactic: Syria

Chemical arms

Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari says Western states have raised the issue of possible use of chemical weapons in Syria as a pressure tactic against his country.

In an interview with the Lebanese NBN TV channel broadcast on Sunday, al-Jaafari said that the campaign against Syria is designed to get concessions from Damascus in various fields.

Al-Jaafari stated that Syria requested to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to help investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons in the town of Khan al-Asal in Aleppo, but when the Security Council met to discuss this issue, French and British ambassadors made unsubstantiated claims that chemical weapons were used in Homs four months before the Aleppo incident.

US, Israeli and British officials have said there’s evidence that the Syrian government may have used chemical weapons in its fight against foreign-backed militants.

Syria has dismissed the allegations as false and fabricated. Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said Damascus wants an investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons to be carried out by Russian experts.

A spokesman for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is based in The Hague, said what Israeli and Western officials refer to as evidence does not meet the standard of proof needed for the UN.

And China has said it is against the use of chemical weapons by any country.

The White House had previously described any use of chemical weapons in Syria as a “red line,” which could trigger possible military action.

The British Foreign Office also announced on Thursday that it has “limited but persuasive” evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

On April 23, a senior Israeli military official also accused Syrian forces of having used the nerve agent sarin against militants several times.

Damascus has repeatedly said that it will not chemical weapons in an attempt to end the unrest in the country.

Syria has been gripped by a deadly unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of government security forces and army personnel, have been killed in the violence.

Damascus says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

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