Syria and Russia demand independent Investigation into Aleppo Chemical Weapon Attack
Russia´s EU Ambassador; NATO´s Repetition of Libya-like Scenario in Syria would be a flagrant and outrageous strategic Mistake
Christof Lehmann(nsnbc),- After the chemical weapons attack that killed at least 25 and injured more than 100 in the outskirts of the Syrian city Aleppo on Tuesday 19 March, both the Syrian and the Russian government are demanding an independent investigation by the United Nations. Russian officials criticize France and the UK for a repetition of the Iraq war scenario, obstructing an investigation, and stated, that an attempt by NATO, to repeat a Libya-like scenario in Syria would be a flagrant strategic mistake.
After Tuesday´s unprecedented use of an internationally banned weapon by state-sponsored terrorists in the Kan al-Asal district of Aleppo, the Syrian government has requested, that the Secretary General of the United Nations forms an independent and neutral technical mission to investigate the incident. The Syrian government affirmed its commitment to uncover the details of the crime to refute all allegations and lies which had been propagated by the circles that support terrorism and terrorists.
Already on Tuesday, the Syrian Minister of Information emphasized the significance of the fact, that the unprecedented use of a chemical weapon by state-sponsored terrorists had been committed by means of a rocket, that had been fired from an area, in which both terrorists and members of foreign intelligence services are known to operate side by side. (1
The Syrian government has already informed the UN Secretary General of its worries on 8 December 2012 and warned, that some of the countries which are providing weapons to the terrorist groups were providing chemical weapons to them.
Insurgent groups had repeatedly threatened the use of chemical weapons which they manufacture by chemicals and small laboratory equipment. Official Syrian sources had previously released information and evidence for, that small, portable chemical weapons laboratories was provided for for insurgents via Saudi-Arabia.
Videos with insurgents either threatening with the use of the weapons, with insurgents demonstrating the lethal effect of the gas on rabbits and threatening, that the Syrians would die like those rabbits, as well as videos with insurgents showing off deliveries of chemicals, and statements that “everything was permissible” have repeatedly been shown on “opposition” websites, YouTube and other media.
The development of chemical weapons capabilities by Saudi-Arabia and US – backed terrorist organizations with ties to the Al-Qaeda network is not a novelty. Chemical weapons capabilities for Al Qaeda were, according to Malaysian intelligence sources and the state prosecutor of Malaysia, already developed for Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan during the 1980s.
In February 2012, Malaysian police arrested the former Malaysian army colonel Yazzid Sufaat and his female associate in a Kuala Lumpur suburb. The Kuala Limpur State Prosecutor charged Sufaat with recruiting Malaysian youth for fighting in Syria and his female associate with aiding him. Yazizd Sufaat has previously been charged with helping Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan with the development of chemical weapons capabilities. (2
Also Russian government officials expressed concerns, demanded an investigation, and sharply criticized those governments who are supporting terrorist in Syria.
Russia´s Deputy Foreign Minister, Gennady Gatilov announced that Russia hopes, that UN Secretary General ban Kyi-moon will answer Syria´s request for an independent, technical investigation into the incident in Aleppo´s countryside. Using his Twitter account, Gennady Gatilov said “We expect that the UN Secretary General soon will answer Syria´s request, to hold an investigation into the use of a chemical weapon on March 19″. Gatilov added, that it was “necessary to form a neutral and professional team of experts to achieve objective outcomes”.
Also Russia´s Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin called for a thorough, neutral and full investigation. The Russian UN Ambassador and current President of the UN Security Council, reiterated, that Russia is calling for a neutral, thorough and objective investigation into the terrorists use of chemical weapons in Syria. The website of the Russian news channel RT quoted the Russian UN Ambassadors statement after closed consultations at the UN security Council on Wednesday, when Gatilov said, “We ask the Syrian government to investigate the incident and we have experts from several countries, including Russia… I think that the UN Secretary General will form a team, including highly experienced members, and we expect that this investigation will be neutral and objective… This issue will be considered carefully”.
Vitaly Churkin also indicated, that France and Great Britain have resorted to undue tactics in attempts to hinder consultations. Churkin described the French and British attempts as similar to what happened in Iraq, when the USA tried to justify its invasion of the country by fabricating information, and by claiming, that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.
Also Russia´s Permanent representative to the European Union (EU), Vladimir Chizhov has issued statements about the incident and warned, that the repetition of a Libyan scenario by NATO in Syria would be a “flagrant and outrageous strategic mistake”. The Russian EU Ambassador also criticized France and Great Britain for announcing, that they would lift the embargo imposed by the EU on importing weapons to the “Syrian Opposition”.
The strong statement by Russia´s Ambassador to the EU is one more in a series of increasingly clear signals from Russian top-diplomats which reiterate, that Russia is not willing to accept further abuse of UNSC resolutions by NATO, the abuse of the ICC for politicized trials against leaders of targeted nations, and the use of NATO forces in the Middle East for regime change under the guise of a responsibility to protect. The diplomatic stand off between Russia, the USA and the EU has lasted since September 2011, when Russia drew a clear line in the Syrian sand and began preventing a similar abuse of UN resolutions as the abuse of UNSC resolution 1973(2011) on Libya.
The statement by Vladimir Chizov, that a repetition of a Libya like scenario in Syria would be a flagrant and outrageous strategic mistake, is most likely an implicit reference to statements by NATO top-bras Ivo H. Daalder and James G. Stavridis.
In an article published in the April-March 2012 issue of Foreign Affairs, Daalder and Stavridis described NATO´s intervention in Libya as “teachable moment and model for future interventions”. (3 Daalder and Stavridis`statement has been repeated during NATO´s 25th Summit in Chicago in May 2012, where NATO implicitly adopted the Libyan model, that is, regime change by use of terrorist organizations, interfacing with special forces, to procure a UN resolution that justifies a NATO intervention, leading to regime change, as part of NATO´s military doctrine for a modern NATO that faces the security challenges of a modern world. (4
On Thursday the United Nations has responded to the Syrian, Russian and international pressure by agreeing to an independent investigation. No details about who will be staffing the investigation team, who will develop its methodology and specify its goals or other details have yet been published.
3) Ivo H. Daalder, James G. Stavridis (2012). NATO`s Victory in Libya. The Right Way to Run an Intervention. Foreign Affairs. March/April 2012. Pp.2 – 7.