Published On: Mon, Sep 30th, 2013

A Critical Review of Security Council Resolution 2118 (2013) on Syria

UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) A Critical Review with regards to Syria´s territorial integrity, Syria´s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention, attempted blackmail by a top-US diplomat, the unlawful threat of the use of force, the omission of evidence in support of chemical weapons use by State and non-State parties in the anti-Syrian alliance, the falsification of evidence, bias with regards to the prosecution of war crimes, the repetition of historic mistakes made in Iraq, and dangerous ambiguities on the use of force under Chapter VII  of the UN Charter.  Christof Lehmann (nsnbc)
Collage: Voice of Russia

Collage: Voice of Russia

The Territorial Integrity and Sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic.

The resolution states that the UN Security Council is Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic. The re-affirmation of Syria´s territorial integrity could be perceived as a positive development, considering the fact that U.S. defense policy since the mid-90s is based on the so-called Greater Middle East Project and similar policy papers. The Greater Middle East Project was developed for the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) by the RAND Corporation. The white paper suggests the division of Turkey and Syria into smaller states.

Part of the Greater Middle East Project is the balkanization of Turkey into smaller, US-Client States and the creation of low-intensity conflicts from the Mediterranean to Pakistan´s Baluchistan Province, along the soft, oil-rich and resource rich underbelly of Russia and China. Map plottings by Maj (ret) Agha H. Amin

Part of the Greater Middle East Project is the balkanization of Turkey into smaller, US-Client States and the creation of low-intensity conflicts from the Mediterranean to Pakistan´s Baluchistan Province, along the soft, oil-rich and resource rich underbelly of Russia and China. Map plottings by Maj (ret) Agha H. Amin

US/NATO foreign policy and regional strategy is, according to Major (r.) Agha H. Amin, a former Pakistani officer and political consultant, part of a US/NATO plan to create the so-called Kurdish Corridor, and a belt of low-intensity conflicts along the soft, resource-rich underbelly of Russia´s and China´s Central Asian regions. 2)

In the light of this and related, long-term US/NATO strategic goals, 3) the Security Council´s “re-affirmation of Syria´s national integrity” is at best a standard legalistic and diplomatic clause, detached from the realpolitik and the implementation US/NATO long-term, strategic goals.

Would the UN Security Council function in accordance with its obligations under the UN Charter; would Resolution 2118 (2013) not be biased against Syria and in favor of the alliance that is behind the attempted subversion, one would at the very least expect the presence of a statement that “calls on all UN member states, and especially the United States and some of Syria´s Arab neighbors, to immediately cease any ongoing attempts to violate Syria´s territorial integrity”.

One could argue that these policy papers are merely hypothetical; that they have nothing to do with the acute situation pertaining Syria, but testimony about US Ambassador Ford´s involvement in agreements about the “Balkanization” of Syria, just to mention one example, suggests otherwise.

The incident that was reported in an nsnbc international article on 12 March 2013, titled “US-Russian Relations deteriorating as Kuwaiti Whistle Blower Discloses Secret Syria War-Plan”. 4)

The article refers to testimony by Faisal al-Hamad, who is a member of the General Secretariat of Kuwait´s National Party. Referring to the “Friends of Syria” meeting in March 2013 in Doha, Qatar, al-Hamad stated that agreements had been made on the sidelines of the conference, and that

“A separate agreement had been signed between the Foreign Minister of Qatar, Hamad Bin Jassim Al-Thani, the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmad Davotoglu, Abdullah bin Zayid Al Nahyan, the U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford, the opposition member Riyad Saif, and the representative of the Council of Istanbul´s Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Riad Shaqfeh”. 

The senior Kuwait National Party member stated, that the agreement contained several items, including:

“The division of Syria into smaller states with so-called moderate Islamist governments, the permanent annexation of the disputed Hatay region by Turkey, a reduction of the Syrian military forces to maximum 50.000 troops, and other”. 

HatayUNSC Resolution 2118 (2013)  fails to explicitly refer to Turkey and Israel with regards to Syria´s territorial integrity.

Both Turkey and Syria lay claim to the Hatay region. The ongoing dispute dates back to 29 June 1939 when Hatay, following a referendum that has been labelled as both “phoney” and as “rigged” fell under Turkish jurisdiction. 5)  Taking into account the hostility of the Turkish AKP – led government of Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey´s direct involvement in supporting the armed insurgency in Syria, the resolution would have been more balanced if it had referred to the need to peacefully settle the dispute over Hatay and if the resolution, within the same context, had called on Turkey to fulfill its obligation under international law to prevent the trafficking of weapons and mercenaries across the 900 km-long Turkish – Syrian border.

Probably far more important than referring to Hatay, would have been a reference to the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan Hights and Israel´s involvement in aiding armed terrorists who use the Golan Hights as basis of operations for the insurgency.

GOLANIn June 2013, nsnbc international reported that a an officer from the UN Disengagement and Observer Forces (UNDOF) in the Golan confirmed large-scale Israeli support for insurgents and direct military aggression against Syria. 6)

The Austrian UNDOF officer spoke to Al-Manaar on condition of anonymity, which weakens his statement, but his report has since been corroborated by Palestinian and Syrian witnesses and could easily be verified by UN investigators if the UN could generate the necessary political will to uphold international law – also with regards to Israel. The UNDOF officer reported, that:

“Israel´s support to the armed terrorist groups, which are spread through the villages in the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan, is very large, and that the support includes all logistic, military and medical fields. … The officer also affirmed “The existence of a joint operations room which has the function to coordinate the delivery of assistance to the terrorists. …and he added, that “this operations room also coordinates the entry of injured terrorists into Israel, where injured terrorists are admitted to hospitals in nearby Israeli settlements. .. The UNDOF officer concluded his statement, saying that “this joint operations room is in constant contact with the Israeli military and security to facilitate the weapons transport from Israel to the terrorists. … Israeli forces are directly involved in combat against Syrian forces, targeting positions held by Syrian troops to support the insurgent attacks”. 

Israeli nuclear and chemical weapons manufacturing facility at Dimona (image by sodahead.com)

Israeli nuclear and chemical weapons manufacturing facility at Dimona (image by sodahead.com)

UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) failure to call upon Israel to cease its support of insurgents is especially tragic because a newly declassified CIA document strongly indicates that Israel produces and is in possession of chemical weapons. 7) Moreover, Israel is the only nuclear armed state in the region.

Accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention and OPCW. 8) 9)

UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) continues with a number of paragraphs pertaining Syria´s accession to protocols and conventions on chemical weapons and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The resolution recalls, that the Syrian Arab Republic, on 22 November 1968, acceded to the Protocol for the prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating or Other Gases and or Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, signed in Geneva on 17 June 1925. 10)

The resolution then notes, that on 14 September 2013, the Syrian Arab Republic deposited with the Secretary-General its instrument of accession to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (Convention) and declared that it shall comply with its stipulations and observe them faithfully and sincerely, applying the Convention provisionally pending its entry into force for the Syrian Arab Republic.

Blackmail. One of the most under-reported and maybe the most important aspect of Syria´s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention and OPCW membership is an attempt by U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, to blackmail Russia into leaving a loophole for military force under the UN Charter´s Chapter VII 11) in the resolution.  It elicits the deep systemic problems with the UN and the criminality of the USA with regards to Syria and UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013)

Russia´s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, almost breaks diplomatic protocol, informing media about John Kerry´s blackmail attempt.

Russia´s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, almost breaks diplomatic protocol, informing media about John Kerry´s blackmail attempt.

The incident occurred during a phone conversation between U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry and Russia´s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov and led to a serious diplomatic row which was almost entirely omitted by Western and Gulf-Arab media.

An article on nsnbc international, titled U.S. tries to Blackmail Russia into Military Action against Syria,12)  describes the details of the scandal and quotes the Russian Foreign Minister as saying:

Our American partners are starting to blackmail us: ‘If Russia does not support a resolution under Chapter 7, then we will withdraw our support for Syria’s entry into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This is a complete departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry”. … Our partners are blinded by an ideological mission for regime change. … They cannot admit they have made another mistake. … I am convinced that the West is doing this to demonstrate that they call the shots in the Middle East. This is a totally politicized approach. … Up to three quarters of these guys are Jihasists, including the most radical groups such as the al-Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, who want to create an Islamic Caliphate in Syria and in neighboring territories.  … If our western partners think at least two steps ahead, they cannot but understand it”. 

The U.S.A. or rather Secretary of State, John Kerry has, in so many words, attempted to threaten Russia and Syria, that unless Russia would agree to leaving a loophole for the automatic use of military force in the case of non-compliance, the U.S.A. could/would sabotage Syria´s accession.

Again, the incident is not merely a display of the United States criminality with regards to the attempted subversion of Syria, the incident demonstrated, with all possible clarity, which kind of problems one is inviting by allowing a permanent Security Council member to vote on a resolution pertaining a conflict, to which it is a party.

A reference in UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) “calling on all UN member States, and especially permanent members of the Security Council, to abstain from any illegal attempt to use blackmail as a means of achieving an authorization for the use of force under the UN Charter´s Chapter VII” would not have been inappropriate. UN-precedented audacity warrants UN-precedented clarity with regards to the text of the resolution.

USS Nimitz. US naval deployment planned in advance of alleged chemical weapons use on 21 August 2013.

USS Nimitz. US naval deployment planned in advance of alleged chemical weapons use on 21 August 2013.

The Taboo Issue about Syria´s Accession. One of the great “Taboo” issues pertaining UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) and its evolution is that Syria agreed to put its chemical weapons under international control “after” illegal threats of the use of force.

Not to a break that Taboo would be a critical mistake. Make no mistake about it, even though Syria rejects that it has signed under duress, Syria has signed the Chemical Weapons Convention after illegal threats of the use of military force from the USA and initially from the United Kingdom and France as well. Arguably, this makes all contractual concessions which Syria has made invalid because contracts were signed under duress and not among co-equals.

The point is particularly important because arguably, by doing so, the USA, and initially also the UK and France, committed a violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons reinforces the UN Charter´s prohibition of the threat of the use of force, by stating in its Preamble: 13)

Recalling that, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, States must refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations, and that the establsihment and maintainance of  international peace and security are to be promoted with the least diversion for armaments of the world´s human and economic resources ….

​Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mashaal Al Zaben met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.

​Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mashaal Al Zaben met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.

Regardless whether the government of the Syrian Arab Republic stresses that it has signed the Chemical Weapons Convention out of considerations for the best of Syria, the people of Syria and for Peace and Security, it is an established, historical fact, that the USA, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and as a Signatory to the NPT, has committed a serious violation of fundamental international laws when it threatened Syria with the use of military force without the approval of the Security Council.

Even more important within this context is, that there is strong evidence to support that the USA has actively prepared a military aggression against Syria in August – September 2013, before the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian armed forces in the East Ghouta district of Damascus on 21 August 2013.

To substantiate such claims, one can consult the following, essential articles:

  • U.S. War Plans for August / September known since June, by Christof Lehmann, is an editorial that refers to a body of articles which have been published in June and July, and which warned that foreign – backed insurgents were preparing large – scale chemical weapons use in August – September 2013, to justify renewed calls for a military intervention in Syria. 14)
  • Deployment of US/Allied Warships planned before 21 August Chem Attack, Michel Chossudovsky. In this article, Michel Chossudovsky documents the movements of several of the US warships which have been deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean, indicating that the naval deployment was planned well in advance of the alleged chemical weapons attack on 21 August 2013. 15)

UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) does not as much as “call upon the USA to refrain from any further illegal threats of force against Syria”, not even to mention that the resolution ought to have included a statement such as: “calling to the attention of the USA, that any further, illegal threat of force will have consequences, which will have to be discussed and decided upon at the Security Council; and that the UNSC calls upon all members of the United Nations to immediately report any illegal threats to the office of the Secretary General” .

Again, we see that Resolution 2118 (2013) elicits deep systemic problems with the UN system as a whole and the Security Council in particular. The fact that any nation that is a party to a conflict has the privilege of the use of a Veto in decisions about a conflict to which it itself is a party is highly problematic.

Omitting Evidence for Chemical Weapons use by Foreign-Backed Mercenaries, Bias Concerning “Consequences”. 

Armed forces seized an improvised chemical weapons factory in the suburbs of Damascus. Many of the chemicals were from Saudi Arabia.

Armed forces seized an improvised chemical weapons factory in the suburbs of Damascus. Many of the chemicals were from Saudi Arabia.

UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) continues, acknowledging the report of 16 September 2013 (S/2013/553) by the Mission, underscoring the need for the Mission to fulfil its mandate, and emphasizing that future credible allegations of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic should be investigated. It continues, expressing that the Security Council is 17)

“Deeply outraged by the use of chemical weapons on 21 August 2013 in Rif Damascus, as concluded in the Mission´s report, condemning the killing of civilians that resulted from it, affirming that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a serious violation of international law, and stressing that those responsible for any use of chemical weapons must be held accountable”. 

The resolution then continues, recalling the obligation under Resolution 1540 (2004) 17), that all States shall refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons and their means of delivery.

The Syrian Arab Army seized 281 barrels with chemicals from insurgents at a farm in Banias, Tartus.

The Syrian Arab Army seized 281 barrels with chemicals from insurgents at a farm in Banias, Tartus.

Again, also these paragraphs are highly problematic, failing to include references to key events and factors; that is, besides being highly biased.

Even though one cannot expect a Security Council resolution to reflect the fact, it is important to recall several problems pertaining the 16 September report which indicate a strong bias of the mission. An article, published on nsnbc international, titled UN Report on Syria ambiguous and dangerousdetails some of the most pertinent problems. 18)

The article points out that the report states, that material evidence of the chemical weapons attack could have been transported from one location to another one immediately after the projectiles were fired or before the arrival of the UN inspectors at the scene”.

The report fails to stress that the area in question was at the time in question held by “opposition forces”, and that the Syrian military thus could not have tampered with any evidence prior to the arrival of the inspectors.

The article also addresses methodological flaws with regard to documenting the number of casualties. Of special importance is the methodology used with regards to choosing witnesses, the lack of any documentation such as death certificates, autopsy reports, and other documentation one would consider important for determining the number of casualties.

One of the most important flaws of the report however, was that it implied, that the opposition was unlikely to have the necessary chemical weapons capabilities and that, although there is a wealth of evidence that suggests and documents otherwise.

The article points at the following evidence for chemical weapons capabilities, possession of chemical weapons and chemical weapons use by “Opposition” Forces.

  • On 5 March 2013 a chemical weapons attack in Khan al-Assal kills at least 25 and injures more than 100. A team of Russian experts investigated the incident, following international standards and procedure, using internationally recognized laboratories, concluding that a chemical weapon had been used by a specified terrorist group. At the end of July a new massacre is committed in Khan al-Assal, with 123 being murdered by the terrorists, who were specifically interested in liquidating witnesses to their use of a chemical weapon earlier. Russian experts have conducted an investigation into the chemical weapons attack, adhering to international standards. The report has been sent to the White House and the Secretary General.  19)
  • On 28 May 2013, officers of the Turkish General Security Directorate arrested 12 members of the al-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusrah in the Turkish city of Adana. The terrorists were in possession of 2 kg Sarin. 20)
  • On 2nd June 2013, nsnbc international reported, that the Syrian Armed Forces had confiscated 2 kg of Sarin from terrorists in the Faraieh district of the city of Hama. 21)
  • On 10 July, nsnbc international reported that the Syrian Arab Army had confiscated 281 barrels of chemicals from terrorists in the city of Banias. The event prompted Syria´s UN Ambassador, Bashar Ja´afari to say: “The Syrian authorities have discovered yesterday, in the city of Banias, 281 barrels filled with dangerous, hazardous chemical materials, capable of destroying a whole city, if not the whole country”. 22) 
  • On 14 July, nsnbc international reported, that the Syrian military had confiscated a cache of chemicals, along with weapons and equipment form terrorists in a Damascus suburb. The chemicals were from Saudi Arabia. 23)

One of the most obvious shows of anti-Syrian bias is the fact that the UN never officially recognized the Russian report into the chemical weapons attack in Khan al-Assal, and that it is not mentioned with a single workd in UNSC Res. 2118 (2013)

Other essential articles in which the foreign backed opposition´s chemical weapons capabilities are documented, are:

  • VIDEO: Rockets in Damascus CW Attack Fired from Makeshift Flatbeds, by Tony Cartalycci. The article analyzes video evidence, supporting that the foreign-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) has launched the chemical laden projectiles into East Ghouta on 21 August 2013. 24)
  • Children killed for staging Ghouta Chemical Attacks “Evidence”; The article describes research into photographic and video evidence which clearly documents that photo and video evidence, including images of children has been staged. The article about the analysis documents that children were medically manipulated to stage the purported evidence, and the study indicates that at least some of the children have been murdered to create war anti-Syrian war propaganda. 25)
At least nine of these children appear in different footage from different locations

At least nine of these children appear in different footage from different locations

Pertaining falsified photographic “evidence” it is important to recall that experts presented the case for the falsification and fabrication of chemical weapons propaganda to the 24th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. 26)

Non of the above was sufficiently indicated, let alone addressed in UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013).

The evidence which is addressed in the articles above is merely a miniscule representation o the available body of evidence that proves beyond reasonable doubt, that foreign-backed insurgents have:

  • Used chemical weapons on a large scale in Syria
  • That elements of the authorities of Saudi-Arabia, Turkey, Libya, the USA and likely other countries have been involved in providing chemical weapons capabilities, chemical and or chemical weapons to the opposition, including the al-Qaeda associated Jabhat al-Nusrah and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham.
  • That intelligence sources and media warned, already in June and July, that foreign-backed insurgents and State actors supporting them were planning the large scale use of chemical weapons in August – September 2013, with the explicit goal to justify renewed calls for a military intervention in Syria.

UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) addresses all of the above with the “nonchalant” sentence:

“Recalling the obligation under resolution 1540 (2004) that all States shall refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons and their means of delivery”. 

A Brief Outlook on Legal Bias and the Prosecution of Chemical Weapons Use at the ICC.

The phrase above, is followed by specifying what Syria has to do so as to comply. The entire resolution does not address with a single word, the need to investigate specifically, the chemical weapons use by foreign-backed insurgents and UN member States involvement therein.

The inevitable and only, logically possible conclusion one can draw, based on the wording of UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013), and the resolution´s failure to specify “consequences”  for any other party than the Syrian government is:

That UN-Justice is not blind, but that it is turning a blind eye to the most audacious crimes which have been committed by UN-member State-sponsored terrorists. 

Unless Russia and China continue monitoring closely, the work of the inspectors in Syria, one must expect that the USA, along with core NATO members Britain and France, will attempt to indict, not to say to “frame” the Syrian government at the ICC, while any US, British, Turkish, French, Saudi, Qatari, Libyan involvement will be omitted or evidence against them will not be admitted.

Towards a Repetition of a Historic Mistake, made in Iraq.

UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) states in paragraph 12, that the UNSC decides to review on a regular basis the implementation in the Syrian Arab Republic of the decision of the OPCW Executive Council of 27 September 2013 and this resolution, and requests the Director-General of the OPCW to report to the Security Council, through the Secretary-General, who shall include relevant information on United Nations activities related to the implementation of this resolution, within 30 days and every month thereafter, and requests further the Director-General of the OPCW and the Secretary-General to report in a coordinated manner, as needed, to the Security Council, non-compliance with this resolution or the OPCW Executive Council decision of 27 September 2013.

The wording of this paragraph is highly problematic. Pressing questions which cannot other than remind about Iraq remain unaddressed.

When or under which conditions will the “review on a regular basis” end ? Is UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) an open-ended free pass for UN Inspectors and OPCW staff to have unfettered access throughout Syria, including highly sensitive military installations ?

Considering that both the parliament of the United Kingdom and the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany have seen heated debates about uncertainties over the delivery of dual-use chemicals to the Syrian Arab Republic, the risk that the inspections become politicized will grow by every month in which the crisis continues without the actual core issues being appropriately addressed.

Dynamic Duo Cameron +So-called dual-use chemicals will be tempting for any politician who wants to position the Syrian government as dishonest, blaming the Syrian government for maintaining a covert chemical weapons program through front companies.

Sodium Fluoride is such a dual use chemical. It is used in the manufacturing of fluorized toothpaste but it can also be used in the production of the nerve agent Sarin. An article on nsnbc international, titled Germany joins efforts to frame Syria on non-compliance detailed parts of the debates in the UK and Germany. 27 ) Members of Britan´s parliament have already alleged that “the Assad Regime” was buying Sodium Fluoride through “Front Companies”.

The failure to include more specific details about when the monitoring of Syria will end, under which conditions and guarantees for Syria may be the Achilles heel that brings peace efforts to a fall by leaving a “loophole for framing Syria for non-compliance”. This is particularly important with regards to paragraph 21 of the resolution, pertaining the UN Charter´s Chapter VII.

AND CHAPTER VII ANIWAYS. After the unanimous adoption of UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013), China´s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said that the region could not afford another war

Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Ministerstressed the importance of the resolution and the severity of the situation, saying that the region could not afford another war. Wang Yi stressed that the Security Council must make decisions that would pass the judgement of history.

How ominous the Chinese Foreign Minister´s words truly are, becomes clear only after reading paragraph 21 in which it is written that the Security Council

Decides, in the event of non-compliance with this resolution, including unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in the Syrian Arab Republic, to impose measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

Taking all of the above mentioned problems with UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) into account, this paragraph can only be compared to a hair trigger. There is dangerously much room for interpretation in this sentence. Two, equally correct interpretations are possible.

  1. By adopting UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013), the Security Council has made the unanimous decision, that measures under the UN Charter´s Chapter VII will be imposed against Syria. In other words, failure to comply will trigger the use of military force.
  2. By adopting UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013), the Security Council has made the unanimous decision, that the Security Council shall discuss the matter and decide whether the alleged non-compliance should trigger the use of military force against Syria under the UN Charter´s Chapter VII.

The language is extremely ambiguous and one does not have to be an expert in international law to recognize that the formulation of this paragraph opens a Pandora´s Box of problems.

Taking the US/NATO push for global, full spectrum dominance into account, or, as Sergei Lavrov put it, the United States` wish to show who calls the shots in the Middle East, it is obvious how the USA, Israel, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia and others will interpret the resolution.

Their advantage is, that there is not a single word that would even indicate that a new Security Council vote is required before military forces under Chapter VII would be justified. Other than increasing Western political leverage against Syria, the resolution has not brought much, or much needed change to the situation.

  • The core NATO members USA, Britain, France and Turkey, along with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Libya can continue to wage a war against Syria by financing, recruiting and arming mercenaries, including the most extremist terrorist organizations. They can do so unchallenged, and with impunity.
  • The European Union can continue to violate Syria´s territorial integrity by buying oil from “rebel-held territories” and in fact plunder Syrian resources by means of mercenary forces.
  • The core US/NATO strategy to create a belt of low-intensity conflicts from the Eastern Mediterranean to Pakistan´s Baluchistan province, Nepal and Myanmar can continue unchallenged and with impunity.
  • Syria has become subject to an open-ended inspection regime that will lead to attempts to frame Syria on non-compliance.
  • State-sponsorship of chemical weapons capabilities can continue unimpeded and with impunity because UN members are merely “called upon” not to support the use of chemical weapons by non-state parties. Meanwhile, the Syrian government risks charges at the ICC.
  • The naval standoff between Russia and the USA remain the sole deterrent against a US-led aggression against Syria but with one difference. While a US-led aggression, bypassing the UNSC, would have been the most severe violation of international law, prior to the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013), the USA can now refer to the resolution, with the justified claim that the resolution calls for the use of force under Chapter VII.

After the Security Council unanimously adopted UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013), UN Secretary General Ban Kyi-moon called the resolution the first hopeful news on Syria in a long time. A critical review of the resolution within the context of realpolitic and the facts about the attempted subversion of Syria allows only one conclusion. The Secretary General must have been speaking on behalf of the international alliance that wages an illegal, unconventional war against Syria when he described the resolution as a hopeful development.

 

Notes:

1) SECURITY COUNCIL REQUIRES SCHEDULED DESTRUCTION OF SYRIA’S CHEMICAL WEAPONS, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 2118 (2013) http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2013/sc11135.doc.htm

2) The volatility of Gas, Geo-Politics and the Greater Middle East. An Interview with Major Agha H. Amin; Christof Lehmann, nsnbc international, online at http://nsnbc.me/2013/02/01/the-volatility-of-gas-geo-politics-and-the-greater-middle-east-an-interview-with-major-agha-h-amin/

3) US Planned Syrian Civilian Catastrophe Since 2007; Tony Cartalucci, nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/09/04/us-planned-syrian-civilian-catastrophe-since-2007/

4) US – Russian Relations deteriorating as Kuwaiti Whistle Blower Discloses Secret Syria War-Plan; Christof Lehmann, nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/03/12/us-russian-relations-continue-deteriorating-over-syria-as-kuwaiti-whistle-blower-discloses-secret-us-war-plan/

5) WikiPedia, Hatay Province, online at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatay_Province

6) Austrian UNDOF Officer withdrawn from Golan Confirms Large-Scale Israeli Support of Terrorists; Christof Lehmann, nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/06/15/austrian-un-officer-withdrawn-from-golan-confirms-large-scale-israeli-support-of-terrorists/

7) CIA documents reveal Israeli stockpile of chemical weapons; Saed Bannoura, International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC, online on nsnbc international at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/09/11/cia-documents-reveal-israeli-stockpile-of-chemical-weapons/

8) Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (Chemical Weapons Convention);  OPCW website, online at: http://www.opcw.org/chemical-weapons-convention/

9) ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS; Website online at: http://www.opcw.org/

10) Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare; UN, online at: http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Bio/pdf/Status_Protocol.pdf

11) UN Charter Chapter VII, UN, online at: http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter7.shtml

12) U.S. tries to Blackmail Russia into Military Action against Syria; Christof Lehmann, nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/09/22/u-s-tries-blackmail-russia-military-action-syria/

13) TREATY ON THE NON-PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS (NPT); United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs website, online at: http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/NPTtext.shtml

14) U.S. War Plans for August / September known since June; Christof Lehmann, nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/08/28/u-s-war-plans-for-august-september-known-since-june/

15) Deployment of US/Allied Warships planned before 21 August Chem-Attack; Michel Chossudovsky, CRG and nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/09/03/deployment-of-usallied-warships-planned-before-21-august-chem-attack/

16) United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic – Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascuson 21 August 2013; UN Archives, online at: http://www.un.org/disarmament/content/slideshow/Secretary_General_Report_of_CW_Investigation.pdf

17) UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1540 (2004), UN Archives, online at: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/1540%20(2004)

18) UN Report on Syria ambiguous and dangerous; Christof Lehmann, nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/09/17/un-report-on-syria-ambiguous-and-dangerous/

19) New Massacre in Khan al-Assal Kills 123, Many Are Reported Missing. Syrian Minister “Terrorists and Countries Supporting Them Will Pay Dearly”; Christof Lehmann, nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/07/28/new-massacre-in-khan-al-assal-kills-123-many-are-reported-missing/

20) Adana’da El Kaide operasyonu: 12 gözaltı; Zaman Gündem, online at: http://www.zaman.com.tr/gundem_adanada-el-kaide-operasyonu-12-gozalti_2094730.html

21) Syrian Military seizes Sarin Gas from ” rebels “; Christof Lehmann, nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/06/02/syrian-military-seizes-sarin-gas-from-rebels-russia-blocks-un-quasir-resolution/

22) Syrian Army seizes Massive Chemical Stockpile from Insurgents. Enough to Wipe Out Entire Country; Christof Lehmann, nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/07/10/syrian-army-seizes-massive-chemical-stockpile-from-insurgents-enough/

23) Chemicals and Weapons seized from Insurgents in Damascus. Israeli Air Raid likely a Distraction; Christof Lehmann, nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/07/14/chemicals-and-weapons-seized-from-insurgents-in-damascus-israeli-air/

24) VIDEO: Rockets in Damascus CW Attack Fired from Makeshift Flatbeds; Tony Cartalucci, LandDestroyer and nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/09/26/video-rockets-in-damascus-cw-attack-fired-from-makeshift-flatbeds/

25) Children killed for staging Ghouta Chemical Attacks “Evidence”; Julie Levesque and Michel Chossudovsky, CRG and nsnbc international, online at http://nsnbc.me/2013/09/25/children-killed-staging-ghouta-chemical-attacks-evidence/

26) Photo-Video Evidence of Chemical Attack Fabricated say Experts to UN; Christof Lehmann, nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/09/10/photo-video-evidence-chemical-attack-fabricated-say-experts-un/

27) Germany joins efforts to frame Syria on non-compliance; Christof Lehmann, nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/09/20/germany-joins-efforts-to-frame-syria-on-non-compliance/

About the Author

- Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and former independent political consultant on conflict, conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. In March 2013 he established nsnbc as a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

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