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Published On: Tue, Mar 19th, 2013

Chemical Weapon Attack kills 25 and injures 100 in Aleppo. Syria Crisis Explodes International Law into Anarchy and Barbarism

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Most of the more than 100 injured in chemical weapon attack are in critical condition. Photo SANA

Most of the more than 100 injured in chemical weapon attack are in critical condition. Photo SANA

Insurgents and Syrian Government blaming each other for the Escalation with Chemical Weapon Attack.

Christof Lehmann (nsnbc).- A rocket with chemical substances, fired from the Da´el area, exploding in the Khan al-Asal area near the Syrian city  Aleppo today, killed at least 25 and injured 100. The majority of the injured are reported to be in critical a condition. The Syrian government and insurgents are blaming each other for the escalation of the violence.

While the Syrian government possesses chemical weapons, several factors make it unlikely beyond reasonable doubt, that a rocket with weaponized chemical substances has been fired by Syrian military forces. Like in every other regular military force, the chemical weapons under control of the Syrian military are closely monitored, registered, and easily to be accounted for.

The UN´s independent commission of inquiry recently suggested to refer Syria to the international criminal court. A spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry called the report biased and unbalanced, and the suggestion to refer Syria to the ICC as futile and ill timed. (1 Escalating the conflict by using chemical weapons would be political suicide from experienced politicians who know better than bringing Russia into a diplomatic quagmire. With the national dialog making steady progress, the use of chemical weapons would be equivalent to the Syrian government derailing the national dialog which it facilitates.

While these and many other factors make it more than unlikely that the rocket was fired by Syrian military forces, the opposite is the case with the foreign backed insurgents. The strongest circumstantial evidence however, until an investigation has eventually has yielded material evidence, is the fact that the foreign backed insurgents themselves have published video recordings, in which they were demonstrating how they are producing chemical substances which can be weaponized in small laboratories. The small laboratories have been provided for the insurgents by Saudi-Arabia.

Syria´s Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi has held the countries that are arming the ´opposition` responsible for the crime in Khan al-Asal and stressed, that the government of Turkey´s Prime Minister Erdogan and the government of Qatar bear legal, moral and political responsibility for the attack that killed 25 and wounded more than 100.

Al-Zoubi condemned the Arab League on a ministerial level for its decision to support the armed insurgency, saying “whoever got involved and announced direct and public military support to the terrorists, whether he is an emir, a minister or a prime minister, must be held accountable for the crime”. He stressed the fact, that the terrorists used an internationally banned weapon and called upon the international community and the countries which are funding and arming the terrorists to assume their responsibility for the crime. He added, that the escalation of the violence by use of internationally banned weapons against civilians is a dangerous shift in the course of the events in Syria with regard to security in general, and with regard to the military situation.

Minister Al-Zoubi added, that the government of the Syrian Arab Republic has the right to act in accordance with international law and file a lawsuit against the countries which are arming the opposition, including internationally outlawed terrorist organizations such as Jabhat al-Nusra with internationally banned weapons.

Today´s escalation of terrorism with an internationally banned weapon is also likely to even further deteriorate diplomatic ties between Russia and the USA. One of the factors that has contributed to the rapid deterioration in diplomatic relations over Syria was the fact that the USA rejected a Russian resolution at the United Nations Security Council which would have condemned all forms of terrorism.

The US veto at the UN Security Council, against the condemnation of the attack and terrorism in all of its forms, prompted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to voice the Russian governments frustration over the fact, that the UNSC standards, according to which all nations, without exclusion, would condemn terrorism, regardless of the perpetrator, place or motives, was no longer upheld. Lavrov stated, “Russia sees in the American position the use of double standards and a dangerous approach in terms of the Americans moving away from the main principle of condemning terrorism in all its forms”.  (2

According to information by Syrian authorities, the toxic gasses that have been involved in today´s rocket attack cause immediate fainting, quiver and death, prompting Syria´s Information Minister al-Zoubi to state, that “this shift in the type and manner of arming the terrorists embodied in using weapons imported from outside Syria across the border with some neighboring countries means that all allegations made by some countries, such as France, UK, Qatar and Turkey on providing logistic and “non-lethal” weapons to the armed terrorist groups in Syria are mere talk to sell the media.”

The escalation of the violence with a chemical weapon constitute a serious escalation in willful and systematic breeches and a further step toward an explosion of international law into anarchy and barbarism. 

Since 2001, the USA, together with NATO and allies, have systematically dismantled the progress in international law that has been made since 1945 and the end of the second world war. The political, military and financial support of Jahbat al-Nusra and other militia who are involved in the attempted subversion of Syria constitute a breech against the Convention against the Use of Mercenaries. Also the use of so-called private military contractors to fulfill military duties in conflict areas constitutes a breech of the Convention against the Use of Mercenaries. International lawyer Christopher Black pointed out the irony of calling mercenaries private contractors, saying ” private contractors, as if the were construction workers”. (3

Saudi-Arabia´s and Turkey´s documented use of convicts for military service in Syria constitutes a willful and systematic breech of the Geneva Conventions, which regulate the war times rights of both civilian and military prisoners. (4 -(5 Military interventions under the pretext of humanitarian interventions or the principle of the responsibility to protect, which was used by the USA and NATO to bring about regime change in Libya, constitutes a violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles enshrined in the Treaty of Westphalia, which is one of the root principles of the UN Charter.

The list of systematic explosions of international law by the USA, NATO and allies continues with breeches against the Convention against Torture by re-branding torture as enhanced interrogation methods, breeches against UN resolutions by blocking Syrian radio and TV channels access to international satellites, (6 and it could be continued ad infinitum.

Today´s use of a chemical weapon by US/NATO and allied backed mercenary forces, and failure of the USA, EU, NATO and allies to unequivocally condemn it as an act of terrorism and a war crime, constitutes but one more explosion of international law into anarchy, barbarism and despotism.

Syria´s Information Minister al-Zoubi elicited the bearing of this aggravation when he stressed that the terrorist crime committed in Aleppo is “an exceptional case, compared to the events in the world at least over the last fifty years” Exceptional, because an internationally banned weapon was being used publicly from an area where Western and Turkish intelligence are operating along side Jahbat al-Nusra members”.

Notes:

1) Permafrost; Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Blasts USA and Allies for Arming Syria´s Opposition.

2) Lavrov: US Veto of UNSC Resolution to Condemn Damascus Blasts Indicates Double Standards

3) South East China Sea; A Perfect Crisis for the International Crisis Group.

4) Saudi Arabia commits War Crime by Forced Use of Prisoners in Syria Insurgency.

5) Killing of Journalist Maya Naser in Damascus possibly tied to his investigation into Turkey War Crimes

6) The Dynamics of the Crisis in Syria. Conflict Versus Conflict Resolution. (Part 2/6)

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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