United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon issued a statement today regarding the agency’s investigation of the Aug. 21 attacks in Syria. He said the UN has come to the conclusion that chemical weapons were indeed used on that attack, and “on a relatively large scale.”
Details on the UN’s investigation in Syria
The weapons inspectors spoke with more than 50 survivors of the attacks, as well as medical personnel and first responders. They assessed the symptoms of the victims and collected blood, urine and hair samples from victims. Team members documented and sampled impact sites as well and took 30 environmental and soil samples.
The report then goes on to provide details from their interviews before turning to the environmental conditions in the area at the time of the attack. Weapons inspectors found that the weather was especially “conducive to maximizing the potential impact of an attack involving heavy gases” on the morning it happened.
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The findings of the UN investigation
The report goes into detail on how the investigation was carried out. It reports that 85 percent of the blood samples taken from victims tested positive for sarin gas. Most of the environmental samples contained sarin as well. Also fragments and pieces of the surface-to-surface rockets that were used tested positive for sarin.
“The United Nations Mission has now confirmed, unequivocally and objectively, that chemical weapons have been used in Syria,” the report states.
“This is a war crime and a grave violation of the 1925 Protocol and other rules of customary international law,” the report continues. “I trust all can join me in condemning this despicable crime. The international community has a responsibility to hold the perpetrators accountable and to ensure that chemical weapons never re-emerge as an instrument of warfare.”
Will Syria destroy its weapons?
The report also highlighted efforts spearheaded by the U.S. and the Russian Federation. Syria has acknowledged that it has chemical weapons, and a plan has been suggested to safeguard them and destroy them.
The report highlights the gravity of the situation in Syria, including actions taken by both sides of the civil war. It urges the UN to “do everything” possible to “bring the parties to the negotiating table.”
The United Nations has just released its official report on the chemical weapons attack in Syria last month. The report explains what UN officials have deemed an “unequivocal and objective” determination that the Aug. 21 attack which killed more than a thousand Syrian civilians was carried out through the use of chemical weapons.
The latest on the UN report on Syria
According to The Guardian, the report stops just short of blaming the Assad regime for the chemical weapons attack. UN inspectors said that 85 percent of the blood samples they tested from victims did test positive for sarin, a deadly toxin which causes symptoms like those witnessed in the victims of the Aug. 21 attack at Damascus. The UN did not rule who was responsible for the attacks, although UN Secretary General Bank Ki-Moon issued a statement saying there should be consequences, reminding those who read the report that this is “the most significant confirmed use of chemical weapons against civilians since Saddam Hussein used then in Halabja in 1988.”
This story is developing. Check back for additional updates.