ABU DHABI, 27th August 2016 (WAM) – It should serve notice that the current order in Syria cannot form the basis of any long-lasting solution, a United Arab Emirates newspaper has opined.
The English language daily ‘Gulf News’ said in a commentary today that if ever there was any need for further evidence that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad would do anything and everything necessary to defeat its opponents, then the latest report from the United Nations and an international chemical weapons monitor should be sufficient.
And sadly, the paper went on, the report makes for horrific reading. It finds conclusively that Syrian military helicopters dropped bombs containing chlorine on civilians in at least two attacks during the past two years. But the Syrian military were not alone in using chemical weapons: Terrorists belonging to Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) were also responsible for using poisonous sulphur mustard, which, like chlorine, is banned as a weapon under an international treaty.
It’s the first time the UN has laid the blame squarely on specific antagonists. While previous inquiries have determined that chemical weapons were used, those did not say by whom. The report and the evidence collected would also be used as proof in any further international court prosecutions, given that chemical weapon usage is deemed to be a war crime. In pinpointing the use of chemical weapons by Al Assad’s forces, the report fully nullifies any remaining legitimacy of the regime.
Al Assad himself, under international pressure three years ago, following similar claims, had signed a treaty banning chemical weapons, following a horrific attack on a Damascus suburb, in which the nerve agent, sarin, killed hundreds.
With events in Syria inching painfully slowly towards final resolution after more than five years of death, misery and bloodshed, this report should serve notice that the Al Assad regime cannot form the basis of any long-lasting solution. You can’t deal with those morally indicted of war crimes.