Militants Have Used the Nerve Gas Agent in Syria: UN Investigator

Testimony from victims of the conflict in Syria suggests militants have used the nerve gas agent, sarin, U.N. human rights investigator Carla del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss TV.

Despite US and UK claims, Del Ponte said there are no evidence of government forces might also have used chemical weapons.

On the question of whether chemical weapons had been used, he called for an “end to the politicization of this issue” and to the “whipping up of an anti-Syrian atmosphere”.

Damascus is “genuinely worried” that Syria’s enemies could provide chemical weapons to armed groups “and then claim they had been used by the Syrian government,” Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari said in letters to the UN Security Council and the UN secretary general on December 17, 2012.

A boy, affected in a chemical weapons attack by Syrian Militants is treated at a hospital in the Syrian city of Aleppo. (Photo Credit: REUTERS/George Ourfalian)

A boy, affected in a chemical weapons attack by Syrian Militants is treated at a hospital in the Syrian city of Aleppo. (Photo Credit: REUTERS/George Ourfalian)

“Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals. According to their report of last week, which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” she said.

Sarin is a powerful neurotoxin developed by Nazi scientists in the 1930s which can cause respiratory arrest and death, and is classed as a weapon of mass destruction, banned under international law.

In meantime, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi headed to Jordan today to “discuss a political breakthrough from Syria crisis,” according to a statement by Ramin Mehmanparast, spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hossain Amir- Abdollahian, will visit Syria this week.

“We are concerned by the signs that global public opinion is being prepared for possible armed intervention in the internal conflict in Syria,” Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister said on Monday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also will travels to Moscow this week to discuss Syrian issue with his Russian counterpart.

“ Russia calls on nations to stop politicizing the issue of the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, escalating anti-Syrian sentiment,” Lavarov.

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