posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 02:33 PM
Well now the International community is now one the war path bandwagon
Experts: It doesn’t matter what chemical weapons Syria is using
Bassam Khabieh / Reuters
A man holds the body of a dead child among bodies of people activists say were killed by nerve gas in the Ghouta region, in the Duma neighbourhood of
Damascus on Aug. 21. Syrian activists said at least 213 people, including women and children, were killed on Wednesday in a nerve gas attack by
President Bashar al-Assad's forces on rebel-held districts of the Ghouta region east of Damascus.
By Robert Windrem
While U.S. and other Western officials investigate whether Syrian military used nerve gas to kill hundreds in the Damascus suburbs on Wednesday,
experts versed in the international arms control agreement that bans chemical weapons say it is immaterial whether Syria used nerve gas, industrial
chemicals or other toxic agents.
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) makes little distinction between chemicals that are on its list of prohibited toxins, like the nerve agent
sarin, and chemicals that aren’t.
"Any use of a toxic chemical in armed conflict (including internal armed conflict) would violate both the CWC and the 1925 Geneva Protocol,” said
Ralf Trapp, a former senior official of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Dutch-based international body that verifies
adherence to the CWC. “Whether the chemical is on any of the CWC Schedules does not matter."
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The CWC does not prescribe specific penalties for violations, but its deliberately vague warning of “sanctions” could include military action, say
experts. They add that any officials who authorized the use of chemical weapons could face war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court.
Experts are still trying to determine exactly what chemical was used in the warheads in Wednesday’s rocket barrage in Ghouta, east of Damascus.
Activists claimed death totals as high as 1300, and said two-thirds of the victims were women and children, but other figures were lower. The White
House confirmed Thursday that the president has asked the intelligence community to look into the attack, but a U.S. intelligence official said it
would take time to do a “rigorous” assessment and “develop clarity on any particular claim.”
NBC News spoke with witnesses who said the gas released by the rockets was heavy, and sank into basements. Some people lit tires on fire, hoping the
smoke would somehow offset the gas. The black tire smoke, however, only created more chaos and panic.
Victims described symptoms that include vomiting and difficulty breathing. Footage of the aftermath showed children choking and vomiting and adults
writhing in agony.
But the symptoms are not a precise match for sarin or any other widely known nerve agent. A doctor on the scene told NBC News some victims reported
smelling a faint odor of insecticide at the time of the rocket attacks.
Trapp said insecticide would be a violation under the CWC. "Under international law, there is a growing consensus that there is a 'customary rule'
that prohibits any CW [chemical weapons] use by anyone under any circumstances - with a concept that CW means toxic chemical used for hostile
purposes," said Trapp. "Use of industrial toxic chemicals to kill people constitutes a CWC violation."
The Syrian government denied any use of chemical weapons in the assault. But the Assad regime has a vast stockpile of chemical weapons, including the
modern nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX, as well as mustard gas and phosgene, which were used in World War I.
A group of UN inspectors arrived in Syria Wednesday to investigate a previous incident of alleged chemical weapons use in March. No conclusion has
been reached on that incident, pending the UN investigation. It is uncertain whether the inspectors will be asked to review this incident.
Although Syria is one of only five states that have not signed the CWC, it is legally bound by any number of other international treaties it has
ratified, said a second chemical weapons expert who asked for anonymity, including the Geneva Protocol. The Geneva Protocol was created and signed
after the widespread use of chemical weapons in World War I.
As a UN commission reported in June on the first alleged use of chemical weapons, "The use of chemical weapons is prohibited in all circumstances
under customary international humanitarian law and is a war crime.”
More from NBC News Investigations:
Al Qaeda leaders wanted to do something big on Muslim holiday
US charges Libyan with role in deadly attack on Benghazi consulate
Pentagon agency under fire for refusing to ID unknown WWII soldiers
Follow NBC News Investigations on Twitter and Facebook
it is in full from the link, it is too important not to put it up in full, no matter
what we think TPTB want us in there and in force! Just whose force is not known but I bet it will be the US to lead they way, and then there is
Sanctions, what commodity does Syria have that world could put sanctions on? here is the list if you want to know Exports - commodities: crude oil,
minerals, petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton fiber, textiles, clothing, meat and live animals, wheat.
edit on 22-8-2013 by
bekod because: line edit