Archive for May 8, 2013

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/05/201356135529534687.html  UN team of investigators into rights abuses in Syria has stressed there is no conclusive proof of either side in the conflict using chemical weapons, despite a team member’s claims to the contrary. “The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic wishes to clarify that it has not reached conclusive findings as to the use of chemical weapons in Syria by any parties to the conflict,” the commission said in a statement on Monday.Earlier, Carla del Ponte, a former war crimes prosecutor and a member of the commission, had told Swiss public broadcaster RSI that “according to the testimonies we have gathered, the rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas”.She acknowledged there was “still not irrefutable proof, [but] very strong suspicions, concrete suspicions that sarin gas has been used… by opponents, by rebels, not by government authorities.”The Geneva-based inquiry into war crimes and other human rights violations is separate from an investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons instigated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.Ban’s office is still trying to negotiate entry into Syria to investigate and collect samples. The Free Syrian Army (FSA) swiftly denied the claim that rebel forces had used chemical arms.

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