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26 comments   Listen   Print   article:349585:21::0
In the Media

Update: Del Ponte's finding that Syria rebels have used sarin gas

Geneva - Carla del Ponte, member of the UN Human Rights Commission, has unequivocally stated that chemical weapons have not been used by the Syrian army but by fighters among the rebels.
In an interview with a Swiss-Italian television station, Carla del Ponte used the following words; according to Reuters:
"Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, 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. This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities."
Del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney-general, also made a point of saying that the 'United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria' has not seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons.
The news, only 11 hours old, has meanwhile spread far and wide, and one finds it on Iranian Press TV as well as on Russia Today.
This comes after a week of continuous media speculation which mainly accused the Syrian government of having introduced chemical weapons to the battlefield.
UPDATE:
Almost 24 hours later, the Washington Post relates that the White House expressed the opinion that the Del Ponte statement is not a game-changer. White House press secretary Jay Carney is quoted as saying “We are highly skeptical of suggestions that the opposition could have or did use chemical weapons. We find it highly likely that any chemical weapon use that has taken place in Syria was done by the Assad regime. And that remains our position.” Other U.S. officials, unnamed, did take the position that they do not believe the rebels could have obtained sarin or other such illicit agents.
article:349585:21::0
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