UK says no evidence Syrian rebels used chemical weapons despite UN probe


Russia Today
May 10, 2013

UK PM David Cameron claims there is no evidence the Syrian opposition used chemical weapons. This comes after a UN representative voiced ‘concrete suspicions’ that the rebels used nerve gas, even as the world powers were trying to resolve the conflict.

“Our assessment is that chemical weapons use in Syria is very likely to have been initiated by the regime. We have no evidence to date of opposition use,” Cameron said on the eve of his trip to the Russian city of Sochi for talks with President Vladimir Putin. Syria is expected to be at the forefront of the meeting.

The statement by the British Prime Minister comes shortly after a United Nations inquiry into human rights abuses in Syria found evidence that the opposition forces may have used chemical weapons. Investigators spoke with the victims of the ongoing bloody conflict and gathered medical testimonies which indicated that Syrians rebels used sarin nerve agent.

“There are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Carla Del Ponte, a leading member of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, told Swiss TV.

London, along with Paris, have also been pushing to ease EU ban on weapons supplies to Syria. Earlier in May, the UK sent a draft proposal to EU diplomats lift the arms embargo on Syria so that weapons could be sent to the rebels.

Citing the “rapidly deteriorating” situation in the country, the six-page document calls for the Syrian opposition to be exempt from the arms embargo and for the phrase “non-lethal aid” to be removed from the wording of the sanctions currently in place.

But with Moscow and Washington having recently agreed to join efforts in a bid to mediate peace in Syria, London is now hard-pressed to reconsider its support for the Syrian insurgency, according to RT contributor Afshin Rattansi.

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“The fact that David Cameron can do this shows he is completely out of step — after all, it was he who has been trying to lift the arms embargo for the rebels,” Rattansi said. “The very rebels that are being sent this so-called non-lethal force, and equipment, and materiel, they are defecting to al-Nusra, according to a report in British papers. If Britain has been exporting, say, night-vision goggles to the

This article originally appeared on : Prison Planet