The United Nations team which investigated the allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria released its report on Monday stating that there was clear evidence that chemical weapons, in particular Sarin gas, have been used in Syria not only in combat but also against the defenseless civilian population.
In addition, the evidence shows that the Sarin gas was delivered by surface-to-surface missiles, strongly indicating the Syrian government as the perpetrator of the crime.
The evidence comes from the on-site investigation in late August by the UN chemical weapons inspection team of the August 21 attack in the Ghouta area of Damascus, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 civilians without leaving the typical exterior physical damage which would normally be found in a conventional weapon attack.
Concerning the results of the investigation, the report noted, “The conclusion is that chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, also against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale.”
Continuing, the UN report stated, “In particular, the environmental, chemical and medical samples, we have collected provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used in Ein Tarma, Moadamiyah and Zamalka in the Ghouta area of Damascus.”
Facts and investigations supporting these conclusions include finding traces of Sarin in locations of surface-to-surface missile fragments, conducting interviews with over four dozen surviving victims and medical experts treating victims who corroborated medical and scientific test results and finding blood and urine samples from victims of the attack which tested positive for Sarin.
The team’s report also noted that they were continuing to investigate other allegations of chemical weapon use.
Proposed military intervention from the United States against Syria most likely pushed Syrian ally Russia into working to negotiate a handover of Syrian chemical weapons to international control. Over the weekend U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov were able to create an agreement for the surrender of Syria’s chemical weapons.