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UN: Syrian Rebels Used Sarin

Source: VOA

A member of the United Nations panel investigating possible human rights abuses in Syria says there are "strong suspicions" that rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad have used chemical weapons.


Carla Del Ponte told a Swiss television station late Sunday that according to testimony from victims and doctors, fighters from the opposition used sarin gas.

She said investigators do not yet have certain proof, and cautioned that the investigation is far from complete. She also did not give details about where or when the chemical weapons may have been used.

What is Sarin?
  • Man-made nerve agent originally developed as a pesticide
  • Highly toxic, odorless, tasteless, colorless liquid
  • Exposure can be by inhalation, ingestion, skin absorption
  • People can recover with treatment from mild or moderate exposure
  • Possibly used during Iraq-Iran war
  • Used in 1995 Tokyo subway attack

Del Ponte is a commissioner for the Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Syria. The body is separate from a fact-finding mission appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that has so far not been allowed to work inside Syria to probe possible chemical weapons use.

Both the Syrian government and the opposition have accused the other side of using the weapons. British, French and Israeli officials have also charged that Mr. Assad's government employed chemical arms against rebels.

Del Ponte said the commission has not yet seen evidence of that use by government forces, but that the investigation continues.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said there is evidence chemical weapons have been used in Syria, but his administration does not know when they were used, or who used them.

... Payvand News - 05/06/13 ... --

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