UN: No Evidence of Chemical Weapons in Syria, More Arming Means More War Crimes
The head of the UN commission investigating human rights abuses in Syria warned Friday that arming Syrians fighting on either side of the country's bloody conflict could lead to more war crimes.
Paulo Pinheiro stopped short of directly criticizing the United States or other nations arming Syrians, saying "states who provide arms have a responsibility in terms of the eventual use of these arms to commit gross human rights violations, war crimes or crimes against humanity."
He further stated: "We are very much worried that more arms will signify an increased presence of violations and those crimes."
"Crimes that shock the conscience have become reality ...We emphasize that there is a devastating human cost to the availability of weapons and that there is also a political cost," Pinheiro said. "Weapons fuel the parties' illusion that they can win this war, pulling them farther into battle and away from the negotiating table."
He reiterated his support for a Syria peace conference.
In its report, the commission also found there were "reasonable grounds" to believe that limited quantities of toxic chemicals had been used as weapons in at least four attacks in Syria's civil war, but that more evidence was needed to determine the precise chemicals agents used, or who used them.
The commission said conclusive findings could only be reached by getting testing samples directly from victims of the attack, and UN chemical weapons experts still have not been allowed to enter Syria.
Pinheiro, who briefed the UN Security Council on Friday, reiterated that UN investigators still did not have enough evidence to show the precise chemical agents being used in Syria, and who was using them.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team