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Syria urges UN to prevent ‘US-led foreign aggression’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 2, 2013

UN Headquaters in New York (AFP Photo / Mehdi Taamallah)

UN Headquaters in New York (AFP Photo / Mehdi Taamallah)

The UN is under growing pressure from Syria to do its job and prevent an American “war of aggression,” and the Arab League demanding punishment for “war criminals” in the Syrian government.

  The two identical letters delivered to the UN Secretary General  Ban Ki-moon and President of the UN Security Council, Maria  Cristina Perceval call on the international body to maintain its  role of protector of international legitimacy and prevent US-led  aggression against Damascus, Syria’s permanent representative to  the UN Bashar al-Jaafari told Sana.

The Syrian government continues to deny any use of chemical  weapons on the civilian population, with Jaafari reminding of  Syria’s cooperation with the UN on this issue, which was often  downplayed and twisted in the western media.
“The Syrian government is the first side who asked the UN  Secretary General to form an objective investigation team to  investigate the use of chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal in  Aleppo,” Bashar al-Jaafari said, adding that they warned,   “more than a year ago, against the serious risks of the  possibility of using chemical materials by the armed terrorist  groups in Syria.”      Despite the Syrian government’s swift permission for the UN  investigation team to probe the site of the alleged attack on  August 21, some “foreign countries” launched an anti-Assad  campaign accusing government forces of slaughtering their own  people, Jaafari said.
“Syria has informed, in official letters, the UN Secretary  General and the UNSC about the activities of these groups, which  coincided with a political, diplomatic and media campaign led by  some countries which are directly responsible for shedding the  blood in Syria and preventing the peaceful solution in order to  accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapon,” he  added.

A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 24, 2013 shows bags and containers of what the Syrian government claims to be materials used to make chemical weapons discovered in Jobar on the outskirts of the capital Damascus (AFP Photo / HO / SANA)A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 24, 2013 shows bags and containers of what the Syrian government claims to be materials used to make chemical weapons discovered in Jobar on the outskirts of the capital Damascus (AFP Photo / HO / SANA)

  Traces of sarin nerve agent were found in  samples “provided to the US,” US Secretary of  State John Kerry told US media on Sunday in an apparent  move to build support for a military strike on Syria. Russian  President Vladimir Putin called on the US earlier to present its supposed evidence to the UN Security  Council, if there was any.

  Meanwhile, the legitimate samples that UN investigators gathered  at the site of the attack near Damascus are undergoing a series  of tests with final results expected to be released in up to  three weeks. Ban Ki-moon asked the head of the investigation team  to expedite the testing and report back to him as soon as  possible, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

  Arab League: Syrian officials should face trial as ‘war  criminals’

In a resolution adopted by Arab League foreign ministers on  Sunday, the body is calling on the UN and the international  community to “take the deterrent and necessary measures  against the culprits of this crime that the Syrian regime bears  responsibility for.”
Any opposition to a foreign intervention was no longer  acceptable, said Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal. “Any  opposition to any international action would only encourage  Damascus to move forward with committing its crimes and using all  weapons of mass destruction,” he said.
Yet, Lebanon, Iraq and Algeria voted against the resolution,  while Egypt – which has been promised $5 billion in Saudi Arabian  investments – supported it, however voicing concerns about direct  military intervention in the crisis.

‘Ready for any external aggression’

Earlier on Sunday, Syria’s president Bashar Assad reaffirmed that  his country will stand up to foreign intervention. “Syria…  is capable of facing up to any external aggression just as it  faces up to internal aggression every day, in the form of  terrorist groups and those who support them,” SANA quoted the  President as saying.
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told reporters in  Damascus on Sunday, “It is clear there was a sense of  hesitation and disappointment in what was said by President  Barack Obama yesterday. And it is also clear there was a sense of  confusion as well.”
Iran, Syria’s close ally warned that only the UN can sanction  military action in Syria “only the UN Security Council – under  special conditions – can issue authorization” for the use of  force to restore international peace, Iran’s Foreign Minister  Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted by AFP.

A Free Syrian Army fighter walks with his weapon in front of a damaged building in Aleppo's Al-Ezaa neighbourhood, September 1, 2013 (Reuters / Malek Alshemali)A Free Syrian Army fighter walks with his weapon in front of a damaged building in Aleppo’s Al-Ezaa neighbourhood, September 1, 2013 (Reuters / Malek Alshemali)

  With the US preparing to attack Syria over its alleged use of  chemical weapons, Israel fears Damascus may respond by firing  missiles at Israel. Over the weekend, the Israeli Defense Force  deployed Iron Dome anti-missile batteries in the Tel Aviv area  while reservists are being called up and gas masks being  distributed among the population.
The US President has already decided a limited military strike is  necessary to teach Syria a lesson and prevent possible further  use of chemical weapons against the Syrian population and US  allies in the region. A formal request seeking authorization from  legislators to launch a military campaign was filed on Saturday,  and the Senate is expected to vote on the motion no later than  the week of September 9.

  Awaiting congressional approval, the White House now has at least  one extra week to try and shift public opinion towards a strike  on Syria, Brian Becker, Director of Answer Coalition, told RT.

“They are going to wage a campaign using the corporate media  in the United States, which really functions as the fourth branch  of government in times of crises, particularly war crises. They  are going to try and convince people in the United States that  there is a justification,” he said.

“The United States does not have the authority, it’s not the  cop of the world to be able to go in and attack any country,”   Becker added. “And Syria has not threatened and cannot  threaten the United States, so such a war would be a crime  against peace.”


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