UN inspectors have found “clear and convincing evidence” of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, according to their report on Monday. The US and Russia had already reached an agreement for the destruction of the country’s chemical weapons on the weekend. Some commentators fear the regime in Damascus will delay the destruction of the weapons, while others believe that the UN report gives the West far more room for manoeuvre.
China on Tuesday refused to say whether a United Nations report into a sarin gas attack in Syria showed that government forces had used the banned weapons.
Obama?s request to postpone a Congressional vote on military action in Syria was a bow to the inevitable; all indicators predicted his defeat. His retreat from Congress, following on from the vote in the UK Parliament, raises powerful questions about the role of democracy in checking and limiting executive power. PM Cameron?s quick acceptance of Parliament?s rejection of the option of a military strike against Syria was a milestone in British political history. Obama understood that, without UN approval, he would at least have to go to Congress for a semblance of legitimacy to support intervention in Syria.
The manner in which the Syrian crisis has been addressed by western polities signals a shift, at least for now, in how acts of war are deliberated by those governments considering military intervention. But how significant is this? There is both some good and bad news in this regard.
Syria’s army said on Monday that Turkey had been “hasty” in shooting down a Syrian helicopter
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hold a news conference after the two finalized a framework for the elimination for Syrian chemical weapons in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 14, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
Soon after United Nations experts confirmed sarin gas was used in the Aug. 21 attack in Damascus
Follow live updates as France and Russia hold Syria talks in Moscow and UN inspectors confirmed a chemical weapons attack took place in Syria last month