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Syria chemical attack: All eyes on UN probe as US eyes action

Last Updated: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 17:16

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Damascus: The course of Syrian civil war could take an unpredictable turn if the UN team set to visit the sites of alleged chemical attack confirms that toxic gases were used in the Wednesday attacks in the country’s eastern suburbs.

As international pressure mounted over Syria chemical attacks issue, Assad regime agreed to let the UN team already posted in the country, probe the chemical attacks sites. But the move was dismissed by a White House official as “too late to be credible”.

The suspicion over Syrian acceptance to UN probe does not seem unfounded as in recent days after the alleged attack, Assad’s forces were reported to have continuously bombarded the purported site of attack with artillery shelling that leaves less chances of any evidences being left.

The international pressure has been escalating over Syria with Britain, France and Israel in favour of a military action in case the attacks are confirmed. As Obama administration on Saturday met with security advisors to mull all options available to take action on Syria, US naval forces were inching closer to Syrian coasts in a sign that hinted at US preparedness for Syria.

But Obama at the same time has cautioned against any hasty act.

Russia and Iran on the other hand have warned the US against any such military action saying that it will trigger further violence and worsen the situation. Russia said that the US must not “act against the international law and avoid any tragic mistakes”.

While Syrian information minister on Sunday warned that US action would result in a ball of fire that would set the entire Middle East ablaze.

Assad regime and the rebels have been exchanging the allegations, accusing each other of being behind the toxic gases attacks with the State TV showing Assad’s soldiers being masked and taken to the hospitals.
The attack that took place in Syria’s Ghouta on Wednesday claimed 355 lives according Doctors Without Borders.
A UN probe in the chemical attacks is not a first for Syria, as the UN has visited the chemical attacks sites thrice earlier.
But given the scale of the attacks this time, the assessment of the UN team could bring in serious consequences for Syrian civil war as it would be a deciding point for the US.

First Published: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 09:39

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