Surface-to-surface rockets delivered the deadly sarin nerve gas that killed more than 1,400 people last month in a neighborhood outside of Damascus. Further, the time of day the rockets were launched was calculated in order to effectively kill more people, the UN report released Monday said.
“On the basis of the evidence obtained during the investigation of the Ghouta incident, the conclusion is that chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, also against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale,” UN investigator Ake Sellstrom of Sweden said in the much anticipated report.
“In particular, the environmental, chemical and medical samples we have collected provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used,” the repot adds.
The report also noted that the weather conditions on the day of the attack ensured that the maximum number of casualties would take place. When the rockets were launched between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. the temperatures had fallen. The Sarin settled to the ground in these conditions and was not carried away by the wind.
“So when Syrian parents ran with their children to their basements to seek refuge from the onslaught of bombings they were met with Sarin nerve gas,” Dr. Abo Akram, who treated nearly 600 patients at a field hospital in eastern Ghouta, told TheBlaze.
“It was horrific,” said the doctor, who spoke by Skype.”Parents were pushing material into their babies and children’s mouths hoping to keep out the gas long enough to run. They couldn’t escape the chemicals and died in each others arms in their basements. That’s how they were found, hundreds of people.”
Akram said UN inspectors did not visit his field hospital and did not speak to the victims from his area that survived the horrific attacks but “they did take samples from many people.”
“I was surprised they didn’t take samples from the dead,” he added. “I don’t expect the U.S. or anyone will do anything.”
The report stated that the “chemical weapons use in such meteorological conditions maximizes their potential impact as the heavy gas can stay close to the ground and penetrate into lower levels of buildings and constructions where many people were seeking shelter.”
It has been almost a month since the chemical weapons attack and the recent threats by the U.S. to launch an airstrike on Assad have been tabled. President Obama changed course of action when he was met with large opposition on both sides of the House and from a war weary public. He punted to Congress and was awaiting a vote when Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed that Syria declare and destroy its chemical stockpile. Syria has a week to report on its stockpile but Middle East analysts and foreign policy experts have very little faith that it will happen.
“I don’t believe the Syrian government will fully and accurately report or declare its chemical supplies,” former Ambassador John Bolton, told Fox News on Monday.
Several U.S. officials told the TheBlaze that there is concern that Assad’s regime has been moving some of their stockpile through the border to Lebanon and Iraq in an effort to hide these weapons of mass destruction.
“(Syria) just won’t declare everything,” a U.S. Official told TheBlaze. “The Russians said they were willing to wait for the UN report but they don’t believe the UN report. It’s because they know Assad used these weapons on his own people and the Russians are determined to keep him in power.”
Both Syria and Russia have denied that Assad’s forces carried out the attack. Instead they blamed the attack on Syrian rebels, some of which are connected to Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
In an interview last week with Charlie Rose, Assad flatly denied his government used chemical weapons. Instead he blamed the U.S. for falsifying information against Syria, much like when former Secretary of State Colin Powell presented flawed intelligence against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.
Sawsan Jabri a trained physician who teaches biology courses at Oakland Community College in Eastern Michigan and who serves as a spokeswoman for the U.S.-based Syrian Expatriates Organization, said the people she is in communication with in Syria are frustrated at the continual “double message” from the Obama administration and the United Nations.
The problem is the double message,” Jabri said. “In 2011, Obama called the regime illegitimate and now with this Russian proposal he is legitimizing the regime. It’s so frustrating and for more than two years the people of Syria have been given false promises.”
The U.N.report does not say who launched the attack in eastern Ghouta, which is held by rebels. But one thing is certain UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told the Security Council: “[The] United Nations Mission has now confirmed, unequivocally and objectively, that chemical weapons have been used in Syria.”
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