UN Seeks Accountability for Syria Gas Attacks

- VOA News,August 8, 2015

The U.N. Security Council unanimously agreed Friday to establish a joint investigation mechanism to identify perpetrators of chlorine and other toxic chemical attacks in Syria. It is the first time the council has sought to establish accountability for such attacks in Syria.

In 2013, the world was shocked by horrific sarin gas attacks on the opposition-controlled Damascus suburb of Ghouta that killed hundreds of civilians.

The government of President Bashar al-Assad denied conducting the attacks, but did accept a Russian-U.S. deal to declare its chemical weapons stockpiles and allow international inspectors to remove and destroy them.

But despite their verified destruction, in February, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said its monitors were highly confident that the toxic chemical chlorine had been used repeatedly and systematically as a weapon.

Chlorine has been dropped in barrel bombs from aircraft. The Syrian opposition does not have any planes or helicopters, only the government.  The government has repeatedly denied carrying out such attacks. On Friday, Syria's U.N. envoy repeated that denial in the council and described witness testimony about attacks by government aircraft as “fabrications.”  

The United States worked for several months on the Security Council resolution seeking accountability for those who commit such attacks.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said the new mechanism sends a strong message, “that now finally the international community has the tools to identify you — the perpetrators — and we intend to do so.”

The new resolution establishes a joint U.N.-OPCW investigative mechanism to determine who has used chemical weapons in Syria. Until now the organization has been authorized only  to determine that chemicals had been used, but not by whom.

联合国要找出叙利亚发动毒气袭击凶手

- 美国之音,2015年8月8日

联合国安理会星期五一致同意建立一个联合调查机制,找出在叙利亚发动氯气和其他有毒化学气体袭击的肇事者。这是安理会首次要对那些袭击事件问责。

2013年,在大马士革郊区发生的可怕沙林毒气袭击震惊了全世界,当时那一地区被反对派控制。毒气袭击造成数百名平民丧生。

阿萨德政府否认进行了毒气袭击,但是接受了俄罗斯和美国的条件,将其化学武器储备公之于众并允许国际检查人员移除并销毁那些武器。

尽管叙利亚的化武销毁经过验证,国际禁止化学武器组织在今年二月表示,他们的监督人员十分确定有毒化学气体氯气曾被反复并系统性地用作武器。

装着氯气的炸药桶是从飞机上空投的,而叙利亚反对派没有任何飞机或直升机,只有叙利亚政府有。阿萨德政府一再否认进行了这类袭击。叙利亚驻联合国大使星期五再度在安理会作出否认,并形容目击者有关政府飞机发动袭击的证词是“无中生有”。

美国为这项要求对那些发动袭击的肇事者问责的安理会决议作出数月努力。

新的决议要求建立一个联合国和禁止化学武器组织的联合调查机制,以决定是谁在叙利亚使用了化学武器。到目前为止,禁止化学武器组织只有认定使用了哪些化学气体的授权,但是不能调查谁是肇事凶手。