News Release

“Concrete Suspicions” Syrian REBELS — Not Government — Used Sarin Gas Says UN Investigator

The BBC reports in “UN’s Del Ponte Says Evidence Syria Rebels ‘Used Sarin’” that Carla Del Ponte, a member of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, stated that the investigation has so far found that nerve gas appeared to be “used by the opponents, by the rebels. And we have no indication at all that the government, the authority of the Syrian government, had used chemical weapons.” See full BBC report, including video of Del Ponte.

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Boyle is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and most recently author of Destroying Libya and World Order. He said today: “I have worked personally with Carla Del Ponte. She has an enormous amount of credibility. By the logic of Obama’s ‘red line’ should he now enter the U.S. on the side of the Syria government?”

“In fact, as is true for almost every previous invocation of the doctrine of so-called ‘humanitarian intervention’ in modern history going all the way back to the mid-19th century, the application of the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine to Syria is based upon outright lies, propaganda and half-truths — as with all the baseless accusations over the last several weeks regarding the Syrian government using nerve gas and calls for U.S. military intervention. The Israeli strikes on Syria are obvious violations of international law. None of this of course excuses any violation of international human rights law that might have been committed by the Assad government.”

MATTHEW LEE, matthew.lee at innercitypress.com, @innercitypress
Lee covers the UN for Inner City Press and just wrote the piece “Syria Rebels Used Sarin, UN’s Del Ponte Strongly Suspects.”

REESE ERLICH, rerlich at pacbell.net
Available for a limited number of interviews with major media, Erlich is a freelance foreign correspondent who reports for GlobalPost and CBC, among others. He said today: “The rebels might have used sarin in order to justify U.S. intervention. … The current crisis has nothing to do with chemical weapons and everything to do with breaking the stalemate. As with Libya, sectors of the Obama administration, Israel and others, are ginning up a crisis to justify military intervention. Why would Assad use chemical weapons now and give the US an excuses to attack? Israel’s attacks, using the excuse of destroying Hezbollah missiles, are actually aimed at putting pressure on Obama to attack Syria.”

The Guardian reported Sunday: “President Barack Obama came under increased pressure on Sunday regarding his discussion of a ‘red line’ over Syria’s possible use of chemical weapons, amid accusations that his apparent promise of a trigger for further U.S. action had been written in ‘disappearing ink.’

“Appearing on Fox News, the Republican senator John McCain suggested that to most minds such a line had been crossed. Referring to Israeli air strikes on targets close to Damascus over the weekend, McCain said: ‘Apparently the Syrians and Iranians have crossed a red line with the Israelis.'”

Reuters reports that Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television: “Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals. … According to their report of last week, which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated. … This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.”