Tuesday Jun 25, 201304:41 AM GMT
Militants in Syria fabricated chemical weapons evidence: Report
Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:5AM
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The militants fighting against Syrian government forces possibly fabricated the evidence that Damascus had used chemical weapons against militant groups, an expert said.


Rolf Ekeus, a Swedish scientist who headed up U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq during the 1990s, said the United States gave the militants the pretext to fabricate evidence by saying that Washington’s “red line” is the use of chemical weapons, The Washington Post reported.


“If you are the opposition and you hear” that the White House has drawn a red line on the use of nerve agents, then “you have an interest in giving the impression that some chemical weapons have been used,” Ekeus said.


The White House said in a statement earlier this month that the U.S. intelligence community estimates that up to 150 people were killed from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria.


According to the statement, Syria used sarin on a small scale against the militants several times. Damascus has strongly rejected the accusations.


“The White House published a statement full of lies about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, based on fabricated information, through which it is trying to hold the Syrian government responsible for such use,” Syria’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


An American activist told Press TV’s U.S. Desk that Washington will fabricate any story to put more pressure on the Syrian government.


“The United States and Great Britain, they’ll make up any story they want,” CODEPINK activist Tighe Barry said.


Citing the use of depleted uranium and phosphorus bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, Barry said, “The United States has shown that it is not a fair player in making judgments around the world.”


The chemical weapons accusation has had many worried that the United States is preparing a scenario like it did in the run-up to the Iraq war. The U.S. had accused Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction but has failed to produce any evidence to support the claim. 


Barry said, “Whatever the United States and Great Britain say shouldn’t be the end-all. We should have an independent investigation through the UN or through other organizations such as Amnesty or Human Rights Watch or other organizations... to examine what is the truth behind these before we jump to conclusions and condemn one country or one group.”


Meanwhile, Paulo Pinheiro, the head of a UN human rights investigation on Syria, said it was still impossible to tell for sure who has used chemical arms.


Pinheiro said he would not comment on evidence sent by the U.S., Britain and France to UN experts which they claim Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces have used chemical arms.


"We are not able to say who has used chemical agents or chemical weapons and we are very much worried about the chain of custody of the substances," Pinheiro said.



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