New York (GPA) – During an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) this morning, both the US and U.K. condemned Syria for “using chemical weapons on civilians.” Floating the idea of unilateral action if the UN fails to act.
The emergency meeting of the UNSC (requested by France) took place this morning. And to nobody’s surprise, the western powers used it as a chance to lash out at Syria and Russia. Nikki Haley led the charge. Condemning the narrative put forth by Russia that the chemical ‘attack’ was actually the result of Syrian bombs hitting a chemical weapons facility in rebel territory.
The U.K., France and the US put forth a draft resolution which would launch an investigation into the incident. The Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) would of course conduct the investigation. This same organization already concluded in 2013 that Syria indeed destroyed all their chemical weapons– with the help of Russia.
The Syrian envoy, Munzer Munzer, denied the claims that the government was responsible for using the weapons they don’t have. Adding that the Syrian military “has never used them, any time, anywhere, and will not do so in the future.” Munzer called the accusations “falsification of the facts.” Citing past evidence that terrorists received chemical weapons in the past from US allies; such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
It should also be noted that the terrorist groups operating in Idlib, where the alleged attack happened, are the same groups the Assad government allowed to leave East Aleppo. Which would have saved individuals from war crimes charges and accusations while liberating the city. This means that the groups present in Idlib are the same ones who left behind chemical weapons components (of Saudi origin) in Aleppo.
Despite all this previous evidence, the western leaders still blamed Assad for the attack. The U.K. ambassador Matthew Rycroft said that the attack “bears all the hallmarks of the Assad regime.” How Rycroft knows this for a fact is suspect since the only “evidence” the UN has so far are social media posts from known al Qaeda collaborators, aka the White Helmets and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (based in London).
Western Response to Russia’s Claims
In a tone eerily similar to 2003’s lead up to the Iraq war, Rycroft also claimed that the Syrian government had not let UN inspectors properly investigate their chemical weapons facilities. This runs counter to the fact that the UN’s own report from 2013 says they already verified the destruction of Syrian WMDs.
The U.K. also attempted to goad Russia into acting against their ally saying Assad had “humiliated” their government committing such a flagrant violation of international law.
Another leader speaking in a similar manner to the second Bush administration was US ambassador Nikki Haley. Who asked clearly politically-motivated questions such as “How many more children have to die before Russia cares?” Following that, like a modern day Colin Powell, Haley warned the security council that “When the United Nations consistently fails… there are times in the life of states, when we are compelled to take our own action.”
Just for good measure, Haley also made sure she took a swipe at all the US adversaries operating in Syria. In one sentence, saying “The truth is Russia, Assad, and Iran have no interest in peace.”
Wild claims like those from Rycroft and statements from Haley like “The world needs to see the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated,” should make everyone nervous. This is a tone we haven’t heard in the UN since George W. Bush forced the world into a war of aggression against Iraq. A war based on similarly bad evidence.
There was no vote on the draft resolution this morning. It is also likely that even if there is a vote it would be vetoed by Russia and China. Who both spoke strongly in defense of Syria at the meeting. The bodies from this incident aren’t even cold, yet western powers seem to already know for sure who they want this “attack” pinned on which should give everyone reason to worry.
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.