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At UN, Syria Blames Chemicals on Saudis, Asks of Khan Asal, Kane Procedural

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 3 -- Syria was represented Tuesday when UN High Representative for Disarmament Angela Kane met with UN member states who requested investigation of the use of chemical weapons in and around Ghouta on August 21, 2013.

The meeting was held in a nearly empty UN North Lawn Building. When it ended, one Permanent Representative associated with the ACT grouping to reform the Security Council told Inner City Press, in the spirit of transparency, that Kane's presentation had been procedural, and that the UN's report when finished will go to all 193 member states.

  When Kane and her colleague came out, they declined to speak with the press. Syria's Permanent Representative Ja'afari, however, was another matter. He spoke for more than ten minutes. (Inner City Press filmed it and put it on its YouTube channel immediately afterward, here.) Also embedded below.

  Ja'afari cited an article from Jordan that the chemical weapons used in Ghouta were given by Saudis to the rebels, who didn't know how to use them because they are "amateurs... not real fighters."

  Citing Iraq in 1991, Ja'afari said the US if it bombs will again kill children. He asked where the Barack Obama who gave the speech in Cairo has gone.

Ja'afari said that back in December 2012 Syria warned that the rebels might get and use chemical weapons, then raised just this about Khan al Asal in March. He said the rebels went and killed 300 witnesses there, and asked what happened to the footage of Russian state TV journalist Anastasia Popova (about whom Inner City Press and written and asked Angela Kane and her colleague.)

While Ja'afari spoke, the US debate in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was going on. (Inner City Press watched from the impromptu stakeout in front of UN North Lawn conference room 6.) Senator Jim Risch, R-Idaho, said that "thousands" were killed in Ghouta.

Senator Menendez said that the "preponderance of evidence" shows Syria's government did it. Is that the standard, and not "reasonable doubt"? Watch this site.


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