An analysis of the report posted online by the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based advocacy group, said “the additional details and the perceived objectivity of the inspectors buttress the assignment of blame to Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government.” [New York Times]
FEW DOUBT who’s to blame in the chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria, but the new U.N. report implicates President Bashar al Assad even further.
Britain’s ambassador, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, said that the new evidence found in the U.N. report’s annexes proves, “in our view, that there is no remaining doubt that it was the regime that used chemical weapons.”
One of the things that points to Assad was “remnants of a warhead they had found showed its capacity of sarin to be about 56 liters — far higher than initially thought.”
… The investigators were unable to examine all of the munitions used, but they were able to find and measure several rockets or their components. Using standard field techniques for ordnance identification and crater analysis, they established that at least two types of rockets had been used, including an M14 artillery rocket bearing Cyrillic markings and a 330-millimeter rocket of unidentified provenance.
These findings, though not presented as evidence of responsibility, were likely to strengthen the argument of those who claim that the Syrian government bears the blame, because the weapons in question had not been previously documented or reported to be in possession of the insurgency.
Moreover, those weapons are fired by large, conspicuous launchers. For rebels to have carried out the attack, they would have had to organize an operation with weapons they are not known to have and of considerable scale, sophistication and secrecy — moving the launchers undetected into position in areas under strong government influence or control, keeping them in place unmolested for a sustained attack that would have generated extensive light and noise, and then successfully withdrawing them — all without being detected in any way.