As the U.S. Congress debates the merits of bombing Syria, the British Prime Minister is also pushing the case for intervention in the Syrian Civil War. Speaking at the G20 summit today in Saint Petersburg, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron asserted that new tests have turned up positive for sarin gas in Syria.
According to The Gurardian, Cameron stated that the new tests confirm sarin was part of an attack in eastern Damascus back in late August. The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to deride the House of Commons, insinuating that Labor Party members chose to play politics instead of choosing what he called the “right” path. Cameron’s motion to involve the British military in a response to chemical weapon use in Syria was rejected by the House of Commons one week ago.
Sarin has been classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction. The chemical is a nerve agent that can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin, acting as a sort of pesticide for humans. It causes complete loss of muscle control, including those used to breathe.
One of the issues at hand is whether the Syrian government, rebel forces, or both have used Sarin as a chemical weapon. According to the Guardian report, Cameron stated that he is “confident” that the Assad regime is behind the chemical attacks. This sentiment is rejected by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who maintains that Syrian rebel forces could have also been behind Sarin attacks. Russia, a member of the U.N. Security Council, is a close ally to the Assad regime.
This is not the first time positive tests for Sarin gas have come out of Syria. As far back as early June, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced that sarin gas had been detected in urine and blood samples smuggled out of Syria by French journalists.
(Image courtesy Harry Metcalfe via Wikimedia Commons)
(via The Guardian)