United Nations Report Confirms the Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a session of the 2013 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting on January 24, 2013 at the Swiss resort of Davos. (Johannes Eisele/Getty Images)

The United Nations' long-awaited report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria came out on Monday—it confirmed the use of chemical weapons in the nation, which the United States says killed as many as 1,400 people.

“This is a war crime, and grave violation of the 1925 protocol and other rules of international law,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told reporters on Monday.

Although the report does not blame either side, it is the first official confirmation by scientific experts that chemical weapons have been used.

In the mean time, negotiations around international action in Syria have kicked into high gear. Some countries, like the U.S. and other Western powers, want a binding resolution with the threat of military action should Syria fail to comply in the destruction of these weapons.

“If Assad fails to comply with the terms of this framework, make no mistake, we are all agreed—and that includes Russia—there will be consequences,” Secretary of State John Kerry said during a diplomatic meeting with his British and French counterparts in Paris yesterday.

Other countries, especially Russia, aren't so keen to include the possibility of force. Others still, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, want to go much further than getting rid of the chemical weapons stockpiles.

With all of the competing interests in the Syrian conflict, how will the international community come to an agreement?

Robin Wright is distinguished scholar at the Wilson Center and the U.S. Institute of Peace. She's the author of "Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World." She joins The Takeaway to discuss the ways that all parties may find common ground.

Guests:

Robin Wright

Produced by:

Tyler Adams

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

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