“They (the inspection team) will continue investigation activities until tomorrow, Friday, and will come out of Syria Saturday morning and will report to me,” said de UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
That’s an important piece of information because it might give some hints on when can happen an attack on Syria if finally Obama decides to order it. It was clear that no strike would happen with the inspectors in place and after the UK decision to wait for the result of the inspection, it seemed the decision would have to wait.
Now we know the inspectors will leave Damascus Saturday morning and report to Ban Ki-moon about their findings, so the intervention could happen any moment after that.
About the findings, the joint United Nations-Arab League Envoy for Syria said on Wednesday that evidence suggests “some form of substance” was used in an incident that may have killed more than 1,000 people on the outskirts of Damascus last week, but any military strike against the country in response must have the backing of the UN Security Council.
Recounting the “dramatic” developments in Syria over the past few days, Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters at a news conference in Geneva that the 21 August incident in the Ghouta suburb – currently being investigated by a team of UN inspectors – “is outrageous…unacceptable.”
“It confirms how dangerous the situation in Syria is and how important it is for the Syrians and the international community to really develop the political will to …look for a solution.”
When asked by reporters about the possibility of outside intervention in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons, Mr. Brahimi underscored: “International law is clear on this. International law says that military action must be taken after a decision by the Security Council.”
“I think I must say that I do know that President Obama and the American administration are not known to be trigger-happy. What they will decide I don’t know, but certainly international law is very clear, the Security Council has to be brought in”.
But the Security Council is again stuck. The UN Security Council’s five permanent members ended a meeting Wednesday fiercely divided over a British-proposed resolution to authorize the use of military force to punish Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons, with Russia and China firmly opposed. The meeting ended with no indication of whether a resolution condemning the use of chemical weapons would ever be put to a Security Council vote. U.S. officials in Washington and the United Nations indicated the resolution appeared doomed and any action against Syria would have to occur without the backing of the Security Council.
Meanwhile everybody is taking positions. Russia is sending two warships to the eastern Mediterranean, and the UK is sending six RAF Typhoon jets to Cyprus, 200 km from the Syrian coast, as a defensive measure. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said the air-to-air interceptor jets would be deployed to the British Akrotiri base in Cyprus on Thursday.
Since fighting began in March 2011 between the Syrian Government and opposition groups seeking to oust President Bashar Al-Assad, more than 100,000 people have been killed, almost 2 million have fled to neighbouring countries and a further 4 million have been internally displaced. In addition, at least 6.8 million Syrian require urgent humanitarian assistance.