CW attack in Khan Sheikhoun: Documents from the UNSC debate on responsibility

[Cross-posted from The Trench]

{Update 4 – 12 April 2017}

This posting brings together the most important documents circulating at this stage.

First, the minutes with the statements by UN Security Council (UNSC) members and debate on 28 February, during which a resolution to sanction certain Syrian individuals deemed responsible for the earlier CW attacks was vetoed, can be downloaded here.

On 5 April, the UNSC held an emergency debate after the chemical weapon attack against Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib Province, Syria that killed scores of civilians – the death toll is now approaching 100 – and hundreds of other casualties.

In a statement also issued on 5 April, the WHO gave credence to the hypothesis that the agent or one of the agents used might have been sarin:

The likelihood of exposure to a chemical attack is amplified by an apparent lack of external injuries reported in cases showing a rapid onset of similar symptoms, including acute respiratory distress as the main cause of death. Some cases appear to show additional signs consistent with exposure to organophosphorus chemicals, a category of chemicals that includes nerve agents.

The full document is available from the WHO website.

The UNSC emergency session began with a report by Mr Kim Won-soo, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) has published his statement.

A detailed summary of the session presentations and discussion is available here.

At present, Russia, on the one hand, and France, United Kingdom and the United States, on the other hand, have started circulating draft texts for resolutions.

And he made the early French, UK and US draft available via the web.

A debate and vote on these draft resolutions was expected in the evening of 6 April (EST), but has been cancelled.

Also on 6 April the European Union released a statement denouncing the chemical attack, but supporting ‘the efforts of the OPCW in Syria with regard to the investigation of the use of chemical weapons and [considering] that such efforts have to be continued in the future by the international community‘.

The UN Security Council is meeting on 7 April to discuss the US airstrike against Syria. A briefing ahead of the meeting updates the status of the negotiations on a resolution condemning Syria’s use of chemical weapons.

{Update}revised French, UK and US draft resolution on his blog.

{Update} Meanwhile the 4-page White House report on the chemical weapon attack against Khan Sheikhoun is also available.

More to follow as they become available.

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8 Comments on “CW attack in Khan Sheikhoun: Documents from the UNSC debate on responsibility”

  1. Denis says:

    WHO: acute respiratory distress as the main cause of death. Some cases appear to show additional signs consistent with exposure to organophosphorus chemicals, a category of chemicals that includes nerve agents.

    That’s it??? “. . . appear to show additional signs . . .” What additional signs? Look at the vids: where’s the vomitus? Where’s the feces? Where’s the urine? Why are victims pink/red and not cyanotic?

    Between Ghouta and KS we have seen hundreds of so-called victims of sarin, and not a single one shows the SLUDGE constellation of symptoms that are Dx of organophosphate intoxication. Why is that? Even more telling, the dead and dying victims are pink/red, indicating they have been exposed to CN or CO, which in turn indicates brutal false-flag operations carried out by brutal Wahhabi terrorists.

    With a moron in the WH, the false flag is having its intended effect.

  2. Yeah, Right says:

    I have one rather mundane technical question, but I haven’t seen anyone address it.

    Syria’s CW stockpile prior to 2013 seemed to have been designed to be delivered by ground-launched rockets. But in this case everyone acknowledges that this town was attacked by (one?) bomb-toting SU-22 bomber.

    So my question is this: if you had previously based your weapon-development on ground-launched missiles then how difficult would it be to adopt that design so it can be dropped from a jet fighter-bomber?

    I only ask because if the answer is “bloody difficult” then my next question would be “so, why didn’t Assad use a rocket?”

    • JP Zanders says:

      There were also aerial bombs, which were destroyed as far as declared by Syria.

      As to your final question, we will have to wait for an onsite investigation to know (1) whether or not the agent used is from an old stockpile or newly produced and (2) whether the delivery system is an old weapon, an adaptation of a different type of (conventional) munition, or something new, wehther improvised or not.

      • Yeah, Right says:

        Many thanks. I asked because all previous allegations seem to have centred on either rockets or the infamous “barrel bombs”, neither of which fit under the wings of an SU-22.

        I assume that there are not all that many volunteers putting their hand up to go take part in that onsite investigation. Brave souls if they do….

      • Yeah, Right says:

        JP Zanders, can you give some estimate regarding how soon after a CW attack an “onsite investigation” must be in order to be confident in the results?

        Is it weeks? Months?

  3. JP Zanders says:

    The sooner, the better, of course as there is less chance of disturbance (or willful compromise) of the site. Having said that trace elements can be detected many months after the incident, but interpreting them becomes much more difficult.

  4. habarigani says:

    Where does the following analysis by Dr. Theodore Postol, professor of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT. fit into the narrative of this article?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-13/top-missile-and-chemical-weapons-expert-debunks-trump%E2%80%99s-claims-about-syrian-chemic-0


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