Van Bommel calls for immediate UN enquiry into use of poison gas in Syria

22 August 2013

Van Bommel calls for immediate UN enquiry into use of poison gas in Syria

An independent United Nations enquiry must be launched as quickly as possible into the incident in Syria in which chemical weapons may have been employed. Otherwise the chance exists that this will be used as a pretext to launch a war against Syria, warns Van Bommel, an SP Member of Parliament and spokesman on foreign affairs. ‘President Obama has already in the recent past cited the use of chemical weapons as a possible reason to invade Syria,’ he recalls. ‘A repeat of the invasion of Iraq must be prevented. In that case there turned out to have been no weapons of mass destruction, despite these having been used as the pretext to invade. An independent enquiry is essential in this propaganda war.’

Harry van BommelIn Van Bommel ‘s view this must be dealt with quickly, because possible traces of the chemicals in the blood of the victims will quickly dissipate, and the presence of such traces would constitute the only possible proof that opponents of President Assad can’t easily falsify. This makes the UN’s role in establishing the truth essential. ‘The UN Security Council has welcomed Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s call for an enquiry,’ says Van Bommel. ‘Now pressure must be put on the warring parties to make such an immediate enquiry possible. We must prevent this incident leading to any adjustment of the proposed peace negotiations. A diplomatic solution to the conflict remains crucial, one in which the main supporters of Assad – Russia and Iran – must be involved.'

As long as the violence persists the number of refugees will continue to grow. Van Bommel is thus also urging decisiveness in tackling the grave humanitarian situation in which many Syrian refugees find themselves. Some refugee camps have grown into real towns with over 100,000 inhabitants. ‘We must give more support to Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq in taking emergency relief measures within the region,’ says Van Bommel, adding that ‘European countries, including the Netherlands, must heed the call of the UNHCR - the UN refugee agency - to be more generous in taking in refugees.’

You are here