UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced on March 21 that the UN will initiate a probe into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria. The Syrian government requested the probe earlier this week after anti-government forces carried out an attack on a village near Aleppo. Ban declared that the investigation will involve other international bodies such as the World Health Organization and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. In his remarks, Ban stated that any use of chemical weapons would be a serious crime and that the Syrian government has the primary responsibility of ensuring the security of chemical weapons. Ban said that the investigation would start as soon as possible.
The Syrian civil war has lasted for nearly two years, and the international community has become increasingly concerned about the violence. Last week Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Syria’s military of using banned cluster bombs against civilians. Last month the UN said that both the Syrian government and anti-government rebels are committing war crimes. Earlier in February UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay reported that the death toll resulting from two years of armed conflict in Syria is approaching 70,000.
From Jurist, March 22. Used with permission.