Blix: Send investigators to Syria, not cruise missiles, Utrikesmagasinet

It is possible that the Trump administration’s signal of readiness to tolerate Assad encouraged the Syrian government to barge ahead for more military gain and to use gas against its own citizens. It also seems likely that a significant motive of Trump’s cruise missile attack against an airbase in Syria lay in US domestic politics. But the proper action after the gas attack would have been for the Security Council to order investigation under the UN Charter, concludes Hans Blix, former foreign minister of Sweden and former UN weapon inspector in Iraq.

On balance it seems probable that the attack with gas was undertaken by the Syrian government air force, but one would have wished an impartial UN group to establish this and to answer the question whether sarin – and not only chlorine – was used…

So, what should have been the action after the recent use of gas in Syria? The proper procedure under the UN Charter – that the US was instrumental in creating – would have been for the Security Council to order investigation and action. I am glad that Sweden clearly expressed that view in the Security Council on 7 April 2017. Russia and perhaps China might have made difficulties but with a little patience there might have been agreement as there was after the use of gas in 2013. To be sure, the UN is far from an effective governmental regime for the world, but the Charter prohibits the threat and use of force between members and these basic rules as well as the standing of the Council are further undermined when a great power ignores them and acts on its own. Läs artikel

 

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