After the release of a UN report, Turkey claimed to be certain that the chemical weapons attack in Damascus on Aug. 21 was committed by the Syrian regime, both in a written statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tuesday's statements from Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Today`s Zaman reported.
Saying that Turkey's intelligence agencies have obtained information confirming that the Syrian regime was behind the chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta on Aug. 21, which killed more than 1,700 and injured many more, Davutoglu expressed his opinion that the UN report indicates the regime's responsibility in his televised interview on Tuesday.
The UN inspection team released its report on the use of chemical weapons on Monday, confirming that the sarin nerve agent was used in the Aug. 21 attack outside Damascus. The UN report did not say who launched the attack, while some countries have interpreted information from their intelligence sources to place responsibility on the Syrian government. The inspection team was only able to reach the area five days after the attack due to a long wait for permission from the Syrian government.
"While we [US Secretary of State John Kerry, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and British Foreign Secretary William Hague] were in Paris, the UN inspection team's report was released. It definitely states that this [chemical attack on Aug. 21] could only have been done by the Syrian regime," Davutoglu said.
When asked why there is no assessment of whether the regime was responsible in the UN report, Davutoglu affirmed that the report does not place responsibility for the chemical attack, but added that this was not the inspection team's assignment. Noting that the inspection team is not authorized to make political comments and has no mandate to specify the perpetrator of the attack, Davutoglu said that unspecified technical details in the report pointed to the Syrian government's culpability and added, "The report's silence about the perpetrator doesn't mean that the perpetrator is not known."
Noting that the chemical weapons used on Aug. 21 were extremely advanced, the Turkish foreign minister claimed that when the findings of the UN report, the location of the weapons, the launch method and the inscriptions on the missiles -- which were written in Russian -- are taken into account, there is no doubt about who was responsible for the attack.
The written statement on the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website says that, although those behind the chemical attack are not specified in the UN report because of the inspection team's limited mission, the evidence supplied in the report shows the responsibility of the barbarous attack to fall on the Syrian regime.
"The regime committed a serious crime by attacking the [Syrian] nation with chemical weapons. Such a crime should not remain unpunished, and the perpetrator should be held accountable for its crime. Enabling this [justice for the attackers] is the main duty and responsibility of the international community," said the statement, calling on the international community to punish the perpetrators of this attack.
The statement also pointed out the possible dangers for regional and global security. Saying that the US-Russian agreement should be enacted without delay, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' statement also called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to make a binding decision in which the Syrian regime will stick to the terms of the agreement.
While in France on Monday, Britain and the US also made statements to the effect that details contained in the UN inspectors' report confirm that the Syrian government was behind the Aug. 21 attack, not the opposition.
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