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Russia Questions Validity Of U.N. Report

Christopher Coppock |
September 18, 2013 | 11:10 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

The U.N. has been unable to make progress on a proposed deal as violence in Syria continues. (wikimedia commons)
The U.N. has been unable to make progress on a proposed deal as violence in Syria continues. (wikimedia commons)
As the civil war in Syria rages on, the likelihood that the United Nations will pass a resolution aimed at punishing Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons continues to shrink. 

Following the U.N. inspectors report which was released on Monday, Britain, France and the United States released statements saying the report confirmed that Bashar al-Assad's forces were behind the chemical weapons attacks, despite the report not actually assigning any blame.

Russia, for its part, has denounced the statements made by the three western countries, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying on Tuesday that "the U.N. report had not dispelled Russian suspicion that rebels staged the attack to try to provoke western military intervention in the civil war."

The country's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov went a step further, questioning the validity of the report's findings. "We are disappointed, to put it mildly, about the approach taken by the U.N. secretariat and the U.N. inspectors, who prepared the report selectively and incompletely." 

READ: How Will Syria Dismantle Their Chemical Weapons?

Russia's skepticism appears to be simply another twist in the long and winding road that has been the international attempt to do something about the horrible tragedy going on in Syria. Following the initial Russian proposal that Assad should hand over his chemical weapons to international control, which led to a halt in the United States' buildup towards military action against the Assad regime, little progress has been made in the attempt to reach a deal.  

Even if a deal is done, however, very little will ultimately change. Yes, the chemical weapons will be out of Syria (in the best case), but so far in the conflict 'only' an estimated 1,400 people have been killed by gas attacks, whereas more than 100,000 people have been killed with conventional weapons. 

Thus the deal that has ground to a halt in the U.N. and that is causing such a major furor will have very little long term impact on what happens in Syria, regardless of whether or not Russia would choose to veto it in the Security Council. 

Despite heavy violence spreading to nearly every province, the civil war in Syria appears destined to once again slip onto the back pages as another shooting here at home and yet another looming budget crisis look set to take over news cycles in the near future. 

Read more about Syria and Chemical Weapons.

Read more on Russia's rejection of the inspection report on Reuters.

Reach Executive Producer Christopher Coppock by email.



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