US letter: Syria regime used sarin twice in AleppoThe Associated Press | June 15,2013UNITED NATIONS — Syria’s government used the nerve agent sarin on two occasions in the embattled city of Aleppo in March and April, according to a letter from a top U.S. diplomat that The Associated Press obtained Friday.
The letter from U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also cited two other incidents of possible chemical weapons use by the regime of President Bashar Assad.
President Barack Obama authorized military aid to Syria’s rebels for the first time Thursday after the White House announced it had firm evidence of chemical weapons use by Assad’s regime.
But Ban said Friday he opposes the U.S. decision to send weapons and that there can be no certainty of chemical weapons use in Syria without an on-the-ground investigation. The U.N. chief reiterated his longstanding position that there is no military solution to Syria’s two-year-old conflict, which has killed more than 93,000 people. He said increasing the flow of weapons to either side “would not be helpful.”
“The validity of any information on the alleged use of chemical weapons cannot be ensured without convincing evidence of the chain-of-custody,” Ban said.
Rice, who will become Obama’s national security adviser in July, told reporters Friday that the U.S. government is “very confident” in its assessment.
“We’ve taken two months to reach this through a very careful and deliberative process,” Rice said.
In the letter to Ban, Rice said the United States has determined that sarin was used in a March 19 attack on the Aleppo suburb of Khan al-Assal and in an April 13 attack on the neighborhood of Shaykh Maqsud. She said unspecified chemicals, possibly including chemical warfare agents, were used May 14 in an attack on Qasr Abu Samrah and in a May 23 attack on Adra.
“The United States requests that the U.N. fact-finding mission include these incidents in its ongoing investigation and report, as appropriate, on its findings,” Rice said.MORE IN Wire News
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: No money this year for western rail project, Lola Aiken memorialized in Montpelier, Supreme Court Castleton murder suspect will remain in jail, Shaftbury man fires shots from his AK-47 into neighbor's home.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev arrives in U.S. for historic 13-day visit; in 1987, Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze sign nuclear reduction agreement.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City celebrates completion of its newest mural, on West Street opposite the post office, more than $2 million in federal grants will bolster Vermont's health centers, Patrick McArdle reports on pending sale of Vermont papers.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Henry Hudson sails up the Hudson River as far as present-day Albany, Leo Szilard has epiphany waiting for the light to change, 3 kids report a West Virginia close encounter in 1952.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Who will run for mayor in Rutland next year? Has Bennington overcome its fear of twerking? Documentary 'Hungry Heart' packs the Paramount, and the city's Creek Path scores another million-plus dollars.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: The 1509 'Lesser Judgment' earthquake on this day at Constantinople kills 13,000 and destroys the city; in 1801, on this day, Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans is born.