UN takes action against Syria

Hilary Legge, ‘Doah Managing Editor
October 2, 2013 

While a military strike against Syria at one point seemed imminent, international collaboration over the last few weeks has led to what will seemingly be a purely diplomatic resolution.

On Sept. 9, in London, Secretary of State John Kerry made the comment that if Syria would turn over its chemical weapons then the U.S. would not necessarily need to take military action.

While the comment was inadvertent, it offered a non-violent resolution that Syria and its ally Russia jumped on board with.

Russia and the U.S. then came to an agreement for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons, as well as sign the Chemical Weapons Convention. On Friday, Sept. 27, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously in favor of the measure.

The decision has been heralded as a boon for the U.N., which up until this point had been unable to come to an agreement on how to deal with the escalating civil war in Syria.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has been instrumental in the diplomatic process, fast-tracking Syria’s addition to the Chemical Weapons Convention and meeting with Syrian officials to lay out the groundwork for the destruction of their weapons.

According to the OPCW, the Syrian government has been “businesslike and efficient” in their handling of the process.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday, Sept. 29, that the nation was dedicated to upholding the CWC. “Of course we have to comply. This is our history: to comply with every treaty that we sign.”

Officials from the organization will have inspectors in the country as of Tuesday, Oct. 1, to begin visiting chemical weapons facilities. These inspections will be separate from those conducted by U.N. officials.

As this is going on, U.N. inspectors have been investigating reports that more attacks occurred following the Aug. 21 attack outside Damascus, which set all of this in motion. It is unknown at this time what impact, if any, this may have on the diplomatic relationship being built between Syria, the U.N. and OPCW.

Most likely, as long as Syria continues to cooperate with OPCW and the U.N. then no action will be taken. However, if they fail to destroy all of their chemical weapons then a U.S. strike may be back on the table.

The resolution that passed the U.N. did not authorize the automatic use of force if Syria is found to be in violation, but that may not stop the U.S. from doing so.

Author: The Buzz

The official site of Shenandoah University's student newspaper, The Buzz.

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