The crisis in Syria – and sometime the frequency of the use of that term gives one to conclude that Syria is in crisis – is likely to either escalate or fizzle.

In the outer Easter area of Damascus on or about the 21st of August it seems that chemical weapons where deployed inflicting significant civilian casualties and something of the order of 1400-1500 people have died, about a third of them being children. The UN weapons inspectors have confirmed the use of chemical weapons.

Syria is not a signatory to the accord on the use of Chemical Weapons

The question then becomes who used them. It seems intelligence sources indicate that the Syrian Government has such weapons in its arsenal and there is the frightening prospect that they may have deployed them against their own people, They however claim that it was the act of the terrorists and that someone has supplied them with such weapons. The British Intelligence security assessment clearly sees the Syrian Authorities as the probably force behind the 14 attacks that have been identified. The United States and the UN security and intelligence assessments appear to conclude that the Syrian Government was indeed responsible.

Against this Russia and China declare this assessment flawed and as supported of the Syrian regime  argue that the rebels who were responsible for the attacks.

This of course creates an impasse in the Security Council of the UN as both Russia and China have a Veto at the UN Security Council.

And one asks how can we respond, and indeed should we respond. The word of John F Kennedy resound ‘Evil prospers when good men do nothing’, yet one must wonder about the wisdom of adding another layer of violence to the already turbulent and bloody Syrian situation. Whilst Russia and China stand opposed it seems likely that any UN action is impossible, and any US led action likely to have wider consequences,

Yet also one wonders how can we not respond when such atrocities perpetuate?


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