Syria chemical arms accord a disgrace: ex colonel
A resolution ordering the elimination of Syria’s chemical arms is « a disgrace for the United Nations, » opposition figures said in Paris, arguing it was making leader Bashar al-Assad « legitimate » again.
« This agreement is a disgrace for the United Nations, it’s scandalous, » Qassem Saadeddine, a former colonel in the Syrian army who defected in 2012, told AFP on a trip to the French capital.
« The international community has grabbed on to chemical arms and forgotten the 100,000 victims of the conflict, » said Saadeddine, who represents the military command of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) inside the war-torn country.
His comments Monday came ahead of the planned arrival of a 20-strong disarmament team in Damascus to begin ridding Syria of chemical weapons — one of the largest and most dangerous operations of its kind.
They are implementing a UN resolution that was passed Friday after weeks of intense diplomatic activity following the August 21 poison gas attack in Damascus suburbs, which Washington believes killed over 1,400 people.
« Bashar al-Assad has become respectable, legitimate again, » said Yahia Nanah, head of the provincial council of Aleppo in northern Syria, which aims to organise a semblance of normal civilian life in this violence-ridden area.
« All these massacres and it comes to this? It’s as if the Syrian revolution happened over a chemical arms issue, when it was actually launched to create a state ruled by law in Syria. »
Both men are due to take part in a debate on Syria Tuesday organised by a Socialist lawmaker at the lower house National Assembly.
Assad on Sunday told Italy’s Rai News 24 his regime would comply with the accord.
« This regime lies and will save time. What we ask of France is to give us real support, » Saadeddine said.
Asked about the situation of the rebels on the ground, he said the FSA still had « overall control of the situation. »
« But the more the situation drags on, the more we wait for weapons that don’t come, the more it will become intolerable. »
On the ground, the rebellion is increasingly fragmented and extremists are gaining ground.
Last week, 13 rebel factions said they no longer recognised the Syrian National Coalition — the main exiled political opposition group — to which the FSA is linked.
« If these groups have become independent, it’s probably because they found better sources of finance, » Saadeddine said.
date : 01/10/2013