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U.N. Chief slams the use of use of chemical weapons in Syria as a war crime

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned as a “war crime” the deadly attack carried out on a Damascus suburb last month after a UN inspectors’ report released Monday said there was “clear and convincing evidence” that chemical weapons were used.

“The report makes chilling reading… the results are overwhelming and indisputable,” Ban told a news conference after meeting with the UN Security Council about the report.

“The findings are beyond doubt and beyond the pale: this is a war,” Ban said.

According to the report, 85 percent of blood samples taken from 34 survivors of the attack tested positive for the deadly nerve toxin, Sarin; a majority of environmental samples confirmed the use of the deadly nerve gas, and rockets or fragments of rockets that were recovered by the UN team at the scene of the attack were determined to have carried Sarin.

The next step is for the UN Security Council to “shoulder its responsibility” and endorse in a “binding and enforceable resolution” a framework agreement struck by the United States and Russia last week in Geneva, which calls on Syria to hand over all of its chemical weapons to the international community for destruction by mid-2014, the Secretary General said.

“Armenia welcomes the proposals based on the agreement reached in Geneva between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the US Secretary of State John Kerry, which could lead to the elimination of chemical weapons and exclusion of its use in Syria and which could open the way to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis through peaceful means, putting an end to the sufferings of the Syrian people, including its integral part – the dozens of thousands of Syrian-Armenians,” Spokesman for the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tigran Balayan has said.

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