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Syrian Free Army signing own death warrant

By David Singer - posted Monday, 16 September 2013


The swift agreement between Russia and America to collect and destroy Syria's chemical weapons has been an impressive diplomatic achievement - marred only by the fact that it has taken three weeks longer to reach this point because of their joint failure to focus on ending the use of chemical weapons in Syria - rather than focusing on who was responsible for the atrocity that caused the deaths of 1429 Syrians on 21 August.

Speculation is rife that Syria may have spirited away some part of its chemical weapons arsenal to Iraq and Lebanon in those lost crucial three weeks. Hopefully further joint action by America and Russia in conjunction with UN inspectors can establish the truth or otherwise of this claim.

Equally impressive is the news is that Syria has met its obligations in applying for membership in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - as advised by UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky.

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The secretary-general, in his capacity of the depositary of the 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, has received the formal instrument of accession to the convention by the Syrian Arab Republic... The convention will enter into force for the Syrian Arab Republic on the 30th day following the date of deposit of this instrument of accession, namely on October 14 2013.

Remarkably - the rebel forces fighting the Assad regime for the last 30 months seem to have set the stage for their demise - by indicating they will not accept the terms of the agreement reached between America and Russia - that should be translated into a binding Security Council Resolution within the next seven days calling for the collection and destruction of all chemical weapons in Syria.

The Kuwaiti News Agency has reported:

The flagship accord was also applauded by several nations including Arab states namely Egypt and Algeria, but in Istanbul, the Syrian Free Army commander Major-General Saleem Idrees rejected the US-Russian agreement, saying it "will not solve the crisis" in Syria." He added that the opposition Syrian Free Army would not implement any part of the accord.

"Me and my brother fighters will continue fighting until the removal of the regime. We can't approve" this agreement, he said and criticized the deal which did not mention a single word on Al-Assad."

This report - if accurate - could well signal the end of armaments supplies, funding and promised diplomatic support from America and the West for the Syrian Free Army.

It is clear that Russia has fairly and squarely attached the blame for the 21 August atrocity on the rebels - whilst America has been blaming the Assad regime.

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Now America and Russia have procured Syria to come to the party and agree to destroy its chemical weapons - the suspicion must still exist - certainly according to Russia - that the rebels are also still in possession of such weapons.

Refusing to surrender any chemical weapons the Syrian Free Army has - or in case of denying it has any such weapons - then allowing UN inspectors to verify this fact - will lead to the swift withdrawal of some of the the lifelines that has given the Syrian Free Army the ability to wage the civil war for the last 30 months.

In a roundup of statements supporting the historic agreement reached between America and Russia - the Kuwaiti news agency reported:

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

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All articles by David Singer

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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