UK says time running out for Syrian chemical attack inspection

LONDON Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:01pm BST

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague arrives at 10 Downing Street, in central London, July 15, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague arrives at 10 Downing Street, in central London, July 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain warned on Friday that U.N. inspectors needed urgent access to the site of a reported chemical weapons attack in Syria because evidence could deteriorate or be concealed by those responsible.

"Time is of the essence," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on his official Twitter feed. "Every day without U.N. access is a day in which evidence can deteriorate or be hidden by those responsible."

Hague said Britain planned to hold urgent talks on Friday with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah.

"We are pressing for immediate access for the U.N. team and consulting allies on response to this terrible atrocity," Hague wrote.

Britain has said it still believes a political solution is the best way to end the bloodshed in Syria, but has said it isn't ruling out any options.

(Reporting by William James and Andrew Osborn; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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Comments (3)
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
UK says time running out for Syrian chemical attack inspection

How can the Syrian govt guarantee safety for such inspectors when the suburbs are crawling with Al Qaeda fighters?

Hague hasn’t really thought this one out…

The reason for the Govt offensive in the first place, was to dislodge Al Nusra aligned fighters.

Aug 23, 2013 12:11pm BST  --  Report as abuse
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Breakdown of Syrian rebels composition…

10,000 Foreign Mujahideen (AQ)
6,000 Al Nusra (AQ)
15,000 Syrian Islamic Front (AQ)
50,000 Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (AQ)
50,000 FSA (70% Islamist, 30% secular)

So that clearly makes the ‘rebels’ a Stateless Islamic Army.

Aug 23, 2013 12:20pm BST  --  Report as abuse
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Breakdown of who is dying in Syria…

Rough figs to Aug 2013:

27,000 Syrian SAA and police killed
18,000 Govt loyalist militia men killed
1,000 Govt officials killed

Total = 46,000

Stateless Islamic Army:

30,000 – 45,000 (estimates)

Activists:

990

Aug 23, 2013 12:30pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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