Sending UN chemical weapons team to Syria would be "suicide", says Iraq IAEA chief

Published April 12th, 2013 - 12:23 GMT
A Syrian rebel patrols an area in the Sheikh Maqsud district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on Thursday. (AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF)
A Syrian rebel patrols an area in the Sheikh Maqsud district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on Thursday. (AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF)

The American who headed the chemical weapons inspection team in Iraq told Reuters news agency that sending in a similar team to Syria would be a "suicide mission".

Reuters reported on Friday that a group on UN-led experts was waiting on standby in Cyprus but the mission had so far stalled because of disputes over how to keep the scientists safe.

"Any Western person volunteering for such a team should see it as a suicide mission. The ground is just too unstable," Robert Kelley, the man who headed an International Atomic Energy Agency inspection team in Iraq, said.

The Syrian government has so far rejected calls to send in the inspectors to test claims that chemical weapons were used in Aleppo last month. 

Both the U.S. and much of Europe has previously stated that the use of such weapons would justify full international intervention into the Syrian crisis. 

However, President Assad's regime claim that sending in a team would mark out Syria for military invasion whatever the results, as was the case in Iraq. 

 


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