September 30, 2013 | Quote
Syria Chemical-Arms Resolution Passes UN Security Council
The council voted 15-0 last night to adopt a resolution drafted by the U.S., the U.K. and Francein response to an Aug. 21 poison gas attack near Damascus that killed more than 1,400 people. The resolution lacks immediate consequences if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fails to comply and it doesn’t assign blame for the attack, which U.S., U.K. and French officials attribute to Assad’s regime.
Russia, a Syrian ally, has said rebels were responsible for the attack and blocked tougher wording in the resolution. Russian vetoes of previous UN attempts to sanction Assad made last night’s vote the first diplomatic breakthrough at the UN since Syria’s civil war began 2 1/2 years ago.
The official, who spoke on the condition of not being identified in discussing intelligence reports, said that Assad’s arsenal of conventional weapons, especially artillery and air power, has accounted for more than 98 percent of the casualties the regime has inflicted in the war.
That has created anger among opposition groups that think the West hasn’t supplied them with the arms they need to fight back, said Benjamin Weinthal, a fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington who is doing research inside Syria on the opposition.
“There’s not just anger at the West,” Weinthal said by telephone from the Syrian-Turkey border, “but real fury at how Russia, Hezbollah, Iran, China have betrayed them” with their support for the regime.