UN report confirms chemicals in Syria
By Amira El-Fekki

UN weapons inspectors have concluded that chemical weapons were used on civilians and children in Syria during the August 21 attack.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon officially presented the report to the Security Council on Monday, September 16. Surface rockets containing the nerve sarin were identified in the report.

The American press provided the full UN report, urging news to spread. The Washington Post claimed that a photo was leaked, displaying Ake Sellstrom, Chief UN Weapons Inspector with Mr. Ban, as well as visible shot of the report’s first page.

Meanwhile, the New York Times claimed that the Associated Press saw this page first.

The Washington Post provided a four-page report, which went back to the recent Geneva Summit talks. The Post’s position seemed biased. The article presented the detailed judgment of US Allies, with a brief mentioning of others’ view.

Several pro-US officials were quoted, mostly Secretary of State John Kerry, but also British Foreign Secretary William Hague, US Senator John McCain, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Saudi Foreign Minister, Saoud Al-Faisal – whose name was not mentioned – were not cited.

Nonetheless, the Post referred to Saudi Arabia’s disapproval of the ongoing diplomatic agreement. This was not the only focus on opposition, as the news dedicated a remarkable space for the Iranian issue, consistent with president Barrack Obama’s allegations when he spoke to the nation, last week.

The Washington Post even published some of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s words to his army, in which he said Americans were “uninvited guests” and should stop “invading the region”.

On the other hand, enthusiastic with exclusiveness of the news, the NY Times was more committed to the facts. The one-page article summarized the report’s findings and presented several excerpts on the inspection process, including intoxication circumstances, patients’ symptoms, and results.

In contrast, the Post’s selection was that “The international community has a moral responsibility to hold accountable those responsible” for the attack, Ban’s office said, and “for ensuring that chemical weapons can never re-emerge as an instrument of warfare.”

 

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