Should the UN take steps to cut Syria off from shipments of new weapons?


Charting Syria’s civil war view interactive map and timeline of the conflict in Syria

Syria’s civil war has reached a point of stalemate after two years of fighting, according to the United Nations. A new report by the UN is calling for outside parties to stop sending weapons into the conflict.

Britain and France have successfully fought to let a European Union embargo on arms lapse which could allow European governments supply the rebels. Russian military leaders have proposed sending additional weapons to the Syrian government arguing that it will tip the balance of power in the region.

New York Times: Reporting “new levels of brutality” in Syria’s more than two-year-old conflict, United Nations investigators said on Tuesday that they believed chemical weapons and thermobaric bombs were used in recent weeks and urged the international community to cut off supplies of weapons that could only result in more civilian casualties.

The Commission of Inquiry investigating the hostilities in Syria said “there are reasonable grounds to believe limited quantities of toxic chemicals were used” in Aleppo and Damascus on March 19, in Aleppo again on April 13 and in Idlib on April 29.

“Crimes that shock the conscience have become a daily reality,” said Paulo Pinheiro, the panel’s chairman.

… After more than two years of conflict, it was clear a military stalemate now prevailed. “It’s an illusion that more weapons will tip the balance between the two parties. No one is winning,” UN panel chairman Paulo Pinheiro said. The report warned that “increased arm transfers hurt the prospect of a political settlement to the conflict, fuel the multiplication of armed actors at the national and regional levels and have devastating consequences for civilians.”

Today’s Question: Should the UN take steps to cut Syria off from shipments of new weapons?