By Jim Kouri
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- Moon sent a letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to describe his concerns with Syria’s possible use of chemical weapons, according to a UN spokesman in New York City on Wednesday.
Sarin originally was developed in 1938 in Germany as a pesticide. It is a clear, colorless, and tasteless liquid that has no odor in its pure form. However, sarin can evaporate into a vapor (gas) and spread into the environment. Sarin is also known as GB.
“[Our] secretary-general has grave concerns about the existence and possible use of chemical weapons,” said Martin Nesirky, Ban’s press liaison, at the daily UN press briefing.
“The secretary-general has conveyed those concerns in writing already some months ago to President Assad and that he had done so again in a letter handed over to the Syrian authorities yesterday, ” Nesirky stated.
The spokesperson also reiterated the UN secretary-general’s view that the fundamental responsibility of the Syrian government is to safeguard any such stockpiles, and that the use of such weapons would be [a criminal act].”
After Syria acknowledged in July that it had chemical and biological weapons, the UN chief expressed his concern over the possibility of Syria’s resort to chemical weapons, calling such an action “reprehensible.”
On Nov. 27,Secretary-General Ban further called on Syria and other countries in the Middle East to join the Chemical Weapons Convention “without delay.” The Syrian government has repeatedly stated it would not use the weapons against its “own people.”
But on Wednesday night, Fox News Channel broke the story describing Syrian forces mixing sarin gas to prepare the chemical weapon for potential use on President Assad’s own people, a senior US official confirmed to Fox News.
“Does anyone believe Assad fears the U.S. President Barack Obama? Or that he frets over what the UN says about his use of WMD? All we hear is tough talk but we see no action. The Middle East is exploding and the U.S. government only cares about a fiscal cliff it created in the first place,” said counterterrorism expert Mike Snopes.
Sarin is among the deadliest chemical weapons and is capable of quickly sickening and killing thousands of people, according to a counterterrorism expert.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Sarin is a human-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent. Nerve agents are the most toxic and rapidly acting of the known chemical warfare agents. They are similar to certain kinds of pesticides (insect killers) called organophosphates in terms of how they work and what kind of harmful effects they cause. However, nerve agents are much more potent than organophosphate pesticides.
Mild or moderately exposed people usually recover completely. Severely exposed people are not likely to survive. Unlike some organophosphate pesticides, nerve agents have not been associated with neurological problems lasting more than 1 to 2 weeks after the exposure.