UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo)
Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:28PM GMT
“Providing arms to either side would not address this current situation…. There is no military solution to this conflict.… The military path points directly towards the further disintegration of the country,” Ban said on Friday.
The UN chief made the remarks in response to the US decision to provide new weapons to militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The New York Times reported on June 13 that US President Barack Obama decided to begin supplying the militants in Syria with small arms and ammunition. The assistance, coordinated by the CIA spy agency, could include antitank weapons, the paper said.
Ban also said he could not verify the US allegations about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, adding that UN experts will continue to gather information and material on the case.
On June 13, US Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes claimed in a White House statement that the Syrian government “has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent, sarin, on a small scale” against the foreign-backed Takfiri militants “multiple times in the last year.”
Hawkish US Senator John McCain, who is a staunch supporter of arming the militants in Syria, said Washington should even think of plans other than sending weapons to the militants “to change the equation on the battleground.”
Syria strongly rejects such claims and says the militants have used chemical weapons on several occasions, including during an attack in the region of Khan al-Assal in the northwestern province of Aleppo on March 19, where over two dozen people died.
The foreign-sponsored militancy, which started in Syria more than two years ago, has been taking its toll on the lives of many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel.