Al-Assad possible hand behind Syria raid: Berlin
Fatih Çekirge COLOGNE - Hürriyet
Westerwelle said Berlin had suspicions about an armed intervention to end the ongoing war in Syria. AFP PhotoGerman Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has hinted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad might have been responsible for an Aug. 21 chemical attack in Damascus’ suburbs, adding that the responsible parties should be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Speaking to daily Hürriyet’s Fatih Çekirge, Celal Özcan and Tuncay Yıldırım at a cafe in Cologne, Westerwelle said Berlin had suspicions about an armed intervention to end the ongoing war.
“I believe a permanent peace will come with a political solution. We acted in solidarity with Ankara by sending Patriot missile systems to Turkey,” Westerwelle said.
Asked which issue he was tackling the most nowadays, Westerwelle said it was Syria. “Russia’s protection of Syria worries me greatly. U.N. experts declared that chemical weapons were used in the Aug. 21 attack. Now, the U.N. Security Council should apply to the International Criminal Court in The Hague for the responsible parties to be tried,” he told Hürriyet.
“All indications show that the al-Assad regime is responsible for the usage of chemicals. On this issue, the authorized institution is the ICC. The court should start its work and for this to happen, the Security Council should give a green light,” he said.
Delivering a long-awaited report, U.N. chemical investigators confirmed this week that a sarin nerve agent was used in the Aug. 21 poison gas attack, a fact that the United States, Britain and France said proved government forces were responsible.
The German minister labeled the usage of chemicals as the “destruction of a civilization.” “If we do not address this issue now as the international community, there is high risk of imitation by others in the future.”
Asked if there was still a possible way out for the embattled al-Assad, Westerwelle said the issue would be raised during upcoming Geneva peace talks.
“Some still believe in the military solution. I don’t believe this. The result of a military solution is a lot of terrorism and smaller states. This terror will threaten Turkey and Central Europe. This is my utmost concern. We see the examples in Iraq,” he said.
Celal Özcan and Tuncay Yıldırım from Hürriyet Germany office contributed this report.