Two developments of note this lunchtime. The Joint Intelligence Committee has published its conclusions on the use of chemical weapons in Syria:
“We have assessed previously that the Syrian regime used lethal CW on 14 occasions from 2012. This judgement was made with the highest possible level of certainty. The JIC has therefore concluded that there are no plausible alternative scenarios to regime responsibility [for latest attacks]. The JIC concluded that it is highly likely that the regime was responsible for the CW attacks on 21 August.”
While the government has outlined its legal position:
“The UK is seeking a resolution of the United Nations Security Council under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations which would condemn the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian authorities; demand that the Syrian authorities strictly observe their obligations under international law and previous Security Council resolutions, including ceasing all use of chemical weapons; and authorise member states, among other things, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians in Syria from the use of chemical weapons and prevent any future use of Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons; and refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.
If action in the Security Council is blocked, the UK would still be permitted under international law to take exceptional measures in order to alleviate the scale of the overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe in Syria by deterring and disrupting the further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.”
For once, not announced on Twitter…