WASHINGTON — The Syrian civil war is past its second year, and the United Nations has now been approved to investigate 3 specific Syrian sites for trace of chemical weapons use.
Reuters reports that the United Nations’ chemical weapons inspection team, which has waited on the sidelines during the Syrian civil war, will finally get a shot at investigating claims of chemical weapons use.
The Syrian government under dictatorial president Bashar al-Assad has agreed to let the team go investigate Khan al-Assal in the Aleppo province, which is a furious site of back-and-forth between Syrian rebels and government forces. Two other locations were not revealed to the public.
Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, has entered the civil war on the side of Assad and pushed back rebels along the Lebanon-Syria border. Syrian rebels, some of which are Islamists and linked to al-Qaeda, even assassinated a prominent rebel commander recently.
Violence has spread beyond its border, threatening to destabilize Lebanon between pro-Hezbollah and anti-Hezbollah Lebanese.
Israel and Jordan are wary of the civil war, with Israel saying it will not consider entering into the conflict. The porous border between Syria and Iraq has led to an outbreak of extreme violence in Iraq, while Turkey remains somewhat calm as the forefront of arms smuggling to Syrian rebels (but killed at least 1 civilian crossing into Syria).