Preparations for the Syrian conflict continue. The United States and Russia are on a war footing and the only group keeping the peace is the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
After receiving an invitation from Damascus, the OPCW said Wednesday its director, Ahmet Uzumcu, will soon send 10 experts to Ghouta to verify whether the government used chemical weapons in the suburb, recently recaptured by the Syrian army. But it will take at least a month, he added, to have sure lab results from the samples they collect.
Syria may not have that much time. Escalation is a reality, a recurring episode of almost identical events in the Middle East over the last two decades. Tuesday the UN Security Council staged the expected clash of vetos between Russia and the US, which have sunk each other’s resolutions. Both demanded independent investigations; Moscow wanted to call on international monitoring organizations while Washington wanted to change the way investigators were selected.