UN secretary-general: Plan to arm Syrian rebels 'not helpful'

Arming the Syrian rebels as President Obama is proposing “would not be helpful,” United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said Friday.

“Providing arms to either side would not address this current situation,” the U.N. secretary-general told reporters. 

“There is no military solution to this conflict,” he said. “The military path points directly to the further disintegration of the country, the destabilization of the region and inflammation of religious and communal tensions.”

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The White House said Thursday it will be providing “military assistance” to vetted rebel groups after concluding that President Bashar Assad's forces used chemical weapons against the rebels.

Ban said the U.S. mission to the U.N. shared its evidence with his office on Friday. He said only an investigation by independent U.N. experts would ensure the “validity” of reports of the use of chemical weapons, which he said would be a “crime against humanity.” 

“The validity of information on the alleged use of chemical weapons cannot be assured without convincing evidence of the chain of custody,” Ban said.

He again called on Assad to allow the investigators to allow the U.N. experts into the country.

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