United Nations report to confirm Assad used chemical weapons

The United Nations will release a report on Friday confirming U.S. claims that Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons in an Aug. 21 attack, according to a Bloomberg report.

Speaking at a U.N. forum in New York, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Assad had “committed many crimes against humanity” and insisted that he must be held accountable when the Syrian civil war is over.

U.N. inspectors have been investigating an attack that the U.S. says killed at least 1,400 people, including women and children. Assad claims that rebel forces opposing his regime are the ones who used chemical weapons against his soldiers.

The White House has cited U.N. Security Council “paralysis” as a primary reason it pursued a unilateral strike against the Assad regime. Ban on Friday said he was “very much troubled” by the “failure” of the council to respond to the ongoing violence in the country.

The White House has repeatedly stressed that the U.S. has been forced into acting on its own because the U.N. was powerless in the face of opposition from Russia and China, both of whom have veto power on the Security Council.

The U.N. report may put the pressure back on Russia and Syria to pursue a peaceful solution, as both countries have adamantly denied that Assad has used chemical weapons on his people.

On Wednesday, Assad signed a legal document saying he would comply with an international ban on using chemical weapons. However, the trickier aspect of a potential diplomatic agreement between the U.S., Russia and Syria requires Assad to relinquish his chemical weapons stockpiles.