SYRIA – The United Nations has chosen to use Hawk-Eye technology in Syria in order to determine when the Assad regime crosses the line in it’s crackdown on rebel forces.
The British based Hawk Eye – already used in tennis, cricket and football – will now also be deployed in the Middle East to determine the exact moment a Syria crosses the line to within a millisecond of chemical weapons being used.
If successful, the system could be rolled out to future sites of violent crackdowns.
Despite multiple reports of chemical weapons use, the U.S. remain unsure whether the Syrian Government has indeed crossed the line, prompting the use of Hawk Eye in the current conflict.
The UN began exploring the possibility of using similar technology during Darfur and then Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has been a long standing proponent.
“War crimes are fundamentally a simple occurrence in the merciless suppression of civil unrest. So, when one is committed, and we have the ability through technology to definitively know whether the transgressor crossed the line we should absolutely use it,” he said speak in last week.
However, there has been push back against the use of technologies with some countries fearing the use of Hawk Eye like systems would take the human element out of causing human suffering.
“It is all about those discussions moments after a regime may or may not have used chemical weapons on its own people,” said a Russian delegate. “Uncertainty is part of the drama, no?”
China have also voiced concerns, suggesting having to check Hawk Eye would “slow down the pace at which a country’s civil war descends into utter and irreversible chaos.”
‘War will remain the same’
UN officials have stressed the technology would only be used to determine whether war crimes had been committed, not lesser atrocities such as the shelling of homes.
Addressing concerns, inventor Paul Hawkins added: “It will not slow a civil war down. In under a second we will provide the information, then afterwards we will show a replay that will definitively prove whether one side or the other has committed unspeakable crimes against humanity.”
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the introduction of the technology as “momentous” and reminded delegates that when it came to knowing whether a violently oppressive dictatorship hell-bent on crushing any opposition to total rule, “we have to know the moment that dictatorship crosses the line.”
“It’s as simple as that.”