War is an outcome of multiple reasons starting from difference in ideology to the thirst and greed of being powerful. The world has witnessed multiple wars which caused massive destruction and loss of life. Be it the World War 1 or the Syrian Civil war, a thing common in them is that they are a reason of death of innocent individuals. One thing that becomes important here is to identify the dead as well as the cause henceforth with the advancement in field of forensics this identification becomes much easier. This write-up puts light on two major catastrophic events that took place in this world which are the World War 2 and the Syrian Civil War and how forensics broadcasted and promulgated innumerable facts which were ignored, veiled and unrevealed.
“Forensics Science is used to predict not the future but the past “– Henry C. Lee
This quote holds true when forensics started it’s investigation and study of the World War 2 and the Fosse Ardeatine Massacre which comes with a number of doubts in identification of who died during this historical event. It is well known that Nazi soldiers slaughtered 335 Italian political prisoners and civilians in Rome widely known as the Ardeatine Massacre. Some of the bodies were identified at that time but there were dozen bodies which were studied recently (almost after 65 years) due to the advancement of forensics and by DNA testing where Y-STRs, mtDNA and autosomal DNA were studied and analysed. With the help of the journal ‘Science & Justice’ the world came to know that researchers studied the 12 unrecognized bodies and cracked the potential names of 10 men. This way forensics contributed in knowing and revealing the unknowns of the war in the past.
“Your secret is your prisoner; once you reveal it, you become its slave.”- Solomon Ibn Gabirol
This quote holds true in the case of the President of Syria Bashar –Al Assad where he officially never commits of using defensive chemical weaponry but science has something else to offer which makes him a culprit and slave of his actions. Due to the chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of Damascus it was seen that hundreds of people died in the Ghouta region. The information of which chemical led to death of these innocents was provided in a remarkable way by the forensics and unmasked the Syrian President in front of the world. The team of the UN studied numerous tissues from a female victim in the special labs authorized by OPCW in Netherlands and Germany. After use of diverse modern spectrometry, the nerve agent Sarin was detected including the hydrolysis product O-isopropyl methylphosphonic acid. Hence the bio-analytical study revealed poisoning of Syrian’s with sarin.
This explains us that no matter how old or concealed the evidence is, if forensics analysis is run on it then no doubts are left behind and almost nothing goes out of sight.
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