Skip to comments.Chemical warfare in Syria: who and why?
Posted on 08/27/2013 9:15:31 AM PDT by mojito
There is a reason to be cautious. Both sides in the Syrian civil war have committed atrocities and both sides have misrepresented photos and falsified reports. But the burden appears to be on the governments side.
Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), which is above partisanship as well as devoted to saving lives, has reported that the hospitals it supports in Damascus have treated thousands of victims for neuro-toxicity. Their reports say that the symptoms are a result of the presence of Sarin gas.
A former British Army chemical weapons expert says that the scale of the attack, the numbers affected and the consistency of symptoms observed on videos provided to world media by opposition websites is a staggering enterprise. The expert emphasised that it is difficult to imagine that rebel forces would have the resources to have undertaken a fraudulent staging of the dead and the wounded.
Sarin gas kills and disappears quickly. If the Syrian Army did not launch this attack and it was the fault of the rebels, then why didnt the Syrian regime allow, indeed encourage, the U.N. inspectors, staying in a hotel only an estimated 15 minute drive from the massacre, to go to the site last Wednesday instead of delaying permission? Whats more, immediately after the alleged chemical weapons attack took place, the Syrian Army launched an offensive and heavily shelled the area.
So if it is reasonable to assume that this attack was carried out by an artillery unit of the Syrian Army, the puzzling question is why?
(Excerpt) Read more at english.alarabiya.net ...
Interesting analysis from an "inside" perspective: the kind you won't find in the US media.
A well reasoned article as opposed to the World Nut Daily garbage.
Give me 2 minutes to disprove that one.
Apparently the UN isn’t there to find out who, they’re there to find out if they were used and we can blame someone by consensus.
Peole are acting like using chemical weapons are AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE worse than;
Rape, dismemberment, horrible torture, applying the above to your enemys family, etc. etc. etc.
All of which have been going on in Syria for decades.
I think putting chemicals in a special class is a hangover from the WWI horrors.
Maybe it wasn't 'fraudulent staging'. Maybe it was the real thing. Several hundred dead Mexicans say that the Obama administration isn't above expending a few innocents to 'stage' a basis for their bolshevik policies.
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ideas-innovations/The-Big-Dilemma-Facing-Doctors-Without-Borders-199042661.html#ixzz2dBgswe9j Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
"Achmed, get more ammunition, we must continue shelling." "Yes, sir but we are out of the HE rounds, I had to use those blue-marked ones for the last volley." "YOU WHAT??? NO ONE is supposed to fire the blue rounds without orders from the top. Oh, Achmed, what have you done?"
The so-called “rebels” have a stronger motive for gassing their own people and saying Assad did it, than Assad has for using the weapons at a time when his forces have made significant military gains and when the use of chemical weapons threatens to bring an international response.
However, as the article states, if Assad didn't use the weapons, why hinder the access of UN personnel to the attack site, which the Assad regime undoubtedly has?
From the article: “So if it is reasonable to assume that this attack was carried out by an artillery unit of the Syrian Army, the puzzling question is why?”
Surely any assumption would have at it’s base a reasonable theory as to why and that assumption would also take into account who would it favor to have the US believe that the Syrian Army did this. Now they may be playing the old double bluff but I think they Syrian government has more to lose than to gain from the use of such weapons.
Because of The Idiot-in-Chief the rebels have more to gain from using them and convincing the world that the government did. Either way Obama paved the way for this to happen - he should be thrown in jail for stupidity and incompetence beyond belief!
Why? Al Qaeda knows 0bama is on their side and will bomb Assad for them.
an Islamic council in the rebel head portion of Aleppo outlawed the croissant as anti-Islamic. This is because it was allegedly created by Viennese bakers to celebrate the failure of the first Ottoman siege of Vienna some five or so centuries ago.
FIVE HUNDRED YEARS go by and they do this petty thing. Tell me that Muslims aren't stuck in the dark ages.
If I were Assad, I would worry that the order of events would go like this:
Monday -- western observers type up the report indicating that Assad is guilty of war crimes.
Tuesday -- western observers tour the site where chemical weapons may have been used.
Wednesday -- western observers mail the report they typed on Monday.
Leaders like Assad are paranoid, and they probably have good reason to be paranoid.
Because the government quickly realized they been had and there was no way to turn the consensus around regardless of whether the inspectors visited or not.
I did a ton of research and reading all night last night (couldnt sleep after job searching) on the use of Sarin. Hopefully I wont get a visit from the Feds!
Sarin is not easily stored. It breaks down pretty quickly so it often stored in a form that requires mixing to be “reactivated” for weapons use. It either has to be mixed by someone trained or it is stored in a binary, or split, configuration. In binary form, the chemical agent will be in seperate compartments inside a round or warhead that is mixed after be fired. We believe that Syria has stockpiles of both Sarin and Mustard.
Sarin being a nerve agent, it causes convulsions, vomiting, spasms, and pinpoint pupils. Some of the victims do show these symptoms. None of the symptoms match mustard gas. Sarin, deployed in an artillery shell and detonated, will sink to the lowest parts of the room. Clothing can remain toxic for up to thirty minutes. Any first responders will HAVE to have protection. Further infection can be caused by both skin contact and breathing in the vapors. Sarin doesnt really spread far and wont remain active for more than an hour or two at the most.
If this town was shelled by both conventenial and chemical weapons, it could explain why people stayed in their homes rather than got the heck out. Being in their homes or closed spaces will represent the greatest risk of infection.
It is still way too early to tell who launched this attack. It is absolutely possible that the FSA has defectors that can use this stuff. It is also possible that the FSA had access to prepared, binary rounds.
I’m not an expert, just highly interested and none of the news media is digging in and providing much info on Sarin. I tried to find pictures of chemical attacks and Iraq / Iran came up alot. Lots of dead in the streets like they were trying to get away. Bodies were too decomposed to tell anything so the pics werent much help. Didnt help me sleep either.
They’re still upset about Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael aren’t they?
So, the Arab world gets fed up with the rebels, start turning against them, and the next thing you know, Assad, who would not want to injure that increasing rejection of the rebels, decides to launch a chemical attack against those rebels, thereby killing the momentum against the rebels, the exact opposite of what was in his best interests.
“The so-called rebels have a stronger motive for gassing their own people and saying Assad did it, than Assad has for using the weapons at a time when his forces have made significant military gains and when the use of chemical weapons threatens to bring an international response.”
Bingo! I don’t Asshat er Assad had anything to do with it.
Good post. Thanks for the info.
*don’t think he had anything to do with it.
At no point during any interview I have seen with Assad (a handful maybe) have I ever thought I was hearing from the guy who was actually in charge.
drunknsage: Thank you for your report [and God speed in finding a job, a “perfect” job].
Pinging to the interesting thread article and #16 and #7 for background info. Thank you for all of the pings. So much to read, I am working myself backwards in the time I have to catch up.
Thank you for your post and research!
Not only is the article well reasoned, its author is educated and at least as well informed as anybody outside of Syria.
Still, I think he discounted the probability that it was a false flag attack overmuch. In his ultimate sentence, he speculates that an overzealous Syrian Army artillery officer launched the VX gas canisters. Even so, it may have an officer with terrorist sympathies creating an even better false flag attack.
Paranoid? Yes. But as the article indicates, a gas attack does not serve Assad’s interests. And we’re talking about the Middle East.
Obama accuses Assad. Assad denies. When two pathological liars make mutually contradictory statements of this nature, who do you believe? It seems more rational to believe the version that comports with the interests of the actors. Obama needs a diversion from his scandals. Assad does not need America to make a kinetic military response for crossing a red line; he has enough trouble.
Don’t forget, it was Sarah’s idea for Abraham to take Hagar to give him a son.
I think one must remember that, as in the past, chemical weapons are used to instill fear more than do damage to the enemy. Also, why would Assad assume we’re going to do anything now when we haven’t up until this point?
There’s always a woman behind everything.
The second observation: if the weapons are so controlled, under control rather than just sitting on a shelf for anyone to arbitrarily use, this wasn't some rogue attack, why would Assad use them on civilian targets rather than hitting a rebel stronghold at known location?
Final observation, REGARDLESS,what the hell does this have to do with US interests?
Interesting article. Thanks for posting. One other theory would be that the Syrian military had chemical weapons as a just in case, though they planned to use them only as an absolute last resort, because the repercussions would likely be fatal to the regime.
They obviously didn’t want anyone to know that they were keeping them at all.
If you were the rebels and you had access to the internet, you would know that your best chance of becoming the new power in Syria would be to somehow get the government to use the weapons.
So you try to force a small unit that you know has the weapons into a no-win situation where they will use them, but you fail repeatedly.
Then you go for plan B:
The next time a Syrian army officer offers to defect (and there have been plenty of army defections) , you say: stay right where you are, get access to the chemical weapons, fire off a few rounds into a civilian area, and THEN defect. By doing so you will bring the same coalition that toppled Ghaddafi to topple Assad.
Now imagine you are the Syrian regime reacting to this scenario. The situation on the ground is a mess, the defector (or defectors) has deliberately muddled your understanding of what actually happened there, and so you think a rogue commander or two used your ‘final resort’ weapon because his unit was being overrun, even though you had given them explicit orders not to.
You don’t want the UN to find out that you were even keeping the last resort weapons, and you definitely don’t want them to discover what the rogue unit has done (because you know how the UN/NATO will react) so you close off the area until you can figure out what happened. A few days later, you still don’t really know what happened but your continued blockage of the inspectors is becoming the equivalent of a guilty plea, so you let them in.
Regardless, the question that Obama does not answer is what specifically does this have to do with US interests?
Obama funded the rebels, has publicly cheered the rebels efforts and called for regime change. AND NOW claims that the instability he helped create is one reason to go in?
This is just another Egypt & Libya, an effort to support the spread of Islam. Obama isn't fooling me.
It gives the UN personnel the opportunity to say they were on site before they lie? False credibility?
Agree. None of this has anything to do with US interests.
My post is just a hypothesis to explain the topic of the article which is: why would Assad use chemical weapons when he certainly knew that the cost to his administration (US/NATO etc) would vastly outweigh the “benefit” (a few hundred civilian opponents maimed and dead — a result he achieved in many other places with regular weapons). But then, if he didn’t use the weapons, who did and why, and further why did his administration seem to be covering up the attack if they knew it wasn’t them.
Maybe it was staged...maybe they weren’t dead at all...I keep finding little snippets claiming these were actors.
I know you can photoshop...I know you can do all sorts of things but google up gas attack faked and look for yourselves.
I keep seeing pretty peacefull folks who don’t look like they have been in an agony of sarin.
I don’t know...but if this is a ploy by der fascist marxist to bolster his sagging numbers, I have a mighty skeptical eye.....
These “rebels” are al queda infiltrated and led in some cases...why are we piously claiming they couldn’t possibly lie?
Me no know, kemosabe....
One possible explanation is that it was a bombardment of conventional munitions from government forces which hit a rebel store of chemical weapons / chemicals. (Therefore it is feasible that neither side intended to release the chemicals at that moment.)
But it is not too far fetched to say that rebels would do it to their ‘own’ people if it suited their purpose. I remember speaking to a peacekeeper soldier returning from Bosnia one of whose tasks was to plot artillery fire coming in to a besieged town. It was obvious to him that when the besiegers let up for a couple of days then the ‘besieged’ would lob some stuff into their people to keep the heat on.
This new article completely supports my theory that this was a very sick plan by a rebel-aligned army officer:
“Last Wednesday, in the hours after a horrific chemical attack east of Damascus, an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense exchanged panicked phone calls with a leader of a chemical weapons unit, demanding answers for a nerve agent strike that killed more than 1,000 people. Those conversations were overheard by U.S. intelligence services, The Cable has learned”
This is exactly how the regime would have reacted tot he Plan B i described above.