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Chemical attack kills at least 58 in Syria; U.S. blames Assad

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By SARAH EL DEEB and ZEINA KARAM

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US get out of Syria, get out of MENA. Develop alternatives to burning so much petroleum. Stop funding and fighting wars that make oil oligarchs worldwide richer and more powerful and put the rest of us at risk of more terrorist attacks.

There are no good guys fighting in Syria.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Crimes against humanity like this need to be dealt with severely

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Only a fool would believe that Assad would bother with a cheapo Chlorine gas attack at this point in the war.

These makeshift chlorine gas bombs are made by the rebels.

They wait for an airstrike and them set them off.

“Activists” then blame the government.

SOP for the rebels.

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

Absolutely despicable and horrifying. The fog of war is thick and the information campaign on both sides is in overdrive. Unfortunately, it seems premature to say who was behind this until we have some sort of independent investigation, assuming one is even possible.

As an observer from afar, all I can do is draw conclusions from the evidence that is not in dispute. What we do know is that both the Syrian government and the rebels are manufacturing chemical weapons and have used them at different points during the conflict. We know life is cheap in Syria and civilians have been targeted or used as human sheilds by both sides. We also know that government forces are on the cusp of winning the war and the rebels are desperate for any advantage.

If we assume the Syrian government was behind this, it will have been the most reckless, unnecessary, ineffective and counterproductive attack of the entire war. It simply wouldn't make sense. If,on the otherhand, we assume the rebels are behind this, it would be equally disgusting but we could at least see some logic in their desperate strategy to hold on. Rebel support and funding comes from outside of Syria so the propaganda war (rather than actual battles on the ground) are paramount for them in a way that is not true for Assad and the government.

That said, could it have been a rogue Syrian commander looking to get one last revenge attack before the war is over? Or rather than the rebels trying to frame the government, could it have been the government attempting to frame the rebels? Anything is possible. I hope we get an independent investigation that can bring those responsible to justice (but I won't hold my breath).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The "rebels" are being defeated and desperate, so what did they do last time? Attack a bunch of civilians and blame it on the Syrian government. The source for this attack is from SOHR (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights), a rebel supporter in a basement office in Coventry, England, and "rebel (terrorists)" media in Syria, complete with a "touching" video and emotional background music. People are gonna fall for this again? The "rebels" had no problem gassing their own people last time! If the MSM is blasting this all over, that should speak for it's self. The lefty MSM needed a cover story to keep Susan Rice out of the headlines. Looks like they "found" one.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

lefty MSM needed a cover story to keep Susan Rice out of the headlines.

And they're going to play that tune till the crows come home. Spin doctors are hard at work, and it's just April!!

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

The lefty MSM needed a cover story to keep Susan Rice out of the headlines. Looks like they "found" one.

Seems about right.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Western Propaganda continues to push their agenda of destroying the Syrian government and removing Bashar al-Assad.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that this is another way the west is trying to justify a soon- to- be "removal/killing" of Bashar al-Assad.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

The lefty MSM needed a cover story to keep Susan Rice out of the headlines. Looks like they "found" one.

Well you gotta admit, gassing people with chemical weapons in this day and age will get headlines.

Actually, maybe I'm wrong. Just checked Fox News and they only have the story as a smaller article on the side. The headline is about pilots refusing to fly due to an unsafe oxygen tank, then they put an article about military budget woes right next to it to help conflate the two in the minds of conservatives.

But yeah, the chemical attack is just above the story about a python being captured in Florida. This will be a pretty big test for Trump so you'd think they'd give it more importance. I suspect an article about Clinton will pop up soon.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

But yeah, the chemical attack is just above the story about a python being captured in Florida.

LOL. I'm not surprised. This way they can say they covered it without exposing themselves to the obvious false flag.

Just curious, why did you feel the need to check FOX?

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

A very sick and inhumane evil gassing of people including many tiny helpless innocent babies who in videos are shown struggling foe their lives, bewildered and lost with people washing the gas from their faces and bodies with deaths from fragile little things.

I watched those videos with disturbing scenes and at least 50 people dead. I just wanted to throw up.

How sick anyone would use this tragic and horrific event to further their own political agenda, how low can you get to suggest it was covered by the MSM to move attention from Susan Rice. How sick others would even support that suggestion.

Russia and Assad made the gas attacks, believed to be sarin.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The following possibility also needs to be stated, just incase it is true.

SOP indeed for the Syrian government and Russians, who need to move rebels and local populations out of areas in order to recapture them and declare them 'liberated'.

They bomb from the air but local people take shelter in basements. Then they drop chlorine gas which leaks downwards into pockets where the bombs don't reach. (I've not yet heard about sarin use.) This creates mass fear and resulting population movement. Area liberated.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"US get out of Syria,"

If the US gets out, attacks like this will become a lot more common. A weak Western involvement emboldens the mass murderers, because they know they can get away with it. We saw that after Obama failed to act on his "red line" threat,-- the horror was came right out of the bag.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Actually, maybe I'm wrong. Just checked Fox News and they only have the story as a smaller article on the side. The headline is about pilots refusing to fly due to an unsafe oxygen tank, then they put an article about military budget woes right next to it to help conflate the two in the minds of conservatives.

Boy, did Obama make a big mess out of this one. The soup thickens.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The following possibility also needs to be stated, just incase it is true.

they drop chlorine gas which leaks downwards into pockets where the bombs don't reach.

I don't think this is very likely. Although chlorine gas is heavier than air, it wouldn't sink to the ground very quickly (or ever, if there's even a light breeze). It's more likely to disperse in the wind, which is exactly what people want in a chemical weapon. Otherwise, all you would need to do to avoid the effects of chlorine gas would be to keep your head above ground level (which is obviously not the case).

For a practical example, look at how tear gas/CS gas behaves. It's more than twice as heavy as chlorine with a molecular weight of 188 (compared to 70 for chlorine gas), but it still disperses in the wind rather than sinking to the ground.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How sad that people use the tragic attack with the deaths of children and babies for their personal political gain without a single mention of those victims. The videos shows the attacked victims out in the open, not hiding in basements. Some people need to man up and go and watch them.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

How sick anyone would use this tragic and horrific event to further their own political agenda, how low can you get to suggest it was covered by the MSM to move attention from Susan Rice. How sick others would even support that suggestion.

Wow, do you only watch CNN videos to get your news? It's been known for sometime that the first gas attack was not from the Syrian government, as alleged by Obama, but from the rebels. It's also been discovered that the gas was delivered to the "rebels" through Turkey. So now another gas attack, the same screaming "Assad" headlines along with some tear jerker videos and you're on, hook, line and sinker. Wake up.

The U.N. inspectors recovered only one rocket carrying sarin and it was incapable of traveling the distance that would have indicated that it was fired by the Syrian military. Then, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh reported in 2014 that intelligence officials had traced the attack to radical jihadists in apparent collaboration with Turkish intelligence. More recently, I’ve been told that U.S. intelligence now agrees with Hersh’s reporting.

Russia and Syria were bombing rebel positions and a missile factory in the area. The factory could have been storing the gas, which the Russians or Syrians would not have known.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

@bass Boy, did Obama make a big mess out of this one. The soup thickens.

Boy, did Reagan make a big a mess out of this one when he cut and ran after the 241 military personnel were killed in Lebanon as a result of his stupid decision. And then Bushes 41 and 43... They all made a rancid OILY soup out of this one. And Trump wants to make it worse?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@FizzBit

Wow, do you only watch CNN videos to get your news?

Please don't base assumptions on your own lifestyle. No! I don't even have CNN and certainly haven't watched it any time with the past 10 years at least. There are videos available on the internet taken by people there during the attack. The gas attack according to those present came from bombs dropped from the sky so only Assad and the Russians could have done it. I state again that you didn't mention a single word on the victims, I feel sorry for your lack of humanity in this.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The gas attack according to those present came from bombs dropped from the sky so only Assad and the Russians could have done it.

Exactly.

I state again that you didn't mention a single word on the victims, I feel sorry for your lack of humanity in this.

Agree with you 100%

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Russia and Assad made the gas attacks, believed to be sarin.

You may very well be correct zichi, but would you mind explaining why? That is the one piece of the puzzle that doesn't fit. I've seen the horrible videos but I can't help wonder why Assad would unleash such a horrendous atrocity to outrage the entire world and re-focus attention on Syria just days after the Whitehouse said that removing him was no longer a priority. The war was over, Assad was the winner. Why would he put it all in jeopardy now? Unless I can square that circle, I'm reluctant to draw any conclusions at this stage.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How on earth can the US work with the Syrian Govt and Russia in fighting ISIS and not care about the war crimes of their partners. The US is complicit by cooperating with Assad and Putin. “These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution,” Trump said. Actually they are consequence of the Trump's administration declaration that removing Assad is not a goal of US policy. When Assad used chemical weapons before, President Obama found a way to stop their use. Donald Trump is now president and it's his turn to do the same. Neither assuring Assad he is safe or blaming Obama for what just happened will solve this problem. Time for Trump to grow up and do his job.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The gas attacks were followed by the bombing of the clinics trying to treat the gas victims. President Trump blamed Assad.

Trump in a written statement,

These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution,

Also taking the opportunity to once again attack Obama who had previously stated “the use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line" triggering consequences”.

Trump back in 2013 in a tweet, Aug. 29, 2013 on the so-called redline

What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.

So it didn’t meet with his approval then and Trump explicitly begged Obama to back down on the red line in 2013. The approval for the bombing wasn’t forthcoming.

Senator John McCain blamed President Trump policy contributing for the violence in Syria. Trump administration went public with its policy that it would allow Syrian President Bashar Assad to stay in office in order to find an end to the conflict.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@zichi

Russia and Assad made the gas attacks, believed to be sarin

That's how MSM works: the perpetrators are already known. "They did because we said so, and because they are bad guys". How about to think logically?

@M3M3M3

If we assume the Syrian government was behind this, it will have been the most reckless, unnecessary, ineffective and counterproductive attack of the entire war.

Exellent point. It's obvious for any sane and sober man that the Syrian government and Russians slowly but surely are winning the war, winning it with conventional methods. There is no need for them to do such stupid things as using chemical weapons. To the contrary, the headcutters are losing the war, they have no way to turn the tide with conventional methods, they all failed. So? So they are ready to use unconventional, desperate methods, as they've already did, in expectation that the support from Western MSM would help them.

My guess is that the headcutters stockpiled rude chemical weapons they've made and the Syrian planes unknowingly detonated them when bombed an ammo depot.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@Asakaze

That's how MSM works: the perpetrators are already known. "They did because we said so, and because they are bad guys". How about to think logically?

I am basing my judgements from the video taken on the ground from the people there and also on the fact that the rebels have no kind of aircraft. Sarin would be very difficult for rebels to obtain or make but not for the Russians.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Sorry, but Obama made the infamous "Red Line" threat.

Didn't Obama give Assad a "Red line" ultimatum? Whatever happened with that? Assad probably laughed his *** off and he's still in power and this whole thing is so intertwined and complex, which side is the US on? Can you tell me? If he didn't want to follow through his rhetoric, he should have kept his mouth shut. but he wanted to appear somewhat tough and now this has become such a cluster.... Now it seems like we might have to get involved AGAIN in this Mideast debacle.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I am basing my judgements from the video taken on the ground from the people there and also on the fact that the rebels have no kind of aircraft.

This is key. There are NO aircraft for the opposition fighters so any air attack on ANYONE has to be the Bashar regime

Sarin would be very difficult for rebels to obtain or make but not for the Russians.

Another excellent point.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@bass4funk

not a single word from you in any of your comments about the victims of the attack just more stuff listed down on your personal political agenda and another opportunity to attack your favorite person, Obama who didn't win congress approval for his red line.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Good article from all sides, with video footage here: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/04/chemical-attack-syria-170404195457304.html

However this happened it can never be justified on a human level. Let us hope it was some horrible mistake, never to be repeated.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Zichi

Sarin would be very difficult for rebels to obtain or make but not for the Russians.

I'm no expert on this so I have no idea how difficult sarin would actually be to produce, but In 2013 the UN Syria commission member and Swiss war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte said there was evidence from victims suggesting that the rebels had been using chemical weapons, including sarin gas. I've also read a story earlier today where a Canadian professor said it was too early to tell if it was sarin since there are so many other agents that could produce similar symptoms.

According to the testimonies we have gathered, the rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas.

http://www.france24.com/en/20130506-syria-un-del-ponte-chemical-weapons-gas-rebels-assad

As far as victim accounts of the chemical attack coming from the air, this is important, but it's also not inconsistent with the Syrian account of events where they claim to have struck a rebel weapons depot (as Asakaze has detailed above). I'm taking everything with a grain of salt for now and I think we have to wait and see. There is now a draft resolution in the UN calling for UN inspectors to be allowed in to investigate the airbases and any sites that an attack may have been launched from. Even though it's still a warzone, I hope Syria and the rebels cooperate fully considering what an exceptionally horrible atrocity this is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Asakaze

I had to do some reading by what you mean by MSM

I never watch any MSM, Comcast, Walt Disney. News Corp, Times Warner, Viacom or CBS Corp. I would have to guess from that list and say probably the News Corp and Times Warner would be the two big ones when its for the news? I don’t watch any of those owned news channels and even on the entertainment sides I can’t find very much I would watch. I guess some of movies from Walt Disney.

I get my news from alternative sources also because the amount of fake news is increasing especially in the U.S. and serious articles now need some fact checking.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@zichi

I am basing my judgements from the video taken on the ground from the people there and also on the fact that the rebels have no kind of aircraft. Sarin would be very difficult for rebels to obtain or make but not for the Russians

You made several fundamental mistakes.

First, you are pinning blame already while there is still investigation, and you are pinning the blame on exremeky one-sided accounts

Second, "Believed to be sarin" does not necessary means that sarin was actually used, even in this article there are conflicting accounts on what gas was used

Third, if sarin was used, why only Russians can produce it? It can by produced by specialists from quite a number of countries with developed chemical industry. Ever heard about the 1995 sarin attack in the Tokyo subway? If a bunch of lunatics in Tokyo, with no state affiliation, could produce sarin, why it can not be produced by headcutters, who enjoy wide support from many countries and special services?

Fourth, you do not read carefully. I know that the headcutters have no planes. I wrote that they stockpiled the chemical weapons in an ammunition dump that was blown by Syrian planes.

And you did not answer the main question: why? Why Syrian government used the chemical weapons, it can win without such unnecessary desperate measures. Please think logically.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Preach Asakaze, preach!!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@bubush @fredW @ asakaze The paid Putin-philes, members of the Nashi keyboard brigade and other fizz(y) responders are here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@bubush @fredW @ asakaze The paid Putin-philes, members of the Nashi keyboard brigade and other fizz(y) responders are here.

Don't worry Townsend. We're here too

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@PTownsend

From your not very clever personal attack I presume your paid Russophobic keyboard brigade is out of logical arguments?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The entire Syrian conflict is filled with false flags. This is clearly another one. We are expected to believe that right after the US hints Assad can stay, he decides to do something this awful.

It's been known for sometime that the first gas attack was not from the Syrian government, as alleged by Obama, but from the rebels. It's also been discovered that the gas was delivered to the "rebels" through Turkey. So now another gas attack, the same screaming "Assad" headlines along with some tear jerker videos and you're on, hook, line and sinker. Wake up.

Indeed, and I remember well that after that attack, both Obama and Kerry were saying they had absolutely no doubt that it was Assad.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Trump was silent for almost 24 hours following the attack - probably trying to figure out the best way to blame Obama - then says:

These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a ‘red line’ against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing.

Pretty typical of Trump; that is, not simply to blame others for bad stuff that happens on his watch, but by reversing a long history of saying the exact opposite. For example:

We should stay the hell out of Syria, the "rebels" are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS?ZERO 9:33 AM - 16 Jun 2013

and

What I am saying is stay out of Syria. 11:00 AM - 4 Sep 2013

and

AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA - IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING 10:20 PM - 5 Sep 2013

There are more, but these give you an idea. I'm not saying that he was incorrect. The Syria conflict's complexity confounds any simple solution - or perhaps any solution at all save for letting themselves knock each other out. The point is Trump's hypocrisy, mendacity, and cowardice.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Asakaze

You made several fundamental mistakes. First, you are pinning blame already while there is still investigation, and you are pinning the blame on extremely one-sided accounts

Well yes video shot on the ground while that attack is actually happening with dead people on the ground and babies being washed down to try and save their tiny short lives and bomb attacked clinics while the victims are being treated are all very one sided from the victims themselves. I agree.

Do you think we should wait until Assad issues his video? I am “pinning the blame” which you too have already done in your above comments stating the rebels carried out the attack or the video is a fake from a basement in Britain. So you “say do as you say not as you do?”

If the attack was ariel then yes logic dictates that only Assad and the Russians have aircraft to do that and also bomb the clinics.

Second, "Believed to be sarin" does not necessary means that sarin was actually used, even in this article there are conflicting accounts on what gas was used

As the symptoms of sarin but hope someone can get a sample to analysis. My conclusions are not based on this post but actually going to find the videos and accounts from the victims and watching them. Something I guess you didn’t.

Third, you do not read carefully. I know that the headcutters have no planes. I wrote that they stockpiled the chemical weapons in an ammunition dump that was blown by Syrian planes.

In the videos the victims say from the sky you know above their heads?

And what in your four comments not a single word of humanity for the victims regardless of who is responsible for the attack? I know you post many comments on Syria in the defense of Assad and Russia, I don’t usually post any except the basing of babies really hit me hard.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

As long as people in the West believe it was Assad, the rebels will keep using the gas, killing hundreds of innocent people.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@CH3CHO

As long as people in the West believe it was Assad....

I'm not in the west and rarely even visit anymore. I'm in Japan and the videos I watched were taken by people at the attack on the ground in Syria so I suggest to you to at least watch the videos but you make your conclusion.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Well yes video shot on the ground while that attack is actually happening with dead people on the ground and babies being washed down to try and save their tiny short lives and bomb attacked clinics while the victims are being treated are all very one sided from the victims themselves. I agree. Do you think we should wait until Assad issues his video?

Exactly.

I am “pinning the blame” which you too have already done in your above comments stating the rebels carried out the attack or the video is a fake from a basement in Britain. So you “say do as you say not as you do?”

That's exactly what I was thinking. Good one on calling him out on that.

If the attack was ariel then yes logic dictates that only Assad and the Russians have aircraft to do that and also bomb the clinics.

Exactly. NONE of the rebels have planes.

In the videos the victims say from the sky you know above their heads?

LOL!

And what in your four comments not a single word of humanity for the victims regardless of who is responsible for the attack? I know you post many comments on Syria in the defense of Assad and Russia, I don’t usually post any except the basing of babies really hit me hard.

Because neither Putin, Assad, their sockpuppets at RT, or their cheerleaders here care about the syrian people.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I have to agree with Zichi about this: the number of people ignoring the victims and spouting off about mainstream media (normal news outlets rather than agenda-driven alternative news outlets) not telling the truth - why? Not a lot of empathy on display here.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Thunderb2 Not a lot of empathy on display here.

Which is to be expected from the Nashi keyboard brigade members who get paid to defend the Kremlin, and the Americans angered their great white hope president is a dope.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thunderbird2APR. 05, 2017 - 04:41PM JST

mainstream media (normal news outlets rather than agenda-driven alternative news outlets) not telling the truth - why?

Probably because US government wants to topple Assad and make a Syrian government that is more friendly to US.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@zichi

Video shot on the ground while that attack is actually happening with dead people on the ground and babies being washed down

Another mistake of yours, you confuse two different things - planes in the sky and the result of the gassing you saw on the video. It does not mean the planes dropped chemical bombs. As I've written already, the most probable cause is that crude chemical weapond were made by the headcutters and placed in a usual residental area where they exploded, killing residents of the area.

As the symptoms of sarin but hope someone can get a sample to analysis

Are you a doctor, can you determine the effects from a video? I can't, so I do not jump to conclusons and I wait for results of the investigation by medical professionals, not by agitated posters

Because thy are aiding Assad

An the headcutters are supported by the West. Turkey, Gulf monarchies, who actually helped the headcutters to produce chemical weapons and make several attacks with them.

I don’t usually post any except the basing of babies really hit me hard

It's very telling that you post such comments only when Assad can be blamed. Where was your compassion when whole pro-Assad families, with little kids, were massacred by "rebels"? There was a widely circulated youtube video of a little kid who was beheaded simply because he said something good about Assad. I do not remember your compassionate post on the subject.

And I'm still waiting for the answer to a simple question: why Assad should retort to chemical weapons while he can do it without them? Why asking for a huge scandal?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Didn't Obama give Assad a "Red line" ultimatum? Whatever happened with that?

Yeah, I guess he realized no sane person would believe it was Assad who crossed the line.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Readers, please stop bickering.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Didn't Obama give Assad a "Red line" ultimatum?

Yes, then Russia intervened and said they would remove all chemical weapons to diffuse the threat.

However, Trump is intent on pushing the Obama is at fault line.

The big question is (assuming the perpetrator is found out), what will Trump do now?

He will do absolutely nothing, aside from blaming other people.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Probably because US government wants to topple Assad and make a Syrian government that is more friendly to US.

You forgot that which shall not be named. Syria as it stands places a huge roadblock to access to European markets to sell the discovered gas in the occupied territories.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Chlorine gas is used for many things, so it should not have been on the list of bad chemicals to be destroyed.

I think if Europe and all other countries that accepted single Syrian men running away from their country back again to fight for freedom, things would be better.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"it will have been the most reckless, unnecessary, ineffective and counterproductive attack of the entire war."

Not really. The West backed down in 2013, and so they don't expect any serious backlash. The town targetted is a rebel stronghold and has been hit repeatedly by govt and Russian aircraft, and it seems they wanted to turn up the pressure for a final, devastating blow.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Boy, did Obama make a big mess out of this one. "boy did Bush`s wars fudge up the middle east, leaving a huge mess for Obama to clean up" there fixed it for you.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@JeffLee

Not really. The West backed down in 2013, and so they don't expect any serious backlash

Not really. The West did not just "backed down", there was a deal with Assad, he had to destroy his stockpiles of chemical weapons, He complied, and I doubt that he squandered his scant resources to make again militarily ineffective and politically disastrous chemical weapons. He is winning with conventional weaponry.

I defend Assad not because I love him much, but because Syria is the only secular Arab country with elected government, and everything that can replace Assad will be much, much worse, mix of Saudi Arabia with Afghanistan.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@Asakaze

Report from the Journal of Strategic Security date 2016.

http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1510&context=jss

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sincere condolences and solidarity to the families of the deceased. This a crime against humanity, 20 children, families of 72 civilians, a death toll still rising. I am reading accusations and counter claims of a release of Sarin gas from an stockpile explosion, blown up in a airstrike. Is this correct? The international community is pointing a finger directly at President Bashar al-Assad regime. Justified?

Surely then, it is time for the UN security council to table a resolution so an immediate investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon can begin, leading to criminal ICJ prosecutions. Why veto this resolution if there is nothing to hide? For such barbaric atrocities justice must be seen to be done.

Hi Asakaze, do you think all parties would agree to this resolution? You appear to be well informed about the tactical use and value of misinformation and propaganda. Also you have presented a strong and consistent defense to the involvement of Russian and Syrian government forces. Would it then, not follow from your analysis that a UN security council resolution would not confirm your suspicions?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thunderbird2APR. 05, 2017 - 04:41PM JST

mainstream media (normal news outlets rather than agenda-driven alternative news outlets) not telling the truth - why? Probably because US government wants to topple Assad and make a Syrian government that is more friendly to US.

Why did you not quote the full message - from that it looks like I am against MSMs as people put it. Not so, I'm against the alternative agenda-driven news outlets.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If even the Trump admin doesn't believe what the Assad admin says and even blamed Obama for not doing anything against Assad when he violated Obama's red line (even though Trump in 2013 tweeted for Obama not to attack Syria):

"The only reason President Obama wants to attack Syria is to save face over his very dumb RED LINE statement. Do NOT attack Syria,fix U.S.A."

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Sept. 5, 2013

Though it's not a stretch not to believe the Assad admin anyways - when Assad admin is willing to kill civilians in times of peace to preserve stability in Syria, would it be a stretch that the Assad admin is also willing to kill civilians in times of war

It's definitely not chlorine gas - a British doctor in that Syrian hospital confirmed that the victims don't smell like chlorine. It doesn't look like mustard gas, which was once used by ISIS. If it is sarin gas - that's more difficult to manufacture and weaponize due to its high volatility and toxicity - it takes a more sophisticated - that takes much more sophisticated laboratory

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@itsonlyrocknroll

Also you have presented a strong and consistent defense to the involvement of Russian and Syrian government forces

Greetings! I do that simply because the recent history (Qaddafi in Lybia, Saddam in Iraq, in 90s Najibullah in Afghanistan) teaches us (or at last those who is capable of learning) that secular dictators, however unpleasant, always better then religious fanatics who replace them.

Personally I hope that there will be a thorough, honest UN investigation of this tragedy. But I doubt that the investigation will be inpartial, the West has a strong tendency to reject anytning that does not fit its agenda. The attitude "We don't like Assad, so everything is his fault" - that's the problem.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

President Trump denounces the Russian backed Assad for the nerve gas attack which has killed small children in a brutal way. Trump called the attack reprehensible and heinous. Guess the gaps between Trump and Putin is growing wider these days.

The British Foreign Secretary rejects the Russian claim the gas attack came from rebel weapons. Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, acknowledged that Syrian planes had attacked Khan Sheikhoun.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Thank you Asakaze, I mistakenly thought you are Russian. I think because your knowledge and support of the Bashar al-Assad regime, also your resolute insistence that neither the Russian Federation or President Assad were involved or complicit with the deaths of so many civilians.

Your detailed explanations of opposition rebel activist networks alleged collusion in propagating this crime to implicate and destabilize the Syrian Government requires knowledge of events taking place on the ground. I understand the Russian media coverage is a lot more detailed and focused than western new agencies?

Certainly detailed enough to convince you to doubt that any future investigation would be impartial. It is refreshing and commendable all the same that you support a UN resolution to allow a investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon. I hope that wasn't an assumption, you mentioned a honest UN investigation, That would require a security council resolution.

Reuters wire service is quoting German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel urging Russian President Putin to support a United Nations Security Council resolution to condemn the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, Is that something you think President Putin would endorse?

I must admit I am not sure what agenda the west has in Syria. Certainly President Obama was reticent about committing military aid in the form of boots on the ground. President Trump on the other hand has a less polarized view of President Putin. Maybe that will change?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You can blame who you want but who's responsibility is it to find out who did it and punish them?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bass4funk

I'm sorry, but did I touch a nerve?

Some kind of sick joke or you really just don't know it was a nerve gas attack?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"U.S. blames Assad"

Well I blame Obama for his not had reacted to the same thing happened before which invited this now.

Like it or not America is now famous for her meaningless "red line" statements by the President.

Let's see how current President acts, especially on DPRK.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

bass4funk

So how do explain that Obama needed the approval of congress which wasn't given so what is that is it that you think Obama should have done? Should he have gone to war with the Russians and Syrians?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So how do explain that Obama needed the approval of congress which wasn't given so what is that is it that you think Obama should have done? Should he have gone to war with the Russians and Syrians?

One of the main reasons was, they didn't trust him that he would follow through with any of those threats which he didn't and why would the GOP at the time commit themselves to pushing Assad out when the man had a very long history of waffling, it would have been different if he were all the way in to get rid of this guy, but he wasn't, at least physically and again, in order to look tough in front of the country and the world, he issued that hollowed out threat. If the man didn't want to commit, fine, but if you going to make a threat, then you should follow through and he didn't just verbal rhetoric.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

the previous admin. allowed Assad to stay in power.

You realize it was Congress, not the previous administration, that said no to taking out Assange, right?

And which party was it that was in control of the congress when that decision was made?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

bass4funk

So how you have cleared up the point with Obama, what should the new president Trump do about Assad?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You realize it was Congress, not the previous administration, that said no to taking out Assange, right?

Oops, I mean Assad.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You realize it was Congress, not the previous administration, that said no to taking out Assange, right?

I just explained why that was.

And which party was it that was in control of the congress when that decision was made?

THE GOP and I already went through that as well.

So how you have cleared up the point with Obama, what should the new president Trump do about Assad?

If Trump calls for his removal, either commit troops to the cause or don't say anything and let Assad do what he wants, but don't make threats and then walk back on them.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

bass4funk

well we'll have to wait and see what kind of president Trump will be, when he says something and if does or does not see that through, like over North Korea,

declaring "the clock has now run out and all options are on the table."

Assad is backed by the Russians and North Korea by China and maybe Russia too? No room for any direct direction against Assad or North Korea unless prepared to be involved in a major war.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

THE GOP

Yep, so although you wanted to blame it on Obama, you just admitted it was your overseers who were responsible.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Bass "Now it seems like we might have to get involved AGAIN in this Mideast debacle."

You guys (Trumpers, not even going to include all of the pu$$y arsse republicans in this one) won't get involved "AGAIN". A. You don't give a rat's arse about anyone but yourselves and B. Trump wouldn't even know how to go about starting to do something about it (or anything). He can't govern (which is obvious), all he can do is blame and obfuscate. And that is not leadership. I'll give you the whole "red line" debacle being on Obama. Sure. NOW DEAL WITH IT MISTER TRUMP. Show the world how much of a better POTUS you seem to wholeheartedly believe you are. Make the world a better place already, it's been 75-days or something and you've managed to do NOTHING. NOT ONE DAMN THING to better the US or the world. Stop proving yourself to be the failure that has been evident thus far.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

bass4funk

President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon won't be playing any further in the decision making since he has been fired from the National Security Council.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So what's Trump's next move?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon won't be playing any further in the decision making since he has been fired from the National Security Council.

That was a surprising move, with no reason given. I'm wondering if they're worried about what Flynn may say, and want to limit their culpability moving forward.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yep, so although you wanted to blame it on Obama, you just admitted it was your overseers who were responsible.

No, I admitted that at that time, the GOP didn't trust Obama to follow through on any of his weak boned rhetoric and he backed off as usual, so how can the Dems put any trust in that? Makes absolutely no sense.

You guys (Trumpers, not even going to include all of the pu$$y arsse republicans in this one) won't get involved "AGAIN". A. You don't give a rat's arse about anyone but yourselves and B. Trump.

Funny, I didn't hear the left saying anything about the atrocities and how we can help these people, send food, aid or even weapons, help our allies, nothing don't give me that crap. I'm not saying conservatives have all the answers but don't insult my intelligence that liberals are the compassionate group that cares, please don't.

He can't govern (which is obvious), all he can do is blame and obfuscate. And that is not leadership.

The last admin. blamed Bush for 8 years and for everything, never was there, we screwed up on anything, I know they saw themselves as omnipotent, but they were far, far from it, but maybe if Dems would stop throwing landmines every few inches he takes a step, he could govern better.

I'll give you the whole "red line" debacle being on Obama. Sure. NOW DEAL WITH IT MISTER TRUMP.

Right, I agree 100% so if he goes full out, deal with it. I love when we can agree.

Show the world how much of a better POTUS you seem to wholeheartedly believe you are. Make the world a better place already, it's been 75-days or something and you've managed to do NOTHING.

Actually, he's done a lot and can do more if the Dems stop hogging the ball.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

No, I admitted that at that time, the GOP didn't trust Obama to follow through on any of his weak boned rhetoric

And you blamed him previously for not following through on it himself, which by your own admission is because congress refused to do it. So the blame you appropriated on Obama is actually congress' fault.

Can't have it both ways Bass. Either it should have been done, and it was Congress' fault for not doing it, or it shouldn't have been done. And you've made it clear that you think it should have been done. Therefore, it's congress' fault.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Blame and punishment are fine in their own limited way, but we must never lose sight of those common ideals or standards that the world's peoples look up to and strive for.

In order to remember these, you may need to be sick and/or helpless to experience the goodness of those with genuinely loving and caring hearts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

zichiAPR. 05, 2017 - 08:00PM JST

Report from the Journal of Strategic Security date 2016.

http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1510&context=jss

Your link says a lot about how Aum tried to procure nuclear weapon from Russia, and all failed.

(page 44)When initially pursuing a nuclear weapon, Aum considered its Russian network to be the most likely to succeed, though ultimately this avenue did not yield positive results.

It does not say anything about Russia connection with regard to AUM's chemical weapon procurement.

In the fall of 1993, Aum was able to generate 20 grams of sarin at the Krishitigalva Prefab.

It cites Smithson, “Rethinking the Lessons of Tokyo,” page 81

https://www.stimson.org/sites/default/files/file-attachments/atxchapter3_1.pdf

Only in the footnote of Smithson's on page 82, it says,

The individual who reportedly sold Aum the blueprints for the plant was the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Oleg Lobov. Kaplan and Marshall, The Cult at the End of the World, 119–20, 216, 259.

Here is the link to Kaplan and Marshall, "The Cult at the End of the World"

https://www.amazon.com/Cult-End-World-Terrifying-Doomsday/dp/0517705435

It boils down to this popular non-fiction.

I think any organization with certain mount of money can produce sarin. The rebels have the money.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

CH3CHO

I think any organization with certain mount of money can produce sarin. The rebels have the money.

The only non-state actor known to have engaged in large-scale sarin production was the Aum Shinrikyo. They invested $30 million in this endeavor which included the creation of a production facility. The precursors are neither easy to obtain nor inert. Even if the precursors are obtainable, anyone trying to make sarin in an at-home lab would face a challenge because, in many ways, the ingredients are more dangerous than the final product.

Making sarin requires a sophisticated lab.

Amy E. Smithson, a researcher on chemical and biological weapons at the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington, who investigated the Aum Shinrikyo attacks in Japan emphasized that in assessing the capacity of non-state actors to use chemical weapons there is a huge gulf between the “theoretical possibility” and the “operational reality.”

http://warincontext.org/2013/12/11/how-easy-is-it-to-make-sarin/

So it does not just boil down to anything. Building a sophisticated lab in a 5 year war zone constantly being bombed and attacked and then obtaining enough precursors does not seem any non state other than Aum could make sarin and they were not able to produce much of it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

zichi- excellent post! Agree 100%

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichiAPR. 06, 2017 - 01:28PM JST

The argument is weak.

On the other hand,

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-22424188

BBC, "UN's Del Ponte says evidence Syria rebels 'used sarin'"

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/29/chemical-weapons-found-in-mosul-in-isis-lab-say-iraqi-forces

The Guardian, "Chemical weapons found in Mosul in Isis lab, say Iraqi forces"

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

CH3CHO

The guardian does not mention sarin it said mustard gas also in Iraq and not Syria.

Carla Del Ponte told Swiss TV that there were "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof".

The fact that its very difficult to manufacture sarin and VX nerve agents and difficult to obtain the dangerous precursors and set up a complicated lab in a war zone with daily bombing and no water and power supplies and you call that weak.

But say, the rebels had sarin in the depot which was bombed by Russian and Syrian warplanes, the heat of the explosions would have burnt up the chemical agents on the ground.

I have provided you with enough facts and links, if you disagree fine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who appointed the US as the world's police to interfere with other country's affairs by invading, killing state leaders, changing regimes and destabilizing regions.??????

The world doesn't need America's corrupt export version of "freedom." The world would be a better place without it. Someone needs to stand up to this bully.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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