Syria rebels, regime blame each other for first alleged chemical weapons attack


#1

Syria rebels, regime blame each other for first alleged chemical weapons attack
CBS/AP
March 19, 2013, 8:01 AM

DAMASCUS, Syria The Syrian government accused rebels of firing a chemical weapon for the first time on Tuesday in the north of the country, killing at least 25 people in the war-torn Aleppo province. Rebels quickly denied the report and accused regime forces of firing a chemical weapon on a long-range missile.

Neither of the accusations could immediately be verified, and a chemical weapons expert in the U.K. told CBSNews.com there was very little evidence to suggest any actual chemical weapons had been deployed. A U.S. official, speaking anonymously to the Associated Press, also said there was no evidence of a chemical attack. Also expressing doubts was the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which reported no independent information of chemical weapons use.

FWIW. I view both sides as pretty much equally capable of doing such a thing or making up such a lie.


#2

I do not believe the regime is desperate enough yet to use chemical weapons as that would give a reason for intervention even without UNSC approval. And this news is coming just as NATO makes plans for intervention in Syria.

Nato draws up contingency plan for military action in Syria | The Times

I wouldn’t for a second doubt that a radical Islamist faction of the rebels would do it, as the regime would end up being blamed in any case by everyone but RT, SANA and PressTV

Not going to put my tinfoil hat on but I wouldn’t be surprised if a 3rd party is involved, whether the attack is real or fabricated.


#3

Syria chemical weapons: finger pointed at jihadists
By Alex Thomson, Chief Correspondent
Channel 4 News (UK)
6:18PM GMT 23 Mar 2013

However a senior source close to the Syrian Army has given Channel 4 News the first clear account of what he claims is believed to have occurred on Tuesday. He is a trusted and hitherto reliable source who does not wish to be identified.

The Syrian military is said to believe that a home-made locally-manufactured rocket was fired, containing a form of chlorine known as CL17, easily available as a swimming pool cleaner. They claim that the warhead contained a quantity of the gas, dissolved in saline solution.

The military’s version of events is that the home-made rocket was fired at a military checkpoint situated at the entrance to the town. The immediate effects were to induce vomiting, fainting , suffocation and seizures among those in the immediate area.

However, they suspect that the victims were deliberately exposed to a “caustic” agent such as chlorine. This does not count as a chemical weapon, under terms laid down by international treaties, but as an improvised chemical device would represent a major escalation in the conflict.

IF TRUE, this illustrates that the Syria mess is a “No Good Guys” situation: monsters vs. monsters, with ordinary people who would like to lead quiet lives trapped and dying between them. And it may be that a new acronym will be joining our vocabulary: Improvised Chemical Device, ICD.