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.