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Syrian Rebels Gas Civilians

chemical weapons

Evidence is emerging that in Syria chemical weapons were not used by forces of the Assad government, but by rebel units seeking to trick the Americans into military strikes against the Assad regime, blaming it for breaching President Obama’s so-called “red line” against use of such weapons.

According to a long and detailed report published in the London Review of Books, the nerve-gas attacks last year on civilian populations were carried out by anti-Assad forces sponsored and supported by the Turkish army.

  • In March the first gas attack took place at Khan Al-Assal, a village near Aleppo. To United Nations’ investigators “it was clear that the rebels” – not the army – “used the gas,” but that “did not come out in public – because no one wanted to know.”
  • In May members of the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction, were arrested by police in Southern Turkey and found to have in their possession several kilograms of deadly Sarin. “The American and British intelligence communities had been aware since the spring of 2013 that some rebel units in Syria were developing chemical weapons.”
  • In August nerve gas was used to kill civilians in Ghouta, a Damascus suburb. British intelligence obtained a sample of the Sarin used in the attack. Analysis at the UK’s Porton Down military research centre showed that it had not originated in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal. The US was informed, making clear it was being “set up” by anti-Assad forces.
  • The US joint chiefs of staff “knew that the Obama administration’s public claims that only the Syrian army had access to Sarin were wrong.” They opposed the planned military strike against Syria, telling the White House that it would be “an unjustified act of aggression.”

That’s why Obama made the extraordinary last-minute decision to ask Congress for approval for such a strike, knowing it would not be forthcoming; and why within days he was willing to agree to a deal with Russia about removing chemical weapons from Syria.

CopyRight – OnTarget 2014 by Martin Spring

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