Author Topic: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare  (Read 31462 times)

von

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2013, 01:05:51 am »
Well, they've managed to destroy the minaret of the Great Mosque of Aleppo, which was built in 1090 CE.

Well done, lads.

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It sucks that so much history is destroyed in war...this reminds me of the situation faced by the Ziggurat of Ur, an iraqi monument dating to the 21st century BC...due to all of the wars there, it's sustained small arms fire and has had its foundation shaken by explosions.

Junkenstein

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2013, 03:50:15 pm »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22360351

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The head of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has declared that Syria has real friends who will not let it fall to the US, Israel or Islamic radicals.

Hassan Nasrallah said Syria's opposition was too weak to bring down Bashar al-Assad's regime militarily.

He was speaking in an address broadcast on Hezbollah's TV station al-Manar.

BBC Arab affairs analyst Sebastian Usher says the speech tacitly confirmed the group has been involved in fighting in neighbouring Syria.

The Syrian opposition has long claimed the Iranian-backed Shia movement has been supplying fighters to help Mr Assad, a key Hezbollah backer.

"A large number [of rebels] were preparing to capture villages inhabited by Lebanese... so it was normal to offer every possible and necessary aid to help the Syrian army," Mr Nasrallah was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

The Hezbollah leader said it had never hidden its martyrs, but that reports that large numbers of its fighters had been killed were lies.

While unrelated, I'd guess this indicates that shit is going to get much more complicated here. Any one of these groups with access to WMD's is an interesting prospect. I wonder which country will be the first to have syrian weapons used there? I mean after Israel.
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Cain

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2013, 04:13:11 pm »
Syrian weapons have been flowing into Lebanon for years.  Syria believes (not without some historical support) that Lebanon forms a part of "Greater Syria" and so should naturally fall under their control.

As I'm sure you know, Hezbollah was formed in order to drive Israel out of Lebanon.  This was a motive that could only help Syria.  And Hezbollah also know that the forces arranged against the Assad regime are driven mostly by Sunni fundamentalism.  Given they are Shi'ites, and the recent tensions in the Middle East between the two (lots of conspiracy theories, claims that Shiites are not "real Muslims", that they conspire with the USA and the "Zionists" to destroy Islam)...well, they're not going to let an ally fall if possible.

I would actually consider Hezbollah obtaining some of Syria's chemical weapons to be a "less bad" scenario than some others I can think of.  Hezbollah is well developed enough politically and militarily that I don't forsee them using such weapons offensively - in fact, their leaders are probably savvy enough to consider not obtaining them at all.  They didn't need them to give Israel a black eye in the 2006 war, and they pay enough attention to Western opinion to know what "Muslims with WMDs" look like to the Western press.  Obtaining such weapons would probably mean EU sanctions on their political wing, which would be a huge blow to their organization.

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2013, 04:33:39 pm »
It really does say something when Hezbollah are looking like the safest pair of hands.

I hadn't thought the PR of obtaining WMD's through properly. I was working under the assumption that if it's lying around, someone will grab it. Who someone is still seems to be determined. Do you think the leadership will be able to get this thinking to the organisation at large? Seems like the kind of thing that could set off a splinter group fairly quickly.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2013, 04:37:02 pm »
Also: More booms

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22351172

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At least 13 people have been killed and many more injured by a powerful explosion in Syria's capital, Damascus, state media and activists say.

A bomb is believed to have been detonated in a square in the central district of Marjeh. Civilians and security personnel are among the dead.

Sporadic gunfire was heard in the area after the blast.

On Monday, Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi survived a car bomb attack, which had targeted his convoy in the capital.

The latest violence comes amid allegations that the Syrian authorities may have used chemical weapons against rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

US President Barack Obama has said their use would be a "game changer" - and on Tuesday he insisted facts needed to be established before the US would rethink "the range of options available" for action.

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Government forces and rebels have been fighting in and around Damascus for months, but neither have gained the upper hand.

Monday's blast targeting the prime minister was the latest bombing inside government-controlled areas of the capital.

The car bomb exploded as his convoy passed through the Mezzeh neighbourhood, reportedly killing a number of people, including Mr Halqi's bodyguard.

So far no group has said they carried out the latest bombings.

But they do not appear to carry the hallmarks of attacks linked to the Free Syrian Army or the jihadist al-Nusra Front, one of the most prominent rebel groups, our correspondent says.

This is in addition to the one on Monday where the PM was targeted.

This has not been a good week to be a global figure.
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Cain

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2013, 04:42:11 pm »
It really does say something when Hezbollah are looking like the safest pair of hands.

I hadn't thought the PR of obtaining WMD's through properly. I was working under the assumption that if it's lying around, someone will grab it. Who someone is still seems to be determined. Do you think the leadership will be able to get this thinking to the organisation at large? Seems like the kind of thing that could set off a splinter group fairly quickly.

Hezbollah run a very tight ship.  They're not called a state within a state for nothing.  Both militarily and politically, organization and discipline are hallmarks of the group.  They are also impressively far-sighted when it comes to their own survival.

Cain

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2013, 03:12:16 pm »
The "evidence is really flakey".  Wow, you needed an intelligence outfit to tell you that?  I could have told you that just from reading the papers.

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Israel-may-be-behind-Syrian-chemical-weapons-use-312051

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A former senior official in the Bush administration said on Thursday the use of chemical weapons in Syria might have been a “false flag operation” of Israel, meant to implicate Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“We don’t know what the chain of custody is. This could’ve been an Israeli false flag operation, it could’ve been an opposition in Syria… or it could’ve been an actual use by Bashar Assad. But we certainly don’t know with the evidence we’ve been given. And what I’m hearing from the intelligence community is that that evidence is really flakey,” retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, told Cenk Uygur in an interview with Current TV.

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2013, 10:30:04 pm »
More:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22428496

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The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria has sought to distance itself from comments made by one of its members that there was evidence of the nerve gas sarin being used by rebels.

Carla Del Ponte said testimony from victims and doctors had given rise to "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof".

But the commission stressed that it had not reached any "conclusive findings".

The US said it had no information to suggest rebel fighters had used sarin.

In recent weeks, Western powers have said their own investigations have found evidence that government forces have used chemical weapons.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2013, 10:32:26 pm »
Same article:

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n a separate development on Monday, two rockets fired from Syria exploded on the Israel-occupied Golan Heights, without causing casualties or damage, the Israeli army said.

The rocket-fire came amid heightened tensions following a series of Israeli air strikes on targets in southern Syria on Friday and Sunday.

Israeli security sources said Sunday's attacks were aimed at preventing the transfer of advanced Iranian-made missiles to the Shia Islamist movement, Hezbollah, in neighbouring Lebanon.

Syria's government acknowledged that military installations were hit at three different locations between Damascus and the Lebanese border. TV footage of the aftermath showed huge destruction, and unofficial estimates put the number of Syrian soldiers killed at between 40 and 300.

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Cain

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2013, 02:15:49 am »
Thanks to Jonathan Schwarz for this reminder:

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The U.S. State Department said both Iran and Iraq had used poison gas in the fighting around Halabja and called on both nations to desist immediately.

"This incident appears to be a particularly grave violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol banning chemical weapons. There are indications that Iran may also have used chemical artillery shells in this fighting," department spokesman Charles Redman said in Washington.

He declined, however, to say what evidence the United States had to implicate the Iranians.

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2013, 08:08:56 am »
Yeah, I think we have entered an All Bets Off era.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Junkenstein

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2013, 02:12:47 pm »
Yet more:
http://www.thetower.org/exclusive-assad-green-lights-palestinian-operations-against-israel-on-the-golan-heights-threatens-missile-attacks-syrian-tv/

Quote
Two mortar shells struck Israel’s Golan Heights on Monday in the early evening local time. Though the IDF described the mortars as accidental spillover from fighting across the border in Syria, they are bound to deepen fears of escalating violence in the region.

On Friday and Sunday Israel reportedly struck Iranian and Hezbollah assets based in Syria. The Israelis have subsequently made extensive efforts to dampen tensions – IAF jets had conducted the air strikes from Lebanese air space, staying out of Syria – but nonetheless Damascus has been signaling that it may escalate the situation.

Most pointedly, Syrian state TV announced today that President Bashar al-Assad was activating Palestinian groups to retaliate against Israel.

Al-Ikhbariya announced that the government had given a green light to Palestinian groups to conduct “operations” against Israeli targets on the Golan Heights. Hezbollah-linked media, meanwhile, reported that Lebanon and Syria had established “popular committees” ready to fight Israel in the region.

The Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al Rai, quoting sources close to Assad, reported that the Syrian leader had used Russian backchannels to tell the Israelis that Damascus would react if Israel struck Syria again. Syria, they said, would consider any such act a declaration of war and would contemplate firing surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles at Israel.

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Cain

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2013, 02:29:40 pm »
The Israelis could crush Assad's regime, if they wanted.

But they don't want that.  Far worse than Hamas are the radical Sunni groups with a declared alleigance to Al-Qaeda, who would be empowered in the event of a rebel victory in Syria.

Instead, what they're doing here is keeping things at a boil.  Prolonging the conflict, rather than concluding it.  It's hardly a long-term strategic pose, but I suppose it does have the added benefit that whoever wins in Syria will be too exhausted and weak to counter Israeli strategic goals.

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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2013, 03:05:49 pm »
That makes a lot of sense. It would also give reasonable grounds for demanding X land as reparations. If it drags out long enough whatever government is inevitably installed may just have the diktat to surrender it.

The international community seems to be taking a similar stance. Don't help, don't hinder just observe. Guess movement on that front will only happen quickly with solid confirmation of use of WMD's?
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Re: Syria reported to have use Chemical Warfare
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2013, 08:42:24 pm »
On the flip side of that, wouldn't it make sense for Assad to provoke Israel? Might he be betting on regional solidarity against an overt Israeli attack as a means to combat the internal pressures currently upon him?
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