Syria and Chemical weapons

February 2024 Forums General discussion Syria and Chemical weapons

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  • #85446

    The use of Chemical weapons in Syria is big news.

     

    It could be asked why?  What is the difference between being gassed to death or having your lungs squashed by over pressue for a thousand pound bomb 200 yards away?

    Obviously, sclae is one thing.  When Saddam gassed the Kurds in Halabja, he killed around 5,000, wiping out villages.  This Idlib attack has killed around 100, compare with Allied bombing in Mosul:

    Wednesday 5 April: 119 killed

    Mosul: 64 by air strikes; 3 executed; 1 by shelling. 
    Tikrit: 35 by suicide bomber, gunfire. 
    Baghdad: 4 by IEDs; 1 body. 
    Yusufiya: 2 by IED. 
    Hawija: 3 executed. 
    Baquba: 2 policemen by IED. 
    Rutba: 4 children by shelling.

    Tuesday 4 April: 101 killed

    Mosul: 33 executed; 24 bodies found in mass grave; 14 bodies; 20 by air strike; 6 by shelling. 
    Baghdad: 2 by IEDs. 
    Tarmiya: 1 by IED. 
    Tikrit: 1 policeman by gunfire. 

    So, just as lethal.  (a side question is, what is the military rationale of such a low grade gas attack, couldn't the same target have been destroyed by bombs: other, obviously, than the terror value that has caused people to flee the area?

    The OPCW is concerned about this attack:

    https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-press-release-on-allegations-of-chemical-weapons-use-in-southern-idlib-syria/

    Their investigations have found that chemical weapons have been used by both sides in the conflict: it is credible and plausible that Assad's forces have used gas,

    The drum beat to join the war has begun again (or, rather, to intensify the war already being fought, US and British special forces are in the thatre).

    This is the 4th report of the 'Investigative mechanism'

    https://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2016/888

    Hitherto Syria has possibly used chlorine (although they claim it is terrorists who use it), Sarin is a departure…

    #126470
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Both sides have used (permitted) chemical weapons but it is not that plausible all that the Syrian government would choose now to use sarin (they are not in that desperate a position, in fact the opposite). More plausible is that it was the rebels to discredit the government, egged on or even arranged by the Turkish or some other regime that wants to escalate the war now that the government is winning. After all, they do think they have god on their side and god can do no wrong.A discussion here:http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_SYRIA_CHEMICAL_WEAPONS_ANALYSIS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-04-06-06-53-07

    #126471

    Juan Cole finds it plausible:https://www.juancole.com/2017/04/washingtons-hypocrisy-chemical.html

    Quote:
    Iraq used chemical weapons for the same reason that the Syrian army does. They are deployed to level the playing field in the face of superior manpower on the other side. Saddam Hussein had a country of 16 million and invaded a country of some 40 million. US military doctrine of the time was you should only invade at a ratio of 3 to 1. So Saddam would have needed a country of 120 million to invade Iran. Needless to say, he lost the war very badly after an initial lightning invasion, since Iran could always over time raise a much bigger army than Saddam could. Hence the use of mustard gas and sarin gas on Iranian troops at the front.Some Syrian military units have a chem team in case they face being overwhelmed by a more numerous enemy. The Syrian army was 300,000 before the war. It is at most 50,000 now. That number is not sufficient to control the whole country, though with the help of the Lebanese Hizbullah and Iraqi militias and some Afghans dragooned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, plus vigorous Russian air support, they have been able to fight off the rebels and to take most urban areas. The small number of troops means that when they fight in a rebel-held territory like Idlib Province, they are tempted to deploy chemical weapons to offset their small numbers.
    #126472
    Sympo
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    More plausible is that it was the rebels to discredit the government, egged on or even arranged by the Turkish or some other regime that wants to escalate the war now that the government is winning.

    I'm not very well read on the subject but I've gotten the impression that the other theory than the first one (i.e. that the Assad regime used chemical weapons) was that the Syrian state had bombed a chemical weapons warehouse which contained chemical weapons, i.e. the chemical disaster was accidental.Are you saying that the rebels killed their own population in order to make Assad look bad?If I am ignorant on the subject I can assure everyone that it is not intentional.

    #126473
    Dave B
    Participant

    There was an interesting article from the relatively right wing daily mail recently. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46812.htmAs I understand it there is no evidence that Assad has used chemical weapons.There is good evidence some of from western inteeligence agencies that the rebels had sarin and had been assemling these chemical weapons in Turkey and taking them into syria.   

    #126474
    Dave B
    Participant
    #126475
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Sympo wrote:
    ALB wrote:
    More plausible is that it was the rebels to discredit the government, egged on or even arranged by the Turkish or some other regime that wants to escalate the war now that the government is winning.

    I'm not very well read on the subject but I've gotten the impression that the other theory than the first one (i.e. that the Assad regime used chemical weapons) was that the Syrian state had bombed a chemical weapons warehouse which contained chemical weapons, i.e. the chemical disaster was accidental.Are you saying that the rebels killed their own population in order to make Assad look bad?If I am ignorant on the subject I can assure everyone that it is not intentional.

    That is a very old yankee trick done several times in different places using different methods  to have excuses for millitary intervention, they always has needed a secretary to go into war with others nations. They have created their own guerrilla fighters, and they have created their own fake  communists parties, they have created their own protests on the streets, they are always ready to teach democracy, law and order to others countries,  they know all the tricks.  99% of the US citizen are not aware of  why this interventions have taking place, the press prepare the road for the millitary to travel and drop the bombsThis is a just a list  of the US interventions in Latin America based on similar excuses ( the list is not updated ) Excluding Africa, and Asia. Excluding the embargos and the commerical tricks with importers and business peoples, like it is being done in Venezuela, and excluding the electoral frauds, the killing, and overthrowing  of elected presidents, forced resignations,  and kidnapping like in the case of Haiti. Al Capone is a Boy Scout, and Altar Boyhttp://www.zompist.com/latam.htmlhttps://www.yachana.org/teaching/resources/interventions.htmlThe goverment of Syria does not need to do that now when they are in a winning position, and they need the support of the Syrian at the present,,  and they have the backing of a powerful capitalist country like Russia, coincidentally that action takes place when  a summit for the peace talk of the Syrian goverment was going to be effected in Europe,  the Arabians are not so fool as they want to be presented by the Western media. The intention of the USA is to do the same thing that they wanted  to do in Iraq which is to splitt the territory in ethnical groups, and continue making profits from the blood and the sweat of the peoples of the middle east, the Soviets and the US were expert slicing countries in two or three nations at the same time from the same piece of land, like the case of the Great Colombian and Panama.The so called White Helmets, and moderate rebels are their secretary, like the so called Peace Corps volunteer which were in the CIA payrol,  spies  working for humanitarian aids and civil rights, and the so called Blue helmest have  been used for their dirty tricks, and the OAE, they have a new Condoleeza Rice and Collin Powell in the United Nation looking for Weapon of Mass Destruction, but they also had in their arsenals ( and the Russian ) chemical weapons in large quantities, and 10,000 atomic bombs. North Korea compared to the USA, they only have Christmas fireworks, and they are already saying that they have long range missiles which is not true either.Donald Trump is surrounded by a millitary junta, and he would be forced to establish more millitary interventions in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, they already removed one of his appointee because that is a millitary post, and the recommendation was made by a General from the Pentagon, in politic it is called Palace Coup. 

    #126476
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    The propaganda war is always an active war. We witnessed that with the condemnation of Russian bombing of Aleppo and the white-washing of the similar civilian casualties in Mosul. And, naturally, the UK is complicity silent on the Saudi Arabian war in Yemen.I'm on the fence about who did it.I doubt it was sarin and if it is proved to be then the Russian explanation is strengthenedBut if it isn't and some other chemical agent is likely, it is possible it is Assad.Just have to wait and judge our "trust" in the supposed neutral scientific analysis of the samples. Many say why if they are winning is Assad risking US intervention. Like all politicians and military…winning a war quickly as possible is always an inviting strategy and Trump's election promises of reducing US involvement in the Syrian civil war may have been taken seriously. This is a test of Trump and the red line that Obama proclaimed. UN authorisation will, of course, be vetoed by Putin. But our position is quite clear and has been already stated…All war is abhorrent and atrocities are inherent in its conduct, regardless of the types of weapon employed. A plague on both sides. Damn them all to hell…(if we were religious and if that place existed.) Our task is to explain this and counter the propaganda "hysteria" that is bound to arise if US do intervene. Otherwise, it is simply "business as usual" for the protagonists in Syria.

    #126477
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    In what side of the fence are you know ? It looks like you do not know the Yankees. They are already dropping bombs 

    #126478
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Marcos, i am well aware of the US bombing and also know that they have ground-troops actually fighting in Syria.We could construct a list of those fighting in the Syrian civil-war, Turkey, Iran, Lebanese, IsraeliBut we must not simply espouse anti-Americanism.The Russians, as well you know, have reason to side with Assad. Other players are neighbouring countries with a vested interest also in who ultimately controls Syria.If it proves to be sarin (which i doubt) the Russian account that it was a side-effect of a chemical weapon factory being blown up simply does not stand up to scrutiny But the identity of the chemical agent is still to be clarified. Both government and rebels have used chlorine.But really what i am saying is it matters little who is the culprit and we cannot support an escalation of any type in the war….enough people have died and the US increasing its attacks is something we should all fear because tit for tat responses can be expected from others.   

    #126479
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Apologies Marcos..didn't see the latest news http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-3952365459 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired 

    #126480
    robbo203
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
     If it proves to be sarin (which i doubt) the Russian account that it was a side-effect of a chemical weapon factory being blown up simply does not stand up to scrutiny But the identity of the chemical agent is still to be clarified. Both government and rebels have used chlorine..   

     Just a quick technical question , Alan. Why if Sarin was involved would the Russian account be invalidated?

    #126481
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    Marcos, i am well aware of the US bombing and also know that they have ground-troops actually fighting in Syria.We could construct a list of those fighting in the Syrian civil-war, Turkey, Iran, Lebanese, IsraeliBut we must not simply espouse anti-Americanism.The Russians, as well you know, have reason to side with Assad. Other players are neighbouring countries with a vested interest also in who ultimately controls Syria.If it proves to be sarin (which i doubt) the Russian account that it was a side-effect of a chemical weapon factory being blown up simply does not stand up to scrutiny But the identity of the chemical agent is still to be clarified. Both government and rebels have used chlorine.But really what i am saying is it matters little who is the culprit and we cannot support an escalation of any type in the war….enough people have died and the US increasing its attacks is something we should all fear because tit for tat responses can be expected from others.   

    I am not  taking sides with anybody,  I am an old fox,  I just know the excuses that the USA goverment have used to invade others countries, and I knew that Trump was not going to be able to fulfill his promises, he has to follow the law of capitalism, otherwise he would be  getting another JFK a la carte.He is now in the major League, just look at Obama when he took the presidency, he  was a young man and now he looks like an old man with gray hair, whoever takes that position has to be ready and willing  to kill, the USA ruling class just need an individual to represent and defend its national and international interest, it does not make any different if he/she is black, white,mixed,  yelow or red, poor or richBannon was removed by the Pentagon because that is a millitary post, and they are the real commander in chief, even more, I think if Hillary Clinton would have been elected she would have acted quicker than him, she has more experience than him on that as it was proven in the invasion of Lybia and the assasination of Kadaffi, and during the war in Kossovo, and overthrowing Zelaya. The reality has proven that there were not any major differences betwen both of them, and his voters are going to be dissapointed. The Russians are also playing the same card for world domination

    #126482

    Guardian get a journalist on the ground:https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/06/the-dead-were-wherever-you-looked-inside-syrian-town-after-chemical-attackLooks very much like it was Assad.Trump is playing a dangerous game: has not stated war aims, and does appear to have antagonised the Russians:https://www.rt.com/news/383815-putin-us-syria-aggression/

    Quote:
    President Putin “regards the strikes as aggression against a sovereign nation,” his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, noting that the president believes the strikes were carried out “in violation of international law, and also under an invented pretext.”

    So much for the pissoir theory of history.MSF are saying chlorine and a nerve agent may have been used.Juan Cole suggesting this is a one off attack:https://www.juancole.com/2017/04/trump-intervenes-mideast.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    #126483
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    just a quick technical question , Alan. Why if Sarin was involved would the Russian account be invalidated?My understanding is that weaponised sarin is a binary weapon…the constituents are kept separate and then the delivery system combines them as sarin.From wiki "Binary chemical weapons or munitions are chemical weapons wherein the toxic agent in its active state is not contained within the weapon. Rather, the toxin is in the form of two chemical precursors, physically separated within the weapon. The precursors are designed to be significantly less toxic than the agent they make when mixed, and this allows the weapon to be transported and stored more safely than otherwise. The safety provided by binary chemical weapons is especially important for people who live near ammunition dumps. The chemical reaction takes place when the weapon is deployed."If it was sarin factory, they would not be kept as sarin per se, and the explosion would destroy the separate constituents and not produce sarin to escape into the air…I stand to be corrected…or have another scenario offered

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