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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How the US found out Assad was using chemical weapons

For those of you who keep suggesting that maybe it was the rebels in Syria who used the chemical weapons... it wasn't (and that's not to say that they wouldn't if they had them) (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Last Wednesday, in the hours after a horrific chemical attack east of Damascus, an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense exchanged panicked phone calls with a leader of a chemical weapons unit, demanding answers for a nerve agent strike that killed more than 1,000 people. Those conversations were overheard by U.S. intelligence services, The Cable has learned. And that is the major reason why American officials now say they're certain that the attacks were the work of the Bashar al-Assad regime -- and why the U.S. military is likely to attack that regime in a matter of days.
But what the Americans don't know is who gave the orders.
But the intercept raises questions about culpability for the chemical massacre, even as it answers others: Was the attack on Aug. 21 the work of a Syrian officer overstepping his bounds? Or was the strike explicitly directed by senior members of the Assad regime? "It's unclear where control lies," one U.S. intelligence official told The Cable. "Is there just some sort of general blessing to use these things? Or are there explicit orders for each attack?" 
Nor are U.S. analysts sure of the Syrian military's rationale for launching the strike -- if it had a rationale at all. Perhaps it was a lone general putting a long-standing battle plan in motion; perhaps it was a miscalculation by the Assad government. Whatever the reason, the attack has triggered worldwide outrage, and put the Obama administration on the brink of launching a strike of its own in Syria. "We don't know exactly why it happened," the intelligence official added. "We just know it was pretty fucking stupid."
Here's the thing: They belonged to the regime and they were used. That makes the regime responsible. Again, I have little doubt that the Islamist rebels also would have used them if they had the opportunity. But they didn't.

Read the whole thing

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At 8:12 PM, Blogger Yael said...

Carl, According to this a German news magazine claims it was an IDF intercept. http://hotair.com/archives/2013/08/26/idf-intercept-shows-syrian-army-used-chemical-weapons/

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

So if these Assad people are a... what, proxy?... for Russia, why is the "world community" not calling on Russia to go take the gas shells out of there? Rather than another round of bombing that these Progressives have been complaining about for the last decades? If the Russians are the patrĂ³ns for those shells, then they should be required to repo them. Just as Obama should be required (himself, not our kids) to repo the weapons he spewed out of Libya. Or the ones he and his posse denied came out of Sadam's Iraq.


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