US believes Assad used chemical weapons on Syrians

obama warns assad over use of chemical weaponsIn a leak that could signal a crossing of President Obama’s “red line” on the increasingly deadly conflict in Syria, the State Department has investigated and concluded that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his military forces used poison gas in a deadly attack on the city of Homs last month, Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin reported Tuesday evening. Rogin, whose State sources are rarely questioned on the Foggy Bottom beat, got his his scoop from classified department cables:

The cable, signed by the U.S. consul general in Istanbul, Scott Frederic Kilner, and sent to State Department headquarters in Washington last week, outlined the results of the consulate’s investigation into reports from inside Syria that chemical weapons had been used in the city of Homs on Dec. 23.

An Obama administration official who reviewed the document, which was classified at the “secret” level, detailed its contents to The Cable. “We can’t definitely say 100 percent, but Syrian contacts made a compelling case that Agent 15 was used in Homs on Dec. 23,” the official said.

That December 23 date is significant, because on Christmas Eve there were hazy reports from Syrian rebels that “poisonous materials” had been dropped on the Western city of Homs, near the Lebanese border. This State Department cable — and Rogin’s reporting that the chemical was not Agent 15 or tear gas but definitely a chemical weapon — would seem to lend more credibility to those claims.

But big picture-wise, the chemical attack is very significant — President Obama has specifically said that the use of chemical and biological weapons would cross his “red line” in the region and perhaps affect American policy and involvement in the country. Obama stated on August 20:

We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.

Earlier Tuesday, Syrian rebels blamed Assad military jets for bombing Aleppo University, where upwards of 80 were feared dead.

 

Gove. exec

  • FreetheME

    I hope it is not the same investigation and conclusion they made when they decided to attack Iraq. With all that Bulls@@t about weapons of mass destruction. Which Btw was never found. If Obama decides to attack Syria, then WW3 will be on. Syria is no Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya. It can look after it self.

    • 5thDrawer

      ‘Look after itself’ ?? Is that what you see there ?? Really ???

      • FreetheME

        Come on 5th, almost 2 years of civil war with most of the west as well as the low life Arabs countries pumping billions of dollars into this fake revolution. And the government and army are still strong. Yes, it is what I see and yes, really. What do you see 5th, and please don’t tell me what the main stream media tells you. I think you are a bit more intelligent than that.

        • 5thDrawer

          Your assumption in the first place that ‘Syria’ is a ‘State’ in it’s collective mind is wrong.
          After many years as a successful one-family dictatorship, which included it’s use of Shabiha gangs and occasional disappearances to keep people ‘in line’, and by direct interference in Lebanon as well, I don’t know why you think the ‘revolution’ is a fake. Can you believe everyone – or even a majority – were happy in Syria? (Or Lebanon for that matter?)
          You might say, perhaps, that education was a little more secular, and more open, for that reason in recent times under Assad, and the people thus had exposure to concepts of freedom similar to others around the Mediterranean – although even the Berlin Wall couldn’t stop a desire for information about the rest of the world and about general human philosophy.
          Revolution has occurred in countries – even ‘the west’ – both because of and as a result of that human quest for knowledge.
          Once the thumbs of the dictators are lifted, however, it has been easy to see how repressed human thought and knowledge have been – and how dis-integrated ‘the people’ have been under the dictatorships – whether here or in Bosnia or Iran/Iraq/Afganistan. They never got past the ancient animosities and dictates of religions, (or tribal cultures as in Libya) and fell instantly into trying to become new dictatorships.
          Consider …
          How much different might it have been if Syria’s dictator had done what Tunisia’s did – packed his millions up and left when the people had decided they had had enough of the poverty?
          Probably not much different … Syria is ‘breaking up’ internally. Because it never ‘felt’ like a state people could belong to and grow in – unless they were part of the controlling gang.
          In the beginning (two years ago) they stated they didn’t want western aid or help. Others from the East were obviously happy to step into the fray, as we know.
          Unfortunately, perhaps the ‘revolutionaries’ felt ‘Syrian’ and wanted to win freedom within their state, and I suppose stop being the ones shot at most of the time or getting the worst jobs; but there is general unawareness of it as ‘a State’ everyone sees with a secular nationalistic pride … only as a general title over sectarian hills and dales of influence. Assad I am sure knew that … and he used it.
          Hell .. when the Shabiha can have a ‘demonstration’ for Assad and yell ‘Thugs Forever’ on the streets, you know there’s some weird sectarian stupidity going on.

          You cannot possibly say Syria is looking after itself.
          It can’t even feed itself now.
          Most of the millions you say are pumped in are an attempt to help 2.5 million refugees simply survive. Syria can’t even keep it’s bread-lines intact for children now.
          (As if bread alone is a healthy diet.)
          Measuring strength by the number of weapons in a stockpile has always been a fault of some humans, of course.
          But here perhaps I can give you a small thought on the strength of humane philosophy – and of a humanity which must eventually win out to save itself.
          Two years ago 13 children were arrested and basically butchered by ‘Syria’ the country. As a result, a few people began a revolution – which goes on – yet Syria mostly has probably forgotten the 13. Indeed ‘the strong Syria’ has only added 60,000 or so to the lists which will never be on a tombstone.
          Recently in the USA 20 children were shredded to pieces in a school by one nut-bar. The whole country stopped to mourn, and the government is reacting with what some there see as revolutionary thinking. Those children will be remembered. And I doubt there will be a war – even if the ones who still count bullets as strength won’t like the little revolution.

          • Hannibal

            Yes freeIDoNotKnowWhat answer 5th those points… I have nothing to add.

    • wargame1

      US take down the sunni leaders and install shia puppet. Bashar Al Qaeda is a Shia and his prime backer is Iran ,Hezbushaitan. So America will try to keep this regime. If they would want to overthrow this Shia Bashar then they would manufacture something like 911,WMD etc. In Syria there are enough evidence of the crime of these savage shias and it has been going on for two years already. I think you know the equation just playing stupid in order to gain some credibility on Bashar. Before the WW3 began the Bashar will be long gone along with Iranian regime and hezbushaitan.

  • FreetheME

    I hope it is not the same investigation and conclusion they made when they decided to attack Iraq. With all that Bulls@@t about weapons of mass destruction. Which Btw was never found. If Obama decides to attack Syria, then WW3 will be on. Syria is no Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya. It can look after it self.

    • 5thDrawer

      ‘Look after itself’ ?? Is that what you see there ?? Really ???

      • FreetheME

        Come on 5th, almost 2 years of civil war with most of the west as well as the low life Arabs countries pumping billions of dollars into this fake revolution. And the government and army are still strong. Yes, it is what I see and yes, really. What do you see 5th, and please don’t tell me what the main stream media tells you. I think you are a bit more intelligent than that.

        • 5thDrawer

          Your assumption in the first place that ‘Syria’ is a ‘State’ in it’s collective mind is wrong.
          After many years as a successful one-family dictatorship, which included it’s use of Shabiha gangs and occasional disappearances to keep people ‘in line’, and by direct interference in Lebanon as well, I don’t know why you think the ‘revolution’ is a fake. Can you believe everyone – or even a majority – were happy in Syria? (Or Lebanon for that matter?)
          You might say, perhaps, that education was a little more secular, and more open, for that reason in recent times under Assad, and the people thus had exposure to concepts of freedom similar to others around the Mediterranean – although even the Berlin Wall couldn’t stop a desire for information about the rest of the world and about general human philosophy.
          Revolution has occurred in countries – even ‘the west’ – both because of and as a result of that human quest for knowledge.
          Once the thumbs of the dictators are lifted, however, it has been easy to see how repressed human thought and knowledge have been – and how dis-integrated ‘the people’ have been under the dictatorships – whether here or in Bosnia or Iran/Iraq/Afganistan. They never got past the ancient animosities and dictates of religions, (or tribal cultures as in Libya) and fell instantly into trying to become new dictatorships.
          Consider …
          How much different might it have been if Syria’s dictator had done what Tunisia’s did – packed his millions up and left when the people had decided they had had enough of the poverty?
          Probably not much different … Syria is ‘breaking up’ internally. Because it never ‘felt’ like a state people could belong to and grow in – unless they were part of the controlling gang.
          In the beginning (two years ago) they stated they didn’t want western aid or help. Others from the East were obviously happy to step into the fray, as we know.
          Unfortunately, perhaps the ‘revolutionaries’ felt ‘Syrian’ and wanted to win freedom within their state, and I suppose stop being the ones shot at most of the time or getting the worst jobs; but there is general unawareness of it as ‘a State’ everyone sees with a secular nationalistic pride … only as a general title over sectarian hills and dales of influence. Assad I am sure knew that … and he used it.
          Hell .. when the Shabiha can have a ‘demonstration’ for Assad and yell ‘Thugs Forever’ on the streets, you know there’s some weird sectarian stupidity going on.

          You cannot possibly say Syria is looking after itself.
          It can’t even feed itself now.
          Most of the millions you say are pumped in are an attempt to help 2.5 million refugees simply survive. Syria can’t even keep it’s bread-lines intact for children now.
          (As if bread alone is a healthy diet.)
          Measuring strength by the number of weapons in a stockpile has always been a fault of some humans, of course.
          But here perhaps I can give you a small thought on the strength of humane philosophy – and of a humanity which must eventually win out to save itself.
          Two years ago 13 children were arrested and basically butchered by ‘Syria’ the country. As a result, a few people began a revolution – which goes on – yet Syria mostly has probably having forgotten the 13. Indeed ‘the strong Syria’ has only added 60,000 or so to the lists which will never be on a tombstone.
          Recently in the USA 20 children were shredded to pieces in a school by one nut-bar. The whole country stopped to mourn, and the government is reacting with what some there see as revolutionary thinking. Those children will be remembered. And I doubt there will be a war – even if the ones who still count bullets as strength won’t like the little revolution.

          • Hannibal

            Yes freeIDoNotKnowWhat answer 5th those points… I have nothing to add.

    • wargame1

      US take down the sunni leaders and install shia puppet. Bashar Al Qaeda is a Shia and his prime backer is Iran ,Hezbushaitan. So America will try to keep this regime. If they would want to overthrow this Shia Bashar then they would manufacture something like 911,WMD etc. In Syria there are enough evidence of the crime of these savage shias and it has been going on for two years already. I think you know the equation just playing stupid in order to gain some credibility on Bashar. Before the WW3 began the Bashar will be long gone along with Iranian regime and hezbushaitan.