Syria Gas Claims Mount as World Races to Respond

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
April 23, 2014, 6:58 a.m.

Syr­ia’s op­pos­i­tion ac­cused the coun­try’s re­gime of drop­ping chlor­ine-loaded bar­rel bombs on two towns this week, NBC News re­ports.

Loc­al politi­cians and act­iv­ists charged Pres­id­ent Bashar As­sad’s forces with car­ry­ing out a Monday strike on the Syr­i­an vil­lage of Telminnes and a Tues­day as­sault on the Daria com­munity neigh­bor­ing Dam­as­cus. The in­cid­ents re­portedly oc­curred with­in a day of each oth­er as gov­ern­ments at­temp­ted to sub­stan­ti­ate a string of al­leged tox­ic-gas at­tacks in the vi­ol­ence-racked Middle East­ern na­tion.

Par­ti­cipants in Syr­ia’s 3-year-old civil war have re­por­ted no few­er than sev­en gas strikes in the coun­try since April 11, the Lon­don Tele­graph re­por­ted. Monday’s pos­sible at­tack was said to have killed at least one child, ac­cord­ing to the news­pa­per. Wit­nesses coun­ted no deaths from Tues­day’s al­leged in­cid­ent, but de­scribed vic­tims with some­times severe breath­ing dif­fi­culties, NBC News re­por­ted.

Ex­perts said the claims ap­peared to re­flect the use of chlor­ine as part of a con­cer­ted of­fens­ive strategy, with in­creas­ing in­dic­a­tions that the gov­ern­ment is re­spons­ible, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

As­sad’s re­gime, though, has blamed any chlor­ine re­leases on rebel fight­ers. The com­mon in­dus­tri­al sub­stance is not part of the chem­ic­al-war­fare stock­pile the gov­ern­ment has largely re­lin­quished un­der an agree­ment reached last year, fol­low­ing a large-scale nerve agent re­lease in a Dam­as­cus sub­urb.

Wash­ing­ton has not yet veri­fied spe­cif­ics about the latest al­leged at­tacks, but “the use of any tox­ic chem­ic­al with the in­tent to cause death or harm is a clear vi­ol­a­tion of the [Chem­ic­al Weapons] Con­ven­tion” signed by Dam­as­cus last year, State De­part­ment spokes­wo­man Jen Psaki told re­port­ers on Tues­day.

The Or­gan­iz­a­tion for the Pro­hib­i­tion of Chem­ic­al Weapons on Tues­day said it was be­gin­ning a pre­lim­in­ary re­view of the re­por­ted at­tacks ahead of a po­ten­tial form­al probe, the Wall Street Journ­al re­por­ted.

A Brit­ish gov­ern­ment source, though, said “you can’t ask for in­vest­ig­a­tions un­til you ac­cu­mu­late and present evid­ence,” the Tele­graph re­por­ted.

What We're Following See More »
MCCONNELL’S BACK AGAINST THE WALL
Heller, Paul Won’t Vote on Motion to Proceed
5 hours ago
THE LATEST
LESS THAN HOUSE BILL
CBO Says 22 Million More Would Be UNinsured
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The Senate bill "would increase the number of people without health insurance by 22 million by 2026, a figure that is only slightly lower than the 23 million more uninsured that the House version would create. Next year, 15 million more people would be uninsured compared with current law...The legislation would decrease federal deficits by a total of $321 billion over a decade."

Source:
ARKANSAS BIRTH CERTIFICATE LAW OVERTURNED
SCOTUS Delivers a Victory for Gay Couples
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of same-sex couples who complained that an Arkansas birth certificate law discriminated against them, reversing a state court’s ruling that married lesbian couples must get a court order to have both spouses listed on their children’s birth certificates."

Source:
63-DAY TRIGGER
Revised Senate Bill Would Add Penalty for Going Uninsured
9 hours ago
THE LATEST
SENT LETTER TODAY
58 House Republicans Ask Ginsburg to Recuse on Travel Ban
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The letter reads in part, "There is no doubt that your impartiality can be reasonably questioned; indeed, it would be unreasonable not to question your impartiality. Failure to recuse yourself from any such case would violate the law and undermine the credibility of the Supreme Court of the United States.” Ginsburg said last year, "He is a faker. He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login