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Thread: Syria

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    Default Re: Syria

    More: Speaker Boehner says US allies need to know US will stand up when necessary - @Reuters

    46 secs ago by editor


    Speaker Boehner on Syria: 'I'm going to support the president's call for action' -
    @guypbenson, @frankthorpNBC

    3 mins ago by editor

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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    Default Re: Syria

    So Boner... you know, the Speaker of the House... the Crying Man, the one in the Pocket of Obama (what the HELL do the Clintons have on that guy?) was just on TV.

    He is supporting the President.

    Nuance Pelosi is on TV now. She is saying that that Assad used chemical weapons, and humanity drew the "Red Line" not Obama. From a humanitarian standpoint we can't ignore this and something must be done. Weapons of Mass Destruction were used and action must be taken.

    80% of Americans don't want to be involved, but she said we all want to do something....

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    Default Re: Syria

    So, we're going to war boys and girls.

    Our country is going to war. Our military is going to war. Our President is going to war.

    We're looking at the worst possible scenario here. This was a proxy war, US vs Russia. Now it's going to be the US VS Russia with no proxies left in the middle.

    The minute we launch missiles and we accidentally "hit" some Russian building or group or troops, weapons systems and kill Russians the Russians will NOT sit idly by.

    Everyone in the world seems to think the Russians are impotent. They are not.

    Russia sends spy ship as US prepares for possible Syria strike

    Priazovye sails from Black Sea naval base as Vladmir Putin says deployment necessary to protect Russian security interest








    Vladimir Putin said the ship was needed to protect national security interests. Russia has a naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartous. Photograph: Itar-Tass/Barcroft Media

    Russia is sending a reconnaissance ship to the eastern Mediterranean as the US prepares for a possible military strike in Syria, it was reported on Monday.


    The Priazovye left Russia's naval base in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol late on Sunday on a mission "to gather current information in the area of the escalating conflict", said an unidentified military source quoted by the Interfax news agency. The defence ministry declined to comment.


    Barack Obama said on Saturday he would seek congressional authorisation for punitive military action against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad after what the US says was a sarin gas attack that killed more than 1,400 people.


    Russia says the US has not proved its case and that it believes the attack was staged by rebels to provoke intervention in the civil war.


    Russia is one of Assad's biggest arms suppliers and has a naval maintenance facility in the Syrian port of Tartous. Moscow opposes any military intervention in Syria and has shielded Damascus from pressure at the UN security council.


    Interfax said the Priazovye would be operating separately from a navy unit permanently stationed in the Mediterranean in a deployment that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said is needed to protect national security interests.


    The defence ministry said last week that new warships would be sent to the Mediterranean to replace others in a long-planned rotation of ships based there.

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    Default Re: Syria

    Alright... from what I can gather from my sources, Russia has roughly 80 warships out there. France has deployed a dozen ships. The US has likely deployed around two dozen ships equipped with 80-100 cruise missiles capable of hitting pin point locations.

    Weapons of Mass destruction were used. That calls for retaliation using WMD as well, which we won't do right off. However, the Russians are prepared to use them.



    http://www.timesofisrael.com/russia-...mediterranean/
    Russia, France deploy warships to eastern Mediterranean

    Moscow and Tehran urge West to refrain from military action



    The Kremlin is to deploy a missile cruiser and an anti-submarine ship to the eastern Mediterranean in the coming days, amid rising tension over a possible US-led military response to Syria’s alleged chemical weapons use.


    “The well-known situation shaping up in the eastern Mediterranean called for certain corrections to the make-up of the naval forces,” a Moscow military source told Russia’s Interfax news agency.



    “A large anti-submarine ship of the Northern Fleet will join them [the existing naval forces] over the next few days. Later it will be joined by… a rocket cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet.”


    The report of new Russian naval activity came days after the US announced its dispatch of four naval vessels toward the Syrian coast. The UK also began mustering military aircraft and transports at the Akrotiri airbase on Cyprus, the Guardian reported earlier this week. On Thursday France dispatched the advanced frigate Chevalier Paul to the region from the Mediterranean port of Toulon, French news site Le Point reported.


    Last month Russia reportedly shut down its naval station in the Syrian port city of Tartus and pulled its military and non-diplomatic civilian personnel out of Syria. The Russian Defense Ministry later denied the report, only to have an identical report surface on Wednesday.


    In a telephone conversation held Wednesday, Russia and Iran’s presidents agreed that the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons was unacceptable, but called for the West to reconsider plans to launch a military intervention in Syria, Reuters reported.


    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani “consider the use of chemical weapons by anyone intolerable,” the Kremlin said in a statement.


    Nevertheless, both Moscow and Tehran are major backers of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and have vociferously opposed Western intervention in the civil war that has raged there for over two years. Both countries supply the Assad regime with the bulk of its military hardware through regular airlifts.


    Russia has said it will not intervene should the US attack, but came under fire by Washington Wednesday for seeking to block a UN Security Council resolution authorizing force against Damascus. US President Barack Obama said he has not yet decided whether to carry out a military strike against the Syrian government.
    Now - I have to re-state something. Above I said 80 vessels in the Med for the Russians. I'm reading that there 80 ships WORLD WIDE right now. Some are moving to the Pacific. There are some in the Caribbean, Cuba and Venezuela. http://en.ria.ru/world/20130902/1831...Commander.html

    News crossing the wire says "If the US Congress is out, then France is out"... as it should be.

    A USAF commander is warning we're not even READY for any kind of action in Syria: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomac...emium-1.545163

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    Default Re: Syria

    09.03.13
    by wkchild

    Revealed: Britain sold nerve gas chemicals to Syria 10 months after war began

    BRITAIN allowed firms to sell chemicals to Syria capable of being used to make nerve gas, the Sunday Mail can reveal today.
    Export licenses for potassium fluoride and sodium fluoride were granted months after the bloody civil war in the Middle East began.
    The chemical is capable of being used to make weapons such as sarin, thought to be the nerve gas used in the attack on a rebel-held Damascus suburb which killed nearly 1500 people, including 426 children, 10 days ago.
    President Bashar Assad’s forces have been blamed for the attack, leading to calls for an armed response from the West.
    British MPs voted against joining America in a strike. But last night, President Barack Obama said he will seek the approval of Congress to take military action.
    The chemical export licences were granted by Business Secretary Vince Cable’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills last January – 10 months after the Syrian uprising began.
    They were only revoked six months later, when the European Union imposed tough sanctions on Assad’s regime.
    Yesterday, politicians and anti-arms trade campaigners urged Prime Minister David Cameron to explain why the licenses were granted.
    Dunfermline and West Fife Labor MP Thomas Docherty, who sits on the House of Commons’ Committees on Arms Export Controls, plans to lodge Parliamentary questions tomorrow and write to Cable.
    He said: “At best it has been negligent and at worst reckless to export material that could have been used to create chemical weapons.
    “MPs will be horrified and furious that the UK Government has been allowing the sale of these ingredients to Syria.
    “What the hell were they doing granting a license in the first place?
    “I would like to know what investigations have been carried out to establish if any of this
    material exported to Syria was subsequently used in the attacks on its own people.”
    The SNP’s leader at Westminster, Angus Robertson MP, said: “I will be raising this in Parliament as soon as possible to find out what examination the UK Government made of where these chemicals were going and what they were to be used for.
    “Approving the sale of chemicals which can be converted into lethal weapons during a civil war is a very serious issue.
    “We need to know who these chemicals were sold to, why they were sold, and whether the UK Government was aware that the chemicals could potentially be used for chemical weapons.
    “The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria makes a full explanation around these shady deals even more important.”
    Mark Bitel of the Campaign against Arms Trade (Scotland) said: “The UK Government claims to have an ethical policy on arms exports, but when it comes down to practice the reality is very different.
    “The Government is hypocritical to talk about chemical weapons if it’s granting licenses to companies to export to regimes such as Syria.
    “We saw David Cameron, in the wake of the Arab Spring, rushing off to the Middle East with arms companies to promote business.”
    Some details emerged in July of the UK’s sale of the chemicals to Syria but the crucial dates of the exports were withheld.
    The Government has refused to identify the license holders or say whether the licenses were issued to one or two companies.
    The chemicals are in powder form and highly toxic. The licenses specified that they should be used for making aluminum structures such as window frames.
    Read More @ tayyar.org

    09.03.13
    by wkchild

    King Obama, Chemicals Sold to Syria by UK, Brzezinski Speaks For the Empire

    from 21st Century Wire (46 Minutes)
    Patrick Henningsen and Mike Robinson with a news update from the UK Column, including asking why Obama felt the need to obtain approval from Congress, the weekend ‘s ‘chemical weapons’ media propaganda assault on the public over the Syria issue, and comments from Zbigniew Brzezinski on “engineering” Russia’s support for the west’s agenda.

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    Default Re: Syria

    Obama congratulates American Muslims on same day he moves for military action against Syria By Judi McLeod

    Posted on September 3, 2013 by Jeffrey Hardin



    Obama congratulates American Muslims on same day he moves for military action against Syria
    By Judi McLeod




    On the same day that President Barack Obama said that the United States should take military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons on civilians and turned to Congress for approval, he released a video message from the White House congratulating American Muslims on the many achievements and contributions they have made to American society from its early history to the present day.


    Image & Commentary Added via: Jason Benghazi Smith‘s photo.
    by Jeffrey Hardin


    So, Secretary of State John Kerry referenced this photograph when making his speech today, trying to drive home how awful the Syrian chemical attack was as he tried to convince us why we should go to war.


    One problem. The picture isn’t even from Syria. It’s from Iraq in 2003. The photographer, Marco di Lauro, said he nearly “fell off his chair” when he saw it was being used to promote a war in Syria. It’s getting pretty disturbing to see how far our politicians, both Republican and Democrat, are willing to go to drum up support for a war nobody wants.
    http://www.marcodilauro.com/features...13&id=album-16

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    Default Re: Syria

    /sigh

    McCain needs to go.

    Old man McCain isn’t any better than President Lucifer

    Posted on September 3, 2013 by traildustfotm | 6 Comments
    MCCAIN: SHOUTING ‘ALLAHU AKHBAR!’ SAME AS CHRISTIANS SHOUTING ‘THANK GOD!’


    by BEN SHAPIRO
    On Tuesday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) suggested that Fox News host Brian Kilmeade was Islamaphobic because he said that Syrian opposition groups shouting “Allahu Akhbar! Allahu Akhbar!” as rockets hit government offices demonstrated Islamist influence among the opposition.

    “I have a problem helping those people screaming that after a hit,” Kilmeade said. McCain responded: “Would you have a problem with an American or Christians saying ‘thank God? Thank God?’” He added, “That’s what they’re saying. Come on! Of course they’re Muslims, but they’re moderates and I guarantee you they are moderates.” McCain provided no evidence to suggest that Syrian opposition groups are moderate, as opposed to the wide swath of evidence suggesting that the opposition is heavily infested with al Qaeda.
    In our ever-evolving threat matrix, the common RINO (McCain) seems to be as dangerous and potentially harmful as the Wild Jackass (Obama). ~TD

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    Default Re: Syria

    Syria has returned the world to nineteenth-century warfare

    André Gerolymatos

    Contributed to The Globe and Mail

    Published Tuesday, Sep. 03 2013, 11:40 AM EDT

    Last updated Tuesday, Sep. 03 2013, 11:48 AM EDT


    The civil war in Syria, and the responses of the United States, Russia and China to it, are unfolding amidst a new world order – one that, remarkably, most resembles the nineteenth-century “Concert of Europe,” a loose and informal grouping of the then Great Powers: Britain, Russia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Prussia (later the German Empire), France and Italy.

    During the course of the nineteenth century and until the outbreak of the First Word War in 1914, the Great Powers tried to preserve international peace by maintaining a balance of power. This meant that whenever one of the powers, in conjunction with lesser allies, challenged the accepted international order the “concert” banded together and confronted the aggressive power militarily or through diplomatic isolation.

    For example, on several occasions in the nineteenth century, Russia threatened to destroy the Ottoman Empire. Britain and France waged the Crimean War in 1853 against Russia, in part, to prevent the Russians from doing so. Whenever the Russians came close to unraveling the Ottoman state or turning it into a vassal, the other Great Powers intervened and through war or diplomacy forced the Russians to back away.

    Tragically, as the Great Powers coalesced into two armed camps by the early twentieth century, the flexibility of the Concert of Europe was lost and within less than a decade led to the catastrophic First World War. International relations in the interwar period were fragmented, one of the reasons for the outbreak of the Second World War.

    During the Cold War, the international community adjusted to a bipolar world in which the Warsaw Pact, dominated by the Soviet Union, confronted the U.S.-led NATO. The prospect of a nuclear holocaust prevented another world war, but all crises had to be contained within the limitations of the rigid bipolarity.

    The end of the Cold War in 1991, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, left the United States as the sole superpower. These developments placed the Americans in a unique position and one that compelled them to act as the world’s policeman. Despite the disproportionate military capability of the United States, at first American administrations tried to act within the bounds of international law and the spirit of the United Nations. During the first Persian Gulf War (1990-91), the United States attacked Iraq only after establishing a coalition of states and securing a mandate from the UN Security Council.

    The NATO air campaign against Serbia during the Kosovo War (1999), however, lacked a UN Security Council endorsement because Russia vetoed it. The American argument for intervention was that NATO had the right to humanitarian intervention within its region and that the United Nations charter implicitly sanctioned its actions. Meanwhile Russia and China were too weak to directly challenge the NATO action in Kosovo.

    Perhaps America’s long-term failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the almost simultaneous rise of a more powerful Russia and China, began the process of a new order in the Middle East that is now manifesting itself in Syria. In 2003, the George W. Bush administration went to war against Iraq without UN authorization, flouting international law.

    The NATO air war against Libya in March 2011 was waged with UN Security Council sanction because Russia and China abstained from employing their vetoes. Both these countries had neither strategic nor economic interests in Libya. Syria, on the other hand, is a country in which the Russians and Chinese have strategic and economic interests. The Russians maintain a naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartus, while the Chinese have limited petroleum and other economic investments. Moreover, Beijing is primarily interested in supporting its Russian ally and is opposed to intervention in any region.

    The Iranians, Turks, Israelis, Saudis, and Qataris have specific regional interest but they can only act in concert with one or two of the new Great Powers. At the same time non-regional powers such as the United Kingdom, usually a staunch American ally, have refused to join a U.S. strike against Syria, for domestic reasons. France has opted to support President Obama’s call for action, while Germany and Canada, strong American allies, remain on the sidelines. The United States, consequently, can no longer count on all of NATO to support its actions. Instead, it is forced to cherry-pick allies for a coalition to offer a semblance of legality with respect to an act of war that has no basis in international law.

    Just as in the years of the Concert of Europe and the efforts by its members to maintain a balance of power, the new Great Powers have to tread carefully over Syria. Consequently, the Americans are careful to indicate that their intervention against Syria will be punitive and will not go beyond a missile strike, thus leaving the Assad regime intact. In effect, the Americans respect the interests of the Russians and Chinese in order to maintain a balance of power both internationally and now in the Middle East.

    This is the first occasion in which an informal concert of Great Powers is acting and reacting to an international crisis where great care is taken to respect the interests of rival powers. As a result, the freedom of action of the Obama administration with respect to Syria is limited by the interests of Russia and China, and is just enough to allow President Obama to salvage his international reputation.

    André Gerolymatos is Director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University and is the author of Castles Made of Sand: A Century of Anglo-American Espionage and Intervention in the Middle East (Thomas Dunne, 2011).

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    Default Re: Syria

    McCain needs to go to hell.

    There Rick, fix it for you.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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    Default Re: Syria

    Russia unable to stop USA from attacking Syria

    02.09.2013



    The situation around the likelihood of attacks on Syria by Western countries remains the main topic for the foreign media. Most of them believe the war is inevitable and bring a variety of arguments in favor of the war. This is understandable because the point of view of their own governments is closer to them than the true state of affairs.

    Western journalists do not believe in Russia's ability to prevent the war.

    American Foreign Policy recognizes the fact that the attacks on Syria look very doubtful from the point of view of the law. "U.S. spy services still have not acquired the evidence traditionally considered to be the gold standard in chemical weapons cases.... That's the kind of proof that America and its allies processed from earlier, small-scale attacks that the White House described in equivocal tones, and declined to muster a military response to in retaliation."

    However, the author of the article believes that the attacks on Syria are avoidable. "The official White House line is that the president is still considering his options for Syria. But all of Washington is talking about a punitive strike on the Assad government in terms of when, not if. Even some congressional doves have said they're now at least open to the possibility of U.S. airstrikes in Syria. Images of dead children, neatly stacked in rows, have a way of changing minds," noted the author.


    U.S. magazine The National Interest published an article about the relations between the U.S. and Russia in light of the differences in their approaches to the events in Syria. The newspaper wrote that the U.S. decided to blame the government of Bashar al-Assad, while Russia was going to wait until the completion of the UN inspection. Russia has already made ​​it clear that it held the opposition responsible for the use of chemical weapons, the newspaper continued.

    At the same time, American journalists believe that Russia secretly welcomes such US behavior. The National Interest explains its position by saying that after the attack on Syria, the Americans will have to address issues not only with the Syrian leadership but also with Iran. This is not an easy task, and thus the U.S. will not have time to resist Russia's attempts to integrate the post-Soviet space.
    British The Guardian made an attempt to anticipate the reaction of the Syrian authorities to the attacks by Western allies. The newspaper suggested that the Syrian authorities have already formed a squadron of suicide pilot bombers. In addition, all ground units are in full combat readiness. It is likely that thousands of militias who might not have shown loyalty to Assad under different circumstances would go against foreign aggressors.

    The French Le Figaro said that the French leadership has done and is doing everything to ensure that attacks on Syria take place. The United States, Britain and France are the backbone of the coalition that Paris would like to see expanding, the paper wrote. The authors continued that the legitimacy of the reaction force was above the law that simply cannot be achieved in view of the blocked decision-making process at the UN.

    The newspaper also believes that Russia would not take any effective measures that can stop the West. According to the newspaper, from Russian statements that caution about military intervention it can be concluded that Moscow does not intend to take action. This in turn highlights the feasibility of limited western operations in response to the use of chemical weapons that Russia also cannot justify, Le Figaro wrote.

    The French State.fr explores the point of view of Israel that has refused to participate in the war against the current Syrian government. According to State.fr, the Israelis do not imagine the clear outlines of this operation that may ultimately strengthen the position of Israel. Israel should have no complaints about the regime of Hafez and Bashar Al-Assad that is maintaining a cold peace. Since 1973, no single shot has been made on the Syrian border, stated the article. In addition, there are two reasons that explain the caution or even suspicion of the Israelis. First of all, the results of previous experiments in Iraq and Libya have shown that the new regimes in fact proved to be even worse than the old ones. At the moment it is impossible to predict what the new power in the country will be in the case of the overthrow of the Bashar al-Assad's regime. Israel cannot allow a formation of an Islamists' nest a hundred kilometers from its border, the publication stressed.

    The Italian newspaper Il Foglio also noted Russia's restrained behavior. It wrote that Moscow resorted to statements appropriate for such situations, but did not draw a red line. In the language of Kremlin diplomacy it means the green light for an American attack, the newspaper stated. According to the paper, Russia understands that the international repercussions of the use of chemical weapons are too strong, and the operation of the Western countries will be limited.

    Allowing the West to "punish" the Assad clan does not mean giving up its interests in Syria. Russia will ensure that the invasion of Syria is not a repetition of the operation in Libya. Possible responses could include a boycott of the UN ban on the transfer of funds through its territory to the forces of NATO in Afghanistan, termination of economic agreements, and strengthening of the relations with Iran and China in anti-American direction, the Italian journalists believe.

    The situation in Syria and around it is actively discussed by the neighboring Turkey whose Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated his willingness to participate in the bombing, even if it means bypassing the UN Security Council. Commenting on this possibility, the newspaper Hürriyet was skeptical. According to its journalists, there will be no strikes without UN sanctions. In addition, President Barack Obama is acting very hesitantly.

    Turkish Zaman agrees with its compatriots and colleagues in the fact that Obama is behaving very hesitantly. However, the paper has a different opinion about the possibility and accuracy of strikes. The journalists remembered that the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 and before that, bombing of the Bosnian and Croatian Serbs, were also held without a UN mandate. If the U.S. decides to bomb Syria, it will, and will not ask anyone.

    Combat actions by the Western coalition against Syria (albeit limited) seem like a foregone conclusion to the majority of Western journalists. They did not bother trying to legally justify the attack. Neither Russia nor the United Nations nor anyone else can prevent the implementation of such intentions by the United States and its allies. Pavel Chernyshev

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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by BRVoice View Post
    McCain needs to go to hell.

    There Rick, fix it for you.
    yeah, lol

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    Default Re: Syria

    Iran threatens payback on Syria; Russia sends warships

    Host Carly Mallenbaum talks with USA TODAY World Editor William Dermody about the crisis in Syria.



    SHARECONNECT 353 TWEETCOMMENTEMAILMORE

    Iran and Russia are working together to prevent a Western military attack on Syria. Russia even sent warships to the Mediterranean where U.S. destroyers are in position to strike if ordered.
    Military analysts said Syria's allies' options to stop the United States or make it pay a price after a strike are limited.
    "The Russians can help Syria politically and diplomatically in the United Nations and provide supplies, but they're not nearly as capable as they were at the end of the Cold War," said Chris Harmer, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War who worked on military plans for the Persian Gulf as a commander in the Navy.
    Although Iran may want to retaliate, it usually does so through the Lebanese Shiite terror group Hezbollah, which "is task-saturated between helping (Bashar) Assad stay in power and protecting (Shiite) neighborhoods in Beirut from retaliatory car bombs," Harmer said. "I don't think Iran can run the risk of retaliating on their own."
    Other analysts, such as Phillip Smyth, who documents Shiite militias fighting in Syria on the Jihadology website, said that although Syrian President Assad's forces and Hezbollah may be stretched thin in Syria and Lebanon, Iran's ability to retaliate should not be counted out.
    In the 1980s, while Iran was fighting a major war with Iraq, it sent hundreds of members of its Revolutionary Guards to southern Lebanon and built Hezbollah to counter Israel and the United States, Smyth said. Hezbollah's bombings of the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut killed 58 American diplomats and Lebanese citizens and 241 Marines in 1983.
    On Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in statements carried by several Iranian state-controlled media outlets that Iran and Russia would work in "extensive cooperation" to prevent any military action against Syria. Western military action against Syria would be an "open violation" of international laws, Rouhani said.
    "Military action will bring great costs for the region," Rouhani said, and "it is necessary to apply all efforts to prevent it."
    SYRIA CRISIS: 8 latest developments
    UNITED KINGDOM: Under pressure over Syria evidence
    The warning was accompanied by threats from others.
    Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards, told the Tasnim news website that an attack on Syria "means the immediate destruction of Israel."

    Russian state-owned media reported Thursday that a Russian missile cruiser and a large anti-submarine vessel were sailing from the North Atlantic for the eastern Mediterranean Sea as tensions escalate in the region.


    Harmer said the ships may resupply Assad's forces or evacuate more Russian citizens or Russian materiel from its navy base at the Syrian port of Tartous.
    As far as taking on the U.S. Navy, "they're not built for that," Harmer said.


    Iran and Syria have threatened to retaliate against Israel and other U.S. allies in the Middle East in the event of a U.S. attack on Syria. Both countries have rockets that can reach Israel and U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf. Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah have worldwide networks that can target countries that support the military strike.


    Warnings: : Syria, Iran threats not empty words


    President Obama said Thursday that he has not made a decision whether to launch what he called "a shot across the bow" that would send a message to Syria.
    Iran's reaction would depend on the scale of any U.S. attack, and it may not react at all, says Karim Sadjapour at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who has has high-level contacts in the Iranian regime.


    "Iran talks about Syria in the same way the U.S. talks about Israel, (as) an indispensable regional ally whose national security is sacrosanct," Sadjapour said. "It's unclear whether Tehran would see it in their interests to go to war. Especially if a U.S. military attack is intended only to bruise, not end, the Assad regime."


    Iran has provided Assad billions of dollars to prosecute his civil war, which the United Nations says has killed more than 100,000 Syrians, Sadjapour said.


    Iran has sent militia members and its Revolutionary Guards to fight alongside and in command of Syrian government troops, according to Smyth, who has documented the deaths of dozens of members of the corps in the Syrian fighting.


    The last time Hezbollah launched a barrage of rockets against Israel, in 2006, it suffered a withering Israeli counterattack and ground invasion that left its rocket stores decimated, its villages in southern Lebanon badly damaged and its infrastructure in Beirut in shambles.


    The last time Iran faced the United States directly was in the 1980s during the "Tanker War" in the Persian Gulf, when Iran and Iraq, at war with each other, targeted ships.

    The U.S. Navy, protecting U.S.-flagged ships in the Gulf, inflicted heavy damage on several Iranian patrol boats and other military ships without any damage to U.S. military vessels, Harmer said.


    "The Iranians have experience with the United States. It hasn't gone well for them," he said. "They are not going to do so in reaction to a U.S. strike on Syria."


    But Iran could respond through terrorism, Smyth said.


    "It could be next year, and no one knows where an attack might be pulled off," he said.

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    Default Re: Syria

    FNC reporting four destroyers off the coast of Syria.

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    Default Re: Syria

    Of course: John Boehner supports Obama’s call for military action against Syria

    By Doug Powers • September 3, 2013 12:01 PM
    **Written by Doug Powers
    The military hawks in the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s White House have finally found their key scapegoat ally:
    BREAKING: Speaker Boehner supports Obama's call for action against Syria, says colleagues should also—
    The Associated Press (@AP) September 03, 2013
    Wish I could say I was surprised.
    Eric Cantor is on board as well.
    That sound you hear is the media breathing a sigh of relief as Boehner hands them someone other than Obama to blame for Syria.—
    RB (@RBPundit) September 03, 2013
    If Republicans in Congress wouldn’t have gotten on board the mainstream media would have been forced to find a way to blame Bush.
    We’ll see if the House GOP fully falls in line.
    Also, on the Senate side, we may know soon if John McCain and Lindsey Graham have successfully rallied enough Dem support to approve Obama’s plan of attack, as Obama hopes they will do.
    Something is really wrong with this picture.
    **Written by Doug Powers
    Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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    Default Re: Syria

    Kerry's cosy dinner with Syria's 'Hitler': Secretary of State and the man he likened to German dictator are pictured dining with their wives at Damascus restaurant before civil war broke out

    • Kerry pictured around a small table with his wife and the Assads in 2009
    • Assad and Kerry lean in towards each other, deep in conversation
    • Picture taken in February 2009 when Kerry led a delegation to Syria
    • Kerry yesterday compared Assad to Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein

    By Anthony Bond and David Martosko
    PUBLISHED: 07:53 EST, 2 September 2013 | UPDATED: 06:04 EST, 3 September 2013

    An astonishing photograph of John Kerry having a cozy and intimate dinner with Bashar al-Assad has emerged at the moment the U.S Secretary of State is making the case to bomb the Syrian dictator's country and remove him from power.


    Kerry, who compared Assad to Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein yesterday, is pictured around a small table with his wife Teresa Heinz and the Assads in 2009.



    Assad and Kerry, then a Massachusetts senator, lean in towards each other and appear deep in conversation as their spouses look on.
    A waiter is pictured at their side with a tray of green drinks, believed to be lemon and crushed mint.
    Scroll down for video

    Cosy: This astonishing photograph shows the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife having an intimate dinner with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his wife in 2009

    Cosy: This astonishing photograph shows the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife having an intimate dinner with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his wife in 2009

    The picture was likely taken in February 2009 in the Naranj restaurant in Damascus, when Kerry led a delegation to Syria to discuss finding a way forward for peace in the region.
    While President Barack Obama has softened his military threat against Syria by putting the question to Congress and guaranteeing at least a week's delay, Kerry remains outspoken about the dangers posed by the Syrian regime.


    More...



    He said that Assad 'has now joined the list of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein' in deploying chemical weapons against his own people.
    Kerry said Sunday that the U.S. now has evidence that sarin nerve gas was used in Syria and that 'the case gets stronger by the day' for a military attack.

    Speaking out: US Secretary of State John Kerry last week said the U.S. knows 'with high confidence' the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in an attack

    Couple: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is pictured with his British-born wife Asma Assad







    Under pressure: Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, is pictured in a meeting yesterday. Kerry has described him as a 'thug and murderer'
    During a passionate speech in Washington last Friday, he called Assad a 'thug and murderer,' and urged the world to act. 'History would judge us all extraordinarily harshly if we turned a blind eye to a dictator,' Kerry insisted.
    And today in a call to 120 Democratic congressmen Kerry called Assad a 'two-bit dictator'.
    The Obama administration has placed the Syrian chemical weapons death toll on the outskirts of Damascus at 1,429 people - far more than previous estimates - including more than 400 children.

    SEVEN MILLION SYRIANS DISPLACED

    The head of the U.N. refugee agency in Syria says seven million Syrians, or almost one-third of the population, have been displaced by the country's civil war.

    Tarik Kurdi said that five million of the displaced are still in Syria while about 2 million have fled to neighboring countries.

    He says two million children are among those directly affected by the war.

    Kurdi says U.N. assistance has been a 'drop in the sea of humanitarian need' and that the funding gap is 'very, very wide.' He says international donors have sent less than one-third of the money needed to help those displaced by the war.

    More than 100,000 Syrians have been killed since an uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad erupted in 2011.


    Kerry has said he is confident that Congress will give Obama its backing for an attack against Syria, but the former Massachusetts senator also said the president has authority to act on his own if Congress doesn't give its approval.
    While Kerry stopped short of saying Obama was committed to such a course even if lawmakers refuse to authorize force, he did say that 'we are not going to lose this vote.'
    Congress is scheduled to return from a summer break on September 9. House Speaker John Boehner has said a vote will likely take place that week.
    Senator John McCain said on Sunday that Assad will be 'euphoric' about Obama's decision to wait for Congress before scrambling his bombers.
    And after a meeting with Obama at the White House today the senator said it would be 'catastrophic' if the vote was lost on the House of Representatives floor.
    The French parliament could act sooner. A debate is scheduled Wednesday on taking action on Syria, as President François Hollande has come under increasing pressure to seek legislative approval for joining the U.S. in any attack.

    On Saturday evening, centrist UDI party leader Jean-Louis Borloo insisted that 'like the U.S. president, who decided to consult the U.S. Congress in the name of democratic principles, the French president must organize, after the debate, a formal vote in parliament.'

    What was once considered a certain three-pronged attack on Syria from the U.S., France and the UK was reduced to a bilateral affair on Thursday, as Britain's parliament shot down Prime Minister David Cameron’s request for involvement in a strike against Assad.

    A day later, Kerry began flattering France as America's 'oldest ally,' in hopes of ensuring that Paris didn’t follow London’s lead.
    Horrific: Hundreds died in the alleged chemical attacks, including many women and children
    French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault now says he will share top-secret intelligence with his nation’s parliament on Wednesday.

    'We are going to give the MPs everything we have – classified until now – to enable every one of them to take on board the reality of this unacceptable attack,' he said Monday.

    Elisabeth Guigou, president of the foreign affairs committee in France's National Assembly, said Monday that – told France info: Ayrault planned to show MPs 'evidence the attack took place and that it could only have been the regime who were behind it.'

    On Sunday a government source told the French news agency Agence France-Presse that the French will soon make public a trove of documents over the years, showing Syria stockpiling chemical weapons.

    One of the loudest critics of the administration's handling of Syria, McCain criticised Obama in an interview on CBS's Face the Nation.
    Referring to Obama's famous statement that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would cross a red line, McCain said: 'He didn't say, "It's a red line - and by the way I'm going to have to seek the approval of Congress." He said it was a red line, and that the United States of America would act.'
    'That's a big difference,' McCain insisted. 'And that's one of the reasons why this is so problematic.'
    The Arizona Republican, whom Obama defeated for the presidency in 2008, said the president asked him to come to the White House on Monday, specifically to discuss Syria.
    Awful: Secretary of State John Kerry said images like these contributed to the U.S. assessment that chemical weapons were used in Syria
    Democrats, too, are expressing frustration at Obama's failure to act decisively after his 'red line' speech.
    Charles Rangel, who represents the Harlem section of New York City, said Monday said 'of course it's embarrassing' that the president didn’t act immediately after chemical weapons use was discovered.
    Rangel opposes a Syrian military strike but said Obama's delay on Saturday was also a major embarrassment to Kerry – who had demanded strong action a day earlier.
    It’s 'unheard of,' Rangel said on MSNBC, that a president would allow the world to see him issuing an empty threat.
    'So of course it's embarrassing, I wish it didn't happen, ' he said. '
    'I guess Secretary Kerry is even more embarrassed than me after making his emotional speech that this was urgent.'
    Tension: President Bashar Assad will be 'euphoric' about Obama's decision to wait for Congress over Syria, according to Sen. John McCain

    Firm: Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said evidence of alleged chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime presented to Moscow by the U.S. and its allies is 'absolutely unconvincing'

    Obama is hoping Congress's most intractable foreign policy hawks will help sell the idea of U.S. military intervention in Syria to a nation already deeply scarred by more than a decade of war in the Middle East.
    Having announced over the weekend that he will seek congressional approval for military strikes against the Assad regime, the Obama administration is now trying to rally support among Americans and their elected representatives.
    Obama's meeting with McCain is meant to quell fears that Obama isn't doing enough to punish Assad's government for the presumed sarin gas attack in the Damascus suburbs last month.
    But some Republican and Democratic lawmakers don't want to see military action at all.
    Obama's turnabout on Syria sets the stage for the biggest foreign policy vote in Congress since the Iraq war.
    On Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. received new physical evidence in the form of blood and hair samples that shows sarin gas was used in the August 21 attack.
    'We know that the regime ordered this attack,' he said. 'We know they prepared for it. We know where the rockets came from. We know where they landed. We know the damage that was done afterwards.'
    Crisis talks: President Obama and Vice-President Biden meet with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice to discuss Syria on Sunday

    Debate: The President meets national security advisers to discuss possible military action

    Kerry's assertion coincided with the beginning of a forceful administration appeal for congressional support.
    On Capitol Hill, senior administration officials briefed lawmakers in private to explain why the U.S. must act.
    Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough also made calls to individual lawmakers.
    Classified meetings have been planned for this week. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee plans a to hear from Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday.

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    Default Re: Syria

    Apparent targets will be chemical weapons missiles, sites and air defenses for Syria.

    I'd point out that a good portion of those aerial assets belong to the Russians, are maintained by the Russians, have Russian technicians and Russian advisers in place.

    If we hit those things and kill Russians....

    I'll leave it there.

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    Default Re: Syria

    Syria Prepares for U.S. Attack

    By SAM DAGHER
    DAMASCUS, Syria—The Assad regime prepared for a U.S. attack on the capital despite a likely delay in any military action, urging civilian evacuations, moving soldiers into vacant apartments and issuing new threats of retaliation.
    A senior Syrian official on Monday said that both the Syrian army and its ally Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group, would strike back in the event of a U.S.-led offensive by first hitting American warships now in the Mediterranean Sea.
    Syria in the Spotlight

    Referring to Hezbollah as the resistance, Khaled Abboud, a parliament member and confidant of President Bashar al-Assad, told The Wall Street Journal: “The resistance and the armed forces are now one body. In my assessment, Hezbollah will side with Syria in certain operations targeting warships in the Mediterranean.”
    Ten Largest Refugee Camps

    Review the list of the 10 most populous U.N. refugee settlements in the world.

    Associated PressA total 70,095 people mostly from Sudan live in the Yida camp, in the newly independent South Sudan.


    The Assad government’s preparations continued despite President Barack Obama‘s move last week to seek congressional authorization to attack after Washington and opposition groups alleged that Damascus killed more than 1,400 people last month in a chemical-arms attack.
    The Syrian government warned residents to move away from military bases outside Damascus, as troops began to position themselves for what appeared to be the first time in residential neighborhoods in the city that are home to military and security installations and government offices.

    Agence France-Presse/Getty ImagesA rebel fighter and a child crossadamaged bridge in the town of Deir Ezzor on Monday. The regime says it will retaliate for any foreign attacks.

    Residents of the town of Mouadhamiyat al-Qalamoun, north of Damascus, said the military asked them to evacuate on Sunday the vicinity of a major base in the area likely to be targeted by any U.S. strikes.
    And in the Damascus neighborhoods of Kfar Sousseh, Malki and Mezze, the military was moving into vacant apartments, say residents, including a building supervisor who said the army on Sunday told him to open empty apartments in his property. Many of the apartments’ owners had evacuated the city over the course of the more than two-year-old conflict.
    Several security agencies and key government offices, including the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are located in Kfar Sousseh, which is also a popular residential area with high-rise structures.
    The military also beefed up checkpoints in the Kfar Sousseh area. Armored vehicles and trucks equipped with antiaircraft guns stood at intersections and inside alleyways.
    The regime warned Syrians to beware of rumors which it said were part of possible psychological warfare that could be waged by the U.S. and its allies. This included “rumors about the escape of important people from the country” and “videos of people impersonating Syrian officials,” read full-page advertisements in state newspapers.
    Meanwhile a group of staunch regime supporters launched a campaign titled “over our dead bodies,” which members said involves camping out in tents in areas likely to be targeted by U.S. military strikes.
    On Monday, those Assad loyalists began erecting tents on Mount Qassioun, which overlooks Damascus and is used by the regime to pound rebel areas with heavy artillery and rocket launchers.
    A few dozen people brandished Syrian flags and placards with messages including “Hands off Syria” and “Iraq lies not again” in front of local and international television cameras.
    “We are not scared and we promise them that we will retaliate,” said 20-year-old university student Ali Habib. “We will abandon our universities and head to war and confrontation.”
    The organizer, Ogarit Dandash, a Lebanese reporter with the pro-Syrian regime channel Al-Mayadeen, said hundreds of people from across Syria and neighboring Lebanon were joining the campaign and that it would be expanded in coming days to other locations that they believed were likely to be targeted by U.S. strikes.
    “I have been in Syria for two years covering the dirty war and saw lots of soldiers killed in a very cruel way; he must think about what he’s doing in the Middle East,” said Ms. Dandash referring to Mr. Obama.
    The U.S., meanwhile, is standing by in the Mediterranean with five destroyers armed with cruise missiles and an amphibious ship with several hundred Marines on board in preparation for possible strikes on Syria in response to the alleged gas attacks.
    Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, hasn’t publicly commented on the U.S. allegations. Hezbollah, which like Mr. Assad’s regime is backed by Iran, is classified by the U.S. as a terrorist organization.
    Hezbollah has played an instrumental role this year in helping Mr. Assad recapture from rebels territories in central Syria most notably around the capital Damascus and the province of Homs to the north. Experts say the Lebanese group and Syria have long-range missiles.
    The Syrian lawmaker, Mr. Abboud, like most Syrian officials accuses rebels of carrying out last month’s chemical-weapons attack. He said Mr. Obama’s decision on Saturday to seek congressional approval before striking Syria was proof that “he reached a dead end.”
    In extracts of an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro released Monday, Mr. Assad also warned of the repercussions of a U.S. attack on Syria but was less specific.
    “The Middle East is a powder keg and the fire is approaching,” he said. “Everybody will lose control of the situation when the powder keg will explode. Chaos and extremism will spread. The risk of a regional war exists,” he told Le Figaro.
    —Inti Landauro and Nour Malas contributed to this article.
    Write to Sam Dagher at sam.dagher@wsj.com
    A version of this article appeared September 3, 2013, on page A6 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Assad Readies for U.S. Strike Despite Delay.
    Source: WSJ.com - “Syria Prepares for U.S. Attack” - Sam Dagher

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    Default Re: Syria

    09.01.13
    by wkchild

    Hacked Email Of US Intelligence Colonel Shows Pentagon’s Involvement In Chemical Attack In Syria

    The situation in Syria is still in the focus of world media. Experts predict another U.S. aggression for “human rights”. Washington regularly declares its readiness to attack Syria. The official version – to punish al-Assad and Syrian army for the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population.


    Meanwhile, the media has spread new proofs of the U.S. intelligence involvement to chemical attack near Damascus. Hacker got access to U.S. intelligence correspondence and published U.S. Army Col. ANTHONY J. MACDONALD’s mail. Macdonald is General Staff Director, Operations and Plans Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence the Army Staff. It’s about chemical attack in Syria.


    In the message August 22 Eugene Furst congratulates Col. on successful operation and refers him to Wasington Post publication about chemical attack in Syria. From the Anthony’s wife dialog with her friend it’s clear the video with the children killed in the chemical attack near Damascus was staged by U.S. Intelligence.


    Screenshots taken by Hacker of the COl. Mail: (not presented here, but available at source link below)


    This is a huge coup for the people. This proves that the chemical attack was indeed a false flag operation. Thank you hackers and hacktivists for this. You are what the media should be, you are an affront to government, and you keep them in check. You are the new journalists. Journalists of the 21st century. More to this story as it becomes available. I’m blown away… –Mort
    Source: beforeitsnews.com

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    Default Re: Syria

    I have to wonder. I KNOW email can be faked... but...and none of the mail was "official" mail, thus anything said there... who knows?

    Hacked Email Of US Intelligence Colonel Shows Pentagon’s Involvement In Chemical Attack In Syria

    Sunday, September 1, 2013 7:50


    The situation in Syria is still in the focus of world media. Experts predict another U.S. aggression for “human rights”. Washington regularly declares its readiness to attack Syria. The official version – to punish al-Assad and Syrian army for the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population.

    Meanwhile, the media has spread new proofs of the U.S. intelligence involvement to chemical attack near Damascus. Hacker got access to U.S. intelligence correspondence and published U.S. Army Col. ANTHONY J. MACDONALD’s mail. Macdonald is General Staff Director, Operations and Plans Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence the Army Staff. It’s about chemical attack in Syria.

    In the message August 22 Eugene Furst congratulates Col. on successful operation and refers him to Wasington Post publication about chemical attack in Syria. From the Anthony’s wife dialog with her friend it’s clear the video with the children killed in the chemical attack near Damascus was staged by U.S. Intelligence.

    Screenshots taken by Hacker of the COl. Mail:









    This is a huge coup for the people. This proves that the chemical attack was indeed a false flag operation. Thank you hackers and hacktivists for this. You are what the media should be, you are an affront to government, you keep them in check. You are the new journalists. Journalists of the 21st century. More to this story as it becomes available.Im blown away.. -Mort

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    Default Re: Syria

    3 September 2013 Last updated at 04:44 ET Syria chemical attacks: What we know



    Syria conflict





    In the early hours of 21 August, graphic footage started to flood social media sites showing victims of an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in and around the agricultural belt of the Ghouta, around the Syrian capital of Damascus.


    Syrian opposition activists had earlier reported heavy fighting in eastern Damascus in districts that were primarily rebel strongholds.


    But the first reported use of chemical weapons came at 0245 (local time) in Ein Tarma and again at 0247 in Zamalka.


    A doctor in Irbin, north-east of Damascus, told Human Rights Watch the attack started there at 0300.


    Shortly after, dozens of videos were uploaded of distressed and visibly sick adults and children in makeshift hospitals but with no external injuries.


    In some of the most graphic footage, dozens of bodies, including many small children and babies, were seen laid out in rows on the floor of a clinic.

    WARNING: You may find some images disturbing. Online images showed victims of the attack convulsing, with pinpointed pupils, excessive saliva and difficulty in breathing.





    While opposition activists initially said 300 people were killed in the attack, the casualty figure they gave quickly rose to over 1,000 people.
    Casualties were reported in the areas of Irbin, Duma and, to the west, Muadhamiya, among others.
    Allegations

    Opposition activists accused the Syrian government of carrying out the attack as part of a wider scale operation to edge the rebels further outside of the capital. They said army rockets dropped toxic agents onto civilian areas.


    The Syrian government, however, has strenuously denied that it has ever used chemical weapons.






    The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner examines what we know about the Syria attack on 21 August



    Immediately after the attack, the Syrian army denied using poisonous gas, describing the claims as "false and completely baseless".


    Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi said the attack would not be possible because of the presence of the government's own forces in the area allegedly affected.


    Syrian officials have suggested that the opposition were behind any such attacks and that they were encouraged in this by Western powers.


    Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad insisted it was a tactic by the rebels to turn around the civil war which he said "they were losing".


    The government had previously admitted to having stocks of chemical weapons, however, they stated they would never be used "inside Syria".


    Evidence

    Initial reports and video footage of the attack emerged from social media sources, making the claims difficult to verify and causing many to reserve judgement on whether chemical weapons were actually used.


    Despite this, chemical weapons experts said the large volume of visual evidence would be difficult to fake.


    Three days after the attack, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres confirmed that three hospitals it supports in Damascus treated about 3,600 patients with "neurotoxic symptoms" on the day of the attack. They said 355 of these died.


    Medical experts said large numbers of patients displayed convulsions, pinpointed pupils, excessive saliva and difficulty in breathing - all tell-tale signs of nerve agent poisoning thought most likely to be sarin. They were treated with atropine and other known antidotes, which the medics said worked in many cases, despite running out of treatments.







    Bridget Kendall investigates how the attack unfolded, mainly through extremely distressing videos posted online



    A team of UN chemical weapons experts already in Damascus to investigate separate allegations of chemical weapons use managed to gain access to the sites near Damascus on 26 August, five days after the attack occurred.


    For four days, they spoke to survivors, nurses and doctors and took blood and urine samples from the districts affected.


    They have since returned to The Hague and are awaiting the results of their findings, which they will then present in a final report to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.


    But the UN team is only responsible for investigating whether chemical weapons were used, not who used them.


    Western intelligence gathering

    Western governments have also been trying to substantiate the claims of chemical weapons use in Syria.


    The British government made public a UK Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) assessment into the attack on 29 August, in which it clearly stated a chemical weapon attack had taken place, saying it was "highly likely" the Syrian authorities were responsible.


    The assessment said confidently that the Assad government was behind 14 separate chemical attacks in Syria, and that it had "some intelligence to suggest regime culpability" in the Damascus attack.
    Continue reading the main story Syria's chemical weapons

    • The CIA believes Syria has had a chemical weapons programme "for years and already has a stockpile of CW agents which can be delivered by aircraft, ballistic missile, and artillery rockets"
    • Syria is believed to possess mustard gas and sarin, a highly toxic nerve agent
    • The CIA also believes that Syria has attempted to develop more toxic and more persistent nerve agents, such as VX gas
    • A report citing Turkish, Arab and Western intelligence agencies put Syria's stockpile at approximately 1,000 tonnes of chemical weapons, stored in 50 towns and cities
    • Syria has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) or ratified the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)

    Sources: CSIS, RUSI




    The intelligence analysis also suggested the rebel forces did not have the capability to deliver chemical weapons. It did, however, admit it did not understand why the government would deploy chemical weapons while the UN team was in the capital.


    The Obama administration then weighed in with its own intelligence analysis the next day. US Secretary of State John Kerry has accused Syria of using chemical weapons to kill 1,429 people, including 426 children, citing a US intelligence assessment.


    It said Syrian military chemical weapons personnel were operating in the area over a three-day period before the attack and satellite evidence shows rockets launched from government-held areas 90 minutes before the first report of chemical attack.


    US intelligence services also intercepted communications between a senior Damascus official who "confirmed chemical weapons were used" and was concerned about UN inspectors obtaining evidence.


    Shortly after this intelligence release, Mr Kerry said he had firm evidence sarin was used in the attack, namely from samples of hair and blood from emergency workers who attended the scene.


    On 2 September the French government released a declassified summary of its intelligence on the attack, as well as assessments of video footage.


    It concluded that there had been a "massive use of chemical agents" against civilian populations, that "the launch zone for the [delivery] rockets was held by the regime while the strike zone was held by the rebels", and that only the Syrian government had the stock of chemical weapons and the means of delivering them.


    "We believe the Syrian opposition does not have the capacity to carry out an operation of such magnitude with chemical agents," the report said.


    It said, based on video reports, that it had counted at least 281 dead, but that such an attack might easily have killed a higher number.


    Russia - which, alongside China, supports the Syrian government - has challenged the US to present its evidence, with President Vladimir Putin describing claims the government was behind the attack as "utter nonsense".


    Russian officials instead suggest Syrian rebels were behind the attack to try to provoke the international community to respond with military action.

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