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April 25, 2013 7:43 pm

U.S. Shifts View on Syrian Chemical Weapons, Aligns with Israeli Position

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The United States now believes that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against rebel forces, corroborating with an earlier Israeli intelligence assessment.

“Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin,” White House aide Miguel Rodriguez wrote in letters to Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ), the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Wall Street Journal reported.

U.S. Secretary of State Chuck Hagel also confirmed this shift while touring the Middle East.

“The intelligence community has been assessing information for some time on this issue,” Hagel said, USA Today reported. “The decision to make this conclusion was reached in the last 24 hours.”

Earlier this week, the head of the Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence Research Branch, Brig. Gen. Itay Baron, said that the Syrian government used lethal chemical weapons, mainly sarin gas, against armed rebels several times in the past few weeks, and is continuing to do so.

Additional American allies, namely Great Britain and France, also believe Assad’s regime used chemical weapons.

President Barack Obama has previously said that Assad’s use of chemical weapons would be a “red line” for his administration, possibly triggering U.S. military action.

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  • Whatever the reason is, it is about time Obama and his administration start shifting focus from the Muslim world to its ally – Israel.

  • If chemical weapons were indeed used it wouldn’t be the first time for the region.

    During the North Yemen Civil War (1962-’70), Egypt sided with the rebels (known as republicans), while Saudi Arabia and Jordan sided the Royalists. When Nasser (Egypt’s president) saw that the war was stalemated he sent in 70,000 troops and ordered the use of chemical weapons. Chemical bombs were deployed in the form of blistering mustard gas, and later nerve gas. Conservative estimates put the dead at 1500 and many thousands maimed.

    In the Iran-Iraq War (1980-’88) Saddam Hussein also used used nerve gas when the war was turning against him. It is estimated that 100,000 Iranian troops died horrific deaths either immediately or in the months and years that followed.

    In 1988, Saddam again used gas to punish the rebelious Kurds of northern Iraq. In the most infamous incident, in the Kurdish village of Halajba, 5000 were killed and many thousands more wounded due to mustard gas and nerve agents Additionally, gas attacks were launched against forty other Kurdish villages.

    If the Assad regime finds that the war is turning further against him, he will order gas attacks on a massive scale. If the Salafist (Islamist) led rebels can procure chemical weapoins, they to will use it. This you can take to the bank.

    The Mideast ain’t the Midwest.