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August 27, 2013 10:30 am

Israeli Official: Severity of Syrian Regime’s Chemical Attack was Likely an ‘Operational Mistake’

avatar by Zach Pontz

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A victim of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. Photo: Screenshot.

As U.S. President Barack Obama weighs possible responses to a deadly chemical weapons attack said to have been carried out by the Syrian regime last week, one Israeli official told the New York Times that Syria may be the victim of its own incompetence.

“It’s quite likely that there was kind of an operational mistake here,” one senior Israeli suggested. “I don’t think they wanted to kill so many people, especially so many children. Maybe they were trying to hit one place or to get one effect and they got a much greater effect than they thought.”

Three Israeli officials briefed on the attack said they believed rockets fired during the assault carried a “cocktail” of sarin gas mixed with several other components.

The attack is said to have left anywhere from several hundred to several thousand Syrian civilians dead in the suburbs surrounding Damascus.

President Obama is considering a military strike against Syria that would be of limited scope and duration, meant to punish Syria for its use of chemical weapons, while keeping the United States out of deeper involvement in that country’s civil war, senior administration officials have said.

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  • Remember Geneva Convention

    Operational Mistake? Didn’t want to kill children? Anyone forgetting the Geneva Convention agreeing NOT to use chemical weapons AT ALL? The only punitive act would be to assasinate Assad, or blow up his palace. Even if he gets away, the message will be sent: “We know where you live, and you may not be so lucky next time”. If we are successful, then maybe we’ll have a Syrian general willing to reform the country like the Egyptian military.

  • K.B. Lum

    Who is punished by the bombardment of Obama? The population, the victims or those who, until now, could escape the bombing and shelling of or rebbellen,the terrorists or the official army?
    It seems tough to the world to carry out a punitive expedition but who nevertheless always find the wrong party. Furthermore, who is this helped. I should not think that the Islamists would mostly benefit of the actions. That will achieve only more instability in the region.

    • There are very few civilians in Syria anymore. The collateral damage would be minor

  • David Peters

    Mr. Pontz’ article is exactly the drivel one has come to expect from Ha’Aretz. An unnamed source, no fact-checking, no nothing except an purported explanation for a disputed allegation.
    Had Mr. Pontz read anything outside of his own rag, he would, hopefully, have mentioned the body of commentary from knowledgeable (and named) observers that claim that the rebels/insurgents used the chemical weapons themselves in an attempt to convince useful idiots like Mr. Pontz that the Syrian government had used the chemical weapons themselves.

    • Anthony C Abela

      Mr. Peters. have you really read your statement and found nothing wrong with it?. Are you for real?. Do you honestly think that half the world who are convinced, including the U.N. Reps that the Syrian Govt. did not fire the chemical rockets. Have you forgotten that Bashir’s senior (Bashir’s own father) murdered 40, 000 Syrians when he became a dictator?. The only consolation to some (probably not the Syrian victims) is that both father and son including their cohorts, will end up in the lake of molten lava when the Universal judgement comes and it will, you better believe it. They will be with the likes of Hitler and Stalin.

  • Uriahh

    This quandary is a direct result of POTUS
    thinking he could “reach out” to Islam and reason with it.
    Putin knows who he is dealing with and will support his ally come hell or Sarin gas. We vacillate like a kid choosing between chocolate and chocolate chip.

  • Rosangela

    USA does not belong there.
    AlQuaeda ( the rebles) are already operating there courtesy of American Tax Payer Money that Obama so generously gives them. The Armament disappeared are appearing in the rebels hands. Obama wants to ruin any stable country in the Middle East and place his Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group he belong to and finance with our money, and place its members in high offices in USA, Pentagon,DHS, DOJ. Check the names he receives for dinner. Name of most wanted terrorist names.
    Do you recall the name? Notice what they have in common?
    Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi, the SAUDI man HOSPITALIZED and VISITED in the hospital by MICHELLE OBAMA following the BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING.
    Remember, he was QUICKLY cleared after initially being considered a suspect and then, QUICKLY WISKED OUT OF THE COUNTRY AND BACK TO SAUDI ARABIA!!!
    Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi AND ALL THE al Qaeda Al-Harbi’s listed above ARE related.

    The provocation (PLANNED) false flag. Obama needed to launch military attacks against Assad to assist the Syrian “rebels” in their quest to OUST Assad from power and replace him.
    1 year ago, the effort to transfer weapons from Libya to Syrian “rebels” fell apart in Benghazi and who was the go-between in that failed gun running scheme?
    Who is one of the key players in mounting international outrage against Assad following last week’s WMD attacks in Syria?

    Who ELSE is a major player in the coalition against Assad?
    Saudi Arabia.
    Here is a list of a few Saudi members of al Qaeda.
    Badr Saud Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi
    Muhammad Atiq Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi
    Khalid Salim Uwaid Al-Lahibi Al-Harbi
    Raed Abdullah Salem Al-Thahiri Al-Harbi
    Abdullah Abdul Rahman Muhammad Al-Harbi (leader)
    Fayez Ghuneim Humeid Al-Hijri Al-Harbi
    And a handful currently residing in Gitmo:
    Salim Salman Awadallah Al-Sai’di Al-Harbi
    Majid Abdullah Hussein Al-Harbi
    Muhammad Abdullah Saqr Al-Alawi Al-Harbi
    Ghanem Abdul Rahman Ghanem Al-Harbi
    Muhammad Atiq Uwaid Al-Awfi Al-Harbi

    • Lynne T

      Forget to take your meds this morning, dear?

  • Efram Paul

    The US does not usually bluff. But Obama is one big bluff, so don’t count on him following through.

  • Andrej Vilar

    Nothing but a big bluff! Rebels are loosing the war arnt they?

    • yussi

      the us doesnt bluff..this is not a poker game