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MIntPressNews: EXCLUSIVE: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack (By Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh | August 29, 2013)
However, from numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack.

"My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry," said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta.

Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a "tube-like structure" while others were like a "huge gas bottle."



Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Aug 31st, 2013 at 03:12:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, from Juan Cole: Rush to Western Strike on Syria slows, but does not Stall 08/29/2013)
US intelligence agencies released an intercept on Wednesday showing that after the attack, a ministry of defense official made outraged inquiries from a local commander as to what in the world he had done.

The intercept would be consistent with local Baath chem warfare units routinely mixing a little deadly sarin gas into crowd control gas, killing small numbers of rebels with each deployment, but in this case making an error and getting the mix wrong. Thus, around a thousand were killed instead of dozens. British intelligence seems to have come to a similar conclusion.

...

The intercept does not prove that Bashar al-Assad knew about or ordered the chemical weapons attack. It does not, however, disprove that the Baath regime has a systematic policy of low level use of chemical weapons.

It does put paid to the crackpot conspiracy theory, advanced by the regime and the Russians, that the rebels gassed themselves.



Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Aug 31st, 2013 at 03:27:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.
BREAKING: Obama speaking - will take decision to US Congress. Attack delayed and US inspection has chance to report. Caution by US President. A wise move.

Invoking International Law Against Obama: Old Europe, New Europe and NeoCon Fail

(Informed Comment) - Caretaker Czech Prime minister Jiri Rusnok and president Milos Zeman have denounced President Obama's plans to bomb Syria not just as unwise but as actually illegal.

In the United Nations Charter, which the US crafted and to which it is a signatory, there are only two grounds for going to war: self-defense and a UN Security Council resolution designating a country as a threat to world order. President Obama has neither consideration on his side in bombing Syria, though he did seem to make an argument that the use of chemical weapons anywhere is a de facto threat to all other nations, edging toward a rather implausible assertion of US self defense in Ghuta. The US political class either hasn't read the UN charter or actively despises it, and if they were honest they would revoke their treaty obligations.

That the Security Council does it work illustrates the Mali episode of a complex domestic situation with a military coup, dealing with the junta, getting a UN Security Council resolution, French Army going in ahead of the UN Forces due to imminent humanitarian crisis, the UN African nations going into Mali to battle the Islamic insurgents in the North and presently Chinese UN troops on the ground.

 « click for story
Yang ruled out the rumours of 'combat forces' in UN peacekeeping forces [Xinhua]

It's the issue at hand, Syria, and US intransigence to come together doing some old-fashioned diplomacy. France was just trying to get some extra bonus points from Obama and King Abdullah ... even Old Europe is opposed.

by Oui on Sat Aug 31st, 2013 at 03:47:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
World to Obama: you got a Nobel Peace Prize for not being Bush.

Also, too: fool me one, shame on you; fool me twice, I won't get fooled again.

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Aug 31st, 2013 at 04:46:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It does put paid to the crackpot conspiracy theory, advanced by the regime and the Russians, that the rebels gassed themselves.

Not really. It may well be a case of all of the above, where the Syrians are mixing in a bit of Sarin here and there to terrorize the rebels, where the Saudi's are supplying poisonous chemicals that are not actually any known form of chemical warfare agent and that some might have been triggered by Syrian missile hits and some have been part of an intended and reasonably successful false flag operation.

Many things are possible and it will not be easy or, necessarily even possible, to determine clearly what actually did happen. The problem remains that the Obama administration will seize on ANY evidence of Syrian complicity and ignore ANY evidence of Saudi complicity. Another remaining problem is that there is no clear path to an acceptable end state for this ongoing calamity. So, probably, all will effectively agree to do the stupidest and most damaging things possible.    

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 31st, 2013 at 07:54:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Browm Moses: Chemical Weapons Specialists On Claims Linking Rebels To Chemical Attacks in Damascus (1 September 2013)
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is the Former Commander of UK CBRN Forces and COO of SecureBio.

I'm sure the Saudis would not do this without any training or support, protective equipment etc - I can't in my wildest dreams believe they would do it anyway - they are still very close to US, who [US] even in the `Blackest `of operations are very very unlikely to go this far.

...

Gwyn Winfield works for specialist magazine CBRNe World.

The contention is a Saudi Prince decided to topple Assad, got(made?) chemical agent from Saudi (somewhere else?), and then shipped it to the Ghouta front, stored it in tunnels, where it was damaged by the barrage and the agent released.

The big question is why? Why did he ship pressurised containers? Why did he transport them to an area where they might get damaged?

...

Steve Johnson is Lead for Explosive and Hazardous Forensics at Cranfield university

Hmm. There's a lot to follow up. Key though is that Saudi have never been seen as a possessor of chemical wapons so where would they get it? It wraps the plausible (Saudi support for opposition and wrangling with Russia) around the slightly harder to gauge (chemical weapons provided by ....)



Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 1st, 2013 at 02:46:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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