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Fri Apr 26, 2013, 08:16 PM

Syrian officials deny use of chemical weapons

Source: AP


The Assad regime insists that it wouldn't use such weapons even if it had access to them

BY ALBERT AJI

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Two Syrian officials denied Friday that government forces had used chemical weapons against rebels, the first response from President Bashar Assad’s regime to U.S. assertions that it had deployed such weapons during the 2-year-old civil war.

On Thursday, the White House and other top Obama administration officials said that U.S. intelligence had concluded with “varying degrees of confidence” that the Syrian government has twice used chemical weapons in its battle against rebels trying to oust Assad.

In the Syrian capital of Damascus, a government official said Assad’s military “did not and will not use chemical weapons even if it had them.” Instead, he accused opposition forces of using them in a March attack on the village of Khan al-Assal outside of the northern city of Aleppo, the largest in Syria. The official said the Syrian army had no need to use chemical weapons because it can reach any area in Syria it wants without them.

He spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give official statements.

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2013/04/26/syrian_officials_deny_use_of_chemical_weapons_2_ap/

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Syrian officials deny use of chemical weapons (Original post)
DonViejo Apr 2013 OP
cartach Apr 2013 #1
Mosby Apr 2013 #8
Comrade Grumpy Apr 2013 #2
riderinthestorm Apr 2013 #3
David__77 Apr 2013 #4
demcoat Apr 2013 #5
David__77 Apr 2013 #7
Mosby Apr 2013 #10
David__77 Apr 2013 #11
pampango Apr 2013 #13
Comrade Grumpy Apr 2013 #15
pampango Apr 2013 #17
Comrade Grumpy Apr 2013 #14
pampango Apr 2013 #9
Name removed Apr 2013 #12
pampango Apr 2013 #16
Name removed Apr 2013 #18
arewenotdemo Apr 2013 #6

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Apr 26, 2013, 09:55 PM

1. "varying degrees of confidence"

Doesn't cut it as far as I'm concerned and indicates US intentions not to overeact. The Syrian insistence that it has no access to chemical weapons and would not use such weapons if it had is just as acceptable to me at this point as Israel's claim that Syria has such weapons and have used them. The Israeli's are warmongering again as expected when they state that the US should get involved and their recent claims don't hold water without direct evidence. If the Republicans were in power you can bet on it that the US would be involved by now with Israel in some kind of conflict in Syria and the results of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars would be totally ignored. Neocon policies would prevail. Obama seems to be doing the only sane thing and that is to go with the evidence and tread cautiously until more is revealed.

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Response to cartach (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:31 PM

8. israel is doing surveillance for the US and others

They are not "warmongering again", if you're referring to Iraq the Israelis told bush NOT to invade, because of the sectarian violence that would result.

Some evidence suggests that Israel prefers an assad regime because he has faithfully maintained the ceasefire since 1973, the Golan region is the most quiet border in Israel. If assad falls and islamists/Hezbo/Iran takes over the border area would certainly become another spot for rocket fire into Israel.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Apr 26, 2013, 10:11 PM

2. The case against Syria is very week, yet the war drums beat along the Potomac.

 

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Apr 26, 2013, 10:26 PM

3. It makes absolutely ZERO sense for Assad to use chemical weapons.

 

He knows it risks the western powers coming down on his regime like a ton of bricks. Furthermore, he knows it jeopardizes his relationships with Russia and China.

No way will Assad use chemical weapons.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 26, 2013, 11:15 PM

4. Plus what's the military advantage even in the tactical sense?

They've hardly unleashed their full conventional power. It makes no sense.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:17 AM

5. Oh, there is a military advantage in it

 

My problem with this whole thing is this. What if they used WMD on the rebels? they are trying to defend their country from an invading force. This is not an offensive war or war on conquest, they are literally trying to save their country from men who will quickly take it back 3000 years.

Also, would anyone objecting to Syria using WMD now object to the US using some of its WMD when the country is about to be conquered?

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Response to demcoat (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:51 PM

7. I oppose US intervention regardless of use of chemical weapons.

Obama should be concerned about countering the forces of international terror, not in preventing Syria from defending itself against them.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:37 PM

10. does the death toll concern you?

Today its above 70K.

How do you feel about 100K?

How about 250K dead? Still not our problem?

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Response to Mosby (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:54 PM

11. Yes, and the US has played a negative role. We should give food and medical aid.

We should not give bombs, bullets, and missiles.

I'm thankful that Obama has resisted the left-right alliance of war maniacs aligned against Syria, but the aid to the Al Qaeda/Islamist alliance is an immoral act against the people of Syria, and a real threat to the security of the people of the US. Yet again, the US is fostering international terror. How to stop the killing? Take concrete diplomatic action to prevent US/NATO arms from illegally flowing into Syria from neighboring countries.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 04:46 PM

13. What if the Syrian government has killed many times the number of Syrian civilians

that the "Al Qaeda/Islamist alliance" has killed? Is it an "an immoral act against the people of Syria" to aid the Syrian government? Should we take "concrete diplomatic action to prevent" all "arms from illegally flowing into Syria from neighboring countries" or from anywhere else? Or should we just stop the flow of arms to the folks fighting the dictator?

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Response to pampango (Reply #13)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 04:56 PM

15. Maybe we should just mind our own business.

 

Given the record of the West (not to mention the Gulf emirates), I'm extremely leery of the humanitarian justification for intervention. It appeals to good-hearted people, but it's NEVER about humanitarianism.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #15)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 05:15 PM

17. I am all for minding our own business. But I am not for allowing dictators to kill their own people

wether they use tanks, planes, machetes or chemical weapons. The fact that they are not killing Americans, but rather Syrians or Rwandans or Bosnian Muslims or Jews does not mean that we automatically do nothing. There will be times when we can do nothing - like Czechoslovakia in 1968, Hungary in 1956 or many others, but we should not automatically assume that we can never help anyone.

I'm extremely leery of the humanitarian justification for intervention. - I too am leery of humanitarian efforts. Many times they prove to be anything but humanitarian. That does not mean we give up on the idea of humanitarian efforts, just that we learn from our mistakes and be extra careful in deciding when, where and how to help.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 04:53 PM

14. We are involved in increasing the death toll.

 

What do you think supplying the rebels is all about? Making peace?

The West and the Gulf emirates thought they could get rid of Assad cheap and easy under cover of the Arab Spring. They told the Syrian people, "Let's you and him fight." They financed the glorious revolution to get rid of him. They were wrong; the glorious revolution is stalemated. Now, they need a new excuse...

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Response to demcoat (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:32 PM

9. What if chemical weapons were used on other Syrians rather than on an 'invading force'?

And would it matter if the Syrians killed were innocent civilians versus armed Syrians trying to overthrow Assad? Or do you think Syria has developed chemical weapons that can tell a "foreign invader" from a Syrian citizen?

BTW, it is against international law to use chemical weapons or nuclear weapons against anyone even an 'invading force'. They are notoriously inaccurate weapons with the capacity (whether intentional or incidental) of killing many times as many civilians as combatants and can affect people far from the actual battle lines.

...would anyone objecting to Syria using WMD now object to the US using some of its WMD when the country is about to be conquered? - Yes. No nuclear bombs on American (or any other) soil even in 'defense'. I do not believe in 'better dead that 'red' (or whoever the bad guy of the moment might be).

In particular dictators do not have a sovereign right to defend their repressive rule with chemical or nuclear weapons. Sovereignty lies with the people of Syria not with the royal family.

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Response to pampango (Reply #9)


Response to Name removed (Reply #12)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 05:06 PM

16. Because, as a wise poster above said, "... there is a military advantage in it."

Are you seriously proposing that Assad should have exploded a nuclear weapon (assuming he had one) in say Homs or Aleppo in order to shorten the civil war there? Since he does not have nuclear weapons, he should use whatever he has to achieve the same result? And then you ask "why in the world would he use it on civilains". Didn't we drop the bombs on civilians in Japan? I thought that's what you were proposing to be a good strategy for Assad?

"Ever ask yourself why all these countries still have their nuclear weapons if they never plan on using it." - As far as I know, no country has used nuclear weapons against its own people in order for the ruling party to stay in power.

"...dictators do not have a sovereign right to defend their repressive rule with chemical or nuclear weapons. Sovereignty lies with the people of Syria not with the royal family."

The stuff you said about dictators is something you just made up.

Oh, I definitely just made that up. Do you believe that dictators and royal families have some kind of divine right (or sovereign right) to govern? Do they have the right to use whatever power at their disposal to retain that right? Or do the people have a right to choose who governs them?

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Response to pampango (Reply #16)


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:20 AM

6. But what if evidence indicated that our freedom-loving jihadists got their hands on some?

 

And used it, blaming it on the Syrian "regime"?

Wouldn't that constitute a "game-changer" and wouldn't they have "crossed a red line"?

Or would Obama just look the other way, the same way he doesn't condemn the car bombings in Damascus or any other rebel atrocities?

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