Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday the U.S. intelligence community believes the Syrian regime used the chemical weapon sarin, a revelation that immediately raised the question of whether a "red line" had been crossed in the country's civil war.

Hagel confirmed the intelligence assessment, which was detailed in a letter to select members of Congress, while speaking to reporters on a visit to Abu Dhabi. The administration swiftly released those letters, which said U.S. intelligence determined with varying degrees of confidence that "the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin."

The White House stressed that this was not enough to confirm how the chemical was released and pressed the United Nations for a "comprehensive" investigation. President Obama has said the use of chemical weapons would be a "game-changer" in the U.S. position on intervening in the two-year-old Syrian civil war.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., suggested Thursday the "red line" had been crossed.

But Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said more information is needed.

"Precisely because the President takes this issue so seriously, we have an obligation to fully investigate any and all evidence of chemical weapons use within Syria," she said in a statement. "That is why we are currently pressing for a comprehensive United Nations investigation that can credibly evaluate the evidence and establish what took place. We are also working with our friends and allies, and the Syrian opposition, to procure, share and evaluate additional information associated with reports of the use of chemical weapons so that we can establish the facts.

Asked if this crossed a "red line" for the U.S., Hagel likewise said they are still trying to assess.

"It violates every convention of warfare," he said.
Israel is also claiming that Syria has used chemical weapons.

Thoughts?

Could this lead to US/International intervention on the Syrian Civil War?

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I thought chemical weapons aren't used anymore in all countries.:? Well at least that's what i read many years ago. I guess the book was wrong. When i asked my father why, he said it was unethical.

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Why the ICC isn't in-sighting an intervention process at this point is beyond me.

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DoubleD wrote:
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday the U.S. intelligence community believes the Syrian regime used the chemical weapon sarin, a revelation that immediately raised the question of whether a "red line" had been crossed in the country's civil war.

Hagel confirmed the intelligence assessment, which was detailed in a letter to select members of Congress, while speaking to reporters on a visit to Abu Dhabi. The administration swiftly released those letters, which said U.S. intelligence determined with varying degrees of confidence that "the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin."

The White House stressed that this was not enough to confirm how the chemical was released and pressed the United Nations for a "comprehensive" investigation. President Obama has said the use of chemical weapons would be a "game-changer" in the U.S. position on intervening in the two-year-old Syrian civil war.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., suggested Thursday the "red line" had been crossed.

But Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said more information is needed.

"Precisely because the President takes this issue so seriously, we have an obligation to fully investigate any and all evidence of chemical weapons use within Syria," she said in a statement. "That is why we are currently pressing for a comprehensive United Nations investigation that can credibly evaluate the evidence and establish what took place. We are also working with our friends and allies, and the Syrian opposition, to procure, share and evaluate additional information associated with reports of the use of chemical weapons so that we can establish the facts.

Asked if this crossed a "red line" for the U.S., Hagel likewise said they are still trying to assess.

"It violates every convention of warfare," he said.
Israel is also claiming that Syria has used chemical weapons.

Thoughts?

Could this lead to US/International intervention on the Syrian Civil War?
If it's proven, the U.S. will likely intervene, although I do not believe it will be with boots on the ground. Our intervention will likely be more indirect, yet still very much apparent, such as funding and arming the "rebels." I'd just like to note that this civil war has many similarities to the Libya civil war that the U.S. intervened in. An American embassy was bombed in Libya due to our intervention, and recently, car bombs have exploded at the French embassy in Libya. According to sources, no group claimed responsibility for the attack on the French Embassy in Tripoli, but many blamed either Islamic extremists avenging France's military intervention in Mali.

al-Qaeda responded to their reasoning behind the attacks on France and American forces: Last week, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, threatened to seek revenge against all countries taking part in the war in Mali, warning that no one who "participated in this ferocious attack" will be safe. It called on "all Muslims to target France and its interests and subjects inside and outside France until it withdraws the last soldier from the land of the Muslims and lifts its support of rulers of the region." That threat came as part of a question and answer session on AQIM's new Twitter account.

The reason I bring up what has happened in Libya is because I believe it is likely that the same could happen in Syria. It looks as if our intervention is becoming ever more likely, and the likelihood of various extreme groups within that region declaring an all out assault against the U.S., our embassies and allies, is almost a certainty if that comes to fruition.

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This reminds me of
An effort by the DOE to correct this detail in comments prepared for United States Secretary of State Colin Powell's UN appearance was rebuffed by the administration[97][98] and Powell, in his address to the UN Security Council just before the war, referred to the aluminum tubes, stating that while experts disagreed on whether or not the tubes were destined for a centrifuge program, the specifications of the tubes were unusually tight.[99] Powell later admitted he had presented what turned out to be an inaccurate case to the UN on Iraqi weapons, and the intelligence he was relying on was, in some cases, "deliberately misleading."
Plus the supposed evidence of chemical weapons used by Assad from the Israeli official was pictures of people on the internet who were forming on the month.

I will never ever support any NATO or western invasion of Syria. I think its the responsibility of the Arab League to stop the bloodshed in Syria. I don't care how pathetic and feeble that sounds I'm against any foreign intervention from non-arabs. If they are incapable of doing so then the rebels should make peace with Assad and negotiate a safe haven in the gulf countries who have been funding them, as to avoid retaliation from Assad and his government. I think the rebels should make some sort of peace agreement that allows them to control certain areas of syria and introduce an Arab league army into these areas to monitor all violations. This would stop the death and murder and allow both sides to co-exist and more important end a conflict that could very well go on for decades. Realistically its very difficult to predict how and when this civil war will end. Personally I think this conflict will drag on for a very long time, even if Assad steps down there will still be rift and violence between the different rebels and sectarian groups.

People seems to forget that Assad isn't just a typical dictator with a repressive regime like Gaddafi or Mubarak but he is also the sole representative of an ethnoreligious group comprising 11% of the Syrian population. And the only arab country that is alined with Iran that is geographically linked with Hezbollah. There is too much at stake for Assad, he is essentially fighting for the survival and privileges of his ethnic group and minorities in Syria. This isn't just simply a civil war with two sides anymore, this is a big old sectarian proxy war with many different form of interests inside Syria. This is basically the Lebanese civil war 2.0 with all the factionalism and foreign involvement.

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Looks like Israel is intervening..
A big badaboom last night:


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Who woulda thought Syria would be the possible cause of WWIII.

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holy shit

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This is something that should be thoroughly investigated by the UN before any actions are taken. It needs to be decided who the culprit is; the Syrian government or the rebels. In either case, however, this is horrific and a terrible war crime by any standards. Too many innocents have been killed.

EDIT: A convoy of UN investigators has been attacked by unidentified snipers.

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I feel terribly sorry for innocent people who lost their lives .

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