Both the Syrian government and the terrorists groups in charge of the conflict in Syria deny using chemical weapons
The Syrian government accused rebel militias that vie for control of the country of using chemical weapons in an attack in the southern province of Aleppo. According to the Information Ministry of Syria, 16 people died as a result of the attack.
In previous weeks and months, Western military forces issued a warning about the use of chemical weapons on the civilian population, with U.S. President Barack H. Obama threatening military action if Assad attacked his own people. This attack may then be the beginning of a set up by Western supported insurgents to create an excuse for a full invasion of Syria.
Syrian Information Minister, Omran Al Zoabi, said on Tuesday that the rebels used chemical weapons in an attack on Aleppo in which, in addition to the 16 deaths, mostly civilians, there were at least 86 wounded, mostly in critical condition. “This is a dangerous escalation,” said Al Zoabi on state television in an interview in which he said that Turkey and Qatar, official supporters of the rebels, are responsible for the “legal, moral and political” consequences of the attack.
Several rebel groups rejected the accusations on Tuesday and instead accused the regime of being responsible for the launch of a Scud missile loaded with these materials. “We have no long-range missiles or chemical weapons. If we had them, we would not employ civilians as a target,” said military spokesman Istanbul Lobre Sirius, Louay Muqdad, to AFP.
The regime has, in addition to conventional arsenals, vast reserves of sarin, mustard gas and cyanide. One of the concerns of the international community is that either the regime used these chemical weapons or that terrorists groups linked to the rebels and al-Qaeda in Syria who were brought to fight the Assad regime, get their hands on chemicals weapons handed out to them by Western supporters.
The news agency SANA did not specify what type of chemical weapon were used by the rebels, who the Assad regime has been fighting for over two years and that is composed by terrorists brought in from Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and other neighboring countries. The Syrian war, in which the West is heavily invested, has already claimed the life of more than 70,000 people and caused one of the largest migrations of refugees –more than one million– in the region.
Last week, the head of Israeli military intelligence, Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi, told a conference that he believes Assad is preparing for the use of its chemical arsenals. “Assad retains control over chemical weapons, air force and military equipment from Syria. Assad is making preparations to use these chemical weapons. He has not yet given the order, but is preparing for it,” he said. Israel is said to have requested that the United States attacks Syrian sites where they believe the Assad regime houses its military arsenal.
In August, U.S. President Barack Obama, who tomorrow will visit Israel, warned the Syrian government that if it used chemical weapons against its own people it would face a U.S. military intervention. Until today, the prospect of a chemical attack from the part of the Assad regime has been null, and continues to be, but the use of chemical weapons against civilians –either by Assad or the rebels– is the perfect excuse to invade the country with foreign troops. Several attempts by the United States and some European countries to drive through United Nations resolutions to attack Syria have failed due to the vetoes by Russia and China.