8/21/13 – 5:45
« At the moment, I am not totally convinced because the people that are helping them are without any protective clothing and without any respirators, » said Paula Vanninen, director of Verifin, the Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
« In a real case, they would also be contaminated and would also be having symptoms. »
John Hart, head of the Chemical and Biological Security Project at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said he had not seen the telltale evidence in the eyes of the victims that would be compelling evidence of chemical weapons use.
« Of the videos that I’ve seen for the last few hours, none of them show pinpoint pupils… this would indicate exposure to organophosphorus nerve agents, » he said.
Gwyn Winfield, editor of CBRNe World magazine, which specialises in chemical weapons issues, said the evidence did not suggest that the chemicals used were of the weapons-grade that the Syrian army possesses in its stockpiles.
« We’re not seeing reports that doctors and nurses… are becoming fatalities, so that would suggest that the toxicity of it isn’t what we would consider military sarin. It may well be that it is a lower-grade, » Winfield told AFP.[…] ”
“Adding to the doubts, some analysts are now wondering if the attack might have actually involved chlorine, which is also a chemical weapon but can be bought over-the-counter. A March Reuters story described a possible chemical attack in the northern town of Khan al-Assal, near Aleppo, after which residents said they could smell chlorine. The Telegraph reported at the time that Syrian regime forces accused rebels of using a homemade chlorine solution in the attack. […]
As Foreign Policy’s Blake Hounshell points out, Khan al-Assal was a regime-controlled area at the time, which suggests that if anyone were to attack it, it would probably be rebels.”
“A Reuters photographer said victims he had visited in Aleppo hospitals were suffering breathing problems and that people had said they could smell chlorine after the attack.”
“Terrorists Using Chlorine Car Bombs to Intimidate Iraqis”
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 6, 2007 – “Anyone who doubts that al Qaeda would use chemical, nuclear or biological weapons need only look at the terror group’s attacks in Iraq, Defense officials said.
Al Qaeda and affiliated groups have used chlorine gas in attacks against civilians, Iraqi forces and coalition forces at least 15 times since October, according to U.S. officials in Baghdad.
“Chlorine is used by terrorists with the intent to harm or kill large numbers of civilians,” an official said. “The attacks show that the terrorists are adaptable, but it reflects more on their maliciousness than their sophistication. […]”
“Stephen Johnson is an expert in weapons and chemical explosives at Cranfield Forensic Institute. He said there were inconsistency among the patients’ symptoms.
“There are, within some of the videos, examples which seem a little hyper-real, and almost as if they’ve been set up. Which is not to say that they are fake but it does cause some concern.”
“Am I in heaven ? I am alive ! I am alive […] ”
“Some of the people with foaming, the foam seems to be too white, too pure, and not consistent with the sort of internal injury you might expect to see, which you’d expect to be bloodier or yellower,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that although much of the video showed injuries consistent with trauma to the nervous system, it was too early to conclude that it was from chemical weapons.
“At this stage everyone wants a ‘yes-no’ answer to chemical attack. But it is too early to draw a conclusion just from these videos,” he added.”
“Jean Pascal Zanders, an independent researcher who specializes in chemical and biological weapons and disarmament, said that in videos of the aftermath of the attacks, the hue of the victims’ faces appeared to show many suffered from asphyxiation.
However, he said the symptoms they exhibited were not consistent with mustard gas or the nerve agents VX or sarin. Mustard gas would cause blistering of the skin and discoloration, while the nerve agents would produce severe convulsions in the victims and also affect the paramedics treating them – neither of which was evident from the videos or reports.
« I’m deliberately not using the term chemical weapons here, » he said. « There’s plenty of other nasty stuff that was used in the past as a chemical warfare agent, so many industrial toxicants could be used too. » […]
The head of the U.N. team, which has a mandate to investigate previous claims of alleged chemical attacks, said he wants to look into the latest claims. Speaking to Swedish broadcaster SVT, Ake Sellstrom said the high numbers of dead and wounded being reported « sound suspicious. »
« It looks like something we need to look into, » Sellstrom, who is Swedish, was quoted as saying.”
9/5/13 – 15:37
7 questions to the “inept hawks” :
1/ Which ones from the ones who are asking questions, demanding explanations and questioning the official Western version (and agenda), and the ones who, for political motives, are cynically surfing on popular emotion and deliberately jumping to conclusions, are paying the victims the sincerest and most respectful tribute ?
2/ What would be the toll of NATO carpet bombings compared to the nearly 400 civilian victims who perished on August 21st ?
3/ Why should one neglected warning underlined in red lead to an irrational macho military strategy not even the US army chief of staff is effectively supporting (or is it a bluff) ?
4/ Why affirm, against all evidence to the contrary and despite the inevitable escalation a scenario involving NATO would engender, overthrowing the Syrian regime would not be the actual goal / result of a foreign intervention ?
5/ Why out of all windows of opportunity for a military intervention choose the worst timing imaginable to intervene in a conflict in which the madmen clearly have the upper hand on so-called rebel side and the lines between factions have become so blurry ?
6/ What kind of powder keg involving generations to come is the war hungry West shaping / endorsing in the Middle-East ?
7/ Who will carry the blame for possible future terrorist attacks in the US and / or Europe resulting from this (deliberately ?) inept strategy, as well as for subsequent wars ?
If the concurring reports about the regular (Arab) Syrian army are right, if indeed 70 % of Syrian territory is currently under control of the regime, if NATO manages to mind its own business, if the Saudis are put under pressure ro call back their mercenaries, if Israel understands chaos on its borders is not in its interest, if Turkey quits its double game and if the British and French clowns abandon their project to shape new leaders in their own image, Syria has a chance of regaining stability. Should that miracle be accomplished, Assad, if he’s smart and if he really loves his community,and his country, will understand it’s time for him to move on and let others take office in order to reshape national consensus. Of course, there’s a high probability Paris and London will be in a bottle before that happens…