Syria increases use of chemical weapons on rebels

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Syria’s use of chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces on rebels within their capital of Damascus has been reported by a French journalist and photographer for Le Monde, according to sources.

Jean-Philippe Remy and photographer Laurent van der Stockt, embedded with anti-government rebel forces,  witnessed a series of chemical attacks.

“No odour, no smoke, not even a whistle to indicate the release of a toxic gas,” wrote Mr Remy. He was speaking from the front line in the suburb of Jobar.

“And then the symptoms appear. The men cough violently. Their eyes burn, their pupils shrink, their vision blurs. Soon they experience difficulty breathing, sometimes in the extreme; they begin to vomit or lose consciousness. The fighters worst affected need to be evacuated before they suffocate.”

Mr van der Stockt, the photographer,  was beside the rebel fighters when they were targeted by the gas. The effects of the gas left him suffering from blurred vision and respiratory difficulties for four days.

Reportedly, the chemical attacks began on April 11, near Abbasid Square. It is one of the key gateways to Damascus.  Where government tanks were stationed, close to a meat market, stronger chemicals were used.

According to Abu Atal, one of the fighters in Jobar,  the rebels were initially confused by a chemical attack on April 13, and did not desert their positions, but remained still. They wheezed for breath and their pupils constricted, and they were “terrorized and trying to calm themselves through prayer.”

Another person that verified that chemical weapons were being used by the Assad regime was General Abu Mohammad Al-Kurdi, commander of the Free Syrian Army’s first division.

He said that his men saw government soldiers leave their positions just before other men “wearing chemical protection suits” surged forward and set “little bombs, like mines” on the ground that began giving off a chemical product.

Mr. Remy of Le Monde reported “If Syrian army forces could dare to use chemical weapons in their own capital without setting off a serious international reaction, would that not be an invitation to pursue the experiment a bit further?”

The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, stated that the accounts needed to be verified but they presented “increasingly strong evidence” of chemical attack by President Bashar Assad.

The account of the embedded reporter and journalist, and of the doctors and other people they spoke to who confirmed their conclsusions, is further evidence of the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons despite their vocal protestations to the contrary.

Carla Del Ponte, a member of a UN inquiry commission looking at alleged war crimes in Syria, said that the commission  had gathered testimony from casualties and medical staff which indicated that rebel forces had used the banned nerve agent sarin. However, Western governments have stated that they had no such evidence.

March 2011 saw the beginnings of Syria’s revolt against the Assad government. It was inspired by Arab uprisings elsewhere and began with peaceful protests. Assad’s violent response to the organized protests eventually led to an armed insurgency. More than 70,000 people since the revolt began.

According to a report by Josh Rogin of the Daily Beast, Syria’s rebel leaders secretly met with John McCain. They told him about the “alleged chemical weapons attacks from the Assad regime.” The rebel leaders “requested the U.S. government supply them with heavy weapons, a no-fly zone, and air strikes against the regime.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are meeting in Paris to discuss details which could lead to  Syrian peace talks at an international conference in Geneva next month.

In principle, the Assad regime has said it is willing to attend the talks, while Syria’s fractured political opposition is still holding internal discussions about it. The Syrian government forces, some sources state, want to head into any such planned peace conference in a strong position. That might explain why they have reportedly increased their use of chemical weapons against the rebel forces.

Written by: Douglas Cobb

5 Responses to "Syria increases use of chemical weapons on rebels"

  1. Mzahza   May 28, 2013 at 5:45 am

    PROPAGANDA! Drumbeat for war… Those journos/rebels would be dead if it was sarin or g/v x gas, symptoms are consistent with tear gas (not illegal).

    Reply
  2. Popsiq   May 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Where did paid for by the ‘neocons’ come from?
    It comes from the notion that the same people who’ve sucked the west into a war on Islam viz “world terrorism”, aren’t finished yet.
    So many targets, so little time.

    Reply
  3. jobardu   May 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Where did “paid for by the neo-cons.” come from? I can see your questions about the veracity of the reporting. I have doubts about main stream media Middle Eastern reports, this included. Yet I don’t see where and how the neo-cons (clearly marginalized by the Obama Admin) had any role in this. Any proof?

    Reply
    • Robert David STEELE Vivas   May 27, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Clearly marginalized? Here’s a clarification on how the US Government work:
      01 People get heard who pay to be heard. Right now that is Israel funded by US Jews; New York money, Texas oil, and select foreign governments that paid the $300 million for the first election (and then the second again) that has not yet been accounted for.
      02 There are multiple chains of command within the US Government, including a special DHS chain of command created by Chertoff and left in place (with Israeli technology including wire tapping all doing double service and another created by Cheney and left in place within DoD — Obama is not in charge of anything other than the daily news feed
      03 Congress is no longer relevant — they have abdicated their Article 1 responsibilities and focus now exclusively on being re-elected, which in the US is no longer about satisfying your constituents, but rather about satisfying the 1% that fund your campaigns to stay in office.
      Hope this helps. Learn more by look for treason source=phibetaiota.

      Reply
  4. Robert David STEELE Vivas   May 27, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    This is utter nonsense. A careful examination of the French report reveals tear gas at most, and not a single photograph of an actual victim. This is propaganda, paid for by the neo-cons. America has been monumentally stupid three times now (9/11, Wall Street, Iraq on 935 lies). One can never underestimate the stupidity of the Americans, but really, this is too much. At least do your homework and don’t be a Balir poodle to the French, bad enough you suck up to the Americans.

    Reply

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