Syria Daily: US — Assad Must Be Held to Account Over Chemical Attacks

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“It is time for all nations to hold the Syrian regime and its sponsors accountable”


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Imminent Pro-Assad Assault on East Ghouta’s People — Will Russia Bomb?


US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said on Saturday that the Assad regime must be held to account for its chemical attacks in Syria.

“Public accounts and photos clearly show that Assad’s chemical weapons use is continuing,” McMaster (pictured) said at the Munich Security Conference. “It is time for all nations to hold the Syrian regime and its sponsors accountable for their actions and support the efforts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”

French officials, including President Emmmanuel Macron, have stepped up their calls for action over the Assad regime’s assaults with sarin and chlorine since 2012, including sarin attacks that killed more than 1,400 people near Damascus in August 2013 and up to 92 people in Khan Sheikhoun in northwest Syria in April 2017.

Earlier this month, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the Assad regime had carried out chemical attacks since 2013. However, he indicated that while the US would act against another use of the nerve agent sarin, it would not necessarily do over the regime’s numerous assaults with chlorine, including at least four since January 13.

Macron also pointed to a distinction between sarin and chlorine, saying “France will strike” if chemical weapons are employed against civilians in violation of international treaties. Chlorine is not a banned substance under international conventions, because of its common domestic uses.

Mattis’s statement was also distorted by news agencies who misreported that he had said the US had no evidence of any sarin use by the regime. In fact, the Defense Secretary was referring to an unconfirmed claim of a recent sarin attack in Idlib Province in northwest Syria.

Pro-Assad activists seized upon the faulty accounts to claim vindication for the regime.

(Reuters repeats the error in its account of McMaster’s remarks, saying Mattis “stressed that the U.S. did not have evidence of sarin gas use”.)


ISIS Claims Killing of Regime General in Eastern Syria

The Islamic State claims it has killed an Assad regime commander in Deir ez-Zor Province in eastern Syria.

Brig. Gen. Jamal Razuk died on Saturday when his car crashed on the highway between Deir ez-Zor city and Palmyra. The regime military initially claimed an accident, but ISIS outlet Amaq said the vehicle was struck by an ambush.

Razuk was the chief of military intelligence in Deir ez-Zor Province.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. “S. Rifai
    ‏ @THE_47th
    14h14 hours ago

    Russia’s official base/spokes in #Syria (their base in Hmeimim) is confirming that Russian troops will participate in the upcoming Ghouta offensive if “peace initiatives don’t work”.”
    .
    The Russians are making it pubicly know that they will be involved in the coming slaughter in Ghouta so that the Yanks do not attack them.

      • Whatever fraud occurs in Russian elections, his re-election doesn’t hinge upon it. Ideological blinders usually cause people to underestimate his popularity among Russians. What Barleybill proposes – “Throwing some dirt around about him should affect the election result and would be poetic justice after what he did to Hilary Clinton.” – is wishful thinking. Russians by and large acknowledge his corruption. They support him regardless.

        • If I controlled the media, the internet, and had the ability to imprison(if not murder) any legit rivals and/or critics who may emerge on trumped up charges, I’d probably be polling pretty well too. Also the Russians want their empire back and they think Putin is the man to do it despite the declining economy and deep corruption at every level of their society.

          • “If I controlled the media, the internet, and had the ability to imprison(if not murder) any legit rivals and/or critics who may emerge on trumped up charges, I’d probably be polling pretty well too.”

            It’s a time-tested method, yes.

        • What Russia needs is a good dose of civil society activism. That can only be accomplished by exposing corruption or senseless foreign adventures (Ukraine, Syria, etc.) and their costs. We can debate if exposure of this Syrian debacle affects Putin’s chances of re-election, but as a whole it would still be a positive for anti-corruption and civil society activism.

          • Putin’s approval spiked to +80% post-Crimea. Unless you boot Russia from Syria and Ukraine in an extremely humiliating fashion, I find it hard to believe a Russian would consider the campaigns there senseless. Somewhat heightened attrition won’t budge them either. Corruption is the only thing that really resonates with the Russians. That’s Navalny’s shtick.

  2. #Idlib: “Rebels arrested an Assad Regime cell of multiple men and 13 women in Salqeen.
    The cell was under direct supervision of the notorious Airforce Intelligence.” – @qalaama
    .
    Interesting as it seems rebels counter-intelligence units are improving, Maybe rebels electronic warfare & signals intelligence operations will improve too?

  3. #Idlib: “#AhrarAlSham and Nour al-Dein al-Zenkey reached an agreement to gradually merge both groups into a single faction, and is supposed to issue an official statement today” – @badly_xeroxed
    .
    Unless individual brigade & battalion size units are dissolved & blended/formed into single brigades & battalions that are 50%/50% of each group then this would be a temporary unity rather then a permanent one. That said, and I have mentioned this many times before, all remaining rebel groups should be forced into division (i.e. no smaller then ten thousand) size units or be made to emigrate. There can be no brigade size units (i.e. 3000 men) let alone battalion sized (i.e. 300 men) units left.

  4. For those interested in such things: How the Vietcong managed to sink an American aircraft carrier –
    .
    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/revealed-viet-cong-commandos-sank-navy-aircraft-carrier-24483
    .
    Excerpt from the above link:
    .
    “The sinking of the Card was stunning victory for the Viet Cong, yet little remembered today. It illustrated how vulnerable naval vessels can be even when faced with a low-tech enemy … and how difficult maintaining port security can be in a war with no real front.”
    .
    I wonder whether the rebels would do the same the next time the Russians send their aircraft carrier to Syria again. After all if rebels can launch ‘drone swarms’ (something which rebels in Ghouta have yet to do) then why not this?
    .
    That said if you are angry at the possibility of Hezbollah units doing to Ghouta like they did to Aleppo year before and you live in the UK then I recommend you sign this official parliamentary petition and pass it onto friends & family who also live in the UK to sign:
    .
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200023
    .
    This petition has had just under 1000 signatures since I last posted it here and let’s hope it gets even more before this month ends.

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