Syria Daily: France — “Intervention Measures” If Assad Chemical Attacks Are Confirmed

Civilians set on fire by pro-Assad attacks on East Ghouta, Syria, March 8, 2018

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said Paris will implement “intervention measures” in Syria if further chemical attacks by the Assad regime are confirmed.

Le Drian said on Thursday that action will be taken “if the use of chemical weapons were found, verified, attributed, and the use of the chemical weapon left people dead”.

The Foreign Minister did not specify the nature of the intervention.

The Assad regime has used chlorine at least seven times since January 13 as it tries to overrun East Ghouta, the area with more than 350,000 people near Damascus. Scores of people have been tried for breathing difficulties, and two infants were killed in the latest attack.

An eighth “gas attack” was initially claimed in Hamouriya on Monday, but medical staff later staff that victims were suffering from fumes from conventional bombing.

However, on Wednesday activists claimed another attack on Hamouriya, after a surrender agreement collapsed. Munitions include incendiary weapons, cluster bombs, and “gas”, according to the reports. Video showed victims struggling to breathe.

Ammar al-Selmo, a White Helmets volunteer, said:

Yesterday [Wednesday] night was the darkest and most horrific night ever. They used phosphorus, napalm, cluster bombs, and chlorine gas.

Our teams were panicking because it was like 2013, when al-Assad’s regime used chemical weapons on Ghouta [sarin attacks that killed more than 1,400 people].

At least 13 more people were killing shelling on Thursday, according to activists.

Bouthaina Shaaban, a senior advisor to Bashar al-Assad, said that the reports of mass killing, chlorine attacks, and humanitarian crisis were because of a “state of confusion” over gains by pro-Assad forces.

At least 1,300 people are estimated to have been killed since February 1 by the assault by the Assad regime and its allies, including Russian airstrikes.

The international medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières said that, based on reports from 18 medical facilities it supports, 1,005 people had been killed and 4,829 wounded between February 18 and March 3. It added that the total was an underestimate, as other facilities had not yet reported.

Just Talk?

Over the winter French officials, including President Emmanuel Macron, have been speaking of a firmer line against the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. However, Paris has been vague about the exact circumstances which would bring a response.

US counterparts, such as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, have indicated that the US would again strike — as it did for the first time in April 2017, after an attack in northwest Syria — if the Assad regime used sarin. However, Mattis appeared to say that chlorine assaults would not bring American intervention.

A White House meeting was convened earlier this week to discuss the East Ghouta situation. However, while National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster strongly supported a line against the use of chlorine, Mattis was “adamantly” opposed, according to US officials.

The discussion did not authorize any measures.

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  1. So Russia has been using napalm and cluster bombs to target innocent civilians and kill them. Andre – so are you still comparing the use of napalm by Russia to what the UN has said that the US attack on a school in Raqqa was a mistake? How can you compare war crimes by Russia to an accident as a result of fighting the largest terrorist force (ISIS) on earth (which Russia and Assad avoided until the US landed 2,000 troops in Syria)?

  2. To Razmjoo — Due to the attempted Russian assassination of Colonel Skripal using a nerve agent, there have been many articles indicating that you cannot produce sarin or VX in your kitchen, or anything less than a state run perfect laboratory facility. So please give up on the idea that some ragtag rebels with no access to precursors and no state laboratories can cook sarin to poison themselves and their children in order to blame it on Assad.

    “Chemical weapons experts said it was almost impossible to make nerve agents without training and dismissed the theory that an amateur could have assembled the substance using materials obtained from the internet.

    “This needs expertise and a special place to make it or you will kill yourself. It’s only a small amount, but you don’t make this in your kitchen,” one said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer at the UK’s chemical, biological and nuclear regiment, said nerve agents such as sarin and VX had to be made in a laboratory. He said it was a complicated task: “Not even the so-called Islamic State could do it.”

    Richard Guthrie, another chemical weapons expert, said: “Nerve agents, such as sarin or VX, require some fairly complicated chemistry using certain highly reactive chemicals. Small quantities could be made in a well-equipped laboratory with an experienced analytical chemist. To carry out the reactions in a domestic kitchen would be essentially impossible. Moreover, sarin is odourless, colourless and tasteless. Any tiny leaks of its vapour would be potentially fatal.”

    • Editor: Kazemi asked me a question and I have a right to freely respond in kind:

      VX nerve gas has never been used in Syria. Sarin, mustgard gas and chloine have though:

      1.CHLORINE: Rebels seized the country’s major chlorine production plant in Aleppo in late 2012 as well as a chemical weapons facility at nearby Safirah: Amnesty International has claimed that the rebel group, Fatah Halab, used chlorine according to the findings of local doctors:

      2. MUSTARD GAS: The OPCW believes ISIS produced and used the toxic gas in Iraq and Syria: It has also used chlorine in roadside bombs:

      3. SARIN: The first reported use of sarin was at Khan-al-Assal in 2013 where 16 Syrian soldiers were gassed: The UN’s Carlo del Ponte claimed that the rebels had used sarin in the attack based on eyewitness testimony:

      Sarin is indeed a complex molecule, but the precursors mixed to produce it are not. They are the same as those used to make organophosphate pesticides which was what sarin was originally designed for.

        • It certainly isn’t “misinformation” to report that the rebels captured a chlorine production factory and a CW research facility near Aleppo:

          “U.S. officials are increasingly worried that Syria’s weapons of mass destruction could fall into the hands of Islamist extremists, rogue generals or other uncontrollable factions. Last week, fighters from a group that the Obama administration has branded a terrorist organization were among rebels who seized the Sheik Suleiman military base near Aleppo, where research on chemical weapons had been conducted……Jabhat al-Nusra seized a chlorine factory near the town of Safirah, east of Aleppo.”

          • When you have evidence that rebels had stocks of chlorine, let alone mobilized this for weapons, we’ll talk further.

            • Just so you know, chlorine is found in bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and even in table salt (sodium chloride). You don’t need to seize and loot a chlorine factory to acquire chlorine even if it makes it easier. Any competent chemist can make it. I managed to do so when I was at school.

              • Interesting — so you did not go to school in Iran, because Iranian schools do not have laboratories. You can’t even speak Parsi. But you choose a Persian moniker, defend the anti-Iranian Islamic regime, and claim you are from Iran. Gohe sag boxoreh tu halqet, martikeye qoromsâq va mozdur.

      • Razmjoo – What I quoted above by the experts is also about sarin. Nowhere have I said that Assad has used VX. Please answer to my question that refutes your claim that Khan Sheikhoun contained a government run level sarin production laboratory. That is impossible, as per the experts.

        “The first reported use of sarin was at Khan-al-Assal in 2013 where 16 Syrian soldiers were gassed: The UN’s Carlo del Ponte claimed that the rebels had used sarin in the attack based on eyewitness testimony” —

        Wrong. This very first attack was proven to be a false-flag attack, where the missile or bomb was fired by Assad’s chemical experts to test the delivery method in a real-life situation. Then they could blame it on the rebels, and allow for massive sarin attacks like what followed in E. Ghouta to again blame the rebels for more attacks. There were also a variety of smaller sarin attacks before the E. Ghouta attack. One of the attacks was accurately documented as a canister that was dropped from a helicopter. There were pictures of the canister that hit a home that killed its occupants. The symptoms were consistent with sarin or a neurotoxin.

        “Sarin is indeed a complex molecule, but the precursors mixed to produce it are not. They are the same as those used to make organophosphate pesticides which was what sarin was originally designed for.” — So you are disputing what experts in chemical warfare have to say about the production of sarin neurotoxin? Just because the precursors are harmless, does not mean that sarin is simple to produce and when produced simple to handle and deliver. The experts are saying the contrary. Again, you are presenting a bunch of irrelevant stuff and building strawmans, trying to avoid responding to the evidence that only state actors have the clean room facilities to produce, handle, and deliver sarin. The fact that some pesticides may have an organophosphor structure is totally irrelevant. You do not need a clean room laboratory to produce pesticides.

        • So you claim Khan-al-Assal was a “false-flag” but the Ghouta attack of 2013 was not? How many rebels were among the dead in the August attack? Isn’t it odd that no report indicated that rebel fighters had died from exposure to sarin, but only civilians? Same with the Khan Sheykoon attack…only civilians.

          FYI, sarin was produced and used by a Japanese cult (Aum Shinrikyo) and used on the Tokyo subway in an attack in 1995. It isn’t that hard to manufacture: “The ingredients – organophosphorus, a component of many pesticides, and rubbing alcohol – are readily available from chemical-supply companies.” Making sarin is easy, but not being killed in the process is hard.

          The Syrian army has uncovered underground rebels facilities for producing and storing deadly chemical agents:

          • ” Isn’t it odd that no report indicated that rebel fighters had died from exposure to sarin, but only civilians? Same with the Khan Sheykoon attack…only civilians.” — If you fire sarin loaded missiles on a city, you will mostly kill civilian non-combatants and maybe some combatants. However, there were many rebels that were killed in the August 2013 attack – so don’t make up disinformation. But as always, the target are the civilians, like with the shelling and barrel bombing. Assad does not distinguish between the rebels and civilians – obviously because the civilians hate him even more than the rebels do.

            The Japanese cult could not produce effective and pure sarin. Only 3 people died in the enclosed Japanese subway attack. While in E. Ghouta, 1,400 people died in the open air. And the missiles that delivered the sarin were extremely sophisticated with the capability of exploding and dispersing the sarin in droplets wherever they hit the ground. The trajectory was traced back to Assad’s areas and bases.

            So again, you fail to answer to what the experts are saying that you cannot cook these things in a shed. Besides at least one of the precursors is on the CW control list and there is no way that the rebels can import tons of that kind of material to build a hundred very sophisticated sarin missiles.

    • Razmjoo — So you still believe a few ragtag rebels have the capability to produce nerve gas, and then the Russians know exactly where it is being produced and precision bomb the clean-room laboratory?

      “Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, ex-commander of the Army’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear regiment, said: ‘This was quite clearly a very professional operation.

      ‘These things are made in big government laboratories. It reduces in toxicity over time so if it was made in Russia two weeks ago then by the time it was administered its effectiveness would be reduced significantly.”

      Read more:

  3. 3 Mlkp (marxist-leninist komunist party) members from turkey fighting on the side of ypg were killed by olive branch forces.

    Latest situation, official map:

    2 km left to afrin center.

    People of kafr miza village welcome olive branch fighters (village is close to tel rifat, probably an arab village)

    • So funny. In the West, Marxist-Leninists (like Corbyn) love the Islamists and even help them shout down any critics of Islam (like they tried to no-platform Maryam Namazie at Goldsmiths). They attend each other’s demonstrations, wear the hijab, and blast Israel, and liberalism and democracy, demanding a fascist state.

      But in the Middle East, the Marxist-Leninists are fighting the Islamists. Just shows how stupid both of these ideologies are — and how opportunistic they are. Ideologies are invented for stupid people to make them do stupid things.

      • Funny indeed. Just like gulenists who think they serve islam unknowingly serving the US, these ypg militants were serving the US interests while thinking themselves in the service of communism.

            • I am not friend with commies ideologies. Goodjob Turkey especially since the amount of destruction has been kept to the minimum compared to the butchers like assad and putin.

        • Your post-colonial hatred of the USA comes through.

          The US doesn’t even give a damn for Turkey – if it did, it could have stopped Erdogan in many ways. But you post-colonials in order to justify your own atrocities and state terrorism and corruption for power, you have to blame the US for even the remotest things like some deluded 85 year old Islamist sitting in Virginia or wherever opposing Erdogan.

          If the US mounts a coup, it is condemned. If it does not mount a coup, it is still condemned (by Erdodog, Maduro, Putin, and others). Lesson learned: Might as well mount a coup everywhere, you will be blamed anyways.

          • US tried hard to stop Erdogan but failed to do so. The deluded senile living in Pennsylvania was quite useful for the US.

            Some time ago, I asked a question to you which you didn’t answer. Though I don’t expect a sincere answer from you, I will repeat the question. Some time before the coup you were saying turkish army should overthrow erdogan like the egyptian army. Did you have prior knowledge of the coup, like the gulenists had?

            • Too bad you don’t have an ounce of legitimate evidence for your deluded conspiracy theory so common in that ass backwards part of the world. Enjoy your dictatorship.

              • There are actually plenty of evidences. Just some examples; Adil Oksuz, a civilian close to gulen was captured in the akindji jet base on the morning of the coup.

                oksuz with gulen:


                oksuz under arrest:


                Oksuz is not the only civilian btw, there were other civilians who were caught in the base.
                And another one:
                I personally know one of these 3 civilians in the video. At the night of the coup they entered a building of TRT in istanbul together with putchist soldiers to shut down broadcast and left the building in the morning when the coup failed. People who knows these people, their friends, collagues, neighbours know that they are gulenists.


              • As i said you have no legitimate, credible evidence. Regime propaganda and “people just know” does not constitute credible evidence. It’s just another mindless middle eastern conspiracy theory. It must be so easy for Erdogan to brainwash people knowing they will believe anything he tells them. You all deserve the dictatorship he’s setting up.

            • “Some time before the coup you were saying turkish army should overthrow erdogan like the egyptian army. Did you have prior knowledge of the coup, like the gulenists had?” — It is just logical, ethical, and reasonable for the Turkish military to depose and arrest that criminal Erdodog. Only the military can do that (and seems that they tried and failed). Makes a lot of sense. I have no connection to Gulen. He is probably as much deluded as Erdogon and his followers (like you) are. You sure see a Gulenist under every bed. Just shows how deluded and brainwashed you have become. And then you attack others for “lack of education” etc. I only see deluded and illiterate people following Erdogon. Not a single intellectual supports Erdogon. The best he has got is that clown Haroon Yahya and his girls. The “shithole religion of backwardness” (TM) assures that Turkey will go down the toilet just like Iran, Gaza, south Lebanon, etc. I don’t see you defending Mohammedanism. Hard to defend.

              • Lol, once again the faschist in you came out. So the coups are good when it overthrows elected governments of mursi and erdogan kazemi, advocate of liberal democracy, eh? You are a plain old faschist falsely claimin himself a democrat.

                Haroon yahya for sure is a clown and no real muslim can have sympathy to him. He is the reformist type that the likes of you love. Sort of your ally not mine.

                The last 30 years of turkey refutes you, the more we become observing muslim the more we rose. I’m not in defence I’m on the attack.

    • Don’t know or care. Pick one. You have zero evidence Gulen had anything to do with it. Period. It’s a typical middle eastern conspiracy theory meant to blame nefarious and shadowy outsiders as opposed to yourselves or Erdogan’s increasingly dictatorial rule. I’ve heard it all before and the lack of originality makes it look like Islamists aren’t even trying anymore. It’s ALWAYS someone else’s fault. NEVER your own. It’s ALWAYS an outsider(e.g. the US, Israel, etc). God forbid any muslim be responsible for the huge problems or creeping authoritarianism in their countries that create the conditions for coup attempts to happen. It must be those omnipotent outsiders.

  4. @Meokur – Again, you demonstrate your ignorance about political matters, as you “become more observing Muslim”. Erdogan is NOT a legitimately elected official. He used the state broadcasting services and hundreds of millions of dollars or billions of state money and the bureaucracy to campaign and dupe and payoff a whole bunch of illiterate and impressionable voters. Just like Maduro or Mugabe do and did. Turkish elections were rigged in many ways and there were some reports of ballot box stuffing. So when Erdogan uses the power of the state to campaign for himself. And then Erdogon shut down most of the press that did not support him, sometimes under false pretense of “gulanist” or “imperialist”, etc. That is what Putin does. Only reason you (Meokur) consider that to be legitimate is because you never understood liberal democracy which is based on civil society, separation of state and government, and legitimate elections.

    Now Erdogan has arrested 25% of the parliament (the Kurdish faction) and I think terminated the HDP party, and intimidated the CHP and the opposition, throwing many of them and their MPs in jail, and you consider all of this “legitimate”. Turkey is the largest prison for journalists on earth. And you still naively believe that Turkey is a democracy and Erdogan is legitimate? How deluded can you be – or is it because of your ideological upbringing? What is your education, may I ask? And Morsi (not “Mursi”) had even less legitimacy than Erdogan. However, I am not saying that Sisi is a legitimate regime. But Morsi was beyond the pale.

    When a regime is illegitimate and unconstitutional, then it should be overthrown by the army or by force or by mass action.

    Why would I like this fascist Haroon Yahya, which is one of the biggest supporters of Erdogan and receives lots of money from the Turkish treasury for his anti-science propaganda.

    “the more we become observing muslim the more we rose. I’m not in defence I’m on the attack.” — Wow – so here you have connected Islamic fascism with anti-westernism. And then you say you want to join the EU? LMAO — sorry, you will never join the EU, and never be able to benefit and exploit Europe’s high standard of living.

    • The elections does not become rigged because you say so. You have absolutely zero evidence for that. Turkish election system is quite healty and it is impossible to rig the election. Here is why:

      The votes are counted openly, in front of the international observers, representatives of the parties and citizens.And the result of each ballot box is published on the internet. Your baseless claims don’t become real when you repeat them.

      “erdogan has arrested 25% of parliament … I think terminated the HDP party”

      You are just lying, and too lazy to google up and learn the reality. HDP isn’t terminated and most HDP MP’s are free.

      I have BS and MBA degrees, what’s yours?

      Mursi according to turkish spelling. I generally write names according to english spelling but sometimes forget to convert.

      The “I’m not in defence” part was a reply to your word “you don’t defend muhammedanism” . It’s not related with the west.

  5. @Kazemi: “Interesting — so you did not go to school in Iran, because Iranian schools do not have laboratories. You can’t even speak Parsi. But you choose a Persian moniker, defend the anti-Iranian Islamic regime, and claim you are from Iran. Gohe sag boxoreh tu halqet, martikeye qoromsâq va mozdur.”

    Yes, chemistry is taught in Iranian schools. برو خودت بکنید

    • Lol – comprehension problem? I did not say chemistry is not taught in schools. I said high schools do not have a laboratory facility.

      And your Parsi is straight out of Google translate. 1- It is not a proper reply to my Parsi statement. 2- It has many grammatical errors. 3- Is missing the preposition. 4- Subject is singular while verb is plural. No matter how much you pretend, you aint an Iranian – in particular your treasonous posts are clearly from an Iran hater. Gohe sag tu halqet mâdar jendeh xâen.

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