I spoke with Monocle 24’s The Daily on Monday night about the United Nations report confirming the chemical weapons attacks of August 21 near Damascus — and what happens (or does not happen) next in Syria.
1. “It surprises me how strong the medical evidence is, given the restrictions on inspectors. At the same time, I am surprised by how relatively weak the evidence on rockets is.
“That said, the medical evidence is strong enough to be conclusive the regime carries the responsibility for the August 21 attacks.”
2. “The Assad regime gambled that it could get away with the attacks as part of an offensive to regain territory. The irony is that militarily they have not succeded yet, but politically they did: they have not suffered any punishment so far.”
3. “I don’t think the report will have any consequences for what happened on August 21. And it will not have any effect on the attacks by the regime.
“This conflict went on for 2 1/2 years before chemical weapons were used, and it will go on for a lot longer.”
4. “Unless someone calls Russia’s bluff, there is no reason for Moscow to detach itself from Assad.”