Sunday 28 April 2013


US intelligence has found evidence that sarin gas, a chemical weapon, has been used in Syria on a small scale, the White House has said .

However, in a letter to Congress the administration made it clear that it did not believe that the evidence was conclusive, saying it only had "varying amounts of confidence" in its reliability. Nor did the evidence prove beyond any doubt that the Syrian government had been responsible for using sarin, though this was "very likely" to be the case. 
The Guardian: US says Syria may have used sarin gas in chemical weapons, April 25, 2013
It is interesting, on that note, to observe that in the past year—since Assad’s escalation of air attacks of all forms—the civilian exodus from Syria has gone into hyperdrive: a year ago, there were sixteen thousand Syrian refugees registered in Turkey, seven thousand in Jordan, and twelve thousand in Lebanon; those figures are now estimated at four hundred thousand, four hundred and seventy thousand, and a million. It goes without saying that the more civilians from insurgent Sunni communities who depart from Syria’s cities and countryside, the better for Assad’s regime. As Syria’s crisis increasingly undermines the stability of its fragile neighbors, Assad’s leverage in the international community, via the Russians, who have been his stalking horse from the beginning, becomes greater. (With each new tragedy and threat of escalation, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, reminds everyone that there is a Russian solution to the problem—leaving Assad, or someone else with Moscow’s backing and approval, in power.) 
The New Yorker: Chemical Weapons and Assad's Game, April 27, 2013

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