Chemical Weapons - search results
Syria: UN Mission Report Confirms that “Opposition” Rebels Used Chemical Weapons against Civilians and...
Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - An Obama administration official confirmed earlier this Week that Israel conducted a military strike on a Syrian base in Latakia according to a CNN report. The Israeli government has not confirmed or denied the allegations. Israel has claimed it was intended to disrupt the transfer of weapons headed for Hezbollah located in Southern Lebanon. CNN reported the following:
“An explosion at a missile storage site in the area was reported in the Middle Eastern press, but an attack has not been confirmed by the Israeli government” the report also stated that the “the target, according to the Obama administration official, was missiles and related equipment the Israelis felt might be transferred to the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah. The official declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information. There was some confusion about the timing of the attack, with some reports saying it happened Wednesday, and others saying Thursday.
Israel has launched airstrikes in the past including one in January that targeted a Syrian convoy allegedly “moving weapons to Hezbollah.” Hezbollah has enough weapons to counter Israeli Defense Forces as they proved in 2006. The largest Israeli news website www.ynetnews.com reported on October 29th, 2013 that the “Shiite group rebuilt its strength, arsenal, now poses acute threat to State of Israel” and that “Hezbollah has thousands and thousands of rockets and missiles pointed at Israel and this is a problem,” Brig. Gen. (res) Amos Gilboa, who spent decades in Israeli army intelligence told The Media Line. “Hezbollah is a major threat to Israel. In the past, its firepower was mainly directed against northern Israel, but now it can also reach Tel Aviv, the heart of our industry and technology.” Did Israel strike Latakia to prevent the export of Russian made weapons from Syria to Hezbollah the real motive? Or was it part of a plan to weaken Syria’s defense capabilities for a future invasion by the US military? This attack comes at a moment when Syria has met demands to destroy its chemical production facilities while the US government and Saudi Arabia continue to support the rebels associated with al-Nusrah and Al-Qaeda who are well known terrorist organizations. Reuters also reported that “One Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he thought that Israel had indeed carried out a strike. He stressed that he was not entirely certain, however. Israel has repeatedly warned that it is prepared to use force to prevent advanced weapons, notably from Iran, reaching Lebanon’s powerful Shi’ite Muslim guerrillas through Syria. It carried out several air strikes on Syria earlier this year.” The truth is that Israel along with the US is trying to weaken the Syrian government’s ability to defend itself militarily. When Libya agreed with the West to eliminate its chemical weapons in 2003, plans to oust Muammar Gaddafi were set. Gaddafi wanted to normalize relations with the United States and the United Kingdom with his decision to eliminate Libya’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The Arms Control Association (ACA) released a report titled “Chronology of Libya’s Disarmament and Relations with the United States” stated the following:
On December 19, 2003, long-time Libyan President Moammar Gaddafi stunned much of the world by renouncing Tripoli’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and welcoming international inspectors to verify that Tripoli would follow through on its commitment.
Following Gaddafi’s announcement, inspectors from the United States, United Kingdom, and international organizations worked to dismantle Libya’s chemical and nuclear weapons programs, as well as its longest-range ballistic missiles. Washington also took steps toward normalizing its bilateral relations with Tripoli, which had essentially been cut off in 1981.
Libya’s decision has since been characterized as a model for other states suspected of developing WMD in noncompliance with their international obligations to follow. Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control Stephen Rademaker stated May 2, 2005 during the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference that Libya’s choice “demonstrates that, in a world of strong nonproliferation norms, it is never too late to make the decision to become a fully compliant NPT state,” noting that Tripoli’s decision has been “amply rewarded.”
Libya should be a lesson. Although Syria met its deadline by destroying their chemical weapons building capabilities, Western powers in collaboration with Israel and Saudi Arabia will continue to destabilize the Syrian government. Washington is preparing for a military strike on Syria if President Bashir al-Assad and his government remain in power. Many in Washington including President Barack Obama and possible future Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton along with Secretary of State John Kerry have publically stated that “Assad Must Go”.
Washington, Riyadh and Tel-Aviv want a compliant government in place that will cut ties to its allies notably Iran and Russia. It would give Washington a strategic advantage in the region. Once that happens, the US would then back Israel with a strike on Iran. Then war with Russia and China can become a dangerous reality. Washington wants to dominate the Middle East and Eurasia. Syria is a stepping stone towards that goal. There will be more strikes against the Syrian government and its military installations by the Israeli government in the coming weeks and months ahead. Washington’s backed rebels will continue to advance towards Damascus committing more atrocities. War is on the agenda even if President Assad complies with any demands made by Washington and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the international chemical weapons watchdog that oversaw the disarmament program. Iran, Russia and China are all well aware of this fact; after all they are surrounded by numerous US military bases.
Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Western Military Alliance and Israel continue to Support Al Qaeda Affiliated...
Structural Inclinations — The Leaning Tower of Propaganda: Chemical Weapons Attacks In Ghouta, Syria
VIDEO: Rockets Used in Damascus Chemical Weapons Attack Fired from Makeshift Flatbeds, Not Military...
Obama’s Case for Syria: Chemical Weapons Intelligence Summary did not represent an “Intelligence Community...
Do the Syrian rebels plan to attack Israel with chemical weapons in order to provoke Israel into a war with the Assad regime? Now that it looks like the United States has been backed into a corner by Russia, it seems unlikely that the U.S. military will strike Syria in the immediate future and [...]
Did you know that the United Nations has had evidence that the Syrian rebels have been using sarin gas against Syrian government forces since May? This was reported by Reuters and other major news organizations around the world, but there has been an almost total blackout of this information by the big corporate news [...]
Diabolical Chemical Weapons Intelligence Operation? Killing Syrian Civilians and Blaming it on the Enemy
Flaws in Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) Assessment on the Syria Chemical Weapons Attacks
Massive Naval Deployment: US and Allied Warships Deployed to Syrian Coastline “Before” the August...
So-called Intelligence: Debunking the “U.S. Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical...
Chemical Weapons Attack Carried out by CIA-backed Terrorists: “Moral Obscenities” and the Toppling of...
Flashback: Hacked Emails Reveal ‘Washington-Approved’ Plan to Stage Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria
President Obama immediately cast doubt over concerns that the rebels could have been behind the attack and, despite the lack of any compelling evidence, the US concluded in June that Syrian government forces were the perpetrators. The use of chemical weapons signified the crossing of Obama’s much-touted ‘red line’ by government forces, prompting Washington to announce that it would now openly supply the rebels with arms. Meanwhile, Russia made it clear that they were not convinced by Washington’s claims as prominent Russian political figures made comparisons between Obama’s unverified claims of chemical weapons in Syria and Bush’s fabricated claims of WMDs in Iraq.
Israeli Intelligence News Acknowledges that Syria Rebels Possess Chemical Weapons, US-NATO Delivering Heavy Weapons...
A US official has revealed that there may have been no chemical weapons used in a deadly incident occurring Tuesday in Syria’s Aleppo. Meanwhile the UN has launched a full-scale investigation into the disputed attack.
"Our growing sense is that weaponized chemical weapons were not used," claimed the US official, speaking anonymously on Thursday. A European security official has taken the same stance, saying that the death toll in the event of a chemical attack would be much higher than presently recorded. He added that there was no evidence to support the allegation, despite prior accusations by a multitude of Western officials.
The Syrian government and rebel forced have been accusing each other of using chemical agents after a recent rocket attack near the province of Aleppo claimed 26 lives.
While Barack Obama reiterated his stance regarding President Bashar Assad, saying that he would be held accountable if found to have carried out the attack, UN chief Ban Ki-moon promised a probe as soon as possible. "I have decided to conduct a United Nations investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria," Ban Ki-moon told reporters, specifying that the investigation will focus on the Aleppo attack, "the specific incident brought to my attention by the Syrian government."
The UN investigators will cooperate with experts with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The incident will be investigated as a single case, which goes against France and the UK’s initial request to investigate another supposed attack, allegedly in Damascus.
Moscow has expressed hope that the US and France are not going to hamper the UN investigation into the Aleppo chemical attack in Syria. “I expressed hope that their initiatives are not attempts to postpone, hamper or prevent the investigation into what happened on March 19, because this issue needs urgent attention,” Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin stated.
Churkin’s US counterpart, Susan Rice, supported the probe in a statement on Thursday. "As the U.N. proceeds with these efforts, we will also continue to work closely with our partners to obtain further information regarding any and all credible allegations of the potential or actual use of chemical weapons in Syria," said Rice.
Meanwhile, Republican Senator John McCain and the Democrat Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin, continued with the anti-Assad rhetoric, saying in a letter to President Obama that “the potential use of chemical weapons only makes the case for greater action more compelling and urgent."
President Barack Obama said that the US is looking into reports that chemical weapons were used in Aleppo on Tuesday, killing two dozen people. If the Syrian government deployed them, it would mean a “red line” had been crossed, he warned.
Obama’s warning that the deployment of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would be a “game changer” came during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, both the Syrian government and rebel fighters accused each other of launching a rocket chemical warhead in Aleppo which reportedly killed 25 and injured 86.
“With respect to chemical weapons, we intend to investigate thoroughly exactly what happened,” Obama said.
“So I’ve instructed my teams to work closely with all other countries in the region and international organizations and institutions to find out precisely whether this red line was crossed.”
Obama expressed deep skepticism regarding Syrian state media reports that “terrorists” had in fact fired the rocket, saying that the Syrian government both had the capability and had previously expressed a willingness to deploy chemical weapons “to protect themselves.”
“The broader point is that once we establish the facts, I have made clear that the use of chemical weapons is a game changer and I won’t make an announcement today about next steps because I think we have to gather the facts. But I do think that when you start seeing weapons that can cause potential devastation and mass causalities and you let that genie out of the bottle, then you are looking potentially at even more horrific scenes than we’ve already seen in Syria, and the international community has to act on that additional information,” Obama concluded.
A front line, where rebels have made slow gains against the entrenched Syrian Army, in Aleppo, Syria, December 12, 2012. (Photo: Tyler Hicks / The New York Times) Employees of the advocacy group Human Rights Watch expressed skepticism Wednesday over a report that a State Department cable had concluded that the Syrian government used chemical weapons last month against rebel-held neighborhoods in the city of Homs.
The group, which has been at the forefront of documenting human rights violations perpetrated during Syria's civil war, said it had received reports of suspected chemical-weapons use in Homs but had been unable to confirm that the incident had taken place.
"I shared these with our arms experts at HRW at the time, but based on the information available to us we have not been able to confirm that the government did in fact use chemical weapons," Lama Fakih, a researcher for Human Rights Watch based in Lebanon, said in an email.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also rejected the report, saying U.S. authorities had investigated a tip that arrived in late December about a possible chemical-weapons attack in Homs but found "no credible evidence to corroborate or confirm chemical weapons."
The issue of chemical weapons in Syria's civil war is a sensitive one. President Barack Obama has said that the use of such weapons by the government of President Bashar Assad would trigger a so-far undefined American military response, and U.S. officials have used diplomatic and other channels repeatedly to warn the Syrian government not to use its chemical weapons.
The issue was raised again Tuesday, however, when a blog on the website of the journal Foreign Policy reported that a classified diplomatic cable from the U.S. consulate in Istanbul had concluded that chemical weapons had been used.
The report didn't quote the cable itself. But it said an Obama administration official who'd read the cable said an investigation by a company hired by the United States had determined that Syrian doctors in Homs had made a "strong case" that the Syrian military had deployed a chemical agent. But the story also quoted the unnamed administration official as saying that U.S. officials weren't "100 percent certain" that chemical weapons had been deployed.
Rami Abdurrahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group that tracks the fighting and casualties on both sides of Syria's war, said he was familiar with the incident the cable referred to and that he too didn't believe that chemical weapons had been involved. He noted that rebels frequently report the use of chemical weapons but that to date no such report has been confirmed.
"It's not chemical weapons, but they used some kind of gas," Abdurrahman said, noting that some of the people who'd been exposed to the gas had made full recoveries.
"If you have evidence I will report it, but I will not participate in propaganda," Abdurrahman said.
Outside groups have documented the Syrian government's use of other kinds of weapons that have been confused with chemical weapons, including incendiary cluster bombs, which cause fires that are difficult to extinguish and can cause severe burns, as well as skin and lung damage and death from inhaling the smoke they produce.
© 2013 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. Truthout has licensed this content. It may not be reproduced by any other source and is not covered by our Creative Commons license.
Soldiers loyal to President Bashar al-Assad travel in a Syrian Army tank in al-Arqoub neighbourhood, after clashes between Free Syrian Army fighters and regime forces in Aleppo city September 23, 2012. (Reuters/George Ourfalian)
A classified State Department cable relayed US officials’ beliefs that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against opposition rebels but an investigation on Monday concluded that Assad was in fact using riot-control gas.
Foreign Policy’s “The Cable” reported Tuesday that a secret diplomatic cable provided information that Assad’s military had used chemical weapons in an attack that left five dead and injured about 100 in the city of Homs.
“We can’t definitely say 100 percent, but Syrian contacts made a compelling case that Agent 15 was used in Homs,” a White House official told Foreign Policy Magazine under condition of anonymity. Agent 15, also known as 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate (BZ), is an incapacitating chemical that causes hallucinations and confusion and can sometimes be lethal.
The cable had been signed and classified as “secret” by US consul general in Istanbul, Scott Frederic Kilner. It included interviews with activists, doctors and defectors who all believed the Assad regime had used chemical weapons in an attack against the rebels, which means he would have crossed the “red line” US President Barack Obama spoke about last August. Crossing this line would have evoked the possibility of direct US intervention in the Syrian conflict.
Foreign Policy claimed the report ‘confirmed’ US officials’ worst fears: that chemical weapons were being used in Syria and that Assad was ‘testing US red lines.’
But the results of a State Department investigation show that the material used by the Assad regime was a “riot control agent” which was designed not to have any lasting effects but was more dangerous than officials estimated, since it was released in dense areas.
“It is meant to be short term,” a State Department official told CNN. “But just like with tear gas, if you breathe in an entire canister, that can have a severe effect on your lungs and other organs.”
Dr. Abu al Fida, who treated about 30 of the gas victims, told CNN that proximity to the substance played a significant role in the severity of the symptoms. Victims who were closest to the riot gas suffered paralyses, seizures, muscle spasms and in some cases blindness – symptoms that could have also resulted from exposure to chemical weapons.
Some of the victims were effectively treated with a medication normally used to treat people exposed to the chemical weapon sarin.
The results of the new investigation may bring comfort to Americans worried about a US intervention in Syria, since riot gas does not classify as a chemical weapon and its use, however deadly, would therefore not be crossing the ‘red line’.
"The president was very clear when he said that if the Assad regime makes the tragic mistake of using chemical weapons, or fails to meet its obligation to secure them, the regime will be held accountable," National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor told CNN.
ISIS is marching through city after city in Iraq, and they are doing it with American weapons. Thanks to a series of stunning victories in recent months, ISIS has captured a vast array of U.S. military equipment including trucks, Humvees, rockets, artillery pieces and Stinger missiles. When the U.S. was pulling out of Iraq, we were [...]
Planetary Weapons and Military Weather Modification: Chemtrails, Atmospheric Geoengineering and Environmental Warfare
Neuroweapons, Neuroscience and “Brain Circuit Manipulation”: Inside Story of Obama’s Mind Control Project
Worldwide Militarization and the Weapons Industry: America’s Surveillance and Targeted Assassination Machine
The Ghouta Chemical Attacks: US-Backed False Flag? Killing Children to Justify a “Humanitarian” Military...
A plan to inspect and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons has focused new attention on Israel’s undeclared WMDs
Al-Jazeera Online – 20 September 2013
Israeli officials are reported to be increasingly nervous that international efforts to destroy of Syria’s chemical weapons might serve as a prelude to demands on Israel to eliminate its own, undeclared weapons of mass destruction.
Israel maintains a posture it terms ‘ambiguity’ on the question of whether it possesses either nuclear or chemical weapons. But Israel is widely believed to have a large arsenal of nuclear bombs, concealed from international scrutiny, and there are strong suspicions that it has secretly developed a chemical weapons programme.
Those concerns intensified following the disclosure this month of a confidential CIA report suggesting that Israel had created a significant stockpile of chemical weapons by the early 1980s. Israel has refused both to sign the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty, covering the regulation of nuclear arms, and to ratify the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, which obligates states to submit to international oversight and destroy chemical agents in their possession.
Over the past few days there have been a series of moves by other states in the Middle East to bring international attention to Israel’s WMD.
Those efforts followed Damascus’ ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention last week and the announcement at the weekend of a timetable agreed by Russia and the United States to disarm Syria of its chemical stockpiles by the middle of next year.
Israel is now one of only six states refusing to implement the convention, along with Egypt, Myanmar, Angola, North Korea and South Sudan. That has prompted concerns that Israel could rapidly become a pariah state on the issue.
The Haaretz daily newspaper reported this week that the prospect of mounting international pressure on Israel to come clean on its WMD was “keeping quite a few top Israeli defence officials awake at night”.
Shlomo Brom, a former Israeli general and now a researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, called Israel’s current policy on chemical weapons “unwise”.
“The reality in the Middle East has changed since Israel refused to ratify the convention. There is no longer a good reason for Israel to remain with the handful of regimes that oppose it.”
This week Arab states submitted a resolution to the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog body, the International Atomic Energy Agency, calling on Israel to place its nuclear facilities under the IAEA’s inspection regime as part of efforts to create a nuclear arms-free zone in the region.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Israel has refused to sign, was drawn up in 1968, the year after Israel is widely believed to have produced its first warhead.
A report on Sunday by two proliferation experts assessed that Israel had built a total of 80 nuclear bombs by 2004, the year it is believed to have halted production. The same report concluded that Israel had stocks of fissile material potentially large enough to double the number of bombs at short notice.
US officials, however, rebuffed the Arab states’s move at IAEA. Joseph Macmanus, the US envoy to the agency, said the resolution “does not advance our shared goal of progress toward a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. Instead, it undermines efforts at constructive dialogue toward that common objective.”
An Egyptian plan laying the groundwork for establishing a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction was sponsored by the US in 2010, over Israel’s opposition. However, Washington announced last year it was postponing action to an unspecified date. Meanwhile, last Sunday, Iran’s foreign ministry urged the international community to “adopt serious measures” to force Israel to back the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Following Syria’s ratification of the convention, its ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, said “the main danger of WMD is the Israeli nuclear arsenal”, adding that Israel possessed chemical weapons but most other states were not prepared to speak about it.
That may yet change. Israeli government officials are said to be worried that the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, could demand ratification from Israel as part of US efforts to clear the Middle East of chemical weapons. “Now, Kerry may say, the US needs Israel’s help by ratifying the treaty prohibiting the use of chemical weapons,” the Haaretz newspaper reported.
According to reports in the Israeli media, Israeli embassies overseas have been issued with guidelines to evade questions posed by journalists and diplomats related to Israeli chemical weapons.
The Israeli defence ministry refused to comment to Al-Jazeera, referring questions to the prime minister’s office. David Baker, a spokesman for Netanyahu, also declined to comment, calling all such discussion “speculation”. He would not say whether Israel had issued guidelines to officials.
In a rare public statement, Amir Peretz, a former defence minister, told Israel Radio this week: “I very much hope and am certain that the international community will not make this a central question and we will maintain the status quo.” Unlike Syria, he said, Israel was a “democratic, responsible regime”.
Uri Avnery, an Israeli journalist and former politician, said Israelis strongly assumed that their country secretly possessed such weapons.”The Israeli government has always maintained that Israel is an exception, that it is a responsible government and therefore does not need to subject itself to international conventions, whether nuclear, biological or chemical. Israelis believe that because of the Holocaust they have a right to extra protection, which in practice means access to every kind of weapon.”
Israel’s secrecy is, in part, motivated by a promise to avoid embarrassing the US by declaring its weapons of mass destruction. Washington would be violating US law by giving Israel the billions of dollars in aid it receives each year if Israel possesses nuclear weapons outside the non-proliferation regime.
Calling Israel’s refusal to ratify the chemical weapons convention alongside Syria “a short sighted position of dubious usefulness”, an editorial in the Haaretz said a change of policy would show Israel was “doing its part in the general effort to rid the region of weapons of mass destruction”.
Suspicions that Israel may be hiding a chemical weapons programme have grown following a recent report in Foreign Policy, a US magazine, revealing that US spy satellites located a suspected chemical weapons site in Israel’s Negev desert for the first time in 1982.
A confidential CIA report from 1983 disclosed to the magazine identified “a probable CW [chemical weapon] nerve agent production facility and a storage facility” near the Israeli town of Dimona, itself close to Israel’s nuclear reactor. The magazine said Israel’s chemical industries were also believed to be involved in the production of weapons.
According to intercepts of Israeli military communications made by the US National Security Agency at that time, Israel Air Force bombers had conducted missions simulating chemical weapons bombing runs in the Negev.
The report suggests “several indicators lead us to believe that they have available to them at least persistent and nonpersistent nerve agents, a mustard agent, and several riot-control agents, marched with suitable delivery systems”.
Although it is not possible to know whether the chemical weapons storage site identified by the CIA in the early 1980s still functions, there are indications Israel has continued to work on nerve agents in subsequent years.
Israel is known to have an Institute for Biological Research at Ness Ziona, about 20km south of Tel Aviv, which describes itself as a government research centre. Officially the institute conducts medical and defence research, including helping Israel prepare against the effects of an attack using chemical or biological weapons.
The institute is believed to have secretly developed offensive capabilities too, most famously used in an assassination attempt on a Hamas leader, Khaled Meshal, in Jordan in 1997.
Meshal, who had a toxin sprayed into his ear in a Mossad operation, was only saved because the two agents involved were captured while still in Jordan. Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister then as now, agreed to hand over an antidote in return for the agents’ release.
There have been suspicions that Israel used a similarly hard-to-detect toxin in the still-unexplained death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2004.
The connection between Israel and chemical weapons also surfaced following a crash by a Israeli plane near Amsterdam in 1992.
The Dutch media reported that the El Al plane had been carrying substantial quantities of a major chemical component of sarin, the nerve agent used near Damascus last month for which the Syrian government has been widely blamed. The US company that supplied the chemical said it had been for delivery to the Institute for Biological Research at Ness Ziona.
A spate of reports, including by the BBC, early in the second Palestinian intifada, a decade ago, also accused Israel of using what appeared to be an experimental form of tear gas that led to severe convulsions in many of those who inhaled it.
More recently, Israel’s repeated attacks on Gaza have fuelled claims that it is using Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) munitions, an experimental weapon not yet covered by international treaties. Its blast causes severe internal damage to victims and leaves traces of carcinogenic metals such as tungsten in the bodies of those who survive.
In winter 2008-09, Israel was also widely criticised for using white phosphorus in built-up areas of Gaza. Although allowed if used to create a smokescreen on the battlefield, white phosphorus is considered a chemical weapon when used in areas where civilians are likely to be present. Burning lumps of the chemical sear through flesh and lungs and are difficult to extinguish.
Under international pressure, the Israeli military promised to end the chemical’s use earlier this year.