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Experts Cast Doubt About Syria Chemical Attack
By Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Once more the enemies of the Syrian government are whipping up reports about an alleged chemical attack by the armed forces of Syria without any firm knowledge of what really happened. It would be absurd for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons to any degree because outside nations want an excuse to enter this independent country. Also, with the United Nations (UN) being prepared to investigate past allegations then the timing is equally suspicious.

Rolf Ekeus, a retired diplomat from Sweden and a former inspector for the United Nations (UN) in Iraq, comments that "It would be very peculiar if they were to do this at the exact moment the international inspectors come into the country." Other commentators and experts who are impartial state the same. After all, the government of Syria would be committing self-induced suicide because nations like China, Iran, and the Russian Federation, would distance themselves from any government in the world which used chemicals.

The Long War Journal comments that "Is it possible that the recent intense regime bombardments in the Damascus suburbs have hit rebel stocks of chemical weapons? In that regard, note that Zamalka, a suburb where the toxic chemical is said to have been released, was also allegedly targeted in a gas attack in June. If the regime were trying to avoid the accusation that it was using chemical warfare, would it return to the scene of a previous crime and repeat it?"

It must be stated that The Long War Journal was recently quoted by the BBC, CNN, The Washington Times, The New York Times, USA Today and other major media agencies. Therefore, just like the former retired diplomat from Sweden, it is clear the many level headed and neutral individuals are looking into the events more seriously. Rather than the mass media and senior Gulf and Western political leaders which are sprouting certainties -- or pointing the finger towards the government of Syria -- despite no evidence of the true events behind the latest disaster to hit Syria.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated about the timing of the events that "This cannot but suggest that once again we are dealing with a pre-planned provocation … We call on all those who can influence the armed extremists to make every effort to end provocations with chemical agents."

Margret Johannsen, Middle East analyst at Hamburg University at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, told Deutsche Welle that "At the moment, I can't see a sensible reason why he would use chemical weapons, from the point of view of the regime"

Deutsche Welle further reports that "Oliver Thränert, director of the Zurich-based think tank Center for Security Studies, agrees -- though he admits the Syrian regime runs one of the most modern chemical programs in the world. "Now in particular, when Assad seems to have re-consolidated his power, he would be ill-advised to put a major chemical weapons attack back on the agenda."

Paula Vanninen, the Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention, comments that "At the moment, I am not totally convinced because the people that are helping them are without any protective clothing and without any respirators….In a real case, they would also be contaminated and would also be having symptoms."

John Hart, the head of the Chemical and Biological Security Project at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, also appears to cast doubt. He states that "he had not seen the telltale evidence in the eyes of the victims that would be compelling evidence of chemical weapons use."

Irrespective of what individuals think about the Syrian government it is clear that they would not commit collective suicide. In the last six months it is also abundantly clear that the Syrian armed forces are in a better condition today than they were six months ago. Also, with the UN being on a fact finding mission in Syria and the alleged attack taking place within the environment of the suburbs of Damascus; then even the enemies of Syria must admit that the timing is extremely suspicious.

In another article by Modern Tokyo Times -- in relation to a past independent commission of inquiry set up by the UN in relation to chemical attacks in Syria -- the leading figure, Carla Del Ponte, comments that "investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated."

"This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities."

It is abundantly clear that you have many doubts concerning the real events on the ground therefore it is too soon for the anti-Syrian government bandwagon to beat the drums of war. In all likelihood, either the latest event was based on the armed forces of Syria hitting a terrorist chemical stockpile. Or, more sinister motives are behind the latest attack in relation to opposition forces which continue to use barbaric tactics.

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