Back in 2013, the catalyst used by the US to intervene in the Syrian conflict which started in the aftermath of the Arab Spring (which according to some was inspired by CIA intervention), was a YouTube clip allegedly showing a sarin gas attack by Assad troops on his own people in the town of Ghouta, which reportedly led to hundreds of casualties. Subsequently, the video was shown to have been a hoax, but by then it was too late as the US was actively involved in the proxy war, which in the summer of 2013 nearly escalated to a naval conflict between the US and Russia. The war has since continued, although it may be finally tapering now that the Obama administration is on its way out.
However, in a surprising twist perhaps meant to perpetuate the conflict, Reuters today reported that international investigators for the first time suspect President Bashar al-Assad and his brother “are responsible for the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict.”
A joint inquiry for the United Nations and global watchdog the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had previously identified only military units and did not name any commanders or officials.
Now a list has been produced of individuals whom the investigators have linked to a series of chlorine bomb attacks in 2014-15 – including Assad, his younger brother Maher and other high-ranking figures – indicating the decision to use toxic weapons came from the very top, according to a source familiar with the inquiry.
As one would expect, Syrian government official said accusations that government forces had used chemical weapons had “no basis in truth”. The government has repeatedly denied using such weapons during the civil war, which is almost six years old, saying all the attacks highlighted by the inquiry were the work of rebels or the Islamic State militant group.
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