Why it´s unlikely the syrian army used chemical weapons

There are at least four valid reasons why the syrian army is unlikely to have fired chemical weapons:
1. The army has made gains in the last months and is in no desperate situation2. The UN inspectors have just arrived in Syria, at invitation of the government
3. If the alleged chemical attack is explained as „revenge for rebel massacres in Lattakia“ it would make much more sense to attack their strongholds far away from the capital such as Rastan, Azaaz or Anaden
4. The syrian government and army have undertaken at times extreme measures to avoid foreign intervention and subsequent annihilation. The best example is the army´s non-reacting to Israeli attacks that destroyed facilities and killed soldiers.

All this makes it appear quite unlikely that the army would attack mostly civilian areas close to the capital with weapons of mass destruction

Here some media quotes:

BBC: „the timing is odd, bordering on suspicious. Why would the Assad government, which has recently been retaking ground from the rebels, carry out a chemical attack while UN weapons inspectors are in the country?…The BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen says many will ask why the government would want to use such weapons at a time when inspectors are in the country and the military has been doing well militarily in the area around Damascus.“
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23777201

The Independent: „there are questions as to why the regime would want to take recourse to WMDs at a time when it was making gains using conventional arms and with the knowledge that UN inspectors were present in the country“

„If you look at the way they have sought legitimacy through having the UN team there, in a carefully orchestrated fashion, with the help of the Russians and the Iranians, the use of chemical weapons does not make sense,“ said a Western European diplomat. Robert Emerson, a security analyst, added: „Assad has not been doing too badly in the publicity stakes with the excesses of Islamists among the rebels like the cannibal commander, et cetera. Deploying WMDs at this stage would be a hell of an own goal.“
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syrias-darkest-day-opposition-says-up-to-1300-killed-inchemical-weapons-attacks-by-assad-forces-on-damascus-8777527.html

Ein Gedanke zu “Why it´s unlikely the syrian army used chemical weapons

  1. I would like to add two other reasons:
    1. No one would use chemical weapons so near to the own strongholds. The wind can bring harm to your own troops/people. So normally this kind of weapons are used far inside the enemies territory. In this case the weapons were used near to Damascus, where Assads troops are very strong.
    2. Any government would only risk the international communities (or some triggerhappy countries) outrage by using these weapons, only if the governement would be sure to cause a severe harm to the enemies fighters. Since almost all victims are children and women, such an attack would be just very bad publicity without bringing any advantages. Daily dozens of Rebels are killed with conventional weapons. It would only make sense for Assad to use thiese weapons when he can be sure that it will kill thousands of rebels.

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