As international attention remains fixed on the coalition attacks on ISIS, Bashar al-Assad has quietly but brutally been moving to crush his opposition. This effort has included increased chemical weapons attacks, the Financial Times reports:
The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a September 10 report that it had found compelling evidence chemical weapons had been used “systematically and repeatedly” in Syria this year and that allegations of their use had increased since August. […]“This whole story of the regime destroying its chemical weapons arsenal is nothing but a lifeline thrown by Russia to the Assad regime,” said Rami al-Sayed, a Syrian opposition activist in Damascus who has documented and sought to publicise numerous alleged cases of regime chemical weapons use. “It’s evident that Assad had not destroyed everything he has.”
It can be difficult to confirm reports like these, but Assad’s assaults probably include chlorine gas (which was not covered under the Kerry agreement) as well as other poisons which were included. The Kerry-Assad chemical deal was a fool’s bargain from the start, and the idea that Assad had ever given up his full stash was a fantasy. As a bonus, the deal bolstered Vladimir Putin’s standing. All of this was supposedly done to stop Assad from using chemical weapons. And now?The costs of the Administration’s confused policy on Syria have been sky-high: the rise of ISIS, the irritation of our allies (Turkey, the Sunni Arab states, Israel), and the butchery of civilians on a massive scale. On its one supposed triumph, the Administration appears to have been conned, and it’s getting harder and harder to deny that fact.