The Syrian government appears to have launched a chemical weapons attack against civilian areas in rebel-held Idlib, north-west Syria. As the BBC reports:
At least 58 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town in north-western Syria, a monitoring group says.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that strikes on Khan Sheikhoun by Syrian government or Russian jets had caused many people to choke.
Later, aircraft fired rockets at local clinics treating survivors, medics and activists said.
The rebel Free Syrian Army has published images suggesting that the attack used sarin and claims that as many as 100 people have been killed, many of them children. Assad’s sarin stockpiles were supposedly destroyed or removed from the country in 2014 following the notorious agreement between Russia and the U.S. that gave President Obama an off-ramp from his now-infamous “red line” that he never had any intention of enforcing.
As regular readers will know, we have long rejected the notion that Assad ever intended to destroy his chemical weapons stockpiles, or that the U.S., let alone Russia, was serious about enforcing such an agreement. Not only was the deal unenforceable on the face of it, Assad has continued to use chlorine gas which is not covered under the deal. All of that is without mentioning the indiscriminate use of conventional weapons which have made the Assad regime by far the bloodiest actor in a conflict that has killed half a million people. If this attack did involve sarin, then it is merely the most brazen example of the Assad regime proving that the chemical weapons deal that the Obama Administration has been so happy to trumpet wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.