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The Orton Report
April 4, 2017

Analysis: ‘Brazen Chemical Attack in Syria Tests the World Again’

Kyle Orton

Overnight, a warplane—belonging either to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad or the Russian government that is supporting his war effort—has dropped chemical weapons on a town in northern Syria, massacring at least forty people.

While it will take time to confirm exactly what was used, the available information suggests that the regime coalition deployed a nerve agent, a weapon of mass destruction that is internationally banned.

Such substances were supposed to have been removed from Assad’s arsenal three-and-a-half years ago under the “deal” US President Barack Obama signed with Russia. In reality that agreement, which called off military strikes against Assad, was a smokescreen for a pro-Assad victory that collapsed the taboo against using chemical weapons—leaving Syria as a conflict without boundaries, opening the way to unimaginable human suffering and international destabilisation.

Today’s Attack

Around 6 AM local time, when it could be guaranteed that the casualties would be very high, a chemical attack struck Khan Shaykhun, a town within the administrative boundaries of Idlib Province in northern Syria. A minimum of sixty people have been killed; local estimates exceed 100.

Videos and pictures of the scene show the dead and wounded, including many children. The visible symptoms include foaming and narrow pupils, and there are reported injuries to first-responders. In addition to the scale of the fatalities, this is suggestive of a nerve agent, whether Sarin, Tabun, VX, or some cocktail is unclear at this stage.

Read the rest at TRT World