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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘chemical warfare’

US, Russia Agree on UN Resolution to Find Chemical Weapons in Syria

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

The United States and Russia agreed late Wednesday on the text of a resolution in the United Nations Security Council aimed at identifying those behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

The resolution calls on UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and the UN’s global chemical weapons watchdog to organize a team of investigators to track down the perpetrators.

Those behind the toxic gas attacks, which involved the use of lethal sarin nerve gas, were responsible for the torturous deaths of thousands of Syrians.

The elimination of Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons was allegedly to have been completed in August 2014.

The Obama administration announced in August 2014 that U.S. military and civilian personnel had completed the destruction of the Syrian government’s declared chemical weapons stockpile.

The destruction was carried out under the auspices of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations.

Early in July 2014, a Danish container ship transferred 620 tons of substances used as precursors for sarin and other chemical weapons to the MV Cape Ray in the Italian port of Gioia Tauro. The American vessel then made for international waters in the Mediterranean Sea where it used custom-made equipment to diffuse the chemical agents into polluted water.

The neutralization of the chemical agents aboard an American ship was ballyhooed as a “watershed moment” in the years-long Syrian civil war.

President Barack Obama said in a statement at the time that it advanced “our collective goal to ensure that the Assad regime cannot use its chemical arsenal against the Syrian people and sends a clear message that the use of these abhorrent weapons has consequences and will not be tolerated by the international community.”

Secretary of State John Kerry added, somewhat more cautiously, that there were still “discrepancies and omissions related to Syria’s chemical weapons declaration.” He also pointed out that Syrian government troops continued to use chlorine gas against the country’s citizens.

Likewise, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby also pointed out that the international community’s work to “completely” eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons program was “not yet finished.”

The new UN Security Council resolution proposed by the United States is ultimately aimed at bringing the chemical weapons murderers in Syria to justice. The Council is expected to vote Friday on the resolution, which was proposed by the United States.

Fears Grow of Assad Waging Last-Stand Deadly Chemical Attack

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has produced new chemical weapons that U.S. intelligence officials he might use in a last-ditch effort to save his own neck, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Islamic State (ISIS), Al Qaeda and rebel forces have taken over most of Syria.

President Barack Obama, with great fanfare, removed a threat last year to bomb Syria when an agreement was reached for Assad to allow international inspectors to remove his stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, forbidden under the Geneva Convention.

It is questionable whether Assad disclosed his entire stockpile, and all it takes is one warehouse of chemical weapons to unleash a nightmare.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer of the British army’s chemical-weapons unit, told the Journal:

Even if the regime had only one ton of VX left, that would be enough to kill thousands of people.

Trusting Assad is likely trusting Iran to come clean on its nuclear program.

And even if inspectors did find all of Assad’s weapons, nothing prevented him from producing new chemicals, which is exactly what he apparently has done.

Instead of sarin gas, which Assad used in 2013 in attacks that killed more than 1,400 people, he has developed a new chemical bomb using chlorine, according to the Journal, which added that U.S. official suspect that Assad may have hidden some of his chemical weapon stockpile last year.

That should not be surprising to anyone except the same American officials who really think that Iran will live up to an agreement just as Assad did not.

The American intelligence information on Assad’s chemical weapons is “being taken very seriously because he’s getting desperate,” according to officials quoted by the Journal.

The Assad regime, of course, denies it has any chemical weapons.”Experts have been saying for more than three years that Assad won’t last another six months.

Eventually, they will be correct.

Where Did Those Come From? Undeclared Chemical Weapon Traces Found in Syria

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Traces of Sarin and VX nerve agents have been found by inspectors at a Syrian military research site, according to a Reuters report.

The experts who uncovered the chemical precursors have not received satisfactory explanations from the Syrians about the discovered chemical traces, nor what was done with the sarin chemicals.

So far, the Syrian government handed over 1300 tons of chemical weapons, but continues to deny it ever used them.

The Organization for the Prohibition and Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has said that chlorine has been repeatedly used as a weapon, even after the chemical weapon stockpile was handed over, but it is not clear yet which side in the Syrian civil war used the chlorine.

After Syria had been declared “chemical-weapons free” last year, it admitted to having four more chemical weapons facilities.

Berlin Won’t Name German Companies Involved in Syria’s C-Weapons Program

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Berlin steadfastly refuses to reveal the names of German companies who helped Syria develop its chemical weapons program according to a new report published this week by Der Spiegel. The information was made available in documents that were declassified after a 30 year embargo.

The list of firms involved in the program was handed over to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government coalition 16 months ago by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The organization won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 for its “extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.” Last year the OPCW organized and helped destroy Syria’s chemical weapons – those that were uncovered, that is – together with experts from the United Nations.

But 16 months later, Merkel has done nothing with the list, saying that publicizing the names would “significantly impair foreign policy interests and thus the welfare of the Federal Republic of Germany.”

The Merkel government added that doing so would be similar to releasing “trade secrets” and therefore constitute a violation of Germany’s constitution.

According to a lengthy report in Der Spiegel, however, the government did not need the OPCW list to know that German firms were involved in the Syrian chemical weapons program.

Apparently the government-funded Institute for Contemporary History published an inventory dating back to 1984 including a government document with names of companies suspected of supplying the Syrian chemical weapons program.

The release may have been accidental; it was a memo regarding the Dec. 6, 1984 visit to a deupty section head in the German Foreign Ministry by then-Israeli Ambassador to Germany Yitzhak Ben-Ari.

The Israeli official brought with him “intelligence service findings” which showed that since the mid-1970s scientists had been working on producing chemical weapons for Syria, “disguised as agricultural and medical research.”

Included were the glass producer Schott, laboratory equipment producer Kolb, technology company Heraeus, the former Hoechst subsidiary Riedel-de-Haen, pharmaceutical company Merck and the company Gerrit van Delden.

The top secret program was being carried out in the chemistry department at the UNESCO-funded Centre d’Etudes et des Recherches Scientifiques in Damascus. A pilot facility was already built. Contracts were already signed for three production lines and Ben-Ari believed that within the year, Syria would have the capacity to produce 700 kilograms (1,543 pounds) of sarin – enough to kill several million people.

On December 12, 1984, a representative of the U.S. State Department told the German Embassy in Washington that Karl Kolb GmbH & Co. KG, from the town of Dreiech in Hesse, had delivered “chemical research and production equipment for the manufacture of large quantities of nerve gas” to Iraq.

At that time, Dictator Saddam Hussein was busy building “the most modern chemical weapons factory of its time,” disguised as a pesticide factory, according to international experts who testified in 2004, Der Spiegel reports. Though only Kolb is mentioned in the files, it turns out that a related firm, Pilot Plant GmbH, delivered four facilities at a total cost of 7.5 million Deutsche marks.

American officials were trying to pressure then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher to force Kolb to withdraw its technicians and “via pressure on the company prevent Iraq from producing C-weapons.”

Germany’s long-standing love affair with chemical weapons was notorious: the Nazis had used hydrocyanic acid, manufactured by German chemical companies, to murder inmates in the death camps during the Holocaust. Millions died, including six million Jews.

As it turns out, Kohl and Genscher did indeed promise to curb the companies and issued orders to that effect. Foreign Ministry internal memos clearly showed the “minister places high value on a complete investigation” and demanded “assurances that nothing more will be delivered” to Samarra.

New Poison Gas Attack Claimed in Syria, but Has the Clock Run Out?

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Syrian rebels claimed on Thursday that the Assad regime has used poison gas again, this time dropping chemical bombs on the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus.

If Syrian President Bassar al-Assad indeed carried out another chemical weapon attack just as President Barack Obama pulled back at the brink of bombing his military bases, he is more devilish than the devil, which gets away with evil by manufacturing lies and then standing in the courtroom and challenging anyone to prove otherwise.

A report from the United Nations, due to come out on Monday, has been leaked and links Assad to last month’s chemical attack but does not directly accuse him.

The latest rebels’ claim of another attack may indeed be true, but their problem is that the rebels are as honest and adorable as Assad.

For all the atrocities of Assad and his goon squads during the three-year civil war, not to speak of the calmer days under his regime of kindness and torture, the rebels are a good match.

Videos smuggled out of Syria have showed rebels standing with rifles  over captured Syrian soldiers, who had clear marks of severe beatings. With the prisoners faces on the ground, a rebel commander and his goon squad killed the soldiers, one by one, with a bullet in the back of the head.

It is not beyond belief that rebels also have used chemical weapons, but the overwhelming evidence obtained by French and American official’s shows that Assad clearly is to blame.

What really is weird is that the world is outraged over the use of chemicals, which indeed can endanger the entire world, but has been sitting on its collective hands under its collective butts for two years while Assad’s’ jets bombed and starved civilians and rebels do, and while the rebels would have done the same if they could.

What started out as a romantic Arab Spring peaceful demonstration has turned into a barbaric war. On one side is Assad, correctly described by Pulitzer Prize winner Joel Brinkley as “the most dangerous man in the world,” and that was around the same time then- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was saying he is “reformer.”

On the other side are approximately 10 armies, each one easily classified in the category of “terrorists,” not the least of which is the Al Qaeda organization.

A United Nations panel, two years too late, has issued a report stating, “The perpetrators of these violations and crimes, on all sides, act in defiance of international law. They do not fear accountability. Referral to justice is imperative.”

The lack of leadership in the world makes one wonder if the 21st century of advanced technology is morally situated in the days before the Flood.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is just as guilty as Assad but gets off the hook just like a terrorist leader who sits comfortably at home while his worshippers send the peons to kills themselves and others.

The United States has blown its chance for true leadership time after time. It has been following events instead of leading them, refusing to get involved, only later to send humanitarian aid to the rebels.

It has refused to help the rebels, only later to give them logistical aid,

It has refused to send them weapons, but The Washington Post reported Thursday that the CIA has been funding shipments of weapons, not made in the USA, to Syria.

President Obama has repeatedly said he will not intervene in Syria unless chemical weapons are used. That red line was crossed long before last month’s chemical attack that killed more than 1,00 people. In fact, it was crossed half a dozen times, but Obama backed away because he wanted “positive proof.”

Last week he got his proof, but he blinked.

Now that chemical weapons allegedly have been used again, the world will get agitated again.

Clearly, if the United States and Russia let  chemical weapons be used, it could set the scene for as ghastly scene in the future in Israel, Turkey and anywhere else where the wind blows.

But even if the West attacks Syria, chemical weapons will remain. They cannot be bombed, because they would be released and cause a catastrophe. Assad obviously cannot be treated to hand them over, and who knows if the rebels and Hezbollah already don’t have chemical weapons?

The problem is the world has been too late for three years, and probably is too late again.

Obama Begins Attack Blitz, Says 24 Nations Back ‘Strong Response’

Monday, September 9th, 2013

The White House announced Monday that more than dozen more countries have formally backed a “strong international response” to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The United States now has the support of 24 countries, not including Israel which has tried to lay low. The list includes an interesting collection of allies, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Italy, Germany, France, Albania, Australia and Denmark.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the horrific chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21st that claimed the lives of so many men, women and children,” the statement says. “The evidence clearly points to the Syrian government being responsible for the attack, which is part of a pattern of chemical weapons use by the regime.”

IDF Tests Soldiers with Surprise Drill near Syrian Border

Monday, September 9th, 2013

The IDF staged a surprise drill Saturday night on Mount Hermon, and Nahal Brigade soldiers used live fire and took over a mock outpost near the border with Syria. The exercise had been planned, and the IDF said it was not necessarily connected to the current tension in the wake of a threatened American military attack on Syria.

Two battalions were involved in the exercise.

“We believe that we have to be prepared whenever when we have an opportunity” to train, said Lt. Col. Oshik Azulai. “Soldiers have an obligation to the country and to the IDF to be ready for war…with the enemy, and we have a lot of them,” he added.

The surprise drill was part of a three-month training period that will conclude in November with a major exercise, assuming the soldiers are not needed earlier for action on the Syrian or Lebanese front.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-tests-soldiers-with-surprise-drill-near-syrian-border/2013/09/09/

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