Israel says Syria used chemical weapons

Israel's top military intelligence analyst says Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons, probably nerve gas, in their fight against rebels waging a two-year-old uprising.
Brigadier-General Itai Brun told a security conference that photos of victims showing foam coming out of their mouths and contracted pupils were signs deadly gas had been used.
"To the best of our understanding, there was use of lethal chemical weapons," he said in remarks broadcast on Army Radio.

"Which chemical weapons? Probably Sarin."

In a transcript of the speech provided by the Israeli military, he said forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad were behind the attacks on "armed (rebels) on a number of occasions in the past few months".The Syrian government and rebels last month accused each other of launching a chemical attack near the northern city of Aleppo.

US defence secretary Chuck Hagel, who is visiting Israel, has said American intelligence agencies were still assessing whether chemical weapons may have been used in Syria's civil war.

"We, the United States, along with Israel have options for all contingencies and certainly the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons would be a game changer in crossing that red line," he said.

US secretary of state John Kerry said later that NATO needed to consider its role in the Syrian crisis, including how it would respond to a potential chemical weapons threat."We need to continue to consider NATO's role as it relates to the Syrian crisis," he said in a statement prepared for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels, adding that the planning that the alliance had already done was appropriate.

"We should also carefully and collectively consider how NATO is prepared to respond to protect its members from a Syrian threat, including any potential chemical weapons threat."Developed as a pesticide in Germany in 1938, sarin is a deadly and volatile nerve agent that is colourless and odourless.

In high doses, it paralyses the muscles around the lungs and prevents chemicals from "switching off" the body's secretions, so victims suffocate or drown as their lungs fill with mucus and saliva.
There were more than 1,000 tonnes of chemical agents in Syria and "a lot" of warheads and missiles that could be armed with the deadly substance, Brigadier-General Brun was quoted as saying.


By: Jake_Sully (2017.14)

Tags: Syria, chemical weapons, wmd

Location: Syria

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