Chlorine is a typical cleaning agent used in swimming pools, but can be dangerous when used as a weapon. And if the Syrian regime did in fact try to use chlorine as a weapon, that would be a violation of an international chemical weapons agreement they signed last year.
US spokesperson Jen Psaki on Monday was quoted by a State Department statement as saying they had “indications” that a “toxic industrial chemical” that was “probably chlorine” had been used on a rebel-dominated area within Syria. The regime has been accused of carrying out the attack, claims that now must be investigated. What’s clear, however, is the seriousness of such a claim if proven true.
Psaki, in follow up comments released on Tuesday, said that the Syrian regime’s agreement to join the Chemical Weapons Convention included a prohibition on “the use of any toxic chemical, including chlorine, with the intent to kill or incapacitate people.”
Joining the chemical convention was part of the regime’s deal that helped stave off an American military strike after the Syrian leadership used chemical weapons on its own people.
So while Syria has made substantial progress towards removing traditional chemical weapons from its country as part of that deal, it’s finding new ways to kill. That doesn’t mean the US is preparing to restart their attack plans that were sidelined by the chemical weapons deal that Syria is potentially breaking. Psaki made it clear she couldn’t speak for the US President about his red lines.
So once again Syria is taking small steps in brutality to see how much they can get away with—how far will it go this time?
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, April 22, 2014)