U.S., Russia dispute if Syrian rebels used chemical weapons

Syria’s Assad regime has accused the rebels of launching a chemical weapons attack in the two of Aleppo that killed 25 people — an accusation the rebel fighters have strongly rebuked.

President Obama has said the “red line” to which the U.S. would send forces to Syria would be the use of chemical weapons. However, it was assumed the Assad regime would be the ones using their chemical weapons stockpile, not the rebels.

A Reuters photographer in Aleppo said he could pick up the faint smell of chlorine, however, other media agencies have thus far been unable to confirm the report because of media restrictions.

The debate has extended to the U.S. and Russia. The Russian foreign ministry has said it has enough information to confirm the rebels launched the chemical attack. Of course, Russia has supported and armed Assad in his fight with the rebels.

Meanwhile, U.S. government leaders have said they have not found any evidence of a chemical attack.

“We’ve seen reports from the Assad regime alleging that the opposition has been responsible for use. Let me just say that we have no reason to believe these allegations represent anything more than the regime’s continued attempts to discredit the legitimate opposition and distract from its own atrocities committed against the Syrian people,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. “We don’t have any evidence to substantiate the regime’s charge that the opposition even has CW (chemical weapons) capability.”

In fact, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the accusations made by Assad could be an attempt to cover up his own potential attacks. Such an attack on civilians would mean the U.S. would send in troops, according to Obama’s previous statements.

Adm. James Stavridis, commander of U.S. European Command, told the Senate Tuesday that his command has started to make plans should an attack be necessary.

“We are prepared if called upon to be engaged,” Stavridis said.

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have consistently called for the U.S. to do more to quell the fighting in Syria. On Tuesday, the two Republican senators issued a statement saying the red line had been crossed and action was demanded.

That should include the provision of arms to vetted Syrian opposition groups, targeted strikes against Assad’s aircraft and SCUD missile batteries on the ground, and the establishment of safe zones inside Syria to protect civilians and opposition groups,” the statement read.

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to Military.com. He can be reached at mhoffman@tandemnsi.com.
  • BlackOwl18E

    I think we should try to convince Russia to intervene…

    Just kidding.

    • Lance

      Why not end this dumb thing.

    • Restore Palestine

      I am pretty sure that Russia is already convinced that the US is up to no good and plotting to commit more serious crimes against humanity again.

      • BlackOwl18E

        You guys don’t seem to remember that the last interventions produced more mystery and cost a lot. I want the US to stay out of this conflict even if both sides use chemical weapons. I also want the Syrians and the opposition to drag this conflict out as long as possible. The more that Arab Islamic forces in the Middle East spend fighting each other the less they focus on us here in the west. We also never know what new enemies we will make in the process of intervening.

        • Restore Palestine

          None of the US operations and invasions in the Middle East ever helped anything or anyone other than US interests. They were all designed to create chaos. That’s how US arms dealers (or more accurately, death merchants) and US contractors (or more accurately, thieves and thugs) make big blood money.

        • Infidel4LIFE

          My man. It sounds sh*tty but its the truth. Let em kill each other. By the time Assad is done, both sides bled white while the Sunni’s in Irak turn their guns on Maliki the Iranian lap dog. Wow, tell me “they” didn’t see this coming? Its all over YouTube for Chrissake lol!! #1 is Assad. #2 is Maliki and Shia Irak. Maybe Iran after that? Have had it, proceed..

          • blight_

            I’m not sure I sympathize with Assad, but he deserves payback for turning a blind eye to the Sunni radicals who were coming in over the border.

            There are a lot of Iraqi refugees who are still in Syria. I don’t know what’s going to happen to them.

            However.

            If we ignore them we’ll do what we did in Afghanistan in the ’90s. We failed to back Massoud. Hekmatyar (sound familiar?) waged a civil war against the Islamic Republic, killed Naijibullah and created the Afghan refugee problem. The Taliban rose out of the civil war mess too. By pretending Afghans weren’t worth our while we created the Taliban. We cannot pretend problems in other countries won’t bite us in the ass, especially when people all over the world hate America. We don’t have to come to them: they will come to us.

      • USS ENTERPRISE

        Oh boy. Here it comes. Russian weapons are seemingly always in these conflicts. I mean the picture itself consists of a T-72. So, I think that the US and allies (Europe, SK, Japan, etc.) want to see Russia out of things as well.

      • USA

        Congratulations on being this years dumbest person on planet Earth.

        • skmall

          I am supposing that was meant for “Restore Palestine”, right?

          • Restore Palestine

            USA seems to be having a schizophrenic attack. There is no way he can tell you whom he was reply to. He’s hallucinating.

          • skmall

            Who said I am American?

          • USA

            Talking about Restore Palestine

    • BlackOwl18E

      How is this thread still going?

      • blight_

        I think it all started from merchant of death. I got a lot of it, I hope others did too.

  • WPG

    Who knows what to believe anymore……

    • Last I heard the rebels (AlQ – you know, our syrian “buds”) took a chem base. But, a false flag would work just as well ’cause TBTF want this one.

  • Taylor

    During the Cold War it was common for the Russians to accuse us of what they were actually doing. It put us on the defensive and got us off of their case, like with WPG above. The Syrians are almost certainly getting advice from the Russians on how to deal with us.

    • USS ENTERPRISE

      I think that is the case here. Russia/USSR has had a bit of history tangling with not so good powers, such as North Korea, Communist China, etc. Honestly, the Russians need a put a damper on this. Leave the US out, we have been through much to suddenly swing in and clean up another mess. Leave to the Russians. Let them waste money and time.

      • Restore Palestine

        HaHa. You are one busy US propagandist. Both the Libya fiasco and the Syrian Mess were plotted by the US. After Libya, the entire world other than the Americans knows what the NATO crime syndicate is trying to do.

        Who do you think you are trying to fool.

        • USS ENTERPRISE

          Uh. I am not trying to fool anyone. I am simply putting down my thoughts. If you have a problem with that, please feel free to keep it to yourself. Anyways, as to the chemical weapons, I doubt the Syrian military used it. I think the rebels found some canisters and attempted to use the stuff. But it appears it didn’t go to well.

        • Plus 100 for the tagging of NATO as a crime syndicate. However, the US has little choice in these matters as the shadow govt. (the one’s with control of the money printing press) would neutralize any who don’t tote Brussel’s directives. It’s actually better termed as the global bankster vatican mafia cartel where the BIS (the central bank for central banks) leads at the behest of the puppet master. Clue: The family funded the Supreme Ct Bldg and the Knesset (google “NWO Tips Their Hand” @ abideinmiracles for the scoop). No central bank under their control – count on an invasion!

          Still not sure? FACT: JP Morgan runs the Iraqi Export Bank out of Baghdad and launders most of the money from the Afghan opium production which has increased seven-fold since ISAF went in.

          • Vatican Is Evil

            You hit the Bulls Eye. The US is part of NATO crime syndicate, which is run by a cabal of money trust (e.g. House of Rothschild) and mind control orgs (e.g. the Vatican)

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Okay. Well. I can see you position on the Vatican. So I am not going to go there. As for NATO being essential a mob. Lets say NATO is taken out of commission. Immediately, you will have disbanded an organization that has “kept the US in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”. And with the current economic trouble of Europe, that could lead to disaster. Russia knows that NATO is keeping a wary on their military. They aren’t going to try anything in Eastern Europe. I won’t be as hasty to claim that NATO was a mob. The Warsaw Pact was a mob. North Korea is a gang (albeit a hungry one). I agree that NATO does have questionable transactions in its history. But that isn’t the point here. NATO, as a whole, is the only organization that can take on any military threat. Fact.

  • Lance

    I dont put it past Islamist to use chemical weapons the rebels lack training to use them so I can see a attack not working. Both ways we got both sides are bad guys and use any WMD for them to kill all who oppose them. Maybe Blackowl18E is right let Russia clean this out.

    • jhm

      Don’t feel like seeing T80s and T72s rumbling through the streets of Damascus. Or howitzers pummeling the cities to rubble… Chechens would attest to that…

      • Restore Palestine

        That’s the Stalin era. The criminal is long dead. Now the US has taken over all the business of meddling in small countries’ internal affairs and stealing their natural resources.

      • Lance

        Syria does not use or have T-80s.

  • Rob

    None of the issues in ANY of the worldly disputes are being resolved with negotiations. It may be time just to call a draft and declare World war 3. After all the major countries, ( including Russia, China and USA are destroyed, let the surviving countries decide the future for the planet.

    Nonetheless, I’ve heard reports that Iran and Hezoballah are preparing 50k troops for Syria and that Russian Marine groups are now more active in government held area’s. Maybe time to offer the rebels safehaven if we are not going to help more.

  • Uncle Bill

    In WW3 when Moscow is nuked, Russia is gone, when beijing is nuked, China is gone, When Washington DC is nuked most Americans won’t even notice, Most will be better off.

    • USS ENTERPRISE

      Sorry, but no. Americans WOULD notice, look at 9/11. But the question remains who does the first nuking, and why. Also, you took out the Americans and Chinese economies. These are the powerhouses of the world. The world would hardly be better off.

      • Rob

        What we have is relative to what we need. If all warring parties are destroyed, the remaining peaceful would remain peaceful, at least for awhile.

        There many not be cheap cellphones or gas but the world was no worse without them.

        World powers always become stuck with a bully title. Much of the world sees us as the bully now. It usually means that someone will rise up to try to put us down. Same as in Syria. Their government has become a bully to a group of their people. And even worse, after all this time we still do not even know what % support their government.

        I was not alive for cold war in the 60’s but I feel we are closer to WWIII then anytime in my life.

    • orly?

      You seriously think there are only a handful of nukes in the world?

      • Rob

        I know there are 10’s of thousands. But there will only be a % of those able to be launched before either communications are down, orders cannot be given or that some of those launchers would be destroyed in initial strikes.

        There is also a % of those missiles that will be shot down, misfire, duds, malfunction, miss their target or plunge into the ocean.

        There is also the unknown of which side would surrender first and how fast. It may even just take only a handful in the end.

        Only in worse case scenario would the world really be destroyed. Most nukes are also not MEGA nukes. 100? global tests and planet still here.

        And in places like Syria, Nukes really do not solve anything. If they do resort to chem or bio weapons, it’s going to get ugly fast.

        • USS ENTERPRISE

          I would say at LEAST 900 nuclear missiles could find and destroy their target. I mean, just look at the US and Russian navy. Filled with SSBMs. US ships can carry ICBMs, and actually many other countries posses that ability. And even if a nuke misses, it still sort of explodes. Surrender would be unlikely, just Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD.

        • orly?

          Knowing that there is more than one way to communicate now in the world of technology, and some military doctrine, I do believe the correct number launched will be several thousand.

          The fallout would do the rest.

          Also, do you think the next people to possess nukes after the initial Armageddon would ignore the power of the several thousands left behind?

  • Uncle Bill

    Such silly assumptions, removing the chicom gov would not remove the chicom economy, nor USA’s. A nuke war, even all out, would not destroy the world. This is a theory from the sixties (you know, you can’t hug a child with nuclear arms) that is embraced by idiots i.e, journalists and academics. Speaking of theories embraced by idiots remember all the “scientists” who declared consistently and repeatedly that it was impossible to hit a bullet with a bullet? How the left’s best weapon, ridicule, was brought to bear about “Star Wars”? Notice how those idiots are now wetting their pants and askijng for more protection from nukes.

    • USS ENTERPRISE

      Okay. First of all, nuclear weapons do have the capability to destroy Earth. I don’t mean like break it into piece. A several Nuclear missiles, on impact, results in serious fall out, and, when many of these weapons are detonated, can create a nuclear winter, blocking out the soon, and eradicating life. As for the “chicom” government not having influence over the economy. Well. Just read what communism is. The government controls the economy. In the US’s case, losing the government would leave one of the largest militaries without a leader. It would be chaotic, even if we could establish a new government.

  • Assbestos

    The sad fact is that if you don’t help them someone will. Like jihadist militants, who will then recover these chemical weapons. Before you know it some subway station in a major city is on the news in the worst way.

    • 1man

      Finally someone who understands….

  • orly?

    “Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have consistently called for the U.S. to do more to quell the fighting in Syria. On Tuesday, the two Republican senators issued a statement saying the red line had been crossed and action was demanded.” – Article

    I am curious on their suggestions.

    • justsaying

      lol John McCain is losing his mind a bit, if he was president we would have troops on the ground and in the middle of every conflict on Earth

  • riicky

    Can’t we just let another country deal with it.

    • ReplyMan

      no because other countries are not capable, this is where the World needs the Super Powers most, they have the ability to end conflict.

  • Uncle Bill

    Lots of unpleaseant people here. Let me just say this to the palestinian troll. If the U.S. was actually guilty of all the evil in your anti-semite masturbation fantasies why would the puny ignorant palestinians even continue to exist? Nobody needs them or wants them and they would be soooo easy to eliminate.

  • STemplar

    What an odd discussion. You’ve got restore palestine continuing to audition for the Broadway version of Team America. This fella rob that seems to think a WW3 leads anywhere other than the end of human civilization and maybe humanity period.

    How about some talk about chemical weapons in Syria and possible US involvement.

    I personally would err on the side of caution in military involvement. I do see keeping chemical weapons out of idiots hands as important, but we need to tread lightly. We don’t need to get into another occupation. Rolling airstrikes to get rid of Assad’s missiles, planes, and some limited airmobile/airborne ops to seize stockpiles, but no grand invasions please.

    Seems like if we just blast his planes and missiles, that would even things up with the opposition in a hurry. Plus seize the chemical weapons. We probably should have moved as soon as they started moving weapons around.

    Team Obama really backed themselves into a corner with their ‘Red line’ now even their lib buddies in the media are asking hard questions. Plus he’s on his grand tour in the middle east so he really can’t play the role of the wimp at the moment.

  • Sev

    I’m sick of us wasting time and money helping these islamofacists who have nothing but hate for us! Spend the money here! If you want to intervene somewhere, intervene in the country with the crazy dictator who has nukes and says he will launch a nuclear strike on the US. Not if, but he will.

  • BiggerPicture

    Lets not forget islamofascists were funded and trained by the yankeefascists to supply weapons and funding to the Mujahideen (you might know them as Taliban now) in the 80’s. From this directly grew Al Qaeda. Its time for America to STFU and butt out, they have caused more than enough trouble and have shed more than enough innocent blood either directly or through their proxies. Read, learn and understand – or conversely just stamp about on places like this and act like the mule brains you appear to be.

    • TheVoice

      wrong again, dont believe the first thing you read, do some independant research maybe you’ll gain some knowledge one day, good luck pal

    • Matt

      The Mujaheddin only became the Taliban /because/ the US pulled out. If we had the political will to actually follow through, we could’ve ensured that our allies remained in power in Afghanistan instead of it dissolving into a civil war and a rising hotbed of radical activity.
      We have the strongest military and biggest economic and diplomatic pressure in the history of humanity, but our public/political will to do what is necessary (no matter how unfortunate) has been deteriorating since Vietnam… And unlike the early 20th century, a nation with the size and interconnected trade of the US can no longer flourish in isolation.

  • Zak

    Regardless of whether chemical weapons are being used, we should not get involved in this civil war – it isn’t our fight.

    • Simple

      So if the leaders of Syria support terrorists that has nothing to do with the US?? Syrian government has money, they fund terrorists with weapons and ammo, it’s only a matter of time before a terrorist group gets ahold of a nuclear bomb.

    • Benjamin

      Biological weapons have no ability to differentiate between who they were originally targeted at and the person who lives a thousand miles away. That is reason enough to intervene

  • Benny

    Everyone in the world will come to regret a rebel takeover in Syria. They are just as mean, vicious and murdering types as are Assad’s troops, maybe even moreso. And when they eventually do succeed, you will have another base for the Taliban, AlQaeda, and every other terroists group known. Women will lose all rights. Nonmuslims will be exterminated, etc. I say arm BOTH sides to the teeth and let them kill each other until noone is left. I predict that eventually the WWIII will be a muslim vs nonmuslim war. China will stay out of it.

    • Matt

      You are aware that Assad’s regime is made up of the same kind of “Muslims” that you fear. And if the US intervenes on the side of the rebels, that puts it in a prime place to shape the new state… Just look at Egypt for an example of what can happen when the US does not get involved (the radical Muslim Brotherhood does indeed take over).

      Also, to say that all Muslims are preparing for a war against the rest of the world is like saying the Pope has had complete control over all Christians throughout history; it’s a convenient narrative, but critically flawed (ie devotion ranges from fundamentalists to professes the faith in name only, schisms in any major religion, national loyalty vs religious unity, etc)

  • exartym109a6
  • codejack

    So, are we all just supposed to pretend that Wikileaks doesn’t exist? We know what is actually going on in Syria, and every time someone posts one of these bull$hit propaganda pieces while pretending that we in the U.S. are unbiased observers you do nothing but ruin your own credibility.

    Look at how all of the former Iraq war hawks are swearing up and down that they opposed the war, or had reservations, or whatever else they can claim to make it seem as if they were not knowingly complicit in the lies our foreign policy has been based on for over a decade, now.

    Well, a decade from now, after those plucky rebels have overthrown the dictator Assad… only to find him replaced with hard-line Islamists even more opposed to our interference in their affairs than the nationalist regimes we are so busily replacing across the Middle East, this author will be writing pieces about how we didn’t know and he was misled.

    But the fact of the matter is that he knows, now, and he wants the conflict to escalate to justify more war against the “enemy,” even if we have to build our enemies from the ground up.

    • Restore Palestine

      The US govt is not, and has never been concerned about “dictators” or “democracy”. No high-ranking US politician has ever advocated regime change in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. What have US politicians done when police beat up, jail or kill protestors / democracy advocates in those two countries? Certainly nothing like what they were doing in the case of Libya.

      • USS ENTERPRISE

        First of all, on your rant about the US not caring about dictators, take a look at WW 2. Yeah, your theory hasn’t held up well so far. Next, your ideas about democracy. Look at the Cold War. Your other theory blown out of the water. Now frankly, I have never visited Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, so I have no first hand accounts to these police stuff you are insisting on. But if the US goes into the business of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, especially their police business, then the US is considered a meddling police state. The US is criticized for both interfering, and not interfering. Honestly, make up your mind.

        • Restore Palestine

          BS ENTERPRISE, here is something a well-taught 8 y.o. boy would know: if you don’t understand something, don’t BS about it.

          You don’t know anything about Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, so STFU when others talk about them.

          You don’t know anything about WW2 and the Cold War, so STFU when others talk about them.

          You don’t know anything about the economy and federal debt, so STFU when others talk about them.

          The list of things you don’t know anything about is long. When don’t write yourself a reminder using the above as a template.

          Thank you for STFU.

      • STemplar

        Probably because no high ranking person in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain has called the US the Great Satan or said we will burn in a sea of fire. We are pretty consistent in going after the countries that have wronged us.

  • john fedup

    Let them fight until there are no Syrians left.

  • Taylor

    We already know that the Syrian rebels are as hostile to Israel as Assad is. They and Turkey complained that Assad didn’t shoot down the Israeli jets destroying missiles bound for Hezbollah. Any military aid money should go to our real friends in Israel and not to the rebels, in my opinion.

  • Rob

    Easy solution is to do nothing until regional allies choose to fight.

    Rebels may lose but they chose to fight Assads government.

    If a group of kids were attacking teachers and the teachers subdued them all would we go in and kill the teachers? no. We’d help the kids recover, and have the teachers punished if any wrong doings were proven to happen before the fight.

    Otherwise, both sides would be given warnings & fines and have to get back to work to pay for it anyways.

    Same tactic should apply.

  • xarkey

    I have come to the illogical but inevitable conclusion that a Glass City in both Iran and North Korea would put a BIG lid on all kinds of hostile groups and their whining. I think if it were done discretely and couldn’t be “attributed” to any one nation, a great calm would settle over the entire Mideast. I don’t believe any great power (Russia, China, France UK or any other ) would intervene. I do believe it would give anyone with world dominion on their mind pause, at least for awhile.

  • IKnowIT

    You guys need to stop responding to trolls that come up on here and are obviously baiting you with stupid comments that don’t further any conversation

  • IKnowIT

    Guys please read this if you dont know what a troll is
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29

  • Mark

    It is easy to tell if they used chemical weapons. You have some 27 different chances to get it right. The people who died can reveal how they were killed. It is called an autopsy.

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