I would not be surprised if Assad used chemical weapons on opposition strongholds. He's not shown any concern about indescriminately bombing and slaughtering civilians. He's not likely to be concerned about a mass extinction event, particularly not when Saddam Hussein had repeatedly used chemical weapons on his own people with no international interference as a result.
If Assad follows suit, I suspect the international community will condemn hell out of it, then do nothing... just like with Iraq.
In my opinion the the best solution to the problem with Syria would be ... let Assad go and at the same time avoid the tragedy of having another "Islamic Spring" in that poor country.
But of course that seems remote... so sadly .... the bloodshed will continue.
"Never fear. Him is here" - Captain Chaos (Dom DeLuise), Cannonball Run
Mace Windu: Then our worst fears have been realized. We must move quickly if the Jedi Order is to survive.
It seems like nothing happens by mistake. The mandate for the UN mission in Syria expires at the end of the week. The US is proposing a 10 day limit for a cease fire which will result in sanctions against Syria if not adhered to. Russia and China are expected to veto this. "Should the sanctions proposal fail, the United States should allow the U.N. mission to expire. That would end what has been an counterproductive charade of diplomatic activity at the Security Council and open the way for more effective Western action, such as greater support for the Free Syrian Army and for safe zones for civilians."
I'll copy what I posted in the ME forum:
From the WINEP release: "The regime's CW infrastructure has been well established for years, and sudden movement within it suggests a major decision may be in the making. After all, the very act of moving them puts them at risk."
The possible scenarios listed in their release and in a few articles basically are the following:
1. The government is convinced that Western governments have begun mapping their chemical weapons facilities as preparation for a future campaign should it arrive.
2. The FSA has come dangerously close to hitting caches and the government wants to move and centralize them.
3. They plan on using them either in a limited capacity as a means of inflicting terror, and scaring outside actors considering intervention or ratcheting up military support to the rebels.
I have no way of knowing what the calculus looks like to Assad or his coterie of Generals and family members even if to me usage seems suicidally counterproductive. They might very well gamble that a limited use, along the lines of the small massacres they've been committing, would both terrify the opposition and remind international actors that a chemical counterstroke on Turkish or Israeli targets is possible, and so is battlefield use. Some rumors from years back, backed up by some intelligence reports indicated that some stockpiles had been seconded to Hezbollah but stored in Syria, and some have speculated that some munitions could be transferred to the group. Though their ability to utilize it properly would seem small.
I hope Obama gets that Declaration of War before he goes after those WMDs.
Last edited by American; 07-14-12 at 06:56 AM.
"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)