The former director of UN weapons inspectors in Syria says that he is skeptical the Syrian government was behind the chemical weapons attack in Douma because Bashar Al-Assad did not stand to gain in any way.
Dozens of people were killed in the rebel-held town on Saturday, prompting President Trump to tweet there would be a “big price to pay”.
On Sunday night, two Israeli F-15 fighters targeted Syria’s T-4 airbase in Homs province, firing eight guided missiles at the military airport. Five of the missiles were intercepted but 14 people were killed.
However, according to chemical weapons expert Åke Sellström, who investigated the use of chemical weapons in both Iraq and Syria, it is unlikely that Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian Army were responsible for the attack in Eastern Ghouta.
“With great criticism from the international community, Assad and Russians bombard Ghouta bit by bit, and that they would add the opportunity to be criticized for using chemicals – it feels strange. They do not need it, their tactics are already successful,” said Sellström, adding that there could be numerous “other explanations” for the attack.
Sellström added that if the United Nations was to investigate the attack, recordings and testimony would not be enough to ascertain what happened.
“We would have to meet people and doctors themselves and, in particular, need samples from the environment and poisoned persons,” said Sellström, adding that it would be difficult to measure chlorine exposure “because it evaporates quickly and does not leave any clear markers in the body”.
As we document in the video below, the rebel group in Douma had already agreed to leave the area within 48 hours and the battle was won.
A rebel-held chemical weapons factory was also discovered in the same region where the attack happened just weeks ago.
Given that the Syrian Army was on the verge of victory, it makes no sense whatsoever that they would sabotage their own success.
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