Monthly Archives: August 2013

US assessment of chemical weapons attack near Damascus

The US State Department has just published the Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013 and a map of the suburbs affected.

This is the first credible account of events released by any government. Credible, because it contains assertions and caveats, but most importantly, because its details are falsifiable. The elements can be verified against other sources, most notably the preliminary report of the UN investigative team, which should be with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon within the next 72 hours or so (Sunday or Monday).

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Syria: incendiary weapon used against civilians

The BBC carries very graphic footage of the aftermath of an incendiary bomb dropped by a fighter jet on to a school playground in the north of Syria. Scores of children have napalm-like burns over their bodies.

An incendiary weapon is not a chemical weapon as defined by the Chemical Weapons Convention, because it harms humans through heat rather than the direct effects of poisoning. They include weapons such as napalm or white phosphorus.

Incendiary weapons are banned by the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (also known as the Inhumane Weapons Convention), Protocol III. Article I defines an incendiary weapon as follows:

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A simple calculation

Syrian cheap jerseys civil der war: Death cheap nba jerseys toll

Today:

Chemical warfare: 350          Syria: Conventional major warfare: 100,000

After western military to action wholesale nba jerseys to restore the norm against Plush chemical warfare:

Chemical warfare: 350          Conventional wholesale nba jerseys warfare: 【蘆洲居酒屋推薦】蘆洲人最愛的創意料理招牌酥脆半身雞,來蘆洲絕對不能錯過! 100,200

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Syria: Should UN Investigators Pass Judgement?

With the horrific events of the past two days in several Damascus suburbs dominating the airwaves and press reports, the ability to establish rough time lines of events and more detailed circumscriptions of the areas affected allows more and more to conclude that several more or less simultaneous chemical weapon (CW) attacks took place in the very early morning hours of 21 August. While the number of casualties — affected survivors and fatalities — is impossible to establish right now, it is clear that scores, if not hundreds of people fell victim to some asphyxiant. Several chemical warfare agents are liquids. The evaporation of droplets after their release creates a toxic cloud that is typically heavier than air. It would seep through any cavity into lower-lying spaces. Many reports indicate that people were sleeping in basements to shelter from nightly shelling. This may account for the large number women and children casualties.

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Apparently major chemical weapons attack near Damascus reported

As I am writing, disturbing news reports are coming in of a major интернете? chemical attack on the eastern eastern outskirts of Damascus (Ghouta district). According to images and film footage posted to the Internet by opponents to the al-Assad regime, many casualties, including fatalities can be seen. Supplementary visual testimony strongly indicates poisoning.

[Images are graphic and should be viewed with caution!]

In past blog postings and commentaries I have been sceptical of CW wholesale nfl jerseys claims, because the narrative accompanying images and film footage did not correspond with what could be seen. More importantly, a number of things one would expect to see after a CW attack were missing. Some stories as they appeared in the press just did not add up. (Recall how the initial reports on the March attack referred to chlorine, while today everybody seems to insist that it was sarin.) While there were indicators of exposure to toxicants, the evidence lacked density and there were many alternative plausible explanations for the cheap mlb jerseys symptoms. The United Kingdom, France, the United States and Russia supplied evidence (including analyses of samples taken out of Syria) to the United Nations in support of their request to investigate multiple allegations, but offered no concrete details to the public. Furthermore, as those samples had not been analysed in other than national laboratories and government representatives were referring to ‘their evidence’ to buttress arguments in support of military intervention or arming the insurgents, the spectre of the Iraq invasion ten years ago sufficed to retain a healthy dose of scepticism.

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