"Rebels" Near Defeat - US Plays WMD Card US to Give
Military Support to Syrian Rebels as ‘Red Line' Crossed
June 14, 2013
Clearing House - "RT"
concluding that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons
against the country's insurgency, thus crossing a ‘red line,’
the Obama administration has decided to start sending arms to
anti-Assad rebels for the first time since, officials say.
An internal memorandum circulating within the Obama
administration has assessed that chemical weapons, most likely
the nerve gas sarin, were used multiple times in battle against
the Syrian rebels.
The “intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has
used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition
multiple times in the last year,” according to that memo, as
cited by The New York Times.
President Obama has authorized to release of at least some US
arms for Syria’s rebels as part of new military and political
aid measures, according to a source who spoke with Reuters.
White House officials speculated over evidence that nerve gas
had been used as of April, but that evidence is now being called
“definitive” – with Congressional sources describing the
conclusion as crossing the “red line” for US military
intervention or backing as previously defined by the president.
"The president has made a decision about providing more support
to the opposition, that will involve providing direct support to
the (Supreme Military Council), that includes military support,"
Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters on a
conference call on Thursday.
"This is going to be different in both scope and scale in terms
of what we are providing to the SMC than what we have provided
before," he adds.
According to officials who spoke with the Wall Street Journal on
Thursday, the US military is currently considering a proposal
for arming factions of the Syrian insurgency – as well as
establishing a limited no-fly zone over the country to be
enforced from nearby Jordanian territory.
That no-fly zone could stretch for up to 25 miles into Syrian
territory, and would be set up in a bid to train and equip rebel
forces and protect refugees, officials said.
A no-fly zone would not require the destruction of Syrian
antiaircraft batteries, according to the accounts cited in
American media. The White House could alternatively authorize
the arming and training of the Syrian opposition in Jordan
without a no-fly zone.
Congress was being notified of the conclusions over chemical
weapons use in the country on Thursday in classified documents.
Findings were corroborated by evidence sent to the US by France,
which along with the UK claimed that Assad’s forces had used
"There is a growing body persuasive evidence showing that the
regime used - and continues to use - chemical weapons, including
sarin," a spokesman for Britain's Foreign Office said Thursday.
"The room for doubt continues to diminish. Assad must grant the
UN investigation unrestricted access to investigate on the
ground in Syria and establish the full facts," he added.
In a conference call to reporters on Thursday, the White House
said that the intelligence community estimates that as many as
150 people, or about 0.16 per cent (0.0016) of the 93,000
reported deaths in the Syrian conflict, could have been a result
of chemical weapons used by pro-Assad forces.
The White House said during the same call that the US “will make
decisions on our own timeline" regarding the next steps on
Syria. President Obama will consult with G8 partners, including
Russia, about Syria next week.
Republican senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham called on the
US to provide "lethal assistance, especially ammunition & heavy
weapons" to Syria’s rebels on Thursday.
“The President must rally an international coalition to take
military actions to degrade Assad’s ability to use airpower and
ballistic missiles and to move and resupply his forces around
the battlefield by air,” said a joint statement by the pair.
As a UN probe was underway into allegations of chemical weapons
use in May, lead investigator Carla Del Ponte said the findings
showed that rebels were behind at least one chemical weapons
attack. "This was used on the part of the opposition, the
rebels, not by the government authorities," Del Ponte told Swiss
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