Britain ‘Shares U.S. Assessment That It Is Highly Likely’ Bashar Assad’s Forces Used Deadly Sarin Gas In An April 4 Attack That Killed 87, Including 31 Children; Turkey Also Confirms Nerve Agent’s Presence On Victims
“British scientists have analyzed samples from the site of the suspected chemical attack in Syria [April 4]; and, concluded that sarin, or a sarin-like substance was used,” according to the U.K. Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.). “The United Kingdom therefore shares the U.S. assessment that it is highly likely that the regime [of Bashar Assad] was responsible for a sarin attack on Khan Sheikhun on the 4th of April.”,Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told the U.N. Security Council. Meanwhile, Nick Enoch and Dave Burke write in the April 12, 2017 edition of the Daily Mail Online, that “Turkish health officials stated publicly Tuesday, that “post-mortem tests on the suspected victims of the attack, also concluded that the deadly nerve agent had been used. The results came from analysis of blood and urine samples of the casualties of the attack on Idlib Province, who were brought to Turkey for treatment. Three of the victims later died,” at a Turkish medical facility, the authors wrote..
Russia. who strongly backs the Assad regime, of course has said there is no proof that sarin gas was used; and, if it was, it was either the U.S-backed rebels who used the gas and made it appear that Assad’s forces were to blame; or, the gas was dispersed after U.S. missile strikes on a rebel-held chemical weapons storage facility. And, Moscow has repeatedly opposed any U.N. resolution calling for international inspectors to investigate the incident and use of sarin gas.
Putin’s opposition to any investigation that might implicate either his own Russian forces; or, Assad’s regime as culpable in this use of sarin gas is not surprising. Russia has made reestablishing Moscow’s sphere of influence in the Middle East, and in particular the Fertile Crescent a high priority — and, backing Assad is a key to that strategy. In return, Moscow has deployed fighter aircraft, special forces, and other military personnel and equipment; and, has cemented its naval presence at Syria’s Mediterranean port of Latakia. So, cutting ties and/or throwing Assad ‘under the bus,’ is a decision that Putin isn’t going to do. Having said that, Putin has reportedly identified one of Assad’s Colonel’s as ‘their man in Syria,’ and warned Assad not to take any detrimental actions with respect to his health and safety. If true, it would seem a prudent move on Moscow’s part, to ‘play both sides against the middle,’ so to speak and hedge their bets if they believe backing Assad is ‘costing’ them more than they benefit. But, it would seem we are not at that point…..yet. V/R, RCP