[guest post by Dana]
In 2012, Obama cautioned Assad against crossing a “red line” of using chemical weapons against civilians, something the administration and European allies accused the Syria military of doing last August. But Obama canceled his threat to strike Assad’s chemical weapons sites after reaching the deal with Putin.
With 92 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons handed over or destroyed, it unfortunately still left enough available to be used against the Syrian people. Again.
In comments to reporters Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said there was strong evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons, including chrlorine gas, in 14 small-scale attacks since Syria agreed to join the world’s ban on such weapons last fall.
“We have at least 14 indications that show us that in the past recent weeks again chemical weapons in a smaller scale have been used,” Fabius said. “Right now we are examining the samples that were taken.”
Fabius said that the evidence suggests that Assad still can produce chemical weapons even though OPCW inspectors have said the equipment needed to manufacture and load chemical weapons has been destroyed. Most of Syria’s chemical weapons stores have been shipped out of Syria, but a small amount remains on a base in Damascus. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged Tuesday reports that the last shipment has been delayed because rebels control the roads leading to Syria’s coast.
John Kerry emphatically urged the international community to insist that Syria be fully compliant in its commitment to dismantle its entire stockpile,
We will remain vigilant until this is achieved.