Syria is in a civil war of sorts. The U.S. government has been involved in it, backing the side of the rebels against the ruling Assad regime. Up to this point, that aid has been claimed as being limited to “non-lethal” things, in complete ignorance of the fact that getting non-lethals for free opens up money for replenishing weaponry, thus having effect similar to as if just given funds for arms. Also, the CIA has been involved, them being inside the country treated as an open secret. Further involvement has been regularly threatened, on the basis of a “red line” that Syria’s military not use chemical weapons — or else.
We knew this was coming: the red line hath been declared crossed:
Syria has crossed a “red line” with its use of chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin gas, against rebels, a move that is prompting the United States to increase the “scale and scope” of its support for the opposition, the White House said Thursday.
The acknowledgment is the first time President Barack Obama’s administration has definitively said what it has long suspected — that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have used chemical weapons in the ongoing civil war.
“The intelligence community estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date; however, casualty data is likely incomplete,” Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said in a statement released by the White House.
“While the lethality of these attacks make up only a small portion of the catastrophic loss of life in Syria, which now stands at more than 90,000 deaths, the use of chemical weapons violates international norms and crosses clear red lines that have existed within the international community for decades,” Rhodes added.
One hundred fifty. Maybe, if the data is accurate, which it is admitted it may not be. Out of 90,000+. If anyone is wondering what the point would be in Assad using a little bit of his chemical weapons arsenal when any use of it triggers further U.S. involvement (if you’re that nuts you might as well go whole hog with it), you aren’t alone. I’m wondering the same thing. Yet there’s reports from U.N. investigators suggesting that the opposition has used chemical weapons as well. If both are correct, then the “red line” was mutually crossed, which should pose a dilemma for the rationale behind intervention.
Should, but doesn’t.
By the way, that involvement is discussed as including enforcement of a No Fly Zone. Which means bombing Syrian air defenses. Which also meant last time a No Fly Zone was established (during the Libyan war) bombing things that have absolutely nothing to do with air war.
The U.S., Turkey, Jordan, & Saudi Arabia are involved, and on Assad’s side Russia & Hezbollah from Lebanon. Among these expanding conflagrations, who will win? Why, shareholders of war profiteers, of course!