Despite Obama claims, Syria still gassing its own people

First, there was the red line that wasn't really a red line on Syrian chemical weapons.  Then Russia stepped in and brokered a deal with President Assad to get rid of all Syria's chemical weapons.  The U.N. and Obama administration said in December 2013 that all that country's stockpile of chemical munitions had been destroyed.

But it turns out that's not entirely accurate.

In fact, it's not accurate at all.  House Foreign Affairs chairman Ed Royce will announce today that at least 29 instances of the Syrian government using chlorine gas have been documented.

Washington Times:

Mr. Royce, a California Republican, will open the hearing by asserting that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces have recently “stepped up” the use of such bombs on innocent civilians in opposition-controlled areas, particularly in and around the northeastern Syrian city of Idlib near the war-torn nation’s border with Turkey.

“What first appeared to be random and irregular attacks has become a steady, unending series with the aim of decimating the middle class in Idlib,” Mr. Royce plans to say, according to prepared remarks shared with The Washington Times.

“Over eight weeks this spring, Idlib saw 29 chlorine attacks,” Mr. Royce’s statement adds. “In almost all cases, the chlorine was delivered by barrel bomb from a helicopter. Assad has seen the world’s complacency, and decided that he can literally get away with mass murder.”

It’s a situation triggering mounting frustration among top Obama administration officials, who last year publicly touted the success of a deal they had reached with the Assad government and the U.N., to remove Syria’s declared arsenal of chemical weapons.

The president's response to the use of chlorine gas by Syria has been about as lame as it gets.  He said that "historically, chlorine is not a chemical weapon," despite its massive use in artillery shells during World War I.  But the question is, what is the world going to do about it?

Absolutely nothing.  It's true that chlorine has many industrial uses as well as being a chemical munition when weaponized.  But the Obama administration and the U.N. were far too naive in thinking that President Assad wouldn't use every weapon in his arsenal to maintain power.  Chemical weapons have been called "the poor man's WMD," and in this case, it looks as though Assad is going to continue to get away with gassing his own people.

First, there was the red line that wasn't really a red line on Syrian chemical weapons.  Then Russia stepped in and brokered a deal with President Assad to get rid of all Syria's chemical weapons.  The U.N. and Obama administration said in December 2013 that all that country's stockpile of chemical munitions had been destroyed.

But it turns out that's not entirely accurate.

In fact, it's not accurate at all.  House Foreign Affairs chairman Ed Royce will announce today that at least 29 instances of the Syrian government using chlorine gas have been documented.

Washington Times:

Mr. Royce, a California Republican, will open the hearing by asserting that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces have recently “stepped up” the use of such bombs on innocent civilians in opposition-controlled areas, particularly in and around the northeastern Syrian city of Idlib near the war-torn nation’s border with Turkey.

“What first appeared to be random and irregular attacks has become a steady, unending series with the aim of decimating the middle class in Idlib,” Mr. Royce plans to say, according to prepared remarks shared with The Washington Times.

“Over eight weeks this spring, Idlib saw 29 chlorine attacks,” Mr. Royce’s statement adds. “In almost all cases, the chlorine was delivered by barrel bomb from a helicopter. Assad has seen the world’s complacency, and decided that he can literally get away with mass murder.”

It’s a situation triggering mounting frustration among top Obama administration officials, who last year publicly touted the success of a deal they had reached with the Assad government and the U.N., to remove Syria’s declared arsenal of chemical weapons.

The president's response to the use of chlorine gas by Syria has been about as lame as it gets.  He said that "historically, chlorine is not a chemical weapon," despite its massive use in artillery shells during World War I.  But the question is, what is the world going to do about it?

Absolutely nothing.  It's true that chlorine has many industrial uses as well as being a chemical munition when weaponized.  But the Obama administration and the U.N. were far too naive in thinking that President Assad wouldn't use every weapon in his arsenal to maintain power.  Chemical weapons have been called "the poor man's WMD," and in this case, it looks as though Assad is going to continue to get away with gassing his own people.