by Stephen Lendman
Syria is Washington's war. It was planned years ago. At issue is regime change. America tolerates no independent governments. It wants pro-Western puppet ones replacing them.
Death squad terror is policy. Washington upped the stakes. Headlines suggest chemical weapons use. Both sides trade accusations. Nothing's verified.
Mossad-connected DEBKAfile headlined "Witnesses report onset of chemical warfare in Syria," saying:
A "Reuters photographer said he (saw) people come into two Aleppo hospitals with breathing problems after the attack. They claimed people were suffocating on the streets."
"Western intelligence sources reckoned that for the Assad regime, Homs, the scene of fierce battles between government and rebel forces in recent days, is likely to be the first place where the Assad government resorts to chemical warfare."
"The allegation that the rebels have resorted to chemical warfare strongly points to an Assad ploy to go there himself and maintain it was only after the opposition went first."
"The emergence of dread unconventional weapons on the Syrian battlefield during the US president's stay in the region is bound to dominate his talks with its leaders. It may even have the effect of altering his schedule and affect his itinerary."
Make no mistake. Syrian forces used no chemical or other unconventional weapons. Suggesting it is false. Syrian officials categorically deny it.
On March 19, the Syrian Arab News Agency cited Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi. He accused countries arming death squad fighters.
He said terrorists fired a rocket with chemical substances from Da'el. It landed in al-Neirab on Khan al-Asal. It's southwest of Aleppo. It created a "dangerous escalation."
He holds Turkey and Qatar responsible. Two dozen people died. Over 100 hundred others were injured. Most are in critical condition.
"Whoever got involved and announced direct and public military support to the terrorists, whether he was an emir, a minister or a prime minister, must be held to account for the crime," he stressed.
He knows Washington bears main responsibility. It's been that way since conflict erupted.
Chemical weapons are banned, said al-Zoubi. Using them reflects a "dangerous shift in the course of what is taking place in Syria on the security and military levels."
Toxic gases cause "fainting, quiver and death." They're lethal. They're internationally banned.
Using them reflects a "shift in the type and manner of arming the terrorists embodied in using weapons imported from outside Syria across the border with some neighboring countries means that all allegations made by some countries, such as France, UK, Qatar and Turkey on providing logistic and 'non-lethal' weapons to the armed terrorist groups in Syria are mere talk to sell the media."
This "horrible crime is a clear indisputable evidence on terrorists using such internationally-banned weapons."
Al-Zoubi and other government officials stressed repeatedly. Syria will never used internationally banned weapons. It's committed to agreements and protocols.
Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Faisal al-Mikdad, said foreign-backed terrorists stop at nothing. He holds countries supporting them responsible.
"We warned throughout the past months of the allegations circulated by some countries and parties on the possibility of us using chemical weapons, and we stressed that in case Syria possessed any such weapons, it wouldn't use them against its civilians under any circumstances," he said.
It was just a matter of time until Washington upped the stakes. At issue is what's next?
Russia blamed insurgents for chemical weapons use. A Foreign Ministry statement expressed alarm.
Itar Tass said:
"The Syrian armed Opposition has used chemical weapons to kill 16 and harm about 100 others, the Russian Foreign Ministry said."
"According to reports from Damascus, the use of chemical weapons was registered in the Aleppo province early in the morning of March 19."
"The explosion of a warhead containing a chemical warfare agent killed 16 and injured about 100 others."
"We regard this as a new and very alarming and dangerous turn of events in the Syrian crisis."
"We are extremely worried over the fact armed militants have laid hands on WMDs, which still worsens the situation in Syria and propels confrontation in that country into a new spiral."
White House spokesman Jay Carney said:
"We are looking carefully at allegations of chemical weapons use. We are evaluating them."
"We have no evidence to substantiate the charge that the opposition has used chemical weapons."
"We are deeply skeptical of a regime that has lost all credibility and we would also warn the regime against making these kinds of charges as any kind of pretext or cover for its use of chemical weapons."
The State Department made similar comments. The Pentagon said it's monitoring the situation. Spokesman George Little said:
"I have no information at this time to corroborate any claims that chemical weapons have been used in Syria."
"The use of chemical weapons in Syria would be deplorable."
Carney reiterated Obama's position. In December he said:
"Today I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command. The world is watching."
"The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. If you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences, and you will be held accountable."
Chemical weapons use crosses a red line, he stressed. Carney said nothing further on potential consequences. The situation bears watching. Dangerous escalation may follow.
Note: NATO commander Admiral James Stavridis said a more aggressive alliance posture could help break the Syrian stalemate. It would help oust Assad, he added.
He said so during Senate Armed Services Committee testimony. A range of options are being considered. NATO's ready to intervene if called on.
Saying so suggests planned escalation. Future reports will explain more.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.