Turkey Stops Nusra Rebels Armed with Sarin Gas
The Turkish military foiled a planned terrorist attack inside Turkey by a Nusra cell. Al-Nusra is one of the preeminent rebel groups with links to al-Qaeda. The group has been viewed as one of the spearheads for the rebels because they are well armed and funded. They have defeated several Syrian army units and now control the large province of Raqqa, considered to be the breadbasket of Syria. The group is viewed by the Free Syrian Army, those wanting freedom and independence, as rivals. The two groups have fought one another in the Raqqa area since both occupy areas of it.
Twelve Nusra members were arrested in Adana, 60 miles from the Syrian border, during raids at their addresses where 4.5 pounds of sarin and heavy weapons were seized. This is yet another "red line" for the Obama administration to ignore and disbelieve. The rebel groups are gradually getting their hands on Assad's chemical weapons. The Nusra groups was planning their attack in Adana but the motives remain unclear. Earlier on May 11, 52 people were killed when twin car bombs ripped through the border town of Reyhanli inside Turkey. other members of the group were also arrested in Hatay and Istanbul. The Nusra group was preparing to use the gas as a bomb.
The Question About Use of Gas
This raises another question: Was Assad telling the truth about not using sarin gas previously as the rebels claimed he did? Sarin was used at least three times in small amounts in urban fighting. With this Nusra group caught red handed with a cannister of the gas inside Turkey,it does give Assad some validity. Nusra could have the expertise to use small amounts to help them against growing odds. But, this argument could be applied to Syria also.
Past eyewitnesses indicate that what they heard was like a Pepsi can hiss being opened.that falls to the ground. Then, no odor, no smoke, not even a whistle to indicate the release of a toxic gas. And then the symptoms appear. On April 11, rebel units saw government soldiers leave their positions wearing chemical protection suits surging forward and laying 'little bombs, like mines' on the ground that began giving off a chemical product. On April 13, a chemical attack on the Jobar front, A French photographer for Le Monde was with rebels who have been waging war out of ruined buildings. He saw them start to cough before putting their gas masks on, men crouched down gasping for breath and vomiting.
So far, Turkey, a NATO member, has held back its own military even as the Syrian war spills into their country, probably because of Obama. But, how long will Turkey simply defer to Obama's desire?
All this leads to the American denial that gas was used-maybe by both sides- so much for the red line. This hurts American credibility.