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Reports of Chemical Weapons Used in Syria
The first unsubstantiated report of chemical weapon use has come the Homs area. Some sort of visible gas (mustard?) that caused intense burning and pain by those witnesses. Another indication that Syrian's Assad may be planning to use chemical weapons is Syrian soldiers carrying or wearing gas masks. Iran has announced that rebels are the ones that have used it after being trained in Libya.
As the 14 month rebellion and now civil war continues between the Alawites and Sunni populations, which have recently turned on one another in the same neighborhood causing more bloodshed, President Assad surely must be seriously considering it as a "last resort" and to end it quickly. Syria has both chemical and biological weapons stored in various sites and most are either in large barrel drums or in artillery shells. They have been protected by the Syrian 4th Division until recently when it was required elsewhere. The world is concerned of any of these weapons being stolen and used by any one, rebel or Syrian. If this does occur or is confirmed, President Obama and NATO will have no choice but to militarily intervene to halt it against both Russia's and Iran's stern warnings about repercussions on Israel.
On June 7, Syrian rebel sources charged that the Syrian air force planes had dropped poisonous substances over Deraa, Hama and Idlib, which knocked people unconscious. While they cannot be confirmed, it is entirely possible. Both sides of the conflict are now talking openly about chemical warfare and are getting ready for this deadly escalation. Syrian regional commanders and the general staff in Damascus have lost track of the violence plaguing those regions. In other words, President Assad and others are not in total control of the military forces. Many act and react on their own accord with deadly results such as the recent massacres! Up until now, the Syrian Kurdish population have not been involved, one-fifth of the population is Kurd. The leader of the Kurdish people have now publicly sided with the rebel factions. This places more pressure on Assad to use the chemical weapons in his last stand.
There are two likely sites for a major regional Middle East war: the Syrian debacle and Iran's nuclear weapons program. Both could begin or involve the other. Chemical weapons will have NATO intervene, that will provoke Russia and Iran to retaliate against Israel. Israel could then launch its airstrike on Iran, provoking Iran to attack Saudi Arabia and close the Hormuz Straits. The impact on this to the world that is struggling to avoid worse economic times will be horrific. When this occurs is key. I don't see both problems simply being solved peacefully.