US Doubts Reports of Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

International Groups Also Doubt Accusations

by Jason Ditz, March 19, 2013

The Syrian government and rebels are trading blame today after what they say was a chemical weapons missile attack in Aleppo, an attack which killed 25 people. Most accounts claimed a single missile strike, but one rebel faction claimed day-long shelling with “chemical rockets.”

But was there a chemical weapons attack at all? That’s not clear. The Obama Administration says they have seen “no immediate evidence” that any chemical weapons were used, though they did say they are investigating it.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says largely the same, saying there has been no independent confirmation of the use of such weapons, an inevitable problem in a nation with no independent media.

Though being spun in the international media as the “first use” of chemical weapons in Syria, this is actually the second time a disputed attack has come up. The previous one was on December 23 in Homs, which caused a similar hysteria in mid-January, with the US concluding that strike as well probably wasn’t a chemical weapon.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz