US: Syria Likely Used Chemical Weapons on ‘Small Scale’

No Proof, So Why the Sudden Change in Assessment?

What a difference 48 hours makes. On Tuesday, an Israeli brigadier general made a sudden claim of “repeated” chemical weapons use in Syria’s civil war, and Netanyahu declined to provide proof to Secretary of State John Kerry, saying he wasn’t in a position to do so. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who was in Israel Monday and didn’t hear anything like this, expressed major doubts yesterday.

Today there’s still no proof, but the US has done a total 180 on the matter, and is now saying that they believe “with some degree of varying confidence” that Syria has twice used chemical weapons on a “small scale.”

There’s nothing to believe the evidence, or appalling lack thereof, has changed in the last 24 hours, but Hagel is also on board now, condemning Syria for supposed use that “violates every convention of warfare.”

British officials, who were on board in the first place because they thought it might justify more pro-rebel moves, reiterated that support by claiming they have seen “limited but persuasive information” about chemical weapons use in Syria. Information that the public won’t get to see, of course.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.