Reports of chlorine attacks are pretty common in Syria, though half of the time it’s unclear if they amounted to anything other than an accidental release related to hitting an industrial building with some old chemical tanks inside.
Lithuanian officials are reporting that as usual, the latest round has the US looking to blame the Assad government, and that they are trying to “create a way to attribute blame” to the Syrian military for the attacks.
Previous UN Security Council resolutions had threatened “action” if chemical attacks were proven to have taken place, but they did not mandate any specific group that gets to decide who is to blame.
In the past, it hasn’t much mattered to the US, because blaming Assad was more a PR move. Now, they seem to be hoping to use the blame to invoke some new “actions” against the Syrian government.
Russia, however, is almost certain to veto such efforts, with Ambassador Churkin saying he hasn’t gotten specific instructions from Moscow, but that what he sees so far is just “a propaganda campaign” without any real effort to build evidence on what happened or who is responsible.