The regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh has off and on switched between its use of rubber bullets against protesters and live ammunition, and now, doctors say, it is swapping out traditional tear gas for a banned nerve agent of some sort.
Doctors at the scene of one of the “tear gas” attacks say that the victims showed symptoms of the gas targeting their central nervous system and as a paralytic, banned under international law. Traditional tear gas is supposed to only produce symptoms in the respiratory system.
One of the doctors, Mohammad al-Sheikh, said that some of the victims have to wear diapers now because they have lost all muscle control. He added that he had never seen “tear gas” causing these sorts of symptoms before.
But the symptoms do appear to be consistent with the chemical weapons attacks that Yemenis saw during the 1960s civil war, which saw the installation of the military junta that Saleh is the successor to, though clearly on a much smaller scale.
Exactly what the Saleh regime is using against the protesters is unclear, but it does not appear to be deterring them one bit, and indeed the rallies are only growing in intensity as the protesters grow all the more determined to see him ousted.