Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Washington's Doublethink on Syria's Civil War and Chemical Weapons

While it received almost no coverage in the Western media, the United States Department of State has made its final determination on the November 24, 2018 chemical attack in northwestern Aleppo.  

In case you have forgotten, on November 24, 2018, as reported on Sputniknews, the Russian military stated that "terrorist groups" had fired 120 mm mortars at neighbourhoods on the north-west side of Aleppo.  The mortars were fired from a location in the demilitarized buffer zone between rebel and government forces.  According to Sputnik, the 120 millimetre shells appear to have been filled with chlorine and resulted in the hospitalization of 94 civilians including women and children.    This resulted in actions by Russian forces which claimed to eliminate the rebels responsible for the attack.

A number of rebel groups denied involvement including Nour al-Dien al-Zenki as shown here:

Here is a map showing the key locations for the November 24th attack:

Here is a video from Russia's Zvezda TV News showing the aftermath of the attack and Russia's response which is alleged to have eliminated the "terrorists":

At the time of the attack, the Syrian government and the Russian Ministry of Defense blamed rebel forces.  Just to give you a sense of how militarily complex the area is, here is a map showing how the region around Aleppo is divided among the groups currently fighting in Syria: 

If you think that isn't complex enough, here is a graphic showing the links between the groups involved in the Syrian civil war:

Now, let's look at what the U.S. Department of State had to say about the November 24th attack:

Basically, in this case, Washington is blaming Russia and the Assad regime for falsifying a chlorine attack, stating that these two allies used tear gas against civilians in Aleppo in an effort to derail the ceasefire in Idlib province which was enforced after a September meeting between Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan.  This agreement was undertaken to ensure the safety of Syrian civilians in Idlib Province which lies along the front between rebel controlled areas to the west and Syrian government forces to the east.  There were great concerns that an all-out battle along the front line between the two sides would result in a humanitarian catastrophe.

It is interesting to look at the chemical attacks that have taken place in the lengthy civil war that has plagued Syria since March 2011.  It seems that Washington has taken a firm stance that Syria's government forces (pro-Assad) are to blame for any attack whether it takes place in government-held territory or rebel/anti-government/terrorist-held territory, a classic case of Orwellian doublethink.  No matter what the Assad regime or the Russian forces do, they simply cannot win in the eyes of Washington.  It is also a particularly cynical stance given that Washington is quite clearly in breach of international convention by using white phosphorus munitions against civilians in Syria as shown here.

No comments:

Post a Comment