April 10, 2017


Top Dems Attack Gabbard After She Fails to Blame Assad for Gas Attack (Charles Fain Lehman, April 10, 2017, Free Beacon)

Top Democrats are calling for the replacement of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) after she refused on Friday to blame Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad for the chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed at least 100 Syrian civilians last week.

Gabbard said during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Friday that she was "skeptical" Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack on Syrian citizens, CNN reported.  Gabbard said the U.S. should not be "sending American tax payer dollars on these failed regime change wars."

Syria nerve agent attack: why it made sense to Assad (Emma Graham-Harrison, 7 April 2017, The Guardian)

Fighting still raged across the battered country but his army and the collection of militias and foreign militaries backing his government had the upper hand, and the White House appeared to have taken any push for regime change off the table. [...]

[A]ssad's military gains since 2015 have been slow and costly. His army is battle-weary and although they have won decisive battles, the war is far from over.

Joshua Landis, a long-time Syria observer and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said chemical weapons could be attractive to a leader running low on military alternatives.

"I think Assad and his generals want to win and have a depleted and exhausted army," Joshua Landis said, when asked on Twitter if he thought the Syrian leader would have used chemical weapons. [...]

Since the 2013 sarin attack on a Damascus suburb, there have been government attacks using chlorine gas which have brought almost no repercussions. Sarin is much deadlier, and its use easier to prove through testing, making it a more powerful but riskier form of chemical weapon.

Posted by at April 10, 2017 9:11 AM