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  1. #1

    Why were chemical weapons used in Syria?

    Is there any information regarding why chemical weapons were used?

    I'm more interested about official stance, than conspiracy theories.

    These are possibilities I could come up with (assuming Assad ordered the attack) - without making up conspiracy theories myself:
    1 - He figured it would send a message to opposition (rebels and their supporters on the ground) that they cannot win
    2 - take out very important target (perhaps they took out important leader of rebels or such)
    3 - perhaps rebels (or their supporters) did something unethical (in Assad's view), and escalated the war

    But these are wild guesses, is there any actual reason that is being offered to us?

  2. #2
    I'm not sure why he would knowing the potential backlash he would receive from the rest of the world. Why wouldn't he just settle with normal bombs?

  3. #3
    There are generally a few possible reasons:

    For Assad:
    1) He doesn't care about the backlash, knowing that Russia and Iran will veto/prevent/threaten against any attempts to intervene.
    2) He knows everybody will question his involvement because it seems "illogical".
    3) He just wants to kill and hurt as many civilians as possible and knows he can get away with it.
    4) Rogue commander acting without authorization.

    Rebels:
    1) Heinous trick to make the world think Asaad did it, so other countries would step in (unlikely).
    2) They're all evil al-qaedas and did it "just because" (sarcasm).

    Really there are no facts about reasons right now, but the first three I listed for Assad would seem by far the most likely.
    Last edited by Netherspark; 2013-09-08 at 07:04 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Netherspark View Post
    There are generally a few possible reasons:

    For Assad:
    1) He doesn't care about the backlash, knowing that Russia and Iran will veto/prevent/threaten against any attempts to intervene.
    2) He knows everybody will question his involvement because it seems "illogical".
    3) He just wants to kill and hurt as many civilians as possible and knows he can get away with it.
    4) Rogue commander acting without authorization.

    Rebels:
    1) Heinous trick to make the world think Asaad did it, so other countries would step in (unlikely).
    2) They're all evil al-qaedas and did it "just because" (sarcasm).

    Really there are no facts about reasons right now, but the first three I listed for Assad would seem by far the most likely.
    I think #3 for Assad and #2 for the Rebels should surely carry equal weight? I think you are allowing your subjective opinion to cloud your 'objective' list too much.
    "If you look out of the window as a human being, at nature, all of nature is unconditionally and absolutely beautiful wherever it is. Whether it's a jungle. Whether it's a desert. Whether it's the Arctic wastes. Or even your own back garden. The only ugly things you will ever see when you look out of the window are things made by man." - Stephen Fry

  5. #5
    Assuming it is was a thought out action...

    I would have to imagine the motivating factor is the belief that expanding the conflict will do more good than harm. Perhaps he thought he could elicit a strong enough response from America/Europe to bring Iran into the conflict, or in some way spark a confrontation with Israel to bring in the wider arab world.

  6. #6
    Well supposing that he used them. The area where he used the nerve gas was at the capital and on an area that was in rebel control.
    Now why would you destroy the capital with conventional ordnance while you can use the nerve gas that doesn't cause damage to infrastructure. Also he has the capability and stock to use it so why not when he is growing more despair while the rebels push the sectors at the capital.
    Simple reasoning could be just that he had the means to use them and he is losing the war so he used what he had in stock to strike fear to the enemy and stop its advance. Though who knows why and how it went really down although it seems that the government was responsible in any case.

  7. #7
    Immortal Sigma's Avatar
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    assuming it was Assad.
    1 - He has flipped his shit, and just don't care anymore.
    2 - He is being Exceptionally, cleaver knowing that the international community will cause a lo of uproar, but (especially their allies, Iran and Russia) will hold America in check
    3 - He lost control of his military for a period of time.

    1 and 3 Are seriously scary thoughts.

    Assuming it was the rebels that done it
    1 - They are trying to gain international Support and military aid
    2 - They didn't know what they had obtained and it was an accident.

    Both of which are scary thoughts

    Assuming it was was extremists who
    1 - managed to get hold the the weapons and it was an accidental detonation whilst trying to remove the contents.
    2 - it was a deliberate release to bring the US into another conflict, and gain support through the middle east for their Jihad
    3 - Managed to remove the contents and decided to test a sample of the weapon whilst taking the remainder to another location for use at a later time against western targets.

    All of those scenarios are truly frighting thoughts for reasons you can well imagine.
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  8. #8
    Another reason is that he is losing more ground than he wishes. Politically and physically. I am sure all his "in country" supporters might be starting to question whether or not they can win, or if it's too late to switch sides/flee the country.

    This sends a strong message that he is still in control of the war, and reaffirms to everyone that he does indeed have allied countries that will protect his regime from an outside military coup.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Faithshield View Post
    I think #3 for Assad and #2 for the Rebels should surely carry equal weight? I think you are allowing your subjective opinion to cloud your 'objective' list too much.
    The thing is, even the few "extremists" (there really aren't that many) have no reason to attack random civilians they have nothing against, not even Al Qaeda are that random. Plus there's the fact that this wasn't just a single shell - it was a coordinated attack with multiple shells launched from different locations. Reports say that all of them came from within government controlled areas. The rebels simply do not have the capability to sneak into government areas with not only the weapons but the means to launch them, fire them at residential areas and then sneak out again unnoticed.

    There's also this: If the rebels had these weapons and the ability to launch them so proficiently, even if the worst of the worst had them, why waste them on civilians when you could use them on military bases or government buildings?

    That is why I say the idea that any rebels did this is laughable, yet makes perfect sense for Assad. I won't even mention the recent government defectors who claim they were responsible.

  10. #10
    The Lightbringer shise's Avatar
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    Because that's an easy way to justify going in



    I don't say it's good or bad that we go, I no longer give a crap about it since I've been giving way too many for the last years and, trust me, you don't wanna get there ^^
    Be happy to be at the winners side and enjoy your life for those who sadly can not be.

  11. #11
    You presume too much of people to look for 'reason' in someone that was fine with killing over 400 children in the first place.

  12. #12
    Old God
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    I found this guy's blog a couple of days ago, and while it's a blog(which means it's in no way official stuff) the stuff written still makes quite a lot of sense.

    Interview with the blog owner.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...yria-frontline

    Introduction.
    Eliot Higgins has no need for a flak jacket, nor does he carry himself with the bravado of a war reporter. As an unemployed finance and admin worker his expertise lies in compiling spreadsheets, not dodging bullets. He has never been near a war zone. But all that hasn't stopped him from breaking some of the most important stories on the Syrian conflict in the last year.

    His work on analysing Syrian weapons, which began as a hobby, is now frequently cited by human rights groups and has led to questions in parliament. Higgins' latest discovery of a new batch of Croatian weapons in the hands of Syrian rebels appears to have blown the lid on a covert international operation to arm the opposition.

    And he's done it all, largely unpaid, from a laptop more than 3,000 miles away from Damascus, in his front room in a Leicester suburb.
    Last edited by Jackmoves; 2013-09-08 at 07:45 PM.
    The nerve is called the "nerve of awareness". You cant dissect it. Its a current that runs up the center of your spine. I dont know if any of you have sat down, crossed your legs, smoked DMT, and watch what happens... but what happens to me is this big thing goes RRRRRRRRRAAAAAWWW! up my spine and flashes in my brain... well apparently thats whats going to happen if I do this stuff...

  13. #13
    Hrm. I don't know enough to speculate on the internals. But I can speculate on the reasons. Someone- possibly Assad, possibly another- probably wanted to send a message, possibly in retribution for something brutal done by the opposition. Possibly the assumption was that the rest of the world wouldn't know about it, and Russia would be willing to lie, so it could send the message "you are alone, I can gas you and no one will stop me".

    Hard to say though.

  14. #14
    The Lightbringer Howard Moon's Avatar
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    Do we even know for certain that any chemical weapons were used?
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  15. #15
    Elemental Lord Masark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Moon View Post
    Do we even know for certain that any chemical weapons were used?
    It seems reasonably clear that they were, though we're still waiting for the UN team's analysis, which should be available in the next couple weeks.

    Though a German report is suggesting it may have been an unauthorized attack by some individual commander, rather than approved by Assad.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3889551.html
    Warning : Above post may contain snark and/or sarcasm. Try reparsing with the /s argument before replying.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Masark View Post
    It seems reasonably clear that they were, though we're still waiting for the UN team's analysis, which should be available in the next couple weeks.

    Though a German report is suggesting it may have been an unauthorized attack by some individual commander, rather than approved by Assad.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3889551.html
    This wouldn't surprise me in the slightest really, considering regimes like this (and Iran, and North Korea, and Myanmar until relatively recently, and to a degree China) aren't really ruled the guy in the "top" who talks, as it is the combined interests of the ruling clique (which is sometimes entirely military, as it was in Myanmar). Assad was a dentist who went to school in Europe and took power after his father died. What happened to all his father's life long advisers and allies? They were the ones that pulled out the chair and sat Bashar al-Assad down in it, and they (and their successors, if they've died from old age at this point) are still around.

    In foreign policy with these countries, it's a consistently a problem if some elements of the ruling clique take actions that other's don't. China's ruling clique is cleaning itself of populist Maoists because of that.

    So it could be entirely possible Assad didn't order it - that an element of his clique that wanted a stronger response went and did it anyway. But that would lead to an even more terrifying state of affairs: that there are WMDs unsecured in the Middle East and their unauthorized use has already occurred, which would be among the strongest justification for almost any war possible.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Moon View Post
    Do we even know for certain that any chemical weapons were used?
    Yes. There is no doubt. Pretty much everyone is on board with that, not even the Syrian regime is denying that.
    What can be questioned is, how many died(very conflicting numbers going around), who did it and what should the respons be.
    The nerve is called the "nerve of awareness". You cant dissect it. Its a current that runs up the center of your spine. I dont know if any of you have sat down, crossed your legs, smoked DMT, and watch what happens... but what happens to me is this big thing goes RRRRRRRRRAAAAAWWW! up my spine and flashes in my brain... well apparently thats whats going to happen if I do this stuff...

  18. #18
    I think it's more likely that the rebels used them on their own people so they get the US to involve and support their cause.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Masark View Post
    It seems reasonably clear that they were, though we're still waiting for the UN team's analysis, which should be available in the next couple weeks.

    Though a German report is suggesting it may have been an unauthorized attack by some individual commander, rather than approved by Assad.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3889551.html
    that would suggest another scary thought - that the wrong people have access to these weapons. they arent the kind of thing that would be in the normal stash of ammo (not in any western army anyway).
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    Same as the old derp.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Netherspark View Post
    Rebels:
    1) Heinous trick to make the world think Asaad did it, so other countries would step in (unlikely).
    2) They're all evil al-qaedas and did it "just because" (sarcasm).
    #1 for rebels seems the MOST likely and because of #2.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Skroesec View Post
    So it could be entirely possible Assad didn't order it - that an element of his clique that wanted a stronger response went and did it anyway.
    I can agree that this is a major possibility, but when America does this same type of thing no one is held accountable.

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