Review Suggests Syria Didn't Use 'Chemical Weapons'

But it might have been a lesser 'caustic agent,' US officials tell CNN

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 21, 2013 5:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – Bashar al-Assad may not have crossed the red line after all. US intelligence officials don't think Syria used chemical weapons in Aleppo this week, reports CNN. At least, that's the conclusion after an initial review, which could change as more intelligence arrives. But analysts examining video say victims don't look as if they were hit with anything that would qualify as a chemical weapon under international treaties.

Nor does it appear that Assad's military launched any kind of missile beforehand. It is possible the victims got hit with some kind of "caustic agent" such as chlorine, one official tells CNN, but that apparently doesn't qualify. The chair of the House intelligence panel said Monday there was a "high probability" that Assad used a chemical weapon.

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency, a victim who suffered an alleged chemical attack is treated in Aleppo.
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency, a victim who suffered an alleged chemical attack is treated in Aleppo.   (AP Photo/SANA)
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