Why Assad Is Still Able to Kill With Gas

That there was no gas leak at the target sites isn't a great sign
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2018 8:57 AM CDT
This satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company, shows the Barzah Research and Development Center in Syria on Sunday, April 15, 2018, following a U.S.-led allied missile attack.   (Satellite Image ?2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company via AP)

(Newser) – If your takeaway from the reports on Friday's air strikes on Syria's chemical weapons facilities by US, French, and British forces was that President Bashar al-Assad's ability to conduct future chemical strikes had been eliminated, you'd be wrong. In an analysis titled, "A Hard Lesson in Syria: Assad Can Still Gas His Own People," the New York Times outlines four reasons why this is so, and the Wall Street Journal adds a fifth:

  1. Though the Pentagon characterized the strike's three targets as "fundamental components of the regime's chemical weapons warfare infrastructure," it's possible that is only true in a historical sense. In the wake of the strikes, there have been no reports of casualties at the targeted facilities—the Barzeh research and development center, the Him Shinshar storage facility, and a bunker—nor any reports of gas leakage, suggesting the sites could have been abandoned or only in light use.

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