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September 08 2013

Il y a des preuves mais elles doivent rester scrètes... Chemical attacks in Syria. Where's the…

Il y a des preuves mais elles doivent rester scrètes...

Chemical attacks in Syria. Where’s the proof Assad was responsible? - CSMonitor.com
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2013/0908/Chemical-attacks-in-Syria.-Where-s-the-proof-Assad-was-responsible

In his initial statement ten days ago about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Secretary of State was adamant about who was to blame for an attack in the suburbs of Damascus that he said killed 1,429 people, including 426 children.

“We know where the rockets were launched from, and at what time,” Sec. Kerry said, citing but not detailing intelligence reports. “We know where they landed, and when. We know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas, and went only to opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods.”
 
“We know that a senior regime official who knew about the attack confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime,” Kerry added.

In blasting what she called a “blatant violation of international law, a war crime and a crime against humanity,” European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also pointed a finger at Assad for the Aug. 21 chemical attack.
”[The Syrian government] is the only one that possesses chemical weapons agents and the means of their delivery in a sufficient quantity," she said Saturday.

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Some members of Congress have received classified intelligence briefings, presumably including evidence the Obama administration knows it needs to provide if it’s to win congressional authorization for the use of US military force in Syria.

But publicly, at least, the White House has yet to make its case in any detail, and its latest comments haven’t clarified things.

On Sunday, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said a “common-sense test” rather than “irrefutable, beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence” makes the Syrian government responsible.

“We’ve seen the video proof of the outcome of those attacks,” Mr. McDonough said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“All of that leads to a quite strong common-sense test irrespective of the intelligence that suggests that the regime carried this out,” he said. “Now do we have a picture or do we have irrefutable beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence? This is not a court of law and intelligence does not work that way. So what we do know and what we know the common-sense test says is [Assad] is responsible for this. He should be held to account.”

Part of the problem for Obama is that showing US evidence in greater detail could reveal sources and methods of intelligence gathering – a problem all administrations have faced over the years, whether it has to do with signals gathering and code breaking, satellite photos, or spies on the ground.

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September 02 2013

Iran website releases audio of « Rafsanjani's controversial remarks » on Syria An Iranian news…

Iran website releases audio of “Rafsanjani’s controversial remarks” on Syria

An Iranian news website has released video and audio of what it said were recent controversial statements by former President Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani on chemical attacks in Syria.

The conservative website Blogh News on 2 September released a one-minute-long video of what it said was Rafsanjani’s speech in the northern town of Shirgah in Mazandaran Province at a ceremony marking the anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Salehi-Mazandarani on 31 August.

“The Syrian people have suffered much during the past two years. More than 100,000 were killed and seven to eight million have become displaced. Prisons are overflowing with people and they have turned stadiums into prisons. On the one hand the people have suffered a chemical attack by their own government. On the other, they have to await for US bombs today,” the voice, which resembled Hashemi-Rafsanjani’s, said in the video.

The video, which was apparently made by a mobile phone, purportedly shows Rafsanjani delivering a speech to people from a podium. (www.bloghnews.com/news/21183). It is dated 31 August.

Rafsanjani’s remarks led to controversy in the Iranian media on 2 September. Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the comments by Rafsanjani had been “distorted” by the media.

Iranian Labour News Agency, which had carried Rafsanjani’s statements on the alleged chemical attack on 1 September, later removed the controversial section of the report from its website. (For more details see: “Remarks by Iran’s ex-president on Syria trigger debates among officials”, BBC Monitoring, 2 September 13)

The official Iranian line is that it was the rebels who carried out a chemical attack on a Damascus suburb last month.

Source: Iranian news website Blogh News in Persian 1545 gmt 2 Sep 13

Reposted byiranelection iranelection

August 30 2013

U.S. Had Intel on Chemical Strike Before It Was Launched-

U.S. Had Intel on Chemical Strike Before It Was Launched-
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/08/30/us_had_intel_on_chemical_strike_before_it_was_launched

S’ils savaient pourquoi n’ont-ils pas averti ?

American intelligence agencies had indications three days beforehand that the Syrian regime was poised to launch a lethal chemical attack that killed more than a thousand people and has set the stage for a possible U.S. military strike on Syria.

The disclosure — part of a larger U.S. intelligence briefing on Syria’s chemical attacks — raises all sorts of uncomfortable questions for the American government. First and foremost: What, if anything, did it do to notify the Syrian opposition of the pending attack?

In a call with reporters Friday afternoon, senior administration officials did not address whether this information was shared with rebel groups in advance of the attack. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the information had been shared.

But at least some members of the Syrian opposition are already lashing out at the U.S. government for not acting ahead of time to prevent the worst chemical attack in a quarter-century. “If you knew, why did you take no action?” asked Dlshad Othman, a Syrian activist and secure communications expert who has recently relocated to the United States. He added that none of his contacts had any sort of prior warning about the nerve gas assault — although such an attack was always a constant fear.

Razan Zaitouneh, an opposition activist in the town of Douma, one of the towns hit in the Aug. 21 attack, said she had no early indication of a major chemical attack. “Even the moment [the attack hit], we thought it was as usual, limited and not strong,” she told The Cable in an instant message. That only changed when “we started to hear about the number of injuries.”

“It’s unbelievable that they did nothing to warn people or try to stop the regime before the crime,” Zaitouneh added.

August 29 2013

Prévenez _le Monde_ : le New York Times a sifflé la fin de la récréation ce matin. L'« Editorial…

Prévenez le Monde : le New York Times a sifflé la fin de la récréation ce matin. L’« Editorial Board » te fait savoir qu’il faut pas y aller : More Answers Needed on Syria
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/opinion/more-answers-needed-on-syria.html

Mr. Obama has yet to make clear how military strikes — which officials say will last one to two days and target military units that carried out chemical attacks, the headquarters overseeing the effort and the artillery that have launched the attacks — will actually deter chemical attacks without further inflaming a region in turmoil and miring the United States in the Syrian civil war.

Any action, military or otherwise, must be tailored to advance a political settlement between the Assad regime and the opposition, the only rational solution to the conflict. If military action has a broader strategic purpose and is part of a coherent diplomatic plan, Mr. Obama needs to explain it.

Et de toute façon, les fabuleuses preuves contre Assad vont ressembler à « un modeste communiqué de presse » : U.S. Facing Test on Data to Back Action on Syria
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/world/middleeast/us-facing-test-on-data-to-back-action-on-syria.html

And yet it appears that the public presentation of the Syria evidence will be limited. Instead of the theater of Mr. Powell’s 2003 speech — which included satellite photographs, scratchy recordings of conversations between Iraqi officials and a vial of white powder meant to symbolize anthrax — American officials said the intelligence assessment they are preparing to make public will be similar to a modest news release that the White House issued in June to announce that the Assad government had used chemical weapons “on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.”

Based on that conclusion, Mr. Obama authorized a limited program of supplying the Syrian rebels with arms, which have yet to arrive.

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