Aug 22, 2013
By Jane Brown
Syrian activists say President Bashar Assad’s forces are pressing on with a military offensive in the rebel-held eastern Damascus suburbs where the opposition accuses the government of a deadly chemical weapons attack. Reports on the death tolls vary widely from 136 to as high as 1300, which would make it the deadliest chemical attack in Syria’s civil war. The Syrian government has denied as “absolutely baseless” allegations it used chemical weapons in artillery barrages there yesterday.
Andrew Tabler is an expert on Syria. He says if confirmed, “it would be huge because it gets as close to the red line as laid down by the White House. And this would be systemic use in two instances. One, it would be, if confirmed, another use of it. And second, the scale of it is much larger than previous incidents.”
The U.S., Britain and France have demanded that a team of U.N. experts already in Syria, be granted immediate access to investigate the site.