Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/6/2013 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Meanwhile, Russia, China sending warships to region.

Russia has released a report that claims rebels, not Assad is responsible for a chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed 26 people. The Russian government has sent the report to the UN amid deliberations in the U.S. over striking Syria.

The Russians believe it is the rebels, not the regime, that is using chemical weapons against civilians.

The Russians believe it is the rebels, not the regime, that is using chemical weapons against civilians.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/6/2013 (7 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Russia, China, US, poison gas, attacks, rebels, Assad, regime, March 19


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to a Russian report, Syrian rebels used Sarin gas during an attack at Khan al Asal, in Northern Syria. The attack took place on March 19 and killed 26 people.

The Russian report is 100 pages long and details the evidence accumulated by investigators.  With Syria in turmoil, it is certainly possible that rebels could have access to some of that nation's chemical weapons stockpiles.

While a summary of the report was announced, the details have not yet been released to the media. The report was delivered in July, a month before the deadly Aug. 21 attacks in Damascus that has the U.S. preparing to strike in retaliation.

Rebels have been accused of using chemical weapons before, however the evidence is subject to debate. It is unclear if the Russian report provides more definitive evidence.

In Damascus, the U.S., Britain, and France say they have clear evidence the Assad regime is responsible for the attacks. According the U.S. officials, regime forces deployed small quantities of the gas as tests before the main attack. The main attack seems to have been delivered by chemical shelling and possibly rockets sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 am, local time when most residents were asleep.

For hours afterwards, opposition forces reported the telltale signs of the attacks including a rotten egg-and-vinegar smell and victims who died with no apparent wounds and survivors who were foaming at the mouth and spasms.

According to U.S. intelligence intercepts, regime forces mentioned the attacks as their own.

Following these attacks, the U.S. has lead a charge to punish the Assad regime with "limited strikes" and it appears increasingly likely those strikes will occur as the Senate and Congress prepare to debate the merits of them. Initial signals from Congressional leaders suggests they will authorize strikes.

Aside from the moral and legal implications of a strike, there is vast potential for unintended consequences. Both Syria and Iran have sworn retaliation against any attacks, and both have mentioned they may attack Israel as a proxy for the U.S.

Israel has also vowed to defend itself.

Russia has moved additional warships to the Mediterranean and according to Russian news reports, China has also sent a warship. Other Chinese ships may be in the region.

The outcome of a short-term strike is hardly in doubt. U.S. technological ability and sheer military might is substantial. Syria will be hammered as lightly or as hard as the Obama administration wishes and the world can do little to stop it.

However, the potential of the conflict to spill across borders and to involve major powers such as Russia and China is troubling. While those countries may be content to "observe" for the moment, there is no guarantee they will not become involved in some way, even if by accident.

Meanwhile, the Russians are promoting their report that they claim proves the rebels, not the Assad regime, are using poison gas against civilians.

The rest of the world is urging the U.S. to refrain and to pursue a diplomatic solution. Despite this, President Obama and key decision makers in Congress seem bent on a strike, no matter the risk.


Watch Catholic Online's most viral videos here!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Middle East

Palestinian Christians prevented from Easter pilgrimage to Jerusalem since 1967 Watch

Image of Israel issues some permits to both Christians and Muslims during religious holidays, but this can be a lengthy and bureaucratic process. Permits are usually issued to older, married Palestinians.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Palestinian Christians feel the sting of segregation acutely during Holy Week. Strict, Israeli restrictions on movement prevents their access to holy sites in nearby Jerusalem. Many holy sites have remained out of reach in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since ... continue reading


BIGGEST IN THE WORLD: Saudi Arabia determined to build world's tallest building Watch

Image of High winds will also be a problem for this gargantuan building, so the tower will change shape regularly to counter it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Not be outdone, Saudi Arabia is vowing to build the world's tallest building. Said structure, called the Kingdom Tower, heads into construction next week. AT its height, 3,280 feet, it will eventually dwarf Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands at 2,716 feet, the ... continue reading


AL-QAEDA ALIVE: 'We must eliminate the cross ... The bearer of the cross is America!' Watch

Image of  In the video, the nefarious

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"This is quite an extraordinary video," terrorist experts Paul Cruickshank says. There's another word for it: absolutely horrifying. In the video, the nefarious "crown prince" of al-Qaeda, Nasir al-Wuhayshi is seen addressing a group of 100 like-minded ... continue reading


Suffering, dying in silence: Syrian Christians face arduous holy week Watch

Image of Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus says that Syrian Christians face a seemingly endless Way of the Cross, with many suffering and dying in silence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The assassination of Dutch Jesuit Fr. Frans van der Lugt, shot to death by an unknown assailant at his base in Homs, Syria on April 7 has cast a pall for the faithful here. Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus says that Syrian Christians face a ... continue reading


Asia Bibi remains in prison, reluctant officials hide behind bureaucracy Watch

Image of Asia Bibi remains in prison, judges unwilling to take up her case for fear of violence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman facing death for blasphemy in Pakistan still sits in a women's prison her case held up by deliberate delays and a reluctance of judges and others to hear her case. Officials are afraid that they will become targets of Islamic ... continue reading


Dutch priest beaten, killed at his Syrian monastery Watch

Image of Father Frans van der Lugt was described as a man of great courage who

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dutch Jesuit priest, 75-year-old Frans van der Lugt was beaten and shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his monastery in Homs, Syria this week, the Vatican said. He had been living in Syria since the early Seventies. He's being described as man of great courage ... continue reading


Tunisian government strives to root out Islamist influence from Mosques Watch

Image of Tunisia's newly elected government, recognizing that one of the nation's chief sources of revenue is tourism, has wasted little time in quelling extremist factions there.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Tunisian authorities, along with the Islamist party Ennahda had clashed on several levels for any months. The conflict was felt on all strata of Tunisian society. Violence roiled in the streets, to the universities, in places of worship and private homes. ... continue reading


Syrian refugees in Lebanon passes one million mark Watch

Image of U.N. staff in Lebanon register 2,500 new Syrian refugees every day, the UNHCR said.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Syria's devastating Civil War drags into its fourth year without an end in sight, the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has officially passed the one million mark, the United Nations' refugee agency says. Syrian refugees now make up almost a quarter of ... continue reading


Meet Catholic Online's new Middle East correspondent Watch

Image of Kaci Racelma received his Bachelor of English literature in 1996. He has worked in the daily Algerian newspaper la Nouvelle République since 1998.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Journalist Kaci Racelma has joined the Catholic Online family as a much needed and vaunted Middle East correspondent to our international news desk. We welcome his wealth of experience in relaying breaking stories in this complex part of the world.  LOS ... continue reading


Authorities break up kiddie sex abuse ring, 17-year-old pimp and several men arrested Watch

Image of Several hundred women in Israel - many of them foreigners - are trafficked within the country annually for commercial sexual exploitation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tel Aviv Police have arrested seven men in connection with a child molestation ring. An undercover investigation began after one of the purported victims came forward and told them about a number of girls who had sex with a group of adults in exchange for ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:1-10
1 Once, when Peter and John were going up to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, call on his name, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:13-35
13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 23rd, 2014 Image

St. George
April 23: Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter