Damascus achieves some military successes, Trump makes noises about scaling back US involvement, and suddenly there is another “chemical weapons attack” in Syria:
A gas attack on the last rebel-held town in Ghouta has left at least 40 people dead, with entire families reportedly found suffocated inside their homes, Syrian opposition activists and medical services say. The alleged attack on the town of Douma, which comes after Syrian government forces resumed an offensive in the area late Friday, left more than 500 people seeking medical attention, according to the Civil Defense and the Syrian American Medical Society. The Syrian American Medical Society put the death toll at 49, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 80 people had died, though many of them are said to have died from their shelters collapsing. The Syrian government has denied allegations it used chemical agents to attack the town, calling the claims “fabrications” aimed at undermining government advances in the area. The U.S. State Department has said it is closely following the “horrifying” reports, and if a gas attack is confirmed, it would “demand an immediate response by the international community.”
We’ve had unconfirmed reports of a missile strike on a Syrian airfield as well.
There is a regular pattern to this, as Bernhard at Moon over Alabama observes:
An alleged new ‘chemical incident’ in Syria reminds of a similar series of events we saw last year. We are told to believe that each time the U.S. pulls back from the war on Syria the Syrian government is responding with a ‘chemical attack’ that pulls the U.S. back in.
I am not suggesting that the DoD or the CIA is engineering these attacks, but I am suggesting that anti-Assad forces, with the active collusion of the “White Helmets”, knows how to read American news websites and understand the political dynamics at play.