Tag Archives: chemical warfare

UN Security Council Meets Over Syria Airstrikes

(SL) – The U.S. is “locked and loaded” if Syria chooses to use chemical weapons again. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley delivered the promise from President Trump at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council. The council met today over the joint airstrikes launched against targets in Syria last night. Haley insisted that the strikes were a justified and proportionate reaction to a chemical weapons attack attributed to Syria’s government. She also accused Russia of aiding and abetting the Syria regime, enabling it to use chemical weapons with impunity.

Russia’s ambassador blasted the U.S. and its allies for what he called a complete disregard for international law. He raised doubts on whether the reported chemical weapons attack that prompted the airstrikes actually took place. He added that the U.S. is pandering to terrorists who have kept Syria in the grip of chaos for years.

State Department Calls Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack ‘Horrifying’

(Washington, DC) – The U.S. State Department is condemning a suspected chemical attack on Syrian citizens. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the U.S. is “closely following disturbing reports” of the attack in a suburb of Damascus that killed dozens of people.

The State Department hadn’t been able to confirm chemicals were used, but nonetheless called the suspected attack “horrifying.” In a statement, Nauert said reports indicate a “potentially high number of casualties.” She said if the reports are confirmed, it would demand an immediate response from the international community.

War Games..Will Syrian Strike Lead To WWIII With Russia?

(SL)- In an attempt to protect Syrian people from their own leader, the United States has finally taken action against  Bashar al-Assad. Assad is accused of ordering a horrific nerve gas (Sarin) attack which killed more than 80 of the dictator’s own citizens including children.

Yes, it’s devastating. But at the end of the day, we’re going to kill people to help people? It’s understood that there will be some collateral damage but what about the bigger picture. Reportedly, Russia is not happy.

Putin called it an ‘illegal act of aggression’ and ripped up an agreement to avoid mid-air clashes between Russian and US fighter jets over Syria.

Allegedly, as an immediate act of payback, Russian or Syrian planes once again bombed the town of Khan Sheikhoun, the same location of the nerve attack.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, speaking alongside German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, said, “We do not want an escalation. We have to stop the hypocrisy. If Russia is acting in good faith it should stop and negotiate.”

World leaders praised the US strikes and urged Putin to hold urgent talks with Trump to prevent the Syria crisis escalating into a wider world conflict.

But is it too late? Sources say, Vladimir Putin has vowed to bolster Assad’s air power f leading to fears that the conflict will spiral into and all-out war between Russia and the West.

The Daily Mail reports, Russian warship the Admiral Grigorovich – armed with cruise missiles and a self-defence system – is docking in Syria today after it was immediately diverted from the Black Sea following Donald Trump’s airstrike on al-Shayrat military airfield near Homs, which killed six and destroyed nine Syrian jets.

3F09B65600000578-4388834-image-a-46_1491563803482
The US military fired 59 tomahawk missiles at 1.40am today after the US President blamed Bashar al-Assad’s regime for a horrific nerve gas attack which killed more than 80 of the dictator’s own citizens. Footage showing burnt out shelters and hangars and a damaged runway was cheered by tearful Syrians hoping that Trump’s intervention would lead to Assad being overthrown.

 

The US used a special military-to-military hotline to warn Russia it was launching an airstrike on a Syrian air base about 30 minutes in advance – but the Trump administration did not ask Moscow for permission. It is likely Russia alerted the Syrians about the incoming strikes but this has not been confirmed.

Viktor Ozerov, head of the defense committee in the Russian Federation Council, told state news agency RIA that the US strikes ‘may undermine the efforts in the fight against terrorism in Syria.

‘Russia will demand an urgent UN Security Council meeting after the US airstrike on Syrian aviation base. This is an act of aggression against a UN member.’ Russia’s foreign minister says no Russian servicemen have been hurt in the bombing raid. The strikes have won broad international support with officials saying that Canada and other allies were behind the move.

Britain backed the US missile strike, describing it as an ‘appropriate response’, as the government offered its full support to Trump’s targeted assault.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: ‘The UK Go164124716-bb65ad393eb1649b79473c971975221e2e28dc1d-s6-c10vernment fully supports the US action, which we believe was an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime, and is intended to deter further attacks.’  German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said Syrian president Assad bore ‘sole responsibility’ for the US strike on a regime airbase.

In a joint statement on Friday, they said: ‘After the chemical weapons massacre of April 4 on Khan Sheikhun in northwestern Syria, a military installation of the Syrian regime was destroyed by a US air strike last night.

‘President Assad bears sole responsibility for this development.’ Hollande added that the US strike was what France had been calling for in the wake of another chemical attack in 2013.

Both he and Merkel said their countries would continue to work with UN partners in ‘efforts to hold President Assad responsible for his criminal acts.’

EU President Donald Tusk said the action demonstrated ‘needed resolve’ against chemical attacks. ‘US strikes show needed resolve against barbaric chemical attacks. EU will work with the US to end brutality in Syria,’ Tusk said in a tweet.

3F06418000000578-4388834-image-m-8_1491547634030Israel’s prime minister also welcomed the US attack saying he ‘fully supports’ President Trump’s decision.

Benjamin Netanyahu said ‘in both word and action’ Trump ‘sent a strong and clear message’ that ‘the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.’

It is not yet clear what China’s response has been to Trump’s decision to brazenly announce the strike on Syria while the president was his guest. China has backed Syrian-ally Russia’s attempts to protect Assad’s government and vetoed six resolutions on Syria.

What’s more, Trump didn’t consult Congress before initiating the attack.

 

Inside Job? Two Women Officially Charged With Murder After Using Nerve Agent To Kill Kim Jong Nam

(SL) – The half-brother of North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un was in the busy Kuala Lumpur airport terminal heading back home to Macau on Feb. 13th when the two women approached him from behind and wiped what is believed to be a deadly nerve agent on his face.

Known as VX -a tasteless and odorless liquid with an amber-like color, it severely disrupts the body’s nervous system and is used as a nerve agent in chemical warfare.

A banned substance, authorities are trying to figure out how whoever gave the VX to the women got their hands on it; and if it came directly from North Korea Officials considering speculation is rampant that North Korea was behind the killing, particularly after Malaysia said Friday that VX had killed Kim. Experts say the oily poison was almost certainly produced in a sophisticated state weapons laboratory.

Someone also tried to break into the building where Jong Nam’s body is being held further leading to conspiracy theories that are looming.

Isolated North Korea has a long history of ordering killings of people it views as threats to its regime. Kim Jong Nam was not known to be seeking political power, but his position as eldest son of the family that has ruled North Korea since it was founded could have made him appear to be a danger.

Earlier this week, a high-level North Korean delegation arrived in Kuala Lumpur seeking custody of the body. North Korea opposed Malaysian officials even conducting an autopsy, while Malaysia has resisted giving up the body without getting DNA samples and confirmation from next of kin.

Malaysian officials have confirmed that the victim of the attack was Kim Jong Nam. North Korea, however, has identified him only as a North Korean national with a diplomatic passport bearing the name Kim Chol.

Kim Jong Nam was estranged from Kim Jong Un. He reportedly fell out of favor with their father, the late Kim Jong II, in 2001, when he was caught trying to use a fake passport to enter Japan for a visit to Tokyo Disneyland.

ct-suspects-charged-with-murder-in-airport-ner-001.jpgAs for the Women, both have reportedly said they thought they were part of a prank TV show playing harmless tricks on unsuspecting passengers. Indonesian Siti Aisyah told authorities she was paid the equivalent of $90.

Siti nodded as her translator told her: “You are accused of murdering a North Korean man at the departure hall” of Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Vietnamese suspect doan Thi Huog spoke English telling the court, “I understand but I am not guilty,” after the murder charge was read. She looked briefly at the public gallery as she was led out and bowed her head.

ct-suspects-charged-with-murder-in-airport-ner-002.jpgThe Pyongyang delegation is also seeking the release of a North Korean arrested in the case, 45-year-old Ri Jong Chol. Malaysia has not described his alleged role in the killing, and it was not clear if or when he could be charged.

Authorities are seeking seven other North Korean suspects, four of whom fled the country the day of Kim’s death and are believed to be back in North Korea. Others sought include the second secretary of North Korea’s embassy and an employee of North Korea’s state-owned airline, Air Koryo.

Kim Jong Nam is believed to have two sons and a daughter with two women living in Beijing and Macau.

Both women were wearing bulletproof vests as they were escorted from the court to Kajang Prison. Each faces a mandatory death sentence if convicted.