An Israeli official has claimed that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, crossing the stated “red line” of the Obama Administration regarding U.S involvement in the Syrian Civil War.
A senior Israeli official said Wednesday that it is “apparently clear” that chemical weapons were recently used in Syria, and that the alleged attack will be a main topic of conversation with visiting President Barack Obama.
The statement by Yuval Steinitz, the newly appointed minister of intelligence and strategic affairs, conflicts with U.S. assessments that there is no evidence behind accusations traded the day before between Syrian rebels and the Bashar Assad regime of a chemical weapons attack in a village in the north of the country.
According to the Associated Press the claims were verified by a senior defense official.
A senior defense official told the Associated Press that he concurred chemical weapons had been used, basing that on intelligence reports. He would not elaborate. He spoke anonymously because he is not allowed to speak to the media.
Others are disputing the claim that the weapons used qualify as “chemical weapons” as the Syrian government and opposition blame each other for the attack.
Meanwhile Senator Carl Levin has endorsed a no-fly zone inside Syria and attacking the air defenses and air power of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Levin chaired a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday morning during which he asked Adm. James Stavridis, the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, if NATO was discussing attacking Assad’s air defenses. Stavridis acknowledged the idea was under discussion but said there was no unified NATO position on the issue…
After the hearing, Levin directly endorsed the idea of attacking Syrian air defenses and using the Patriot missile batteries in Turkey to establish a no-fly zone inside Syria in an interview with The Cable.
“I believe there should be the next ratcheting up of military effort and that would include going after some of Syria’s air defenses,” Levin said.
Attacking Syria, as Levin suggested, would directly involve America in yet another war in the Middle East. Just as we are preparing to leave Afghanistan and counting up the blood and treasure lost in Iraq. Thanks but no thanks. The days of imperial adventure should become shorter not longer.