Written by 1:02 pm Lifestyle, Uncategorized

US Interception of Syrian Chemical Weapons Communications

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The United States intelligence community intercepted communications between Syrian military officials this past week. CNN additionally reported on Wednesday that among these intercepted communications, there were chemical weapons experts conversing about provisions for a chemical attack in in the north of Syria, set to take place last week.

These intercepted communications by the United States intelligence community are reported to have occurred prior to an attack of which the Syrian government is considered liable for. Despite this, a senior United States official revealed to CNN, as part of this same report, that the United States was not aware of the planning of this strike before it actually took place.

The intercepts which later endowed the United States government with such knowledge were included in an appraisal of communications and other intelligence from the hours succeeding the horrific attack.

The United States intelligence community normally is faced with a vast quantity of communications material originating from Syria and Iraq. Thus, the information from these sources is usually not examined by analysts unless a particular event warrants it, in an effort to maximize the efficiency of the work of these professionals by having them focus on the most relevant and urgent matters first.

Up until the current moment, no communications intercepts have been studied which support allegations that Russia was complicit in this chemical attack, which is said to have been orchestrated by forces which remain loyal followers of Syrian President Bashar Assad. This mortifying resulted in the death of over 80 civilians in the Syrian province of Idlib.

Syria and Russia, a longtime supporter of Assad in the country’s continual and prolonged civil war, have both refuted accusations of involvement in the chemical strike. Both nations have attempted to ascribe the blame for the attack on some of the terrorist groups present in the region looking to stimulate US military action against Assad.

However, this attack would not constitute the Syrian government’s first time utilizing chemical weapons against its own people—particularly against its civilians, instead of armed opposing forces. Furthermore, in spite of an agreement made in 2013, where Assad’s administration promised it would give up its chemical weapons, US officials currently think that the Syrian government has re-established its use of these weapons.

Moreover, US officials also harbor the belief that the government of Syria may benefitted from outside aid in this endeavor. The US government officials looking into the complex situation have particularly highlighted the presence of Russian chemical weapons experts in the country.

This chemical attack, which took place last week, is the one which allegedly prompted Trump to order a missile strike at a Syrian military air base. This decision by Trump seemed to be a particularly spur of the moment choice, which was made while he was in the middle of his summit meeting in Florida with President of China Xi Jinping.

The avenging strike ordered by Trump has evoked, per usual, an array of responses around the world. The act by Trump was applauded by various global leaders; meanwhile, Russia condemned it as a clear show of “aggression” on the part of the country, and continued on so far as to accuse the US of violating international law in its choice to do so.

Popular opinion on the matter, as expected, seems to be heavily divided. Some applaud Trump upon the basis that this act was more than anything, a display of power by the newly-elected America president and that it will cause Assad to reconsider his decisions in considering how to act from now on. Among the people with this perspective, some have gone even further to suggest that it could also serve as an additional warning to North Korea, which has been experienced increased tensions in its relationship with the US and South Korea. On the other hand, many see it as an abuse of power by Trump to intervene in Syria in such a fashion and believe it to be counterintuitive to choose to bomb a country in a show of disapproval for the government of that country having bombed itself before.

 

Featured Image via Wikimedia.

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