The use and alleged use of chemical weapons is an area of special interest at this site. Most media sources, in covering the pivotal March 19, 2013, alleged chemical weapons attacks, say there has been only one such allegation before that, not confirmed (Dec. 23). Although they're not fully filled-in, there are pages listed below for four prior allegations. Then there is March 19, with two or even three such incidents alleged across Syria on the same day, and one reported CW attack since then, so far. The previous four known reports show a tendency to cluster in time, but spread out in space, suggesting some strange coordination that the newer attacks remain fairly consistent with.
On August 20, 2012: U.S. President Obama publicly lays out his "red line." Alarmed at reports that Syria might be moving/readying its closely-watched chemical weapons stockpiles, he said that, regardless of what the UN Security Council said, if the Syrian government were to use these banned weapons against their people, there would be consequences that, implicitly, could be military.
It was not specified what would happen if the rebels crossed the line, in the regime's name, or otherwise. But that was clearly considered a pretty unlikely thing. The opposition would surely find other, more ethical, ways of securing the direct U.S./NATO intervention they so desperately need.
Almost to the hour one year after Obama's "red line" statement, a large alleged CW attack happened in the suburbs of Damascus which seemed about to trigger direct military action by the USA until Russia brokered a deal to destroy Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.
After Syria agreed to surrender its chemical weapons, CW allegations from 2014 and onward have by-and-large been of the government's use of chlorine gas, and with a non-acceptable opposition force in the field, charges against ISIS of using chlorine, mustard gas at least have also emerged. But other attacks by rebels go largely unreported, and careful study of the events suggests the ones people do talk about might also be rebel crimes, falsely blamed on "Assad."
An allegation of Sarin usage made the news big time in early April 2017 and led to the bombardment of an SyAAF airbase by then young president Trump.
Alleged Attacks Catalogued Here
All alleged crossings of that line in the Syrian war (that are known to us), in chronological order
- (all pages are also listed below, but this list lets us add ones not analyzed, and to link to ones that are given only sections of a page)
- December 6, 2012 Daraya (near Damascus), regime-on-rebel alleged
- December 8, 2012 Al-Safira, near Aleppo: Regime-on-rebel alleged
- December 22, 2012 Daraya: rebel-on-regime alleged
- December 23, 2012 Al-Bayada, Homs, regime-on-rebel alleged
- January 29, 2013. Britam Defence, David Goulding and Philip Doughty. Daily Mail Online published allegations of Western plans to prepare a chemical attack, after Britam Defense email was hacked. On April 18, 2013 the article was withdrawn and Daily Mail paid damages after a libel lawsuit. (Forged e-mail was allegedly dated December 25, 2012. More details on Snopes).
- March 19, 2013
- Khan Al-Asssal (near Aleppo), both accuse each other, looks like it happened, 31 dead, 110 injured
- Otaybah, near Damascus, regime attack, rebels say, "martyrs," number unspecified
- Baba Amr, Homs, regime attack, rebels imply, no deaths mentioned
- March 24, 2013 Adra (near Damascus), regime-on-rebel alleged, no reported deaths
- March 25, 2013 Best guess: Daraya. Regime-on-rebel alleged.
- April 6, 2013 Jobar, Damascus, regime Sarin or VX, the doctor thinks
- April 9, 2013 Again Al-Otaybah, near Damascus, regime on rebel, gas masks saved lives, only animals died.
- April 13, 2013 Sheikh Maqsoud district, Aleppo, regime on civilian alleged, a woman and two infants dead, 16 injured
- April 25, 2013 Daraya (forthcoming)
- April 26, 2013 Barzeh district, Damascus, rebel on regime alleged, unconfirmed, unstated number of dead
- April 29, 2013 Saraqeb, Idilb: two incidents, allegedly rebels against locals, or by the regime against locals. Some bodies sent to Turkey to prove regime gassing. A little confusing ...
- Early May, 2013 Quseir, Deraa province: shocking but quiet and un-explained allegation of mustard gas, used by Hezbollah fighters, against rebels, in the epic battle for Quseir.
- May 27, 2013 At least two incidents close together, Harasta, reef Damascus - May 26/27 six rebel fighters reported dead
- June 19, 2013 Zamalka, Damascus suburbs - three killed, apparently rebel fighters, Hezbollah involved
That makes 18 attacks listed as of late June. By June 1, rebel doctor/activists had used total science to catalog 34 CW attacks, all by the regime, per an AFP report. "The attacks appeared mainly to be carried out by fighter jets, helicopters and long- and mid-range missiles. (...) 97 percent of victims were civilians, and the cases were mainly concentrated in the suburbs of Damascus." That does not tally with the case-by-case appearance of rebel fighters as more like 90% of seen victims than 3%, when there's a reported death toll at all. Perhaps they simply got the two category labels mixed up?
After June we lost track a bit until August 21.
- August 5, 2013 Adra, east Ghouta
- August 21, 2013, Multiple places in Eastern Gouta, Damascus suburbs. Claims of over 1300 killed, both sides blame each other, bringing U.S. military action to the brink of happening. Multi-page investigation here.
- August 24, 2013 Jobar, east Ghouta
Later attacks, mainly with chlorine, covered partly or should be covered here:
- Alleged Chemical Attack, April 11, 2014 Kafr Zita 5 dead (chlorine as reported)
- April 18 Tamanah 4 dead (chlorine as reported)
- April 21 Talmenes 3 dead (chlorine as reported)
- May 22 Tamanah 4 dead (chlorine as reported)
- February, 2015, Daraya: soldiers killed, sarin confirmed
- Alleged Chemical Attack, March 16, 2015 (chlorine as reported)
- March 23
- March 31, Idlib City
- April Attacks
- May Attacks
- Damascus, June
- Damascus, July
- August: Islamic State uses mustard gas in Mare, Aleppo
- April 7, 2016 Sheikh Maqsoud, Aleppo, reported as rebel attack with chlorine, Jaish al-Islam claims responsibility
- June 13 (or so) Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari "added that on June 13, terrorist groups in Housh al-Fara in Damascus countryside targeted a number of Syrian army soldiers with a bomb containing chemical materials..." Syrian Observer)
- August 2, 2016
- Saraqeb, no deaths? (chlorine by government as reported)
- Aleppo, government-held area, reported 5-7 dead (seemingly chlorine, both sides blame each other)
- August 10, 2016 - 4 killed by chlorine (including a woman and 2 sons), government helicopter blamed
- Sept. 6 Alleged Chemical Attack on Aleppo, September 6, 2016 Helicopter drop blamed for 2 deaths
- Sept. 16, 3 a.m. Said to be IS attack on Kurds, Marat-um-Hosh (Марат-ум-Хош, Russ.), Aleppo province. White-yellow cloud, victims suffer terrible yellow blisters. Iprit (mustard gas) suspected. Marat Musin video from the scene. The location on Wikimpaia - just south of Mare, so the same area Islamic State did the same thing 13 months ago.
- Russia now says that unexploded munition was found near army barracks, a self-made 240-millimeter mortar shell with filler neck in the tail part. Its contained 0.5 to 1.5 liters of black oily liquid. According to Interfax, 25 November 2016, express chemical analysis by Russian military using portable infrared spectrometer showed that that was iprit (mustard gas). Makes some sense, a large absorption peak for mustard gas at about 9 micron wavelength, ie in infrared. (Fig 1 here.)
- September 28 (Al-Masdar) rebel chlorine shelling in Hama, 18 soldiers hospitalized, no deaths reported
- October 25, alleged gov. helicopter drop of chlorine in Latamnah, Hama, with perhaps no deaths but cases of "suffocation" and an unusual amount of video - A Belling cat investigation is of some use (concludes a helicopter did drop chlorine, but there are some puzzling issues.
- Nov. 18, 20, 22, 23, 28, Dec. 8, 9: Alleged Chemical Attacks in Aleppo, November and December, 2016
- Alleged Chemical Attack, December 12, 2016 - Alleged sarin attack by Russian air force on 3-5 town in ISIS-controlled territory, said to kill at least 93 people and effected some 300+ others. Perhpas the second most deadly alleged attack yet, this has made hardly any waves, even after a month.
December 12 alsoDec. 9: In besieged and about to "fall" East Aleepo, another alleged chlorine attack the same day. According to this article about the above attack, "Chlorine gas attacks were also reported in the Kallaseh neighbourhood of besieged Aleppo on Friday. Victims at the medical facility reported symptoms consistent with the choking agent, chlorine gas. The number of injuries and casualties is currently unconfirmed." This is just east of Bustan al-Qasr, south-central Aleppo. (WM). VDC records no deaths related to this. News reports seem scant.
- UOSSM, 2 days before the Hama incident, reported on the Kallaseh attack the previous day, December 9. This is the last of 8 incidents covered by Human Rights Watch in the span listed above.
Hoping this is the last sub-section and remains empty. ...
- January 30: Al-Marj, Damascus suburbs, chlorine - Bellingcat analyzes the munition rebels show and finds it's likely Iranian-made. Described symptoms of 11 affected locals sound like chlorine. 3 critical cases, apparently no deaths. --Caustic Logic (talk) 03:10, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
- February 9: (also analyzed in more detail in the Bellingcat piece - see Jan. 30) VDC lists one non-civilian, Yehya Khaleel al-Masri with "FSA," from Irbeen, Damascus suburbs, by chlorine gas deployed by regime's forces. A video shows him struggling to breathe, then in montage, eventually dying, as the doctor explains. Title translated: 09/02/2017 Many injuries caused by targeting the outskirts of Arbin gas Alklormn by al-Assad. (Alklormn is a typo? chlorine is alkalur الكلور) There has recently been a renewed push to clear out more of the East Ghouta pocket. Perhaps this is the next CW propaganda front for intervention to save Jaish al-Islam in Douma. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:17, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
- March 25, Latamneh, Hama: Tweets: Zaher Sahloul 9:03 AM - 25 Mar 2017 "Multiple reports of use of #Chlorine gas near #Hama by regime against hospitals in #Latamneh. Medical staff were killed @CNN @BBCWorld @NPR" Mohamad Katoub "Dr. Ali Darwish passed away after he was injured this noon by the #Assad chlorine attack on Alatamneh hospital" (with photo: no clear chlorine indicators: dark eyes (look tired, not damaged or tearing), normal skin, fingernails, no bleaching of shirt)- Monitor Blog post
- April 4, Khan Sheikhoun, as murky as it was led to U.S. missile strike on Shayrat airbase
Chemical Weapons Control Timeline
- 1991. Nunn–Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction
- 27 Oct. 2001. Russia-UK agreement on UK assistance in destruction of chemical weapons in Russia (on p.29 here)
- 10 Sep. 2013. Putin comments on placing chemical weapons in Syria under international control, 1tv.ru
- Sept 8, 2016. Report, quoting 'a military source in special services of SAA', warns of plans of 'terrorists', Jaish al Fath, to use chemical weapons in Aleppo and Hama, blame SAA for the use. 30 Zarin containers are prepared, with plans to increase to 45 Zarin, 25 chlorine based. Also 20 missiles for self-made multiple-launch systems are prepared, containing unknown chemical weapons.
- Nothing appears on this at SANA, for example, but an English report based on the same report is at the Russophile.org
- “Intelligence services of the city of Aleppo and Hama province reported about people, dressed in chemical protection suits, carrying bombs and various containers with unknown contents,” the source said.
- Some groups of terrorists are mandatory supplying with gas masks in Aleppo, while before that they used gas masks extremely rare.
- According to available information, the aim of the terrorists is conducting of simultaneous chemical attacks in the eastern districts of Aleppo and the northern areas of Hama in the coming days, supposedly, at night, in order to conceal the true source of chemical attack. After the attack, terrorists plan to use social networks and controlled media to blame the Syrian government in order to discredit it in the international arena and in the eyes of its own people.
Other Related Pages
- Talk:UN chemical weapons investigations
- A Threatened Crossing: Tekkim Chemical Test Video, Video published Dec. 5, 2012, location unknown - alleged rebel-on-Alawite chemical death threat video. Rabbits die.
- Category talk:Chemical Weapons
- Alleged Chlorine Attack Checklist
- CIWCL: Red Flags Across the Red Line 9 page PDF report, large table of 138 alleged chemical attacks (excluding Daesh ones) and 159 "red flags." A red flag is a problem with the story / signs rebels/terrorists are behind the incident.
This category has the following 3 subcategories, out of 3 total.
Pages in category "Chemical Weapons"
The following 52 pages are in this category, out of 52 total.
- Aleppo "Playground Napalm Massacre"
- Alleged al-Nusra Chemical Attack, April 2014
- Talk:Alleged al-Nusra Chemical Attack, April 2014
- Alleged Chemical Attack in Damascus, March 19, 2013
- Alleged Chemical Attack Khan Sheikhoun 4 April 2017
- Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack Khan Sheikhoun 4 April 2017/Chemical agent
- Alleged Chemical Attack on Aleppo, September 6, 2016
- Alleged chemical attack on Quseir, Early May, 2013
- Alleged Chemical Attack, April 11, 2014
- Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, April 11, 2014
- Alleged Chemical Attack, April 13, 2013
- Alleged Chemical Attack, April 26, 2013
- Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, April 29, 2013
- Alleged Chemical Attack, April 29, 2013
- Alleged chemical attack, April 6, 2013
- Alleged Chemical Attack, April 7, 2016
- Alleged chemical attack, April 9, 2013
- Talk:Alleged chemical attack, April 9, 2013
- Alleged Chemical Attack, August 10, 2016
- Alleged Chemical Attack, August 2, 2016
- Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, August 2, 2016
- Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013
- Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013
- Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013/Chemical agent
- Alleged Chemical Attack, December 12, 2016
- Alleged Chemical Attack, December 22, 2012
- Alleged Chemical Attack, December 23, 2012
- Alleged Chemical Attack, December 8, 2012
- Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, January 13, 2014
- Alleged Chemical Attack, June 19, 2013
- Alleged Chemical Attack, March 16, 2015
- Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, March 16, 2015
- Alleged chemical attack, March 19, 2013
- Talk:Alleged chemical attack, March 19, 2013
- Alleged chemical attack, March 24, 2013
- Talk:Alleged chemical attack, March 24, 2013
- Alleged Chemical Attack, March 25, 2013
- Alleged Chemical Attack, May 27, 2013
- Talk:Alleged Chemical Attacks in Aleppo, November and December, 2016
- Alleged Chemical Attacks in Aleppo, November and December, 2016
- Alleged Chemical Attacks, December 6, 2012
- Alleged Chemical Attacks, March 25-April 3, 2017
- Alleged Chlorine Attack Checklist
Media in category "Chemical Weapons"
The following 75 files are in this category, out of 75 total.
- 3-30-2017 Al-Zuwar map.jpg 321 KB
- 3-30-2017 chlorine 1.jpg 279 KB
- 3-30-2017 geoloc 1c.jpg 432 KB
- 3-30-2017 hazmat.jpg 159 KB
- 3-30-2017 remnants.jpg 240 KB
- 8-2-16 Aleppo map Old City.png 1.22 MB
- 8-2-16 ANNA Soldier 1.png 644 KB
- 8-2-16 Khaly Clinic1.png 643 KB
- 9-6-16-OGN Eyes.png 40 KB
- August 2 Aleppo attack map.png 1.17 MB
- August 2 two attacks.png 296 KB
- Bashair 3 firing A.png 290 KB
- Bashair 3 firing B.png 235 KB
- CW 12-12-16 Hama attackmap.png 1.65 MB
- CW 8 21 Jobar Cache 1.png 272 KB
- CW Odai Haroun neck.png 401 KB
- Golan CW attack vid.png 659 KB
- KAA Rockets 1.png 1.14 MB
- KAA Rockets 2.png 1.03 MB
- KAA Rockets 3.png 1.07 MB
- KAA Rockets 4.png 1.04 MB
- KAA Rockets 5.png 1,000 KB
- Kfar Zita chlorine bombs.jpg 112 KB
- Maria Fahed Laham.jpg 37 KB
- Mohammed eye 1.png 184 KB
- Mohammed eye 2.png 101 KB
- N1738427.pdf 244 KB
- OPCW-UN JIM 7th Report.pdf 369 KB
- SACA Aysha eyes.png 196 KB
- SACA Barrel Bomb Remnants.png 2.16 MB
- SACA Bomb Crater.png 1.2 MB
- SACA Mohammed eye 3.png 89 KB
- SACA pupils Aysha 3.png 148 KB
- SACA pupils Mohammed 6.png 345 KB
- SACA V Aysha Carried.png 544 KB
- SACA V Sara Carried.png 279 KB
- Steven Sotloff tweet.png 156 KB
- Tal-al-Jabiyah 2.jpg 31 KB
- Tal-al-Jabiyah.jpg 100 KB
- Tekkim reaction.png 412 KB
- Tennari.png 300 KB
- White Helmets NFZ.jpg 68 KB