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Is this worth another BREAKING Headline? I certainly hope not. I was checking my tweeter feeds and getting ready to call it a night when I saw this:

I tend to trust my Anonymous sources.

Google translations spits back this from the Arabic caption to the YouTube video: Coordinating monastery Alzoralbulel suffocation cases among civilians because of toxic gases released by 20 72

This is obviously very sketchy at this point but clearly the people in the video think that they have been subjected to some sort of gas attack. This may be tear gas or some other non-lethal agent. At least so far no deaths have been reported. But I have been greatly trouble by some of the tweets I am seeing now such as:

See also my diary: Will Syria's Assad make a chemical attack in Damascus on Saturday?

I am also trouble by these tweets from two days ago:

I get concerned when soldiers start strapping on gas masks because most civilians don't have them.

Like I said, I hope that this does not turn out to be breaking news, but here it is.

7:20 AM PT: Reuters is reporting this morning:

Syria moves chemical weapons before wider offensive: defector

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

HACIPASA, Turkey | Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:32am EDT

(Reuters) - A senior Syrian military defector said President Bashar al-Assad's forces were moving chemical weapons across the country for possible use in a military retaliation for the killing of four top security officials.

"The regime has started moving its chemical stockpile and redistributing it to prepare for its use," said General Mustafa Sheikh, citing rebel intelligence obtained in recent days.

"They are moving it from warehouses to new locations," he told Reuters in an interview in southern Turkey, close to the Syrian border. "They want to burn the country. The regime cannot fall without perpetrating a sea of blood."

The Debka Files is saying:
Assad has given final warning before using WMD, say Washington security sources

DEBKAfile July 20, 2012, 5:55 PM (GMT+02:00)

Security sources in Washington criticize the Obama administration for not treating seriously enough Bashar Assad’s threats to start using chemical and biological weapons against Syrian rebels and other Middle East targets if the revolt continues. “Assad has shown he means what he says,” those sources said.

8:49 AM PT: By Reuters, Jack Khoury and Haaretz | Jul.21, 2012 | 12:18 PM |:

   Opposition Free Syrian Army has formed a special unit, trained to secure Syria's chemical weapons sites, the Daily Telegraph has reported Friday, citing a former general in the country's chemical and biological weapons administration, Gen. Adnan Silou, who is also the most senior ranking member of Assad's regime to defect and join the rebel groups.

According to the report, Gen. Silou said he fears that with Assad's back against the wall, he might be tempted to use the chemical weapons against his own people, stating that he knows "Assad's character." In addition, Gen. Silou says that the weapons can be deployed from tanks, rockets and helicopters.

Israel said it would consider military action if needed to ensure Syrian missiles or chemical weapons did not reach Assad's allies in Lebanon, the Shi'ite Islamist movement Hezbollah.

"I have instructed the military to increase its intelligence preparations and prepare what is needed so that ... (if necessary) ... we will be able to consider carrying out an operation," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.

9:53 AM PT: Al Arabiya News has a piece about the video I posted last night. I broke this story here on the Daily Kos 10 hrs. before Al Arabiaya News! Imagine that! Now that's what I call BREAKING:

Syrian activists claim Assad’s forces used ‘toxic gas’ against civilians

Sat Jul 21, 2012 19:39 pm (KSA) 16:39 pm (GMT)

Syrian activists from the city of Deir Ezzour have circulated a video on the Internet of children they said were victims of toxic gas attacks by regime forces amid growing international concern about the country’s stockpiles of chemical weapons.

The activists reported cases of asphyxia due to what they said was toxic gas released by regime forces in the town on Friday.

The anti-regime activists also published a video explaining to people how to make masks that will protect them from airborne toxic gases. The mask forms a sealed cover over the nose and the mouth and also provides cover for the eyes.

On Monday, Nawaf Fares, who defected from his post as Syrian ambassador to Iraq, said in an interview with the BBC that he was “convinced” that Assad would draw on his stocks if cornered, according to AFP.

His comments were backed up by members of the rebel Syrian Free Army.

A few days earlier, the Wall Street Journal said that intelligence reports suggested some chemical weapons were on the move, although the reasons were unclear.

It said some U.S. officials feared the weapons could be used against rebels or civilians, while others believed they were being deliberately hidden from armed opposition groups or Western powers.

Both Fares and the Syrian Free Army even allege that chemical weapons have already been used during the Syrian conflict.

In reality, very little is known about Syria’s chemical capabilities as the country is not a member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which requires member states to be transparent and destroy their stockpiles.

This is what the Assad regime is doing even without chemical weapons:

Here are my related diaries on Syria:
Will Syria's Assad make a chemical attack in Damascus on Saturday?
BREAKING: I know where Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is!
BREAKING: Massive Fire near #Assad's Presidential Palace in #Damascus, #Syria
BREAKING: Is Syria's Bashar al-Assad dead or dying?
BREAKING: Damascus explosion kills Defense Minister, other key figures
The battle for Damascus is coming
BREAKING: General Strike in Damascus
BREAKING: Intense fighting reported in Damascus now!
BREAKING: Syrian defector spills beans as important new defection reported.
Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?
Tremseh Massacre in Syria: What we know
BREAKING: ~227 reported massacred by Assad's forces in Tremseh, Syria today!
Syria: Is Assad regime on the verge of collapse?
BREAKING: Russian Warships reported in Syria
BREAKING: #Russia changing on #Assad but not as fast as conditions in #Syria
UN Observers say violence in Syria is ‘Unprecedented’
BREAKING: Defection of major Assad insider reported in Syria
BREAKING: WikiLeaks releases 2.4 million #Syria emails
When did "Never Again" become "Whenever?" | #Douma
BREAKING: Incredible mass rally in Aleppo, Syria today!
BREAKING: HRW releases torture report on Syria
BREAKING: Syrian General defects with 293 to Turkey
BREAKING: Items not in the MSM on Syria
My response to Phyllis Bennis: Where is the non-violent opposition in Syria?
BREAKING: Syrian Air Force attacks Douma, 10m from Damascus, thousands flee
BREAKING: As Syria Burns, UN Blows More Smoke
BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad!
BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared
BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army
BREAKING: #NATO says No War in #Syria shoot down of #Turkey jet
NATO meetup tomorrow as more defect from Syria
BREAKING: Turkey calls for NATO consult on downing of jet by Syria
BREAKING: Senior Syrian Officers Defect
UPDATED: Russia reported to be preparing to evacuate from Syria
BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters
Syrian people rise up against the massacre
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?
Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings
BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray
Syria is bleeding
Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I followed the Libyan revolution closely as well as others in the region. At a certain point it became too much to keep watching the videos and my family wanted me back.
    But some of us have to witness at all times and all of us have to witness at some times...
    God be with the people of Syria and may the violence and oppression end soon.

    The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

    by emidesu on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:52:08 PM PDT

  •  Tonic gas? (0+ / 0-)

    Is that mixed with gin?

    Seriously, if Assad is resorting to gas attacks he isn't long for this world. I predict a military coup before the end of August.

    •  Because gas afflicts (0+ / 0-)

      casualties amongst the attacking army, as well?

      "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

      by CFAmick on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 10:04:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mysticl, Catte Nappe, indie17

      for helping me fix my BROKEN NEWS.

      Actually, frankly, I still think Assad is dead already or badly injured and I offer as exhibit number 1 the lack of any public appearance, including at the very important state funeral today.

      And as exhibit #2 that video of Assad and the DM yesterday. No audio, no way to date. Why would they have released only that since Wednesday?

      The gang running Syria isn't stupid. They understand the importance of image, PR. The OBVIOUS importance after an assassination attempt, coup attempt for the leader to come out very strongly and quickly and assert his control [the iron rule: you only rule because they think you rule] . That's like politics 101.

      So why have they only released less than a minute of "timeless" video of Assad if they are in a position to do a lot more?

      I've only come up with one answer to that question.

      What we just may be witnessing in this last ultra-violent Syrian government offensive is a desperate attempt by the Assad regime to consolidate their position before word gets out that the Assad regime has no Assad.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 11:39:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Could be Assad trying to incite panic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, Clay Claiborne

    Combining teargas with the FEAR of lethal chemical attack to disperse and subdue the populace.  Wouldn't be the first asshole to try that tactic.

    Follow Me on Twitter!!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:59:38 PM PDT

  •  The children's eyes are clear and the baby (0+ / 0-)

    is not in distress. Looks like a fake to me.

    •  Effects of sarin (0+ / 0-)
      People exposed to a low or moderate dose of sarin by breathing contaminated air, eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water, or touching contaminated surfaces may experience some or all of the following symptoms within seconds to hours of exposure:

          Runny nose
          Watery eyes
          Small, pinpoint pupils
          Eye pain
          Blurred vision
          Drooling and excessive sweating
          Chest tightness
          Rapid breathing
          Increased urination
          Nausea, vomiting, and/or abdominal pain
          Slow or fast heart rate
          Low or high blood pressure

       Even a small drop of sarin on the skin can cause sweating and muscle twitching where sarin touched the skin.

      Exposure to large doses of sarin by any route may result in the following harmful health effects:

          Loss of consciousness
          Respiratory failure possibly leading to death

      •  Tear gas is not sarin. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe from Lowell

        You would not expect the injuries from sarin against people who were exposed to tear gas.  

        Also, the woman going into convulsions while the mask was being offered was in distress.  

        "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

        by Yamaneko2 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:22:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •   Rebels form unit to secure chemical weapon sites (0+ / 0-)

    Playing the WMD card....

    The opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) is creating a unit of men trained to secure Syria's chemical weapons sites, said a former general in the country's chemical and biological weapons administration.

  •  Russian gov't organ pre-defends Assad gas attack: (0+ / 0-)

    Russia Today, a Putin mouthpiece that some American leftists are gullible enough to treat as a legitimate source, pre-accusing the rebels of a false-flag operation three days ago:

    Meanwhile, recently information surfaced about armed Syrian opposition planning a provocation with the use of chemical weapons. Reportedly, they have obtained chemical weapons from Libya and plan to use it against Syrian civilians, shifting the blame for the atrocity on the government forces.
    You can read the piece over and over, and you won't ever find a source for this claim beyond "recent information" and "reportedly."

    But of course there's no way Assad would ever use chemical weapons, because George Bush invaded Iraq, and America is always the real villain.  Also, I can spell Mossedegh, so checkmate, warmongers!

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:25:22 AM PDT

    •  HA! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell

      Of course, this time last year Russia Today would be saying any notion Libya still had chemical weapons was US & rebel propaganda against Gaddafi, who was actually a really swell guy because he seldom raped his female bodyguards.

      I fucking hate the fact that my Time Warner cable package includes Russia Today but not the NFL network.

      Follow Me on Twitter!!/ZeddRebel

      by TarantinoDork on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:32:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I gather you believe some parts of that report (0+ / 0-)

      but not others?

      Some Israeli politicians claim the Syrian government is already using chemical weapons against its population. A senior member of the ruling Likud party, Ayoob Kara, told Israel Radio on June 9 that the Syrian government is using “chemical weapons against men, women, and children.”

      They have become the latest in the chorus of Israeli high ranking officials who have rushed to voice their concerns over Syria’s alleged chemical arsenal.
      "Since in the not-distant past the powers chose military intervention in Libya, here the required conclusion would be immediate military intervention to bring down the Assad regime,” he said.

      But he made it clear that Israel would not take part in the intervention.
      In the light of the recent Israeli rhetoric over Syria’s alleged chemical stockpile threat, fears arise that the chemical weapons ghost story might become an excuse for a foreign intervention into the country.

      There has already been a precedent when the alleged weapons of mass destruction were used as an excuse for a foreign military intervention in Iraq.

  •  Debkafile (0+ / 0-)

    That source should be treated very, very carefully. Long suspected to be a dissemination mechanism by retired MOSSAD  operatives and analysts.

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