August 24th, 2013
08:17 PM ET

Competing claims on chemical weapons use in Syria

By Frederik Pleitgen and David Simpson

As Western powers try to verify claims that the Syrian government used chemical weapons this week in a northeastern suburb of Damascus, the Syrian government is accusing rebel forces of doing the same.

State-run television reported Saturday that Syrian armed forces had surrounded Jobar, the opposition-held district on the edge of Damascus that saw some of the 1,300 reported dead in Wednesday's early morning attack. Several of the soldiers were "suffocating" from exposure to gases as they entered the city, according to state TV.

"It is believed that the terrorists have used chemical weapons in the area," Syrian TV reporting, citing anonymous source. The government uses the term "terrorists" to describe rebel forces.

It showed video of a room containing gas masks and gas canisters that the Army said were discovered in a storage facility in Jobar. CNN could not independently confirm the veracity of the claims or the authenticity of the video.

Opposition leaders deny involvement in the attack, which they say killed hundreds near the capital.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. DrFricke

    This is a bad idea. We have no strategic interest. If the countries surround Syria are not working to stop this – why should we? Democracy and capitalism will never take root there. There is no ally to be made.

    August 26, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  2. patriot

    I think the best we can do is launch a few missiles from a distance and hope for the best. Of course all teh civilian casulaties will be paraded on TV for the world to see and condemn american aggression.

    August 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Thank you, patriot. Posted like a true, mindless Tea Partier! Are you one?

      August 27, 2013 at 8:11 am | Reply
  3. alf564

    And who used the weapons?? Did they come from Libya ?? Did they come from Egypt?? How about Palestine??
    How about Iran?? Any clue you monday morning quarterbacks?? STAY THE HELL OUT OF SYRIA !!!!

    August 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  4. Pete

    Let's see if Assad let's these Syrian escorted inspectors in from the UN and what cherry picked sites he'll let them look at..He knows that there's international condemnation rising against him and he has to show the world that he's the cool,calm dictator with letting these inspecors in!!Assad will be shifting weapons around or maybe he doesn't have them at all and these rebels are actually setting Assad up for an overthrow,stranger things have happened in history so don't be surprised..Remember these chemical weapons are probibly American made and were sold in the Reagan era backed by the MIC by Rumsfield and Texas Charlie Wilson both blessed by Reagan to do his bidding in selling third world countrys weapons of mass destruction at American tax payers expense to be eventually used on us!!Remember the Iran Contra scandal that was Reagans baby too until the CIA screwed it up exposing Reagan who said he didn't remember,nice how his alzheimers,dementia worked then ha!!

    August 26, 2013 at 9:14 am | Reply
    • Gerald O'Hare

      Can you prove any of that mumbo-jumbo you just said about Bashar al-Assad, Pete? First of all, that story about Assad "gassing" his own people just simply doesn't add up and secondly, the right-wing creeps in both London and Washington are aching to death to drag us into another obscene war of theirs!

      August 26, 2013 at 11:24 am | Reply
      • Pete

        @Gerald,didn't you get my drift in my post saying Assad could be getting setup by the rebels so they could easily overthrow him with our help!!That is what I wrote bud ,read again!!And remember its Pres.Obama that doesn't want boots on the ground not McCain and his republican backed MIC machine that does!!

        August 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
  5. Skorpio

    You can not trust these Muslims ! ! It is common among Islam that Muslims kill people of their own political party or side, just to blame the other side for committing these atrocities and crimes. Al-Assad dissident soldiers could be responsible of these murders to express hatred and dissatisfaction against him and his regime, manipulating the media and international opinion against Al-Assad.

    August 25, 2013 at 10:07 am | Reply
  6. saeed

    USA cant even take care of it self look at the unemployment problem USA has not been able to sort out that problem for 5 years now USA should go home and take care of its own issues before looking abroad. also USA is a country of potato farmers from Dublin Ireland and Ireland is also in economic problem USA should go and help those losers also.

    August 25, 2013 at 12:45 am | Reply
    • Random

      You sound like an idiot.

      August 25, 2013 at 10:38 am | Reply
      • Jack Hollis

        Does he really, Random? He makes perfectly good sense to me! Our economy is still in dire straits while our budget deficit grows ever larger and now those idiots(or should I say thugs?) in Washington now plan to drag us into another obnoxious war! This is rediculous!

        August 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Pete

      @saeed,its none of your business about anything going on in our country..Our unemployement has to do with outsourcing jobs to you foriegn idiots who work for pennies instead of dollars,just cheap slave labor,you know it ignorent..And if it weren't for us losers as you say you'd be starving to death and be begging for those Irish potatoes you ignorently rant about..Try eating your horse or camel when you're starving instead of pestering us for foriegn aid idiot ..We'll keep that money for ourselves this time!!

      August 25, 2013 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • George patton

      Good posting, saeed. Pay no attention to these ignoramuses here. Yes, we Americans do have a bad economy, our schools are closing and more and more of our major cities are going bankrupt, like Detroit, MI. Therefore, we can hardly afford another useless war which will benefit only the already wealthy in this country!

      August 25, 2013 at 11:39 pm | Reply
      • Pete

        @George Pansy,get it straight rag head our schools aren't shutting down but teachers in red states are getting laid off again thanks to self serving republican governors..We aren't ignorent here just sick of your idiotic rantings that most times make no sense!!And George you aren't American,never was ,never will be rag head!!

        August 26, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
  7. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    August 25, 2013 at 12:14 am | Reply
  8. Random

    So what can be gathered from this, is chemical weapons have without any doubt been deployed.

    You can also infer from the 1300 dead rebels that they did not fire it, but you can never be certain enough to take a side. Even if you could it IS terrorists fighting assad. Like it or not it is true. If we help them we are aiding terrorists. We might help some common syrians too, but in the end we will seat worse people than assad in power.

    You still can't act. No matter what you do you will put terrorists in power. They are fighting both sides, some for assad some against. Their goal was originally to take the country from assad most likely because he was not bending to their will. When things were going poorly he reconsidered and a flood of terrorists joined him. If assad wins know he caved to their demands. IF the rebels win it will be extremists who take power.

    Either way we lose. Either way a complacent government will form, and aid terrorists going forward. If you act we lose money, lives, and interests . If you dont react , our enemies kill each other. We save money, lives, and prestige imho for not being a bunch of warmongers.

    What ever you had going there backfired. Cut your losses and run.

    August 24, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Reply
    • Random

      Oh wow. Now it seems our plan may be to hit the stockpiles. At what point do you realize they will use anything they get their hands on and bring a real war to them and wipe them out. If we hit those stockpiles all it will take is a few canisters outside where we hit. Asshat will release them full force to maximum effect and it will be pinned on us. The only possible way you can do anything, is a full scale war. Even then it wont end well. You are playing into their plan perfectly. This kind of explains why they are on both sides. You got goated into iraq with bad intel, and you are walking right into a trap to be blamed for scores of dead. I really think you are playing into their hand. Nothing you can do ends well. The only way you can win is not to play.

      August 25, 2013 at 12:28 am | Reply
      • StanCalif

        As an American, I agree! Any intervention by the US will only end in disaster (if it ever ends!) We certainly don't need another 20 year war that resolves nothing. Syria is hell bent on destroying their own country, neither side has any "vision" for the future of this country. Iraq should be a "good lesson"! Democracy is not a suitable nor sustainable type of government in any Middle Eastern country. Egypt tried, and failed! Now what?

        August 25, 2013 at 8:02 am |

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