As I pointed out last week, reported US plans to bomb Syria’s purported chemical weapons facilities in retaliation for the alleged Syrian governmental use of chemical agents would, ironically, result in the release of massive amounts of nerve gas on the civilian Syrian population and could kill orders of magnitude more innocent civilians than were allegedly killed in the August 21 incident.
So says several experts on chemical and nerve agents interviewed by AP.
“If you drop a conventional munition on a storage facility containing unknown chemical agents – and we don’t know exactly what is where in the Syrian arsenal – some of those agents will be neutralized and some will be spread,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a nonprofit that focuses on all types of weaponry. “You are not going to destroy all of them.”
“It’s a classic case of the cure being worse than the disease,” Kimball said. He said some of the suspected storage sites are in or near major Syrian cities like Damascus, Homs and Hama. Those cities have a combined population of well over 2 million people.
Said Susannah Sirkin, international policy director for the Physicians for Human Rights, which has been monitoring weapons of mass destruction for more than two decades:
“You would risk dispersing agents into the environment,” she said. “Given that sarin is not seen or smelled, that’s terror.”
Will the US commit an even more heinous chemical attack on Syria than the purported act it is retaliating for?5:53 am on September 1, 2013 Email Daniel McAdams