“… Foes of Syrian President Bashar Assad are distracted by fragmentation within their ranks, foreign meddling and new finger-pointing over chemical weapons as the regime more firmly entrenches itself, giving no sign of stepping down any time soon…
On Thursday, a U.S. official cited strong indications that chemical weapons were not used in an attack Tuesday in northern Aleppo province, but could not rule out the possibility. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter involved intelligence-gathering. At the same time, the U.N. said it would investigate whether chemical weapons were used and specifically is looking at the regime’s claim that rebel forces launched the deadly agents….
The chemical weapons quandary is the newest of several issues that have distracted the Syrian opposition and international community, while Assad digs in even deeper against disjointed plans on how to oust him….
The Assad regime is receiving arms and other military assistance from Iran, Russia and Lebanese Hezbollah. Ford also cited indirect help from Iraq and Iraqi fighters that “is absolutely prolonging the conflict,” although Baghdad denies being involved on either side of the Syrian war.
House delegate Eni Faleomavaega, a nonvoting Democrat from American Samoa,(Long tradition of expertise on Syria!) described the foreign aid to the regime more bluntly. “It’s all military hardware that Assad needs to continue his killing spree,” Faleomavaega said….
Disarray within the opposition forces also has stymied the move to unseat Assad, although rebels control territory in Syria’s north and east. Ford described the opposition as divided into political and military wings, and “both are not entirely unified.”…”