Saturday 16 December 2017

Patrick Cockburn: Sceptics of propaganda war recall the WMD debacle

Syrian President Bashir al-Assad
Syrian President Bashir al-Assad

Patrick Cockburn

PICTURES showing that the Syrian army used chemical weapons against rebel-held Eastern Ghouta just east of Damascus are graphic and moving.

But they are likely to be viewed sceptically because the claims so much resemble those made about Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) before the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Nevertheless, the present claim differs from previous ones in the number of dead, variously put at between 213 and 1,360, and the quantity of YouTube evidence of the dead and dying supported by interviews with local activists.

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