Sunday 17 December 2017

YouTube videos to form part of MPs' dossier

Ben Farmer, Robert Winnett and Raf Sanchez

British MPs will be directed today towards a series of YouTube videos which form a key part of the UK government's dossier of intelligence justifying imminent missile strikes to punish Bashar al-Assad's regime for using chemical weapons.

The intelligence summary, compiled by the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), will be handed to MPs before today's vote and concludes that last week's gas attack on a Damascus suburb could only have been carried out by Syrian government forces.

MPs will also be pointed to publicly available information including YouTube videos of the attacks which sources described as "utterly compelling".

The dossier will be released amid growing calls for US president Barack Obama and UK prime minister David Cameron to substantiate assertions that there is "no doubt" Mr Assad's regime committed the attacks.

All sides accept that a chemical attack took place in Ghouta on August 21, but Syria and Russia say rebel forces were responsible. American intelligence chiefs are preparing their own dossier which is expected to include intercepted messages from Syrian defence officials just hours after the attack.

The intercepted message does not conclusively establish who gave the order to use chemical weapons and could mean it was a mistake, analysts suggested. One US official said it was "unclear where control lies." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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