The Assad regime have long alleged that their soldiers were attacked with chemical weapons by a rebel group in Khan al-Assal on March 19th, 2013.
A U.N. report into the alleged attack, released in December 2013, had then said that there was:
credible information that corroborates the allegations that chemical weapons were used in Khan Al Asal on 19 March 2013 against soldiers and civilians – p.19.
This alleged attack was also almost certainly one of the ones Carla Del Ponte, an overseer of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria, had in mind when she said in May 2013 that there were ‘strong, concrete’ suspicions that rebel forces had used Sarin.
And Seymour Hersh, in his April 2014 article ‘The Red Line and the Rat Line’, quoted an anonymous U.N. official as saying in reference to the alleged attack that:
It was clear that the rebels used the gas. It did not come out in public because no one wanted to know.
Now Lakhdar Brahimi, who was the U.N.s Special Envoy to Syria for two years, has said in an interview with Der Spiegel, published June 7th, that:
. . . from the little I know, it does seem that in Khan al-Assal, in the north, the first time chemical weapons were used, there is a likelihood that it was used by the opposition.
Given that Brahimi says he is basing his suspicion on ‘what little he knows’, this is hardly incontrovertible proof of rebel guilt.
But it is yet more evidence, from a credible and senior U.N. figure, that certain Syrian rebel groups have potentially had access to, and used, chemical weapons in their campaign against the regime.
And so that to say this does not constitute ‘lies’ or ‘pro-fascist propaganda’.
Interestingly, the BBC have run an article about Brahimi’s Der Spiegel interview.
They focus on his claim that Syria may become a ‘failed state’, and that Assad ‘knows a hell of a lot’ about the atrocities being carried out there by regime forces.
But there’s not a single mention of him fingering the rebels for the alleged Khan al-Assal chemical attack, even though, if you ask me, it should be big news given the magnitude of the claim, and the stature of the person making it.