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Pretty sure, it seems.
I received an email this morning from Ricochet member Manfred Arcane, who asked if there is any validity to the allegation that it was the rebels, and not the Assad regime, who used gas against Syrian civilians on August 21st.
To answer this question, I got in touch with regional experts (and previous podcast guests) Michael Totten and Jonathan Spyer. Michael told me that the Israelis intercepted signal intelligence from Syria and have recordings of regime officials discussing the chemical attacks, a welcome bit of hard evidence amid all the speculation. Jonathan sent me a link to a page on which a variety of chemical weapons specialists respond to the claim. The specialists are Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, the Former Commander of UK CBRN Forces and COO of SecureBio; Gwyn Winfield of the specialist magazine CBRNe World; Steve Johnson of Explosive and Hazardous Forensics at Cranfield University; and Dan Kaszeta, a veteran of the US Army Chemical Corps. All four believe, albeit with some reservations, that the odds are strongly in favor of the supposition that the Assad regime was responsible for the gas attack.
There’s no shortage of remaining reasons to be queasy about a US military strike on Syria, but at least we can be reasonably certain that the precipitating incident is not being grossly misinterpreted.