CONTENT PREVIEW
CBRN Assessment

Crossing the red line - Chemical weapons use in Syria

12 June 2013

Key Points

  • Allegations have been made that the Syrian government and the opposition rebel forces have used chemical weapons on a small scale in the current civil conflict, although there is no agreement on exactly what has been used and by whom.
  • Should chemical weapons be used in the near term, it is likely to only be in a relatively small and select way, as utilising such lethal capabilities on a larger scale is likely to have severely negative consequences for the user, although both violence and allegations of chemical weapons use are likely to escalate in the future.
  • Western states' approach to the Syrian conflict will be influenced by both the lessons learned from intelligence failures in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the current intelligence available.


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