Rebel forces in Syria report that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is now using chemical weapons on them. Moreover, intelligence operatives from the West have confirmed those reports as well. But there has yet to be a peep out of the Obama administration over it.
Western intelligence operatives have reviewed multiple frames of footage taken in Syria, and from that footage have determined Assad has been using "paralyzing agents" against rebel forces for "a few months now."
According to Israel's Ynet News:
These agents are not mustard gas, sarin nerve gas or VX, which are classified as chemical weapons, but they can definitely be considered toxic and harmful to humans.
For now, there have been less than 20 incidents in which Syrian army forces and the Shabiha militia have sprayed gas or a toxic liquid in rebel-held residential neighborhoods. Since the rebels did not display any bomb remnants, it is safe to assume that the gas was sprayed manually.
These gases do not necessarily cause death and are not as lethal as gases that are classified as chemical weapons. They also evaporate quickly and do not leave an odor, making them difficult to identify. However, they can cause a sense of asphyxiation, harm the airways and cause skin burns. The gases can be lethal if inhaled by people who not healthy.
The Assad regime is most likely using these chemicals to instill fear without risking an international response. The last incident in which toxic gas was used was in Homs a few days ago. Six people died.
This news is made even worse by the fact that death numbers rolling in from Syria show 24-hour periods in which 400 people have been killed by conventional warfare alone. Add chemical weapons to that and who knows how high the death toll for one day could climb?
To date, over 44,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict and estimates are that the number could climb to 100,000 by the end of 2013 if there is no true intervention.
While refusing to put down red lines on Iran for Israel, Obama and his advisers were very public about their "red line" for Syria: the use of chemical weapons.
It appears that red line was crossed months ago, yet there have been no repercussions for Assad.