If True, Does Assad Really Think WMD Use Is Okay With Russia?

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Calls for intervention are rearing their ugly head again in light of charges that the Syrian military mounted a poison gas attack outside Damascus. (Syria’s capital and home to President Assad: gives new meaning to “fouling your nest,” aka “s****ing the bed.”) While the Syrian opposition and Western states are urging Syria to permit UN inspectors to examine the site, France is calling on states to respond “with force” if WMD use is verified.

We’ll spare you another round of the pros and cons of intervention. Meanwhile, the Security Council is meeting today and, in the unlikely event that Assad has finally gone too far for Russia, what options are available if Russia cooperates? Outside all-out RP2, I’ve heard that what’s being considered are sanctions on individual members of Iran’s government (raise your hand if you’re surprised that hasn’t yet been enacted) and a referral to the International Criminal Court for war crimes.

Russia aside, how can Iran continue to support Assad, especially in light of Ayatollah Khameini once calling WMD use an “unforgivable sin,” and, more to the point, the extent to which Iran suffered from poison gas at the hands of Iraq?

Simple: for now, denial and deflecting blame. From the Syrian Arab News Agency today:

Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said that the Syrian Government cannot be responsible for a possible chemical attack on Damascus Countryside.

“If the use of the chemical weapons is true, surely the armed terrorist groups are the one which used them as it was proved that they do not hesitate to commit any crime,” Zarif said in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday.

Also, when will Hezbollah finally have had enough? Its revolutionary bona fides are already hanging by a thread, which will surely snap if Hezbollah fails to sever its relationship with Assad.

Meanwhile, the insular Assad seems intent on doing everything he can to alienate his allies and make us sympathetic to his often brutal opposition. For a horrific image of children dying like angels with no injuries, go here:
https://twitter.com/patrickwitty/status/370188008244248576/photo/1

For what may be a video of the attack, go here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gLsKrB2PV8&feature=youtu.be
(Watch the entire two minutes plus and you’ll see a gray cloud emerge in the night sky.)