(Very very late) Weekend News Read 28 September 2013.
(Photo: Ramin Talaie / Getty Images via Slate.com)
Morning News Read 27 September 2013.
(Photo of a “Rosie the Riveter” original, Elinor Otto, preparing to drive rivets into a wing at the Boeing C-17 plant in Long Beach, CA by Genaro Molina / LA Times)
Details buried in the United Nations report on the Syrian chemical weapons attack point directly at elite military formations loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, some of the strongest findings to date that suggest the government gassed its own people.
The inspectors, instructed to investigate the attack but not to assign blame, nonetheless listed the precise compass directions of flight for two rocket strikes that appeared to lead back to the government’s elite redoubt in Damascus, Mount Qasioun, which overlooks and protects Mr. Assad’s presidential palace and where his Republican Guard and the army’s powerful Fourth Division are entrenched.
“It is the center of gravity of the regime,” said Elias Hanna, a retired general in the Lebanese Army and a lecturer on strategy and geopolitics at the American University of Beirut. “It is the core of the regime.”
In presenting the data concerning two rocket strikes — the significance of which was not commented upon by the United Nations itself — the report provides a stronger indication than the public statements to date of intelligence services of the United States, France or Britain that the Syrian military not only carried out the attack, but apparently did so brazenly, firing from the same ridges from which it has been firing barrages of high-explosive conventional munitions for much of the war.”
– The New York Times. "U.N. Data on Gas Attacks Point to Assad’s Top Forces"