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12 September 2013


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Sir, just a couple rejoinders if I may:

The fact that the BM-14 is an old weapon is actually a strike against its rebel use. It's only got half the range of the BM-21, which is why the Russians stopped using it in the 1980s; no one makes it any more. And it's not that common with rebel groups: saw a lot of 122/107 in Afg, never a 140mm. Reports I've read on Syrian rebel preferences appear similar. And no one has suggested the rebels are using or possess those huge honking 330mm made-in-Syria ones.

The UN report concedes the possibility of tampering, actually. But crater analysis is a military intelligence specialization taught in advanced military technical schools around the world. And how to recognize good forensic evidence is part of what's taught them. I'm going to assume until proven otherwise the UN was able to find an expert.

Whoever the analyst was, their report says they examined 5 sites and could only determine azimuth for 2, so there's that. The first was based on the line between the crater and a hole in the hedge it evidently passed through, not the munition itself. The second was based on a munition the UN analyst says affirmatively was undisturbed when they arrived. And both of those reverse azimuths pointed directly at the same Syrian military stronghold area.

All the medical data aside, that's a pretty good data point just on its own: I've seen militaries take direct action against suspected launch point locations on the basis of less. Cheers.



"The only reason I mentioned the M14 system is that it was in various reporting concerning the UN report. "I've seen militaries take direct action against suspected launch point locations on the basis of less." Which militaries were these that you have "seen take action" and where would that have been? You were in Afghanistan? So, you are in in the Ministry of Defense in Ottawa? The medical stuff proves only that Sarin was the active ingredient in the casualty process? Thanks for the lecture on crater analysis. Disrepectful and snotty. What do you think should happen, a US/Canadian/Frenchh/British invasion of Syria to depose Assad and replace his government with, what...? Of course in that setup the US would bear 80% of the burden. How many battalions o finfantry would Canada contribute?



No disrespect intended, I assure you: I know your operational experience far outweighs mine. As to the political implications of the report, I have no opinion, either way: way above my paygrade, that stuff, and not my file, either. My interest in the matter is analytical only. Apologies for any offense.


1. I'ld very much be interested in your comment about pages 30 to 36 (numeration as in pdf) of the UN report.

NONE of the environment samples analysis found sarin in pages 30 - 32 (smaples 1 - 13), while in the other samples there was plenty (pages 33ff). As I understand the report, these samples 1 -13 were from Mohadamiyah, while the other samples where Sarin was found were from Zamalka/Ein Tarma. In some anaylsis there were some by-products found in the Mohadamiyah samples though, but I nevertheless find the obvious differences eyecatching and wonder what someone with a bit more knowledge in chemistry would say to this.

2. What you think of the statement on page 25 of the report:

... Based on the found evidence; there is an indication that the rocket warhead appeared to function prior to impacting on the roof, releasing it's contents and depositing the discovered fragments before travelling through the structrue to its terminal location. ...

It sounds just odd for me, but maybe someone with more military experience has a better understanding of this.



No problemo. Please keep up the fire. I need it. What do you think of these?





Thanks for the link but I believe that's a Chinese Type 63 107mm rocket launcher, not a 140mm. Very common calibre for rebel movements everywhere, rounds are portable, you can carry them in a pickup no problem. Reference photos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_63_multiple_rocket_launcher

Charles I

Zero if I have anything to do with it.


Regarding my last post first topic here is an easy to read article in English making the case that no CWs were used in Moadamiyah:


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