Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Worse: "ISIS' Chemical Weapons"

Well, as if having proxy war with Russia, Iran and having an immigrant crisis that threatens to overwhelm Europe weren't enough, Foreign Affairs posts Arabinda Acharya's ISIS' Chemical Weapons:
Where They Came From, How They are Used, and What Will Come Next

Terrorists, and in particular jihadists, have long been interested in the acquisition and use of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons. And a number of extremist groups and individuals have either used or experimented with components of CBRN. In this context, and given the fact that ISIS could be in possession of some form of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and has threatened to use them against the West, Western governments should take notice.
You bet they should, and the more desperate ISIS gets, the more likely they are to do something irretrievably stupid.

You can count on there being a whole bunch of hand-wringing about a potential or actual violation of International Humanitarian Law:
International humanitarian law is a set of rules that seek to limit the effects of armed conflict. It protects people who are not or are no longer participating in hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare.
Of course, any group of outlaws like ISIS that views any law but Sharia law as illegitimate is presumably not going to pay a whole lot of attention to an attempt to apply international humanitarian law (IHL) to their actions. It is doubtful that IHL is the barrier to them attempting to apply chemical or radiological to their enemies, including the "Great Satan" itself. Or perhaps even to some lesser devils.


In the meantime, while looking at that threat, we have Reuters reporting Syria government, IS commit crimes against humanity: U.N.-backed inquiry:
War crimes in Syria's five-year-old conflict are widespread and Syrian government forces and Islamic State militants continue to commit crimes against humanity in the face of inaction by the international community, a U.N.-backed panel said on Monday.

"Flagrant violations of human rights and international humanitarian law continue unabated, aggravated by blatant impunity," the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry said in its latest report.

"The stipulations of relevant Security Council resolutions ... remain largely unheeded and unimplemented," it said. "Crimes against humanity continue to be committed by government forces and by ISIS (Islamic State). War crimes are rampant."

The U.N. inquiry, composed of independent experts, has long denounced the use of starvation by both sides in the Syrian conflict as a weapon of war, and has a confidential list of suspected war criminals and military units from all sides which is kept in a U.N. safe in Geneva.

The report said that Russian-Syrian aerial bombardments had caused the displacement of tens of thousands of men, women and children.
Do tell.

And the solution is? I don't see a real one proposed in the report, just more mush.

You can find the aforementioned UN Panel's report here.

No report on how many of the crimes against humanity were committed after various "red lines" were crossed with no serious consequence.

But you can bet that dithering only made things worse.

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