Damascus countdown: Did Syria use chemical weapons in December?

Keep your eye on Syria, and keep praying for the Syrian people. The bloodshed there continues unabated. And the countdown to something worse may have started.

In early December, media reports suggested the Assad regime in Syria was preparing to use chemical weapons. Now a report by Foreign Policy magazine says Damascus may have actually used such weapons of mass destruction in late December. Could such revelations lead to a U.S. or Israeli strike on Syria’s remaining WMD stockpiles?

“A secret State Department cable has concluded that the Syrian military likely used chemical weapons against its own people in a deadly attack last month,” reports Foreign Policy magazine under this headline: “Exclusive: Secret State Department cable: Chemical weapons used in Syria.”

FP goes on to report: “United States diplomats in Turkey conducted a previously undisclosed, intensive investigation into claims that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons, and made what an Obama administration official who reviewed the cable called a “compelling case” that Assad’s military forces had used a deadly form of poison gas. The cable, signed by the U.S. consul general in Istanbul, Scott Frederic Kilner, and sent to State Department headquarters in Washington last week, outlined the results of the consulate’s investigation into reports from inside Syria that chemical weapons had been used in the city of Homs on Dec. 23….The use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime would cross the “red line” President Barack Obama first established in an Aug. 20 statement. ‘We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation,’ Obama said.”

I find myself watching Syria very closely these days and praying for peace and calm in that beleagured country. In my forthcoming thriller, Damascus Countdown (releasing March 5th), Syria and weapons of mass destruction become the focal point of another major war in the Middle East, and one that draws in Israel and Iran with catastrophic implications.

Damascus Countdown will be the third and final novel in the trilogy that began with The Twelfth Imam and The Tehran Initiative. It can now be pre-ordered on the websites of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors, and many other Christian and general market bookstores.