Seek charges against Syria, Rus­sia

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

The Rus­sians are very ad­vanced in their abil­ity to wage war in nu­clear, bi­o­log­i­cal and chem­i­cal en­vi­ron­ments. The Syr­ian air force likely pos­sesses sim­i­lar ca­pa­bil­i­ties, pos­si­bly in older, Soviet ver­sions. Sub­stan­tial de­con­tam­i­na­tion fa­cil­i­ties are prob­a­bly present near the chem­i­cal-weapons stor­age ar­eas, as well as the flight line.

For the re­cent at­tack, the Syr­ian air­craft ground crews, bomb han­dlers, pi­lots and the nav­i­ga­tion/weapons sys­tems of­fi­cers would likely have been com­pletely garbed in chem­i­cal suits with hoods and air-fil­tra­tion pro­tec­tions. The SU-24MK groun­dat­tack air­craft they flew would have had a fac­tory-in­stalled air-fil­tra­tion sys­tem for the pi­lot and the NWSO. These peo­ple, go­ing about their prepara­tory tasks, would have stood out even to the novice viewer. The Rus­sians could not have missed these tell­tale sign of an im­pend­ing chem­i­cal­weapons at­tack by the Syr­i­ans.

Yet the Rus­sians did not lift a fin­ger to stop the at­tack when they had the power to so. In fact, they could have pro­vided tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance, in­clud­ing fly­ing the mis­sion.

By any mea­sure, the Rus­sians were com­plicit in the use of chem­i­cal weapons on un­armed Syr­ian men, women and chil­dren. That is a crime against hu­man­ity and a war crime un­der the Geneva Con­ven­tions.

I’m wait­ing to hear that the gov­ern­ment of the United States, my coun­try, will present ev­i­dence to the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court and ask for crim­i­nal charges to brought against Vladimir Putin and Bashir Assad, as well as ev­ery in­di­vid­ual in the chain of com­mand, from the top down to the low­est-rank­ing per­son in­volved.

MAJ. JAMES M. DORN

Spe­cial Forces, U.S. Army Re­serves (re­tired)

Chino Hills, Calif.

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