Stephen Bryen in asiantimes.com, ‘It is hard to explain why President Bashar al-Assad used nerve gas in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria’s Idlib province. On the surface at least it would seem to be a totally counter-productive and reckless move likely to cause anger in Europe and the United States or even worse . . . He used nerve gas to block a peace process agreed by the US and Russia that would turn Syria into cantons and reduce Alawite control only to those districts where the Alawite minority dominates . . .
The Russians are in a very difficult position and probably are hoping that Assad’s return to sarin nerve gas will soon be forgotten. But the Russians also know that Assad’s use of nerve gas was a direct challenge to Russian policy and a direct slap in President Vladimir Putin’s face . . . The more likely truth is that Assad was deeply afraid that the US policy shift was part of a secret deal with the Russians, one that he had to head off.’ click here.