The latest chemical attack in Idlib of Syria, which caused multiple civilian fatalities, including women and children, has sharply created stir around the globe, drawing serious condemnations from all Syrian government critics including Turkey, US, UK, France and also key Syrian government ally Iran. President Hollande of France called for fresh sanctions on President Assad over the attack, while Turkish President Erdogan accused Assad as a “murderer”. France called for an emergency UNSC (United Nations Security Council) meeting over the chemical attack in Idlib. As evident from the business of the session, Russia is expected to oppose any resolutions aiming to harm Syrian government interests.
The attack took place in Idlib which is situated near the border of Turkey and key rebel stronghold. Already both the rebels and the Syrian government are accusing each other over the rising tolls in civilian casualties, with the rebels directly accusing Syrian government of the direct use of nerve agent via an air raid while the Syrian government maintaining that the air raid didn’t carry any chemical attack, rather it hit an alleged rebels’ weapon depot, which they claim housed chemical weaponries.
The credibility of the source of rebel accusation is questionable given that the shady and controversial roles played by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) over the raging Syrian conflict. The international community is also divided over the claims, with the Russian side, a major player in the Syrian conflict and an ally of the Syrian government backing Syrian Army claims.
The timing and motive of the attack also comes under serious questions. The attack took place in such a time, when USA and Turkey, strong opponents of President Assad of Syria opted to soften their roles against him. Russian air force carried out some crucial airstrikes in the region of Idlib, which seriously damaged some key rebel supply routes, particularly bordering Turkey. Russian military also has set up a presence in Afrin, a region bordering Turkey and Idlib. Capturing of Idlib will evidently seal the rebel supply route from Turkey.
Given these conditions and holding superior advantage over the rebels, softening of oppositions in the international fronts, the last thing Syrian government would want is a deadly strike on civilians in rebel held territories.