All very interesting, but regardless of the details, it's simply none of our business and no good can come of our involvement.<quoted text>
Insider sheds light on Syria's chemical arms
Former scientist for country's programme says the regime used sarin agent in small quantities to halt rebel advances.
Some Western intelligence agencies believe that Syria also has access to tabun nerve agent, but the chemist said these reports are untrue.
The regime and rebels have accused each other of using chemical weapons on several occasions, and the issue has come to dominate recent debate about the two-year-long conflict.
While the US and Britain say they have "credible evidence" that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, and Turkey said its hospitals treated patients exposed to chemical attack, a UN human rights inquiry said it had "no conclusive findings on use of chemical weapons".
The chemist said he fled the country before December 23, 2012, when the first claims emerged about the regime’s use of chemical weapons in the neighbourhood of Khaldiyeh, in the city of Homs. The neighbourhood is strategic because it divides Sunnis and largely pro-government Alawites.
A diluted mix of sarin and isopropyl alcohol was likely used in December 2012, according to the scientist, but he cast doubt on the claims of the regime and rebels that chemical weapons were used in Khan al-Assal in Aleppo on March 19.
Sarin is a colourless and odorless liquid. "When medics report [a] very disgusting smell, the way they did in Khan al-Assal, it is obvious it’s not coming from chemical weapons," the chemist said. "The fact that patients only suffered from suffocation and no other symptoms further confirms that it was not sarin
The chemist said what was likely fired was military-grade tear gas, used as a substitute for chemical agents. The chemist explained that during the two-year conflict, the regime has experimented with mixing different gases - like sarin and tear gas - in order to create a mélange of symptoms that would make the cause hard to identify.
Unless we want to be talking about dead Americans in Damascus a year from now.