As U.S. President Barack Obama weighs possible responses to a deadly chemical weapons attack said to have been carried out by the Syrian regime last week, one Israeli official told the New York Times that Syria may be the victim of its own incompetence.
“It’s quite likely that there was kind of an operational mistake here,” one senior Israeli suggested. “I don’t think they wanted to kill so many people, especially so many children. Maybe they were trying to hit one place or to get one effect and they got a much greater effect than they thought.”
Three Israeli officials briefed on the attack said they believed rockets fired during the assault carried a “cocktail” of sarin gas mixed with several other components.
The attack is said to have left anywhere from several hundred to several thousand Syrian civilians dead in the suburbs surrounding Damascus.
President Obama is considering a military strike against Syria that would be of limited scope and duration, meant to punish Syria for its use of chemical weapons, while keeping the United States out of deeper involvement in that country’s civil war, senior administration officials have said.