U.S. Shoots Down Secret Report That Syria Used a Hallucinogen Weapon
The State Department is publicly discounting claims made by its own diplomats about a chemical weapons attack in Syria.
On Tuesday, Foreign Policy detailed a secret and previously unknown cable from the U.S. consulate in Istanbul which came to the explosive conclusion that Syrian government forces dropped a hallucinogen known as “Agent 15″ on rebels in the town of Homs on December 23.
But less than a day later, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland has denied the report, saying that the Foreign Policy story “did not accurately convey the anecdotal information that we had received from a third party regarding an alleged incident in Syria in December.”CNN says that the gas was determined to be a “riot control agent” — a broad category of weapons that includes tear gas, pepper spray, and Agent 15. None of these agents are designed to be deadly. But they’re also not designed to be inhaled in large quantities. “Just like with tear gas, if you breathe in an entire canister, that can have a severe effect on your lungs and other organs,” one official tells CNN.