NOTE: If you’re a “ChemTruther”… if you disagree with Amnesty International, the OPCW, WHO, MSF, the UN (breakdown), and all public evidence about past attacks, and are here to do the same about the most recent one… leave. You’re not welcome here, any more than a 9/11 Truther would be welcome in a liveblog about 9/11. CT is a violation of Daily Kos rules and subject to on-the-spot flagging.
That said, on with the news.
It is 10:20 PM in Syria.
The US now has blood and urine samples from victims of the attack. Preliminary testing shows indications of exposure to both chlorine and an unnamed nerve agent; the officials discussing the results were “confident” but not “100% sure” concerning findings. The US and its allies have also compiled other intelligence, including imagery of the attack.
(Note: this report is very preliminary and I expect some details to be in error. Chlorine toxicity is not determined by blood or urine samples, but by examination for chemical burns, free chlorine, and other methods. But this would be done at the same time as sample collection.)
The White House has reportedly narrowed down the list to 8 targets, including two airfields, a research facility, and a chemical weapons facility. I would expect that one of those airbases would be the Dumayr airbase, where the Mi-8 Hip helicopters which dropped the munitions came from.
The British cabinet has endorsed military action against the Syrian government in response to the attacks on Douma.
NEW: Cabinet backs PM on Syria, agreed chemical weapons use Ã¢ÂÂcannot go unchallengedÃ¢ÂÂ and agreed Ã¢ÂÂthe need to take action to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.Ã¢ÂÂ No more specifics, prob guided by the fact the US is still to publicly agree its position. pic.twitter.com/0rpBlMtBWi— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) April 12, 2018
15:25 EST: An intraparty dispute has broken out within the UK Labour Party, with shadow cabinet minister Kate Osamor unexpectedly backing intervention in Syria and telling Jeremy Corbyn to stop speaking for her and Emily Thornberry (shadow foreign secretary) on the topic of foreign policy.
16:35 EST: Surprisingly quiet in the past hour, for once — weird to finally have a period with no news to report. It’s 11:35 PM in Damascus right now. As a reminder, the attacks against the Shayrat airbase were launched at 4:40 AM Damascus time.
16:40 EST: Speak of the devil, just minutes later:
#BREAKING President Trump to discuss Syria with France's Macron and UK's May later Thursday, according to White House
— AFP news agency (@AFP) April 12, 2018
18:05 EST: Crickets. 1:05 AM in Damascus.
20:30 EST: And still nothing. 3:30 AM in Damascus. I’m going to retire this blog, but if anything major happens to spring up before I go to bed I’ll start a new one to cover it.