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The Journal Gazette

  • FILE - This Aug. 25, 2013 file photo shows black columns of smoke rising from heavy shelling in the Jobar neighborhood in East of Damascus, Syria. The Obama administration is sure about one thing: Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime must be punished after allegedly using deadly chemical weapons, possibly including sarin gas, to kill hundreds of its own people. U.S. and allies accuse Assad of crossing the red line that President Barack Obama said would have “enormous consequences.” That is now expected to trigger a military strike, limited both in time and scope, with the goal of downgrading and weakening Assad's regime _ but not topple him or destroy his forces. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 5:36 pm

Video shows UN team inspecting rocket fragment

By STEPHEN BRAUNAssociated Press

Weapons analysts are poring over new videos from Syria that purport to show U.N. chemical weapons experts examining a recovered rocket fragment.

The rocket may have been used in the suspected nerve agent attack a week ago near Damascus. Analysts said the fragment appears to have come from a short-range artillery rocket commonly used by Syria's army. That could complicate the goals of a U.S. missile strike because there are many such rocket launchers scattered across Syria.

The video shows inspectors measuring and photographing the rocket fragment. British analyst Eliot Higgins said it could be from a Russian-made BM-14 140 mm rocket, capable of carrying explosives or chemical payloads.

Australian weapons expert Nic Jenzen-Jones said Syria's army deploys so many short-range rockets it would be hard to destroy them all.