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    Today’s New York Times features a story about the Obama Administration’s vacillating policies on the conflict in Syria, and how they were influenced by the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons:

    Secretary of State John Kerry arrived at the White House Situation Room one day in June with a document bearing a warning. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria had used chemical weapons against his people, the document said, and if the United States did not “impose consequences,” Mr. Assad would see it as a “green light for continued CW use.

    Reportage photographer Lauren Van der Stockt was one of the first journalists to document the Syrian government’s use of of chemical weapons, beginning with his coverage of an attack in April in Kfar Batna, a suburb of Damascus. A victim of this attack is depicted above. See more of Laurent’s work on the Reportage Web site.

    Caption: Kfar Batna, Syria - April 14, 2013: Rebel fighters from Liwa Maghawer al Ghuta got chemical gas from Syrian Army on the frontline of Jobar on the 13th of April, like each day of the following week for other groups on this frontline. They came to get some care at the second hospital of Kfar Batna on the 14th of April. The symptoms for slightly exposed persons are contracted pupils, respiratory failures, headaches, vomiting. Seriously exposed people are vomiting blood and lose consciousness, are bleeding of the lungs and also die. Members of the medical staff have the light exposition symptoms after taking care of them.

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