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Updates in plain English from the conflict that won't stop

Day 1,118: US and Turkey call claims Turkey manufactured Syria's chemical attack "baseless"

In other news, getting aid into Syria is hard, and it doesn't help when the UN is short on donor funds.
Syria aid AleppoEnlarge
Members of the Syrian Red cross and Red Crescent cart aid to the rebel controlled Garage al-Hajz checkpoint in Aleppo, on April 8, 2014, after rebel forces and pro-government troops agreed to a cease fire to allow the aid in. (Baraa al-Halabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Today is Day 1,118 of the Syria conflict.

Remember how, over the weekend, investigative journalist and Syrian chemical weapons attack skeptic Seymour Hersh accused the Turkish government of manufacturing last summer's chemical attack to get US attention? The White House has said those "conclusions arecompletely off-base." Anonymous "Turkish diplomatic sources" have told English-language Turkish daily Today's Zaman that "these claims are baseless. We do not take it seriously." Make of that what you will, but suffice it to say they're not the only ones who have taken issue with Hersh's theories.

The UN yesterday announced that it will have to cut food rations in Syria due to lack of donor funds. For context on the difficulty of getting aid to Syrians inside the country, take a look at the photo above, which shows members of the Syrian Red Cross and Red Crescent carting aid to a rebel-controlled checkpoint in Aleppo earlier today. That flag isn't for ceremony and those pinnies aren't for a soccer game: It's all to decrease the likelihood of their getting killed. Rebel forces and pro-government forces agreed to a ceasefire to allow the aid in.

Speaking of risk, Vice has an incredible piece on the Syrians who have been trained by lawyers to gather evidence of war crimes, and who are putting their lives in jeopardy in order to smuggle that information out of Syria.

Strange though it may seem, some business as usual is still continuing in Damascus, as evidenced by this photograph of a rally yesterday marking the 67th anniversary of the establishment of the Baath Party. This one's from an AFP stringer, but, unsurprisingly, there are quite a few floating around courtesy of the official Syrian state news agency.


Syrian youth hold placards bearing a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, during a rally marking the 67th anniversary of the establishment of the Baath Party. (AFP/Getty Images)

Many publications are reviewing the incredible work of the Dutch priest shot gunned down in Homs yesterday. Head over to The Economist and The New York Times to read about his training as a psychotherapist, his founding of an agricultural project in the region, and the troubling implications of his killing. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the killing as an "inhumane act of violence."

The conflict continues

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/meanwhile-syria/day-1118-us-and-turkey-call-claims-turkey-manufactured-s