CNN International reported today that Great Britain deployed some 180 specialist troops on Friday, March 9th, to remove potentially contaminated objects from the English city where two former Russians were poisoned with a nerve agent. Sergey Skripal, aged 66 and his daughter Yulia, 33, are presently in intensive care and have been there ever since they were found unconscious on a bench Sunday afternoon, March 4, in the city of Salisbury.
This is being treated as a major incident, involving attempted murder, by administration of a nerve agent.” – this statement from Mark Rowley, Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner
Twenty-one people were affected by the poison’s contamination, but at present only three people remain hospitalized – Sergey, Yulia and the police officer, Nick Bailey, who had responded to the incident. Officer Bailey has regained consciousness and is now able to speak. The Skripals are unconscious, in critical but stable condition at the time of this reporting.
The troops are specialists, with expertise in dealing with chemical weapons, and their work will be to remove ambulances and other objects in Salisbury that were involved in the incident.
The exact nature of the poison has not been revealed, and the only statement about it thus far publicly released is that it was a ‘rare nerve agent.’ This raised speculation that the lack of specific identity means that it is not a known agent like Sarin or VX nerve gas. However, no further details are known, so there really is no way to trust any such speculation.
As our own Alexander Mercouris has reported, the tendency of the mainstream and alternative media to try to speculate on this crime is ill-conceived in the extreme. British law enforcement and investigative agencies have repeatedly stated that there is a strong need not to engage in such speculation and rumour mongering and to let the police and investigators do what they have been trained to do. The answers will come and they will be useful in prosecuting this assassination attempt.
We will continue to watch this story and bring further details as they are made available.