Originally Posted by JML
Assad has no reason to use chemical weapons at this point of war. He is winning and using them would only bring too much heat on him. While rebels/al-Qaida have every reason to use them or fake their use. Terrorists have lost Aleppo and in past month their major offenses in Daraa, Damascus and Hama have been utter failures. Unless they get outside help soon they are done for. And what is best way to get that help. Faking chemical weapons attack.
Sure there is a reason. Assuming, not saying this is the case, but assuming he previously used chemical weapons with no retaliation from one U.S. president, why not go for two? If he got away with it a second time with no retaliation, it is a potential domestic coup of making a major world power look weak.
As for why now, there are reasons to do it while in a stronger position. Say you think you may get a "slap on the wrist". Is it better to risk that "slap" when your adversaries may take advantage and gain an upperhand, or when you have sufficient advantages that you maintain the upperhand even after the "slap"?
I am not saying this thinking is justified, correct, intelligent, or anything, but they are reasons. In my experience saying "person A has no reason to do action X" generally ignores core human behaviors and attitudes.
I am not going to suggest who used chemical weapons over there. I have no idea and am not privy to any actual intel or other information. I would prefer if the west could work with Russia in this case to focus on defeating the IS and leaving Syria to the Syrians.