Less than 24 hours after the highly dubious and conspicuously timed chemical attack — reported to be sarin gas and chlorine gas — in Khan Sheikhoun in the rebel-held Idlib province of Syria, wide-scale unsubstantiated condemnation of the Syrian government and its ally Russia being the guilty perpetrators proliferated rapidly across Western mainstream media, following the release of video footage that had yet to be forensically scrutinized.
Even before any investigations could be launched so that evidence may emerge, Italian politician Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, condemned the Syrian government stating that the “Assad regime bears responsibility for the ‘awful’ Syria ‘chemical’ attack.”
The immediate unsubstantiated assignment of blame from a high-ranking EU official was instantly picked up and echoed across Western media without question or skepticism, which serves as a dangerous precedent where public outrage towards a scapegoat can be stirred up and unilateral retaliation strikes can be carried out in a macabre display of excessive force, without proof or investigation. The mainstream media has shamelessly and relentlessly inundated the airwaves with a bevy of circumstantial and speculative evidence – much of which has already been debunked or otherwise proven to be a false claim.
Just five days before the attack, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “The longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people,” implying a noticeable shift in U.S. foreign policy away from regime change in Syria.
The attack also occurred on the eve of a major conference in Brussels to discuss the future of Syria, and a week before resuming peace negotiations. Assad was set to enter negotiations in a strong position, as the Syrian Arab Army was making advances across the country, recovering lost territory in Hama and winning victory after victory on the battlefield. They were close to reclaiming nearly all territory from the opposition, except for the terrorists’ main stronghold of Idlib. The war was practically won by the Syrian government, and the rebels were suffering heavy losses. It defies all logic that at this particular point in the war, Assad would suddenly decide to use chemical weapons (that he doesn’t possess, having dismantled and destroyed his entire stockpile with UN supervision in 2013), knowing the universal backlash and condemnation he’d receive from the international community.
After all, Assad faced similar baseless accusations four years ago for a sarin attack in Ghouta on August 21, 2013, which used crudely made sarin that experts determined did not come from the Syrian government’s stockpile, which Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh reported to have been smuggled into Syria from Turkey to the terrorists, a story that was later corroborated by 2 Members of Turkish Parliament turned whistleblowers. Regardless, the Obama administration appeared determined to blame and condemn Assad for the Ghouta attack in order to manufacture public consent for military intervention in Syria. Russia intervened and successfully negotiated an agreement from President Assad to get rid of all of his chemical weapons, and in 2014, Syria handed over 1,300 tons of chemical arms to the UN and Organization for the Prohibition and Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to be destroyed and has denied using sarin or any chemical weapons during the ongoing Syrian conflict.
In response to the allegations, the Syrian Arab Army soldiers in neighboring northern Hama denied the use of any chemicals weapons. The army “has not and does not use them, not in the past and not in the future, because it does not have them in the first place,” a military source said.
Merely hours after the alleged chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun, holes had already begun to emerge in the questionable narrative provided by the Western media’s consistent primary sources: 1) the UK-based, one-man operation called the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), and 2) the Al-Qaeda and Al Nusra Front affiliated White Helmets, founded by a British ex-military mercenary and funded by the U.S., U.K., France, NATO, and Gulf states.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Theodore Postol, a chemical weapons expert, inspected and reviewed the evidence that the United States government submitted in their declassified report as incontrovertible “proof” that Assad was behind the chemical attack, slamming it as a “false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report.” According to Postol:
“No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it.
“All of these highly amateurish mistakes indicate that this White House report, like the earlier Obama White House Report [from Ghouta in 2013], was not properly vetted by the intelligence community as claimed.
“I have worked with the intelligence community in the past, and I have grave concerns about the politicisation of intelligence that seems to be occurring with more frequency in recent times – but I know that the intelligence community has highly capable analysts in it.
“And if those analysts were properly consulted about the claims in the White House document they would have not approved the document going forward.”
Read Postol’s full reports:
Perhaps the most revealing aspect of Syria’s most recent mass casualty terror tragedy, was the suspicious involvement of the White Helmets – a group who once again was witnessed in wartime imagery that was not only fully of anomalies but a production designed to evoke an emotional response rather than one based in rationality. Despite receiving millions in funding from the US, UK, Qatar, and EU, they claim to be “nonaligned” and “independent.” To say this group is misrepresenting itself and facts on the ground in Syria would be an understatement, especially after perusing through some of their fabled rescue scenes, proudly displayed on their social media accounts and unquestioningly rerun by western corporate media.
Since their inception in late 2013, the White Helmets have largely conducted their so-called “rescue operations” from deep within rebel & terrorist held areas in Syria, while producing an unprecedented amount of Western-oriented war propaganda for nations deeply invested in arming and backing rebel-terrorists vying for regime change in Syria, constantly clamoring for the establishment of a “no-fly zone” and other policies that fit the neoliberal agenda of regime change. The group also claims to have “saved some 80,000 lives” since they began ‘search and rescue’ activities in early 2014, even pirating the moniker ‘Syria Civil Defense’ from the REAL Syrian Civil Defense. None of their incredible claims can be independently verified – and yet, these claims are accepted wholesale without question by the entirety of the US and European mainstream media and political establishment.
In the image to the right, the White Helmets are seen handling the bodies of exposed victims without sufficient safety gear, most egregiously with their bare hands, being that sarin is a highly toxic substance that kills upon mere skin contact, and usually requires full-body protective suits to safely enter a contaminated area.
Within seconds of exposure to sarin, the effects of the gas begin to target the muscle and nervous system. There is an almost immediate release of the bowels and the bladder, and vomiting is induced. When sarin is released in a concentrated area, it has the capacity to easily kill thousands of people. Yet, such a dangerous gas, and the White Helmets are treating bodies with little concern to their exposed skin.
Meanwhile, pick-up trucks have been photographed around bodies of those killed — pick up trucks which remain consistent with the type of vehicle local sources have said were used to transport many of the victims identified as kidnapped by Al-Qaeda terrorists from pro-government towns in rural Hama.
Also, it appears in the pictures that the origin of the hose is coming from a dugout carved into the rock. This suggests that the location is at a White Helmets base, which have been reported to be dug out hiding spots carved into the mountainside where they have easy access to equipment.
It is completely unsurprising that Orient TV has already prepared a “media campaign” to cover the Russian and Syrian airstrikes in neighboring Hama countryside against terrorist forces, with the allegations that the air forces have been using chemical weapons. Even more telling was their announcement on covering the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, hours before this allegation had even emerged.
Inspectors have checked all 12 sites under government control that could have been used to manufacture chemical weapons, all of which were determined to be clean. The only site that hasn’t been checked lies in rebel territory, coincidentally in Idlib. Additionally, it is known that about 250 people from Majdal and Khattab were kidnapped by Al-Qaeda terrorists last week. Local sources have claimed that many of those dead from the chemical weapons were those from Majdal and Khattab. This would suggest that on the eve of upcoming peace negotiations, terrorist forces have once again created a false flag scenario. This bears resemblance to the Ghouta chemical weapons attack in August 2013 where the Syrian Army was accused of using the weapons of mass destruction on the day that United Nations Weapon’s Inspectors arrived in Damascus.
Later, Carla del Ponte, a UN weapons inspector, said that there was no evidence that the Syrian government had committed the atrocity, as shown in the video to the left. This had however not stopped the calls for intervention against the Syrian government, a hope that the militant forces wished to eventuate from their use of chemical weapons against civilians in Ghouta.
The Syrian government was further exonerated when whistleblowers who were members of the Turkish Parliament gave a press conference in October to announce that they had wiretapped recordings and other evidence showing that Turkey supplied the terrorists with the sarin used in Syria for the 2013 attack.
It remains to be known whether there actually were chemicals in the missile factory targeted by Russian airstrikes, or whether the terrorist forces used gas on the kidnapped civilians from the pro-government towns and brought them in the lorry trucks to the site of the airstrikes. Whether they were gassed by the militant forces, or the airstrikes caused a terrorist controlled chemical weapon factory to explode, the gruesome deaths of children, seen foaming in the mouth because of the gas, lays in the hands of the terrorists.
It becomes evident that the area targeted was definitely a terrorist location, where it is known that the White Helmets share operation rooms with terrorist forces like Al-Qaeda as seen after the liberation of eastern Aleppo. Civilians and fighting forces, including Kurdish militias, have all claimed that militant groups that operate in Idlib, Hama and Aleppo countrysides, have used chemical weapons in the past.
It is absolutely imperative before the war drums begin to beat and the denouncement of the Syrian government from top Western officials and their corporate media mouthpieces begin that UN inspectors and chemical weapons experts be allowed the proper time and opportunity to conduct a thorough investigation and so that all evidence can emerge.
Expanded from original sources:
- “Jumping to conclusions; something is not adding up in Idlib chemical weapons attack” by Paul Antonopoulos, originally published at Al Masdar News on April 4, 2017