A man carries a wounded child after the attack
As the fallout of the April 4th chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhun in Syria continues to unfold, contradictory reports on the incident have produced more questions than answers as to what really happened. The only certainty seems to be that sarin or a similar poison was used. This was confirmed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons according to Reuters, but OPCW was not mandated to assign blame.
While mainstream media adopt the western world’s group-think that unquestioningly accepts the view that Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s forces were behind the attack and, even without evidence, took it as justification for a unilateral and illegal US airstrike against Syria, multiple reports continue to surface that tell an entirely different story. These reports find no quarter with the big names in the news industry. Viewed collectively they point to the likelihood that the recent chemical weapons incident in Syria is nothing but a replay of an old US-led ploy that was tried earlier to overthrow the Syrian regime. It was the same that unraveled following the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta on August 21, 2013, used as an excuse to prepare a massive strike against Syria that was circumvented at the last minute. In other words they suggest it was a ‘false-flag’ chemical weapons attack, set up by interested parties in order to trigger predictable reactions from an unsuspecting world, which blamed the wrong party. (Incidentally there were false-flag newspaper articles as well - set up so that the wrong party got the credit!).
In the aftermath of the incident, statements by multiple commentators including some shocked ex-CIA officers, have cast serious doubt over the plausibility of the version presented by the Trump administration, that too quickly claimed to have a ‘high degree of confidence’ that Assad was behind the horrific incident that killed scores last month. Many analysts observed that the US narrative made no sense since Assad had no motive to carry out such an attack, risking the political, military and diplomatic gains he had made in the recent past. Comments from the intelligence community reflect the view that Trump was manipulated into going along with false intelligence. He sidelined his own intelligence officials, it turns out, and excluded CIA Director Mike Pompeo from a crucial decision making meeting. Pompeo had identified the attack as false-flag and briefed Trump that Assad was most likely not responsible. But Trump was trumped, by the neocon hawks who are increasingly gaining the upper hand in his administration it appears.
In 2013 following a spate of chemical weapon attacks reported in Syria, Carla del Ponte, a member of the UN Commission of Inquiry told Swiss-Italian TV that evidence pointed to the opposition rebels, not government authorities, having used sarin gas. After the major attack in Ghouta in August 2013, Theodore Postol, Emeritus Professor of Science Technology and National Security Policy at MIT, along with UN weapons expert Richard Lloyd co-authored a report which meticulously laid out scientific evidence showing how “the mistaken intelligence could have led to an unjustified US military action based on false intelligence.”
In his assessment of the White House Report on Khan Sheikhun, Postol recalling how the previous White House Report on Ghouta was partly fabricated and had not been vetted by competent intelligence experts, states that the current Report is similarly flawed.
“I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun,” Postol wrote in his assessment dated April 11th. The main piece of evidence cited in the document points to an attack that was executed by individuals on the ground and not from an aircraft, he said, adding that the Report has ‘absolutely no evidence to show the attack was the result of munitions being dropped from an aircraft.’
Ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi’s remarks on the Scott Horton Show two days after the incident but before the US airstrike show that the intelligence was available, pointing in a direction other than that which was adopted by the White House.
“(The intelligence sources) are coming back and telling us that that they are astonished at how this is being played by the administration and by the US media and in some cases people are considering going public” Giraldi said. “These are sources that are on active duty there and seen the intelligence that the US government has about what happened in Syria, and the intelligence indicates that it was not an attack by the Syrian government using chemical weapons.” He faulted the media who, instead of waiting for the evidence, went immediately to the material that was provided by the opposition, accepting it as fact.
A site that was devastated by the chemical attack
Peter Ford, former UK ambassador to Syria was prophetic when he appeared on BBC4 on April 7; the day of the US airstrike, to say that ‘possibly they are looking for a pretext to attack Syria.’ “Assad may be cruel, brutal, but he is not mad” he said. “It defies belief that he would bring this on his head - with no military advantage.” Trump has given the jihadists a thousand reasons to stage fake-flag operations he added, “Seeing how easy it is with a gullible media to provoke the West into intemperate reactions.... Mark my words it will happen. Then the war mongers will come telling us Assad is defying us, we have to go in more heavily into Syria – fake-flag.”
Ex-CIA agent (Marine Corps) Robert Steele, basing his comments on ‘inside sources he absolutely trusts,’ alleged that the Khan Sheikhun false-flag was planned by Senator John McCain, former CIA Director John Brennan and National Security Advisor Herbert McMaster. Steele expressed misgivings that Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner may be a Mossad agent. In an interview online he said the false-flag was ‘an act of treason’ planned in the United States and funded by Saudi Arabia and Israel. “They split the cost.”
Interestingly, the reference to John Brennan and the Saudis also comes up in other reports, from totally different sources, relating to the 2013 chemical weapons attack in Ghouta. Brennan was CIA Director at the time. A report by Christof Lehmann set out circumstances that pointed to the involvement of Brennan and Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar. The opposition insurgents had suffered a major setback in Jobar, and a chemical attack would allow the US, UK and France to call for military strikes and to turn the tide in the war, he said. Bandar had met Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin in a bid to win his support for Assad’s ouster, and told Putin he expected a US-led military intervention to come soon, suggesting foreknowledge of what was to come, Lehman said. Given the ‘close relations’ between Bandar and Brennan, he concluded that ‘top-level White House executives, including President Obama’ had the same foreknowledge.
"Recent chemical weapons incident in Syria is nothing but a replay of an old US-led ploy that was tried earlier to overthrow the Syrian regime"
Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails on Wikileaks indicate that destroying Syria has long been part of the US game plan in the Middle East. “The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar al Assad,” she wrote in 2012. “......“With his life and his family at risk, only the threat or use of force will change the Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad’s mind.” Following the violent NATO-backed overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar al Gaddafi in 2011, the US is believed to have run a ‘rat line’ that smuggled weapons from Gaddafi’s arsenal through Turkey into Syria. Details of it were reported by top investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. He said that the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in September 2012, in which US ambassador Chris Stevens was killed, described “a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations” pertaining to the rat line. “By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria.” Hersh didn’t say whether the arms included the precursor chemicals for making sarin, but there have been other reports that Gaddafi possessed such stockpiles. Washington abruptly ended the CIA’s role in the transfer of arms from Libya after the attack on the consulate, but the rat line kept going, Hersh said.
The most recent western report blaming Assad for the Khan Sheikhun attack has come from French intelligence sources. While Hersh’s reportage tends to undermine the French report’s assertion that jihadist groups did not possess sarin and could not have launched the attack, its conclusion - that Assad was the perpetrator - hinged on the finding that the samples it obtained contained hexamine, which it said was “a hallmark of sarin produced by the Syrian government.”
‘Washington’sblog.com’ inquired from Ake Sellstrom, the Swedish chemical weapons expert who headed the United Nations’ team investigating the possible use of chemical warfare in Syria, about the credibility of these conclusions. Dr. Sellstrom’s response was that “It is really a question of the meaning of the word indicating. The presence of hexamine could, indeed, indicate that the source is the government. Leaving out who actually used it. But it could also indicate a lot of other things, like someone using the same recipe for example.” (Washington’sblog.com – 28.04.17)
After the 2013 false-flag chemical attack in Ghouta, Obama had to abandon the plan to launch a massive strike against Syria owing to lack of public support. The crisis was defused thereafter with a Russian brokered deal where Syria agreed to destroy all its chemical weapons and production facilities. According to the Russians, this was done between 2013 – 2016. The irony is, as Hersh remarked with prescience back in December 2013, that “after Assad’s stockpile of precursor agents is destroyed, al-Nusra and its Islamist allies could end up as the only faction inside Syria with access to the ingredients that can create sarin, a strategic weapon that would be unlike any other in
the war zone.”