Who Should You Believe … The UN Investigator or the U.S.?
Haaretz reported on March 24th, “Jihadists, not Assad, apparently behind reported chemical attack in Syria“.
UN investigator Carla Del Ponte said that there is strong evidence that the rebels used chemical weapons, but that there is not evidence that the government used such weapons:
But the U.S. is blaming the Syrian government for the attacks in Syria.
So who’s right?
The Global Post reported on April 30th:
A closer analysis, however, raises doubts and highlights the challenge of confirming whether the Syrian government–or anyone else–is using chemical weapons…. Looking at video and photos obtained by GlobalPost at the scene, experts say the spent canister found in Younes’ [a victim’s] house and the symptoms displayed by the victims areinconsistent with a chemical weapon such as sarin gas, which is known to be in Syria’s arsenal.
Here’s a picture of the spent canister:
Kurdish police and members of a Kurdish militia gather the remains of a device witnesses say was dropped by a helicopter onto the courtyard staircase of a family home in Sheikh Maqsoud, a neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria. Syrians suspect the device is some kind of chemical weapon. But experts have their doubts. – [Rojhat Azad/Courtesy]
The GlobalPost continues:
Looking at video and photos obtained by GlobalPost at the scene, experts say the spent canister found in Younes’ house and the symptoms displayed by the victims areinconsistent with a chemical weapon such as sarin gas, which is known to be in Syria’s arsenal. Sarin is typically delivered using artillery shells or spray tanks, not in the grenade-like device found in this Aleppo attack and in other similar attacks reportedin recent days.
While analysts have not been able to identify the canister, they said tear gas, some kind of generated smoke, as well as any number of chemicals found in military munitions and devices, could also have been responsible. Chemicals used for riot control are not prohibited by the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.
Experts say an attack by sarin gas would cause virtually anyone who had come into contact with the toxin to immediately feel its effects. Exposure to even a very small amount of sarin could be lethal. While there were casualities in the Aleppo attack, most of the victims survived, which would not likely be the outcome of a sarin attack in a confined environment.
The Washington Post reported yesterday:
Adding to the doubts, some analysts are now wondering if the attack might have actually involved chlorine, which is also a chemical weapon but can be bought over-the-counter. A March Reuters story described a possible chemical attack in the northern town of Khan al-Assal, near Aleppo, after which residents said they could smell chlorine. The Telegraph reported at the time that Syrian regime forces accused rebels of using a homemade chlorine solution in the attack.
Perhaps adding some credibility to fears that Syrian rebels could potentially use chlorine,militants in neighboring Iraq used chlorine bombs several times in 2007. Some Syrian fighters with the Islamist rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra are believed to have ties to Iraqi extremists.
Al Qaeda in Iraq detonated a series of crude chlorine bombs in Iraq from late 2006 through mid-2007.
Charles Faddis, who headed the CIA’s operations against al Qaeda in Iraq’s chlorine bomb network, told me in 2010: “[T]he attacks are not being particularly successful. The people are dying in the blast, but fortunately nobody is dying from chlorine.”
The GlobalPost reported on May 5th:
Doctors in Turkey say initial tests of blood samples from victims of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria last month are negative for sarin gas.
It could have been tear gas or some other kind of generated smoke, normally used for riot control, some weapons experts said.
In other words, those who question the claim that it was the Syrian government which used chemical weapons have photographic and other evidence on their side.
Rebels Have More Motive than Government …
The Washington Post reported yesterday:
As Foreign Policy’s Blake Hounshell points out, Khan al-Assal was a regime-controlled area at the time, which suggests that if anyone were to attack it, it would probably be rebels. (Hat tip to Hounshell for resurfacing these March articles.)
Of course anyone whose brain fired on more than one cylinder should have questioned why in the hell the Syrian government would use in such a limited and militarily insignificant way the one weapon it knew would likely bring on a US and NATO Libya-style intervention. It made no sense at all for the Syrian government to use “just a little” sarin — not enough to do more than kill a few people, nothing to alter the course of the war — knowing about “red lines” and a US/Saudi/Qatari/Israeli/Turk bloodlust to invade.
On the other hand, it made all the sense in the world for the insurgents to release some sarin here and there, make some videos of the victims, and email the links to some very willing Israeli generals and McCainian rabid warhawks in the US and their absurd poodles in the UK and France.
CNN points out that the Syrian rebels have had chemical weapons training.
Neoconservatives planned regime change in Syria – and throughout the Middle East and North Africa –20 years ago. And carrying out acts of violence and blaming it on the Syrian government as an excuse for regime change – i.e. false flag terror – was discussed over 50 years ago by British and American leaders.
A top Bush administration official says it’s hard to say who used chemical weapons – if anyone – and that the chemical weapons attack may have been an Israeli false flag attack.
And the American government has previously falsely blamed its enemies for chemical weapons attacks. For example, the American government gave chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein … which he then used on Iran and on his own Kurdish population. The American government attempted to blame Iran for the chemical weapons attack on Iraq’s Kurds … just as the U.S. is trying to blame the Syrian governmentfor the attacks in Syria.
And see this.
And the “rebels” in Syria that the U.S. has been arming and otherwise supporting are Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, the New York Times reported last week that virtually all of the rebel fighters are Al Qaeda terrorist.
But the war-hungry mainstream media – just as in Iraq – is pushing half-truths and bogus claims.