Did Assad order to conduct the gas attack in Syria?

On the morning of April 4, fighter-bomber of the Syrian air force Russian-made su-22 threw something or shot something at a target in the rebel-held Idlib province. Formed a cloud of some chemical substances and slowly swam to the side of the nearby village of Khan shaykhun, where it killed 50 to 100 people. We also know that before the attack, the Russian told the American military hotline that would be a blow for Arsenal.

We also know that can be considered collateral damage. President Donald trump said that the loss of life and expected use of chemical weapons applies to “vital US interests”, and two days later used it as a pretext to strike 59 cruise missiles at Syrian airbase Shirt. Us missiles did not cause significant damage to the airfield, which soon resumed air sorties. The white house also radically changed its position on the Syrian peace talks, declaring that the departure of Bashar al-Assad is a precondition for a political solution to the crisis. He also said that Russia covers the Syrian President. Secretary Rex Tillerson declared that bilateral relations with Moscow will improve, while Russia supports Assad. According to the President trump, relations with Russia fell “to a record low”.

In support of its lines, justifying the missile strike, the us government released a four-page document entitled “the Assad regime’s Use of chemical weapons on 4 April 2017”. This report was prepared by the national security Council, which is a division of the White house, and its author was not the Director of national intelligence Dan Coates (Dan Coats), and the national security adviser, Lieutenant-General Herbert McMaster (H. R. McMaster). The origin of the document suggests that the report is not what you give it — not the “American intelligence community”. It sounds a whole series of assertions, some of which can be considered as proven facts, and part in doubt.

It should be borne in mind that almost all information and evidence from the scene of the attack in Syria, obtained from sources of the anti-Assad forces, which are connected with the branch of “al-Qaeda” “Al-Nusra” (banned in Russia organization — approx. TRANS.), holding this district. Among them are the so-called “White helmets”, which became a surrogate opposition. The generally accepted version is based on these indications, as well as on the claims of both American parties about “certain” that Assad is guilty. It is presented as indisputable fact, even Democrats, who are typically more liberal.

A four-page report of the White house review is supplemented by McMaster and Minister of defense James Mattis (also a former General) that have been made in the us missile attack, as well as a recent interview with the Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo spoke about the process of making a decision about military options. All these leaders, as well as the President trump thought does not require proof of the axiom that the chemical attack was carried out by Syria. As for the motives of this attack, the report alleges that Damascus was trying to stop the advance of the rebels. Some media said that this was done to “test” US or to intimidate the Syrian population, although many observers believe that such explanations are unconvincing. In the end, why would Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons, if he wins this war? But the rebels were theoretically a lot of motives for staging an attack under false flag in order to configure the Western European and Americans against Damascus.

The report of the White house there are many repetitions of the involvement of Syria, the inability of the rebels to carry out a chemical attack on the remains of the victims and the symptoms of the dead and injured. It says about the “confidence” of the American government that the Syrian authorities on the morning of 4 April carried out a chemical attack using a “nerve poison sarin gas against its own people” and that the rebels could not fabricate the incident because it is too difficult for them. Among American intelligence information allegedly related to the attack, there is evidence of signals intelligence, geospatial monitoring, as well as the results of physiological studies. Plus, the “reliable open sources that narrate the incident clearly and consistently.” This includes shooting commercial satellites on which types of craters of the arms used, and the evaluation of civil organizations like “Doctors without borders” and Amnesty International.

The report of the us government also alleges that Syria has violated its international obligations, saving yourself from chemical weapons, though Damascus in 2013 agreed to destroy all its stockpiles. According to the report, is highly questionable chemical attack in ghouta in 2013 also undertook a Damascus, and the Syrian experts on chemical weapons are probably “was preparing an attack in Northern Syria”. The symptoms of the victims saying that sarin was used.

According to the report, after the attack the Russians and the Syrians began to spread “false information”, using “numerous and very contradictory stories about what happened to create confusion and sow doubts among the international community.”

As noted above, except for the real naked facts, which include the Syrian attack, the American retaliation and the victims in these incidents and their analysis, little can be considered conclusive and reliable. In the report of the national security Council a lot of controversial issues, and it should be borne in mind that during its preparation, almost never used American sources of intelligence information. The statement that “experts on the Syrian chemical weapons likely participated in the preparation of the attack” there is uncertainty, and this suggests that an intercepted phone conversation could be interpreted too freely. Regarding geospatial monitoring, it data from the satellite (or drone), or from the AWACS aircraft operating along the Turkish border and recorded the route of the su-22 and the subsequent explosion (explosions). It can hardly be considered exhaustive proof, since monitoring data there is nothing that would be unknown to us.

Experiments on American intelligence data, it became known on April 13 from a conversation with the Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo, who spoke about pressure from the White house, demanding to give a “rating”. In conclusion, he said: “‘ve All seen the pictures from open sources, so the reality is on our side”. Here we can add that this reality has not been received from the intelligence community, which spends $ 80 billion a year, and from satellite imagery of Google, which the rebels could adjust, but the media interpreted as he wanted.

Reviewers also need to check allegations that the rebels are not able to arrange a chemical attack and carry out the operation under a foreign flag. There have been many occasions when ISIS (banned in Russia organization — approx. TRANS.) and “An-Nusra” used chemical in Syria and Iraq. The last time they used them last week in the Western part of Mosul. A similar false flag in ghouta in 2013, almost succeeded, and certainly not without the help of Turkish intelligence. It stopped only when the Director of national intelligence James Clapper arrived unexpectedly in the Oval office to President Obama and told him that the case against Damascus is not a “piece of cake”.

Doubt and visual evidence that the Syrians have carried out a chemical attack from the air. The only witness is a 14-year-old girl who said that saw the plane dropped the bomb, and she was in the nearby building, after which it rose in the sky mushroom cloud. Similarly, the incident describe the Russians and the Syrians, excluding the sarin gas, which is colorless. And yet there is the testimony of Professor Emeritus Theodore Postol (Theodore Postol) from the Massachusetts Institute of technology. Postol has studied the photos and came to the conclusion that a toxic substance was applied from the ground, not dropped. He said that any competent analysis confirms his point of view. This suggests that the conclusions were overly hasty. Postol said: “without a shadow of doubt to prove that the document did not provide any evidence indicating the presence of the us government specific information about that chemical attack was carried out by Syria.”

Former military inspector Scott Ritter (Scott Ritter) also questioned the conclusions of the report of the White house, noting that the available evidence points to the use of the Syrians by conventional weapons. He also noted that with the existing su-22 weapons systems it is impossible to carry out chemical or gas attack from the air, what is hardly know Donald Trump and his advisors.

And there were victims. The tests confirmed the presence of sarin was conducted in Turkish hospitals and Ankara is not really a neutral party. After President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly demanded to remove Assad from power.

In this turmoil it is easy to forget that the rebels and their supporters are killers who commit the same crimes in which the accused Bashar al-Assad. To the last two examples of the atrocities the rebels are a punishment of the child, who was beheaded, and the shelling of Syrian refugees, waiting for their turn to go to the territory controlled by government troops. In the second incident, killed more people (including women and children) than by the events in Khan Sheyhun. But President trump do not even mentioned. The American media merely reported the attack, and then immediately disregarded it. This is probably due to the fact that this fact is not consistent with the dominant narrative lines.

The white house refers to other videos and photos which can be seen as victims provides assistance to medical staff, but without any means of protection. If there was used sarin, these people too would suffer. In addition, the symptoms of sarin are similar to the symptoms from the use of other toxic substances such as chlorine and smoke ammunition. One victim said that he felt the smell of garlic and spoiled food. And sarin gas is not only colorless, but also odorless.

And still the question remains about the presence of Assad’s chemical weapons. The white house today claims that the Syrians had retained large stockpiles of such weapons, although this is contrary to the statement of U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry, which he did in July 2014. Then Kerry said that all the weapons destroyed: “We made a deal, and chemical weapons were destroyed at 100%.” The United States cooperated with Russia and ourselves have done much to destroy the Syrian chemical Arsenal.

Says a lot about what the White house and key advisors of the President jumped to conclusions. Perhaps Assad really did what he is accused of, but trump decided to lay the blame on the Syrians, still not having clear ideas about what happened. As in Iraq, the available intelligence information was used so that they fit into the preferred storyline. Could only convene a meeting with senior advisers and decide how to punish Damascus. The truth about what happened in Syria on April 4 remains to be seen, but it surely is known to many in the us intelligence community. Perhaps, someday, someone from among those who know about the incident will feel the need to disclose to him (her) facts.

Meanwhile, the consequences of this incident and the response of the United States is very serious, and possibly catastrophic. Princeton Professor and leading American expert on Russia Stephen Cohen (Stephen Cohen) said this:

I think this is the most dangerous moment in Russian-American relations, at least since the Cuban missile crisis. Perhaps the situation is even more dangerous, as it is much more difficult…. So quite naturally the question arises. Why trump has launched 50 Tomahawk missiles at Syrian airbase, killing several people if it had no military value? He wanted to say, “I’m not a Kremlin agent”? The fact that normally the President acts differently. He addresses the UN. He asks to investigate and find out what happened to these chemical weapons. And then decides what to do. But they took a hasty decision on the application of these “Tomahawks” by making this during dinner in Mar-a-Lago with the leader of China, and very much humiliated him because he is an ally of Russia.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer and now Executive Director of the Council for the national interest of the United States (Council for the National Interest).