Chemical weapons attack, maybe, by someone possibly

The first casualty of war is truth. And we are pretty much always at war. So… yeah.

Here is a clip from the Syrian Army showing a chemical weapons factory they found belonging to the terrorists in Ghouta.

The Russians claim not to have found any trace of a chemical weapons attack at all, and are making rather clear threats to retaliate against a US strike on Syria to any platform that launches the strike. This would mean US naval assets. The US takes that sort of attack rather seriously with the notable exception of Barack Obama who seemed to encourage them.

From Iranian propaganda outlet, Farsnews:

The Arabic service of RT news channel quoted a Russian military diplomatic source as warning that any increased military build-up in the Mediterranean will intensify tensions, adding that Moscow is pursuing and assessing the developments.


He stressed that the Russian A-50 reconnaissance planes have been monitoring the guided-missile destroyer the USS Donald Cook’s voyage in the past few days, saying, “The Russian warships are able to give a rapid response if necessary.”


The source noted that the Russian navy also has deployed submarines in the Mediterranean equipped with torpedoes and missiles to destroy marine and ground targets.

Meantime, Russia’s Humeimim airbase in Syria’s Lattakia province is equipped with anti-ship cruise missiles of Kh-35 type.


The US newspaper, Wall Street Journal, reported earlier that the US already has one guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, in the eastern Mediterranean, where it could take part in any strike on Syria, according to US defense officials. A second, the USS Porter could get there in a few days.


Russia has maintained that there has been no evidence of any chemical attack in Douma and sees Washington’s threats to “punish” Syria with military force as a pretext for intervention.


On March 13, Russia’s military chief of staff, General Valery Gerasimov, said that Moscow had intelligence about militants in Eastern Ghouta preparing a false-flag chemical attack in the area.

The senior official added that the US could use the fake attack as a pretext for striking out at government quarters in Damascus.

Mirror.UK: Russia will shoot down US missiles fired at Syria and target launch sites, warns ambassador

US missiles fired at Syria will be shot down, and launch sites targeted, a Russian ambassador warned today.

The measures threatened by Alexander Zasypkin, Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon, could trigger a major escalation in the Syrian conflict.


In comments broadcast on Tuesday evening, said he was referring to a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian armed forces chief of staff.

The Russian military said on March 13 that it would respond to any U.S. strike on Syria, targeting any missiles and launchers involved in such an attack. Russia is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s most powerful ally.


The United States and its allies are considering whether to hit Syria over a suspected poison gas attack that medical relief organisations say killed dozens of people in the rebel-held town of Douma near Damascus on Saturday.

Many years ago, this site posted videos taken by the pre-Islamic state groups, Al-Qaeda or Nusra front or whatever Muslim Brotherhood front group of jihadis you want to name in the region, where they were developing chemical weapons and testing them on rabbits with grotesque success. Those videos are likely scrubbed off the internet but in an emergency can likely be found and reposted.

Shortly after the Islamic State was declared, there were other videos of Islamic terrorist groups using fairly crude home made or adapted weapons systems to launch chemical weapon containers into neighbourhoods. So the evidence of these groups using these weapons against civilians is very strong. While the likelihood of the optometrist, Assad, leader of Syria, launching a pointless WMD attack against his own population hours or days after the US president announces he is planning a troop withdrawal seems counter-intuitive.

Clearly it would result in an undesirable outcome for Syria.

Unless it doesn’t.

The only thing that fits the puzzle to me would be if the US hit Iranian assets in the area, freeing Al Assad from the yoke of that tyranny using the weapons attack as a false flag to do that.

Its possible that Assad could be a good partner in the region if he was free of the pressure from Iran which I am certain is large and undesired.

But then again, the first casualty of war, right? Just speculating really.

Looking forward to all your reasoned responses.

Eeyore for VladTepesBlog.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

86 Replies to “Chemical weapons attack, maybe, by someone possibly”

      • The big problem with using deterrence is that the left has managed to make everyone think that you have to use proportional force. You don’t, you have to use overwhelming force to prove you mean what you say. If/when we hit Assad/Putin we have to do it i n such a manner that they real the pain for years, they may get mad and hate us but they have to fear us enough that they will not attack us in retaliation.

        • Prof. Beres on deterrence:
          Israel’s Possible Paths to Nuclear War

          North Korea’s nuclearization has implications for Israel’s nuclear deterrence posture. There are several plausible means by which a nuclear conflict could arise in the Middle East. It may be time to consider a phase-out of Israel’s “deliberate nuclear ambiguity” and to focus Israeli planning around evaluations of enemy rationality.

          This intelligence helps explain why Israel came out recently about the 2007 hit on Syria’s nuke facility.

          • Refresher:
            The Untold Story: IAF Attack of Syrian Nuclear Reactor

            Declassified: On September 2007, Israel destroyed the nuclear reactor in Dier ez-Zor, Syria as part of an operation named “Silent Tone”. The attack, performed by IAF “Ra’am” (F-15I) and “Sufa” (F-16I) fighter jets, became one of the most important military operations in the IDF’s history


        • The big problem with using deterrence is that the left has managed to make everyone think that you have to use proportional force. You don’t, you have to use overwhelming force to prove you mean what you say. If/when we hit Assad/Putin we have to do it i n such a manner that they real the pain for years, they may get mad and hate us but they have to fear us enough that they will not attack us in retaliation.

          If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.

          ? Niccolo Machiavelli

          And that’s the good news, folks.

          The bad news is that all of this crap could trigger WWIII.

      • A bottle of bleach and a bottle of ammonia taped together and thrown against a hard surface creates chlorine gas. Even a muslim could do it. Assad didn’t do this, the rebels did it themselves and look how the most stupid nations react.

      • AT the beginning of the video, what do you see if you mute the sound?

        You see upfront some type of military guy with his arms behind his back and behind him, what is that? Certainly not a Syrian.

        I would say a very nervous, possibly Yemeni soldier (aka Iran). Certainly not Syrian. Why is he nervous when all is secure?

        I could keep on re the analysis of the fake video. I looked at five times, wind rewind.

        Kudos to VLAD for showing us what the other side wants us to see.

    • It’s the Saudis with Israeli weapons.
      Haven’t you noticed the numerous Crown Prince Bin Salman and company visits to the White House recently?

          • Still wouldn’t use Israeli weapons, we are talking plausible deniability here, Israeli weapons says Israel involved in hte strike. Weapons from a nation not in the region says it could be anyone.

              • _NO_ ARAB country will ever be a “friend” of Israel.

                They stop teaching their children that Jews are the “sons of apes and pigs”.

                It’s hopelessly naive, delusional, or willful misdirection to pretend otherwise.

  1. First a little history lesson, through out all of recorded history war has been the norm, peace is the time between wars when we catch our breath, heal our wounds and get ready for the next round.

    As Eeyore noted the first causality of war is the truth which means we can’t trust the reports blindly, granted the readers of this blog aren’t the types to trust the reports blindly but this need to be said.

    Next I am far from a pacifist but I have grave doubts that Assad was behind the chemical attacks, if they really occurred. There was nothing to be achieved by him using chemical weapons when the rebels had already agreed to leave Syria. The same can be said for Putin, there was no gain for Russia and plenty of potential loss if he allowed a chemical attack. Yes both Assad and Putin fit the description of evil bastards that will do anything to achieve their goal, but they had already achieved their goal. With the help of Obama they have all but driven the US out of the Middle East and Russia has pretty much taken our place as the big power broker in that region. If they did something to get the US to hit them hard that would stand a chance of either starting a major war between the US and Russia and reversing all of the gains they have made. Very little to no gain v a lot of potential loss, their deciding to use Chemical Weapons doesn’t make sense.

    As Eeyore has pointed out there have been other incidents involving chemical weapons and various jihad groups. They are more likely to have carried out the attack, if it occurred then Assad and Putin.

    One man is pushing for the US to use this as an excuse to take out the Iranian air and tank assets in Iran and Syria, this would help our allies in the region as well as help Assad, Putin and Erdogan. This idea has a lot of appeal even though the left and their sock puppet media talking heads would scream bloody murder if we don’t hit Assad and/or Putin.

    I don’t know how this is going to end, Russia has a fleet moving to station itself off the Syrian coast, the US is moving the USS Truman and its attached group (destroyers and subs) to the Syrian coast. With the exception of Clinton and Obama US Presidents take a very dim view of anyone attacking our Naval forces. If/when the Truman and its attendants come under fire I doubt if the Admiral will wait to receive permission to fire back. I don’t know if the subs will have warshots in their tubes but the CAP (combat air patrol) over the flotilla/fleet will have live ammo. Any missiles that come close will be shot down (if possible) and any planes in the attack would suffer the same fate. I doubt if the Russians would move surface vessels close enough to use the artillery they carry so a direct ship to ship attack is unlikely. This leaves the question of, if fired upon will the US forces sink any vessel firing missiles or launching air planes to attack the fleet? Will the US forces take out any land air base that launches an attack on them?

    The above questions need to be answered as to the questions of will Putin back down? Given the current internal kerfuffle between the Deep State and the President he (Trump) can’t back down. What will happen if Putin backs down? He will loose face and power in Russia and around the world, he might lose enough he will lose his position as President and his life. This will make it hard for him to back down so we may be witnessing the left in the US starting WWIII. Starting it in a manner that they can blame the conservatives for the war.

    We are sailing uncharted waters full of reefs in a leaky boat in the middle of a force 10 storm.

        • Thank-you.

          Some light-hearted reading about Putin the Poisoner. Who knows??
          Dr. Shoham is a microbiologist, chemical & biological warfare expert.

          Russia’s Toxic Legacy

          The recent poisoning on British soil of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer who acted as a double agent for the UK’s intelligence services, and his daughter Yulia with a very rare nerve agent of the Novichok type appears almost certainly to have been conducted by the Russians.

          While the attack is part of a long chain of similar incidents, it was an overwhelming event diplomatically, politically, practically, and in terms of intelligence. Two similar incidents in London exhibited common elements linking them to the Skripal attack. Together, they shed light on the apparatus that might be responsible.

          • I was thinking that this is more likely to be the more extremist nationalist people operating underneath Putin and they want to push a confrontation with the west.

            But the way my country treated Tommy Robinson I would not put it past the UK government either to my own shame…

            • I’m thinking the same way.
              Some entity from Putin-ville or his near-abroad.

              And T. May looks more like a rabid skunk everyday. Dirty tricks like a crafty commie. Posture is peculiar, whiplash reaction to Skripals, demands for solidarity from the allies. “Allies”?

              The role of MI6 in the evolving Trump-Russia-gate saga is intriguing, too.

      • Most people forget that what is occurring is a war of shadows, you rarely have enough proof of who did what and at times you don’t know until the war is over and you capture the enemy paperwork. Given the groups we are fighting the paperwork may not exist. This is what gives National and Intel big wigs nightmares.

        • Maybe we’re seeing MORE shadows because we’re digging at stuff ourselves. Everything looks so transparently fake.
          In an earlier era we might have been more naive, trusting the media or government spokes-bimbos.

    • Putin’s only interest in the area is OIL and the Latakia port. Nothing more. Trump even tweeted he wants to be economic friends with Russia.
      It’s really all about Iran.
      I forgot to mention in my comment below that EU are now strangling Iran through additional economic sanctions.
      Nothing uncharted, it’s all about taking down the Iranian regime.

      • How Putin’s Folly Could Lead to a Middle East War

        …Russia, by contrast [to Iran], had more global ambitions. For one, Putin was putting a finger in the eye of the Obama administration. The message was that Russia could dominate territory once seen as under American influence. Putin also sought to convey to the rest of the Arab world that Russia was a strong and reliable ally for the region, and that Russia was willing to provide advanced weaponry at the right price—and without American-style red tape and oversight.

      • Putin has a longstanding relationship with the Assad family.
        – – That matters in the ME a great deal: the whole world’s watching.
        – – Protective veto in the UN, then substantive assistance.

        A couple articles written PRIOR to Russia’s intervention in the civil war:
        Russia’s Old New Cold War

        Russia’s Middle-East Gambit

      • “government spokes-bimbos”
        When it’s the ‘good’ crooks, it’s referred to as ‘government’/
        When it’s the ‘bad crooks’, it’s referred to as ‘the Regime’.
        Mean a lot
        Qatar-Turkey Pipeline would supply all the oil/gas Europe and Turkey need. Leaving Russia out in the cold; dirt poor and weak. Which is what the ‘good crooks’ want. Assad said no to the pipeline running through Syria; Russia’s its ally after all. Ergo Assad must go; dead or alive. My admiration for Assad rises with the realisation that he could have packed his bags and fled with his $$Billions years ago. He stayed; he’s fighting. We don’t know what’s in anybody’s mind how could we? If Russia is weakened, it’ll be a bad day for all of us imo. We need a strong and vibrant Russia to offset Hegmonic Imperialist USA (and it’s wagtail dog UK).

        Those thinking Russia poisoned the Skripals? One word; deluded. Latest this last week from #Maybot? The poison was a liquid. Really? They poured it on the door handle of their home? Allegedly that’s how the Cop got ill. Cop? Yeah right. No one’s seen him – just a pic; MI6 Agent dressed up? They’re all over the ME dressed up as Jihadists. ;-). Meanwhile in a house they’ll have searched top to bottom for evidence, right? Skripals pets: two guinea pigs and a much loved cat – are found starved to death 2 weeks later; bodies burned with no tests for CW’s done. This house had 24/7 Police presence outside!! Restaurant table used by Skripals? Burned too. Nothing tangible remains that could be called evidence or tested by say the Russians, who’re accused of this ‘crime’. The poor Skripals meanwhile have disappeared off the face of the earth, and we will never hear from them again. Their close relatives refused Visas to visit them. 😉

    • Pretty much this, the only thing that I would suggest you think about is whether Iran could have done it as they want the US and Russia to start shooting each other. Don’t forget that most of the people killed in the recent Israeli air raid were Iranians.

      But my money is on ISIS / Al Queda more than anything else.

      Russia has to react, Trump has to realise that he should now do an investigation with Russia on these chemical attacks, because we need to stop this confrontation getting out of control.

    • … throughout all of recorded history war has been the norm, peace is the time between wars when we catch our breath, heal our wounds and get ready for the next round.

      [wild applause]

      With that obligatory silliness out of the way … superb analysis, Richard. Your contributions (like this one) are what makes Vlad Tepes Blog one of my day’s starting points.

      As Eeyore noted the first causality of war is the truth which means we can’t trust the reports blindly, granted the readers of this blog aren’t the types to trust the reports blindly but this need to be said.

      Fear not, Richard. It always needs to be said. Truth be told, commenting on this specific topic of the “first causality of war” is why I checked in here.

      As Clausewitz noted, “the fog of war” ends with Burn’s lament: “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy!”

      BIG QUESTION: Is there a functional deterrent to Islamic jihad?

      Out of sincere appreciation for your reliable input, let’s please take a simple question into this blog’s arena. “Is there a functional deterrent to Islamic jihad?”

      After all of the shite and atrocities I’ve seen, my own personal answer is “No!”

      Deterring death-loving people just doesn’t seem possible. In short, the only reliable deterrent seems to be nuclear and I don’t much like the tone of that save for HALTING global terrorism.

      Everybody, work with me, please.

  2. I don’t think that Assad would be foolish enough to launch this attack and I’m almost certain it must be a false flag. But you know what? Even if Assad is using chemical weapons, why is that the direct responsibility of the United States? They’ve murdering white farmers in South Africa. Why don’t the Americans go and bomb Pretoria? And as far as “murdering women and children” goes, excuse me but didn’t our planes kill a few million women and children in WWII? Does that make us as bad as Bashar al-Assad? I don’t recall the USA being concerned when Pol Pot ordered all the people out of Pnong pen and started massacring his people. Oh, that made the Democrats look bad so it didn’t happen…

    I do not know why John McCain and others are always so eager to attack Syria. They shouldn’t have attacked Iraq and they should just go home and leave Syria right now. How could Trump be so fucking stupid?

    • As I wrote below, I think tiny Alawite Assad is overtaken by the Iranians and the Turks.

      Look at the video again, forget the glistening marble wall. Look at the level of comfort in the military staff, all very nervous, zero authority.

    • Trump has been back into a corner on this issue, if he doesn’t do something that is ammunition about his collusion with Russia, if he does he is a war monger.

  3. If Trump decides to overthrow Assad it will be the greatest mistake of his presidency. Because it is likely a Muslim Brotherhood regime would take over in Syria with Turkish support. Which would mean genocide for the Christian and Alwaite populations.

    • If Trump decides to overthrow Assad it will be the greatest mistake of his presidency. Because it is likely a Muslim Brotherhood regime would take over in Syria with Turkish support. Which would mean genocide for the Christian and Alwaite populations.

      No truer words have been spoken. Every last damned thing about the MME (Muslim Middle East) has proven to be the usual Islamic mare’s nest of endless bovine manure. This has “Un–fü¢king–happy Ending” written all over it.

      • Simple Question:

        What sort of “Happy Ending” is there for the MME (Muslim Middle East)?

        Just between me and the fence-post, thangs jist don’t seem like they’re gonna turn out nice for the MME. I’m sayin’.

        ONCE AGAIN: What sort of functional deterrent is there to an Islamic death-cult of terrorism?

        (Face the question squarely.)

    • PTrump would be extremely ill-advised to topple Assad. For the reasons you state.

      Plus Russia is deeply committed to the Latakia “mandate”. That’s genuine, goes all the way back to Stalin. We should have no problem with that. The Syrian Kurds and Israel can live with it too.

  4. I do believe that the Syrian rebels might have committed the chemical weapons attack as a way of getting the West to support them or getting rid of anybody who would support the Syrian government. I do believe these people along with the Islamic would use chemical weapons if they had. Indeed the Islamic already has used the chemical weapons they found when they conquered a Syrian army base.

  5. Sorry but look at the beautiful shiny clean MARBLE walls.
    I very highly doubt Rebels have access to such luxurious rooms.

  6. Please understand, I think you’re all missing the point. This is a war against Iran.
    Trump never said he wanted regime change. And he doesn’t want to get involved in that.
    Only Iran is his primary target. The same can be said of the Israelis and the Saudis and all the regional players – Get rid of Iran.

    You have to start looking at what’s happening in Iran. Aside from the citizenry claiming economic corruption, including bank corruption and recent major devaluation of the Iranian currency and exodus of dollars from the banks, the Iranian Ayatollahs know their days are counted.

    Who released the chemicals? Just look at who is preventing observers from entering the area. We haven’t seen much of Assad and wife recently. That same Assad that was helping the Kurds. And now, Erdogan has taken control of parts of Kurdish areas in Northern Syria. And who is Erdogan working with? Iran.

    I think the idea is to partition Syria between Iran and Turkey with the help of Russia who wants control of the oil.

    I also think the Assads are hostages to the situation.

    Recent news: an attack occurred on the offices of an important airbase. It would seem the Saudis did the deed with Israeli weapons. And Iran is fleeing.

    • The attack on T-4, near Palmyra – that one! – was indeed Israeli.
      No joint-ventures. Allies-level optimism is PR for the English-speaking public, verboten in Arabic. Limited quiet cooperation is fine, as long as it lasts.

      This was Israel’s second hit on T-4, the previous one was in February.

      The Implications of the Syrian T-4 Air Base Bombing

      Situation Map, April 2:

    • Thank you, way too many people in the world (including readers of the blog) think everything happens in a vacuum and have no connections to each other. Yes the targert is Iran and removing the Iranian 1) nuclear program 2) government. We don’t know who or what will replace the current leadership but we do know they have to go.

      • Westerners project emotions onto an Alawite hereditary chieftain. Sentimentality for a personality packaged by a Madison Ave marketing firm.

        He went to school in the West. A doctor, so touchie-feelie.
        Tard-savvy VT-bloggers confabulate feelings, motivations…

        Now that’s depressing.

  7. A word about Syria; *UPDATE*
    By J.E. Dyer April 11, 2018

    I’m getting questions about Syria. It’s tax week, so there’s that. But I also don’t know that in any other week, I’d want to say a whole lot. We can see from the rather odd nature of the signals coming out that this probably won’t be a garden-variety smash-and-dash. I do think we’re planning something real, but I don’t want to publish extended speculation about it. (I don’t think it will involve more boots on the ground than we have already. I do think it will involve allies. I don’t see it launching “World War III.”)

    What I’m going to do here is copy in a couple of informal responses I’ve made so far. Let me start by saying that Nikki Haley sent one of the strongest signals about this whole thing when she called out Russia at the UN. For one thing, her doing that means we really, no kidding, have intelligence that Assad did this. We’re not just guessing.

    For another thing, it means we’re looking at Russia as our persuasion target.

    So, the responses. One was prompted by the tweet yesterday from a Syria observer about air traffic over Syria. Some of you may have seen it; if you click to the original tweet, the screen cap of the FlightRadar24 map is there.


    Heshmat Alavi @HeshmatAlavi
    11 Apr
    Replying to @HeshmatAlavi

    Report indicate in the past 48 hours 3 Syrian passenger planes have landed in Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport & not returned. There is word that Assad’s family & a number of senior regime officials were on board.

    Heshmat Alavi @HeshmatAlavi

    Further reports show 22 Syrian Sukhoi warplanes have flown over Iraq & landed in Shahid Vahdat airbase in Dezful, SW #Iran, the M15 airbase in Kermanshah, W Iran, & the Fakuri airbase in Tabriz, NW Iran.
    IRGC bases are on high alert.

    Saddam did the same thing with his MiG-29 fleet in 1991. Flew them to Iran shortly before the air interdiction phase started against him on 16 January 1991. He also reportedly sent some F-1 Mirage fighters to a third country.

  8. zero hedge- Russia Warns “Cannot Exclude The Possibility” Of War With United States

    Shortly after CNBC reported that the US is planning to strike 8 targets in Syria, including two airfields, a research center and a chemical weapons facility, after US officials told a reporter they were “fairly confident” the Syrian regime had been behind a gas attack in a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, Sky News reported – citing Russian officials – that the Russian military would protect its people on the ground in Syria if missile strikes are launched by the US and its allies.

    Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, said the current situation is a “test for each and every country in the world to protect its people on the ground.”

    “Russia should protect its people on the ground of course…we came to Syria at the invitation of the people,” Zakharova told Sky News Presenter Dermot Murnaghan in Moscow.

    Earlier in the day, Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo intimated during his confirmation that hundreds of Russian mercenaries had been killed by airstrikes during a clash on Feb. 7. Meanwhile, media reports said the US would give Russia fair warning of the sites it plans to attack.

    Meanwhile, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador at the United Nations, said he unfortunately “cannot exclude any possibilities” when asked about the danger of war between the US and Russia.


    zero hedge : 6 Simple Reasons Why Trump Is Going To War In Syria

    POTUS Trump knows that the chemical attack in Syria is a hoax and false flag.

    The mainstream media knows that the chemical attack in Syria is a hoax and false flag.

    All of Congress knows that the chemical attack in Syria is a hoax and false flag.

    The entire world knows that Assad is not that stupid (he is a doctor and ophthalmologist) so as to gas women and children at the very moment he is winning the war in Syria…launching a chemical weapons strike for shits and giggle, moments after Trump announced a US pullout from Syria.

    on this page :

  9. Pompeo: Trump has domestic authority to bomb Syria

    Secretary of state nominee and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo: I believe that the president has the constitutional right to bomb Assad’s forces.

  10. UK: Cabinet agrees response ‘needed’ in Syria

    British government ministers left 10 Downing Street in central London on Thursday, following a two-hour-long meeting to discuss the UK’s proposed response to alleged chemical weapons use in Syria.

  11. Military assets assemble for potential strike on Syria

    The USS Harry S. Truman, accompanied by seven U.S. warships, steams toward the Eastern Mediterranean; national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports from the Pentagon.

  12. Rep. Thornberry on prospects for military action in Syria

    Chair of the House Armed Services Committee weighs in on ‘Special Report.’

  13. Sky News – Russia warns it will protect its people in Syria

    Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman tells Sky News Moscow will protect its people on the ground in Syria if missiles are launched by the US and its allies.

  14. zero hedge – Russia Has “Irrefutable Evidence” UK Staged Syrian Chemical Attack

    As the blame game over the alleged chemical attack in Syria escalates ahead of what is expected to be an imminent, if contained, air strike campaign by the US, UK and/or France against Syria, on Friday morning, Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow had “irrefutable evidence” that the attack – which allegedly killed more than 40 people in an April 7 chemical weapons strike on the former rebel outpost of Douma -was staged with the help of a foreign secret service.

    “We have irrefutable evidence that this was another staged event, and that the secret services of a certain state that is now at the forefront of a Russophobic campaign was involved in this staged event,” he said during a press conference according to AFP.

    Speculation that said “certain state” was the UK was confirmed shortly after, when Russia’s defense ministry alleged that Britain was involved in the suspected chemical attack. According to defense ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, the Kremlin has evidence that Britain was behind the attack.

    Quoted by Reuters, he said: “We have… evidence that proves Britain was directly involved in organising this provocation.”

    As RT further adds, the Russian Defense Ministry presented what it says is “proof that the reported chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged.”

    It also accused the British government of pressuring the perpetrators to speed up the “provocation.” During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said, are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

    In the interviews released to the media, the two men reported how footage was shot of people dousing each other with water and treating children, which was claimed to show the aftermath of the April 7 chemical weapons attack. The patients shown in the video suffered from smoke poisoning and the water was poured on them by their relatives after a false claim that chemical weapons were used, the ministry said.

    “Please, notice. These people do not hide their names. These are not some faceless claims on the social media by anonymous activists. They took part in taking that footage,” said Konashenkov.

    “The Russian Defense Ministry also has evidence that Britain had a direct involvement in arranging this provocation in Eastern Ghouta,” the general added, referring to the neighborhood of which Douma is part. “We know for certain that between April 3 and April 6 the so-called White Helmets were seriously pressured from London to speed up the provocation that they were preparing.”

    According to Konashenkov, the group, which was a primary source of photos and footage of the purported chemical attack, was informed of a large-scale artillery attack on Damascus planned by the Islamist group Army of Islam, which controlled Douma at the time. The White Helmets were ordered to arrange the provocation after retaliatory strikes by the Syrian government forces, which the shelling was certain to lead to, he said.

    One of the interviews published by the ministry showed a man who said his name was Halil Ajij, and who said he was a medical student working at Douma’s only operational hospital. This is how he described the origin of the footage:

    “On April 8, a bomb hit a building. The upper floors were damaged and a fire broke at the lower floors. Victims of that bombing were brought to us. People from the upper floors had smoke poisoning. We treated them, based on their suffocation.”

    Ajij said that a man unknown to him came and said there was a chemical attack and panic ensued. “Relatives of the victims started dousing each other with water. Other people, who didn’t seem to have medical training, started administering anti-asthma medicine to children. We didn’t see any patient with symptoms of a chemical weapons poisoning,” he said.

    The first photos claiming to show the aftermath of the alleged chemical attack on April 7 were published online on the same day, and featured the bodies of many people, including children, some with foam around their mouths and noses. Footage from the hospital was released on Sunday, with the sources behind it claiming that it had been shot on Saturday.

    Konashenkov said Russia hoped that international monitors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is due to investigate the circumstances of the incident, will help establish the truth. He added Eastern Ghouta is currently trying to return to peaceful life after being liberated from militant groups by Syrian government forces. He called on other nations and international organizations to provide humanitarian aid, which is badly needed in the area. Russia is already supplying food, medicine, building materials and other essential supplies to the neighborhood, he said.

    Residents of the neighborhood, who previously fled violence, are returning to their homes now that the area is relatively safe, the Russian official said. The latest reports from the ground say about 63,000 people have returned, which is over half of the displaced residents, he added.

    The reported chemical weapons attack escalated tensions over Syria, just as Damascus was about to seize full control of Eastern Ghouta. The US and allies such as the UK and France threatened military action in response to what they claim is an atrocity committed by the Syrian government. Russia insists the incident was staged and said it reserves the right to counter any attack on Syria.

    * * *

    On Wednesday, Russia made the first allegation that the chemical attack was staged by Western powers, in this case by the infamoous “white helmets,” a US-funded NGO lauded by mainstream media for their humanitarian work, while long-suspected of performing less-than humanitarian deeds behind the curtain.

    Speaking with EuroNews, Russia’s ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizov, said “Russian military specialists have visited this region, walked on those streets, entered those houses, talked to local doctors and visited the only functioning hospital in Douma, including its basement where reportedly the mountains of corpses pile up. There was not a single corpse and even not a single person who came in for treatment after the attack.”

    “But we’ve seen them on the video!” responds EuroNews correspondent Andrei Beketov. “There was no chemical attack in Douma, pure and simple,” responds Chizov. “We’ve seen another staged event. There are personnel, specifically trained – and you can guess by whom – amongst the so-called White Helmets, who were already caught in the act with staged videos.”

    Russia said previously that it sent experts in radiological, chemical and biological warfare – along with medics, in order to inspect the Eastern Ghouta city of Douma where the attack is said to have taken place.

    Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that the experts “found no traces of the use of chemical agents,” following a search of the sites, adding “All these facts show… that no chemical weapons were used in the town of Douma, as it was claimed by the White Helmets.”

    “All the accusations brought by the White Helmets, as well as their photos… allegedly showing the victims of the chemical attack, are nothing more than a yet another piece of fake news and an attempt to disrupt the ceasefire,” said the Russian Reconciliation Center.

    * * *

    In any case, if Russia indeed has “irrefutable evidence”, it is probably just a matter of time before it is made public in an attempt to sway public opinion, ideally before the Syrian airstrikes begin afresh. If confirmed, it would be a major slap in the face of neo-con forces across “western democracies”, if hardly a shock: after all the US using a fabricated pretext to wage war or simply to effect a much needed distraction from domestic affairs, in the middle east is a painfully familiar narrative.

    Meanwhile, as we wait for Trump to announce what happens next, late on Thursday we reported that US National Security Advisor John Bolton and Defense Secretary James Mattis are reportedly feuding over the strategy in Syria, with Mattis favoring a more cautious approach, even as France and Britain are crafting broad strike plans and are willing to pursue any military strategy, even though as noted, a readout of a Thursday phone conversation President Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May suggests that military action may be days away, instead of hours.

      • Douma Doctor Blow Lid Off White Helmets’ ‘Chemical Attack’ Claims

        Amid Western powers’ planning for a military response to an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian Army in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, the Russian Defense Ministry has released a video interview of two young men who were on the ground at a local hospital where opposition media claimed victims of a ‘chemical attack’ were being treated.

        The men, whose faces could be seen in a video spread by opposition media regarding the alleged April 7 Douma chemical attack, said that panic at the hospital began after an unknown individual began shouting about a chemical attack as the victims of a residential building which had been hit by a bomb were being brought in for treatment.

        Russian MoD Briefing: Syrian Eyewitnesses Reveal How Douma Provocation Was Made

    • Russia: UK and White Helmets fabricated Douma chemical attack – MoD

      Russian Ministry of Defence Chief Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov accused the UK of preparing the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Douma, during a briefing in Moscow on Friday.

      According to Konashenkov, London provided the White Helmets with information that the Jaysh al-Islam militants were to perform airstrikes in Damascus between April 3 and 6.

      The militant’s attack would then trigger a response from Syrian government forces, which the White Helmets were to use “to maintain the provocation with the so-called chemical weapons.”

      Konashenkov noted that all of the Western countries’ allegations are based on footage from a Douma hospital, where the victims of the alleged chemical attack were brought.

      “We managed to find those who are pictured in this footage and to question them,” Konashenkov said.

  15. CNN – Nikki Haley slams Russia at UN Security Council meeting

    US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the UN Security Council that we should condemn Russia for stopping at nothing to defend the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons.

  16. reuters – U.S. has proof Syria carried out chemical weapons attack: State Department

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has proof at “a very high level of confidence” that the Syrian government carried out the recent chemical weapons attack in Douma but is still working to identify the mix of chemicals used, the State Department said on Friday.

    “We can say that the Syrian government was behind the attack,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a briefing. Asked if the United States had proof of that, she said, “Yes.”

    Nauert said a team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons would arrive in Syria on Saturday to collect evidence.

    cbs news – State Dept: “Very high level of confidence” Syria behind chemical attack

    The U.S. State Department said Friday that it has proof that Syria was behind the alleged gas attack that left more than 40 civilians dead in Douma last week. Heather Nauert, a department spokesperson, said officials are still trying to determine what kind of chemical was used in the attack.

    She said there was a “very high-level of confidence” that Syria was behind the attack.

    “We believe we know who was responsible for this. We will still wait — the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will still formulate its facts and its findings, but it does not determine the responsibility, they determine the substance,” Nauert said Friday.

    This is a developing story and will be updated.

    US House Veterans Slam Trump Tweets on Syria

  17. zero hedge – Watch: Former Head Of British Armed Forces In Iraq Tells Truth About Syria, Is Cut Off By Sky News

    While every politician in the world and their mainstream media lackeys are chomping at the bit to “unleash hell” on Assad and Syria, there are some that are willing to question the “Assad chemically attacked his own people and needs to be punished” narrative.

    Liberty Blitzkrieg’s Mike Krieger scoffed at the idea of Assad gassing his own people…

    “When your enemy is nearly defeated, and final victory is at hand; gas your own people so that nations greater than yours will intervene and destroy you.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War (Page: Never!)

    Ron Paul thinks its “nonsense”…

    “The way the people that perpetuate these false flags [sic] say that Assad is gassing his own people, at the same time, he’s winning the war and the people are flocking back in to go to the territories that he has returned to the government of Syria,” explained Paul.

    “But, nevertheless, he’s out there gassing his own people, which makes no sense whatsoever and fewer and fewer people are believing this.”

    “This whole idea that all of a sudden Assad’s gassing his own people, I think, is total nonsense.”

    And RT spoke about the Russian claims with Lord Alan West, a retired officer of the British Royal Navy. He said he had strong reservations about taking allegations against Damascus at face value, because it didn’t make much military sense.

    “It seems to be utterly ludicrous for the military that is in the process of taking over an area to go and do something with chemical weapons, which will draw the wrath of the larger enemy down upon them,” he said.

    “If I was advising the opponents of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, I would be delighted to kill a few people there. <strong
    Let’s face it, [the insurgents] don’t care if they kill women and children.”

    “I am not willing to accept tweets. We need to see incontrovertible truth about what has happened there and make a decision on that basis,” he added.

    But, to confirm the fact that the propaganda-pushed ‘Assad-is-bad’ narrative is all that is allowed, when General Jonathan Shaw, the former Commander of British Armed Forces in Iraq, dares to go ‘off script’ while being interviewed by Sky News, he is abruptly cut off…

    Here’s what General Shaw was saying before he was so rudely interrupted…

    “…the debate that seems to be missing from all this – and this was mentioned by the [Russian] ambassador – is what possible motive might Syria have to launch a chemical attack at this time and in this place…

    The Syrians are winning, don’t take my word for it, take the American military’s word for it. General Vogel, the head of CENTCOM, said to Congress the other day that ‘Assad has won this war and we need to face that’, and the tweet by Trump last week that ‘America had finished with ISIS and were going to pull out very soon’…

    and then suddenly you get these accusations of a chemical attack…”

    CUT OFF…

    The message is clear – stick to the script, or get cut off!


  18. MoA – Syria – Manipulated Videos Fail To Launch World War III

    It seems to me that World War III has been called off – for now. Sanity prevailed over a stampede of warmongering which erupted after dubious but well timed claims of a ‘chemical attack’ in Syria.

    […]Here are videos of that hospital scenes from the ‘rebel’ propaganda outlets. The ‘treatment’ by the ‘rebels’, dousing with water and administering some asthma spray, is unprofessional and many of the ‘patients’ seem to have no real problem. It is theater. The real medical personal is seen in the background working on a real patient.

    The people in the video scenes were “rent-a-mob” actors[…]

    […]Cause of the recent panic were a few videos by several propaganda outlets associated with Takfiri ‘rebels’ in Ghouta. These videos immediately looked staged to me. Yes, they showed dead people – mainly children – in a basement or apartment. But the bodies were not in the place where they had died and were probably not, as was claimed, killed by chemical weapons.

    more :

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