Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 20, 2017

Chlorine, Not Sarin, Was Used In The Khan Sheikhun Incident

Those who blame the Syrian government for the allegedly chemical incident in Khan Sheikhun on April 4 are now playing up the analysis of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). But the results of the OPCW tests are inconsistent with all observed and reported technical and medical facts of the incident.

Yesterday the OPCW Director General Ambassador Üzümcü, a Turkish career diplomat and former Turkish ambassador to NATO,  released the first analytic results of the OPCW investigation into the Khan Sheikhun incident:

The bio-medical samples collected from three victims during their autopsy were analysed at two OPCW designated laboratories. The results of the analysis indicate that the victims were exposed to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance. Bio-medical samples from seven individuals undergoing treatment at hospitals were also analysed in two other OPCW designated laboratories. Similarly, the results of these analyses indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance.

Director-General Üzümcü stated clearly: “The results of these analyses from four OPCW designated laboratories indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance.

"Sarin or Sarin-like substance" is noted three times a row. Sarin is also mentioned in the headline. The OPCW director is pushing that meme - hard.

But the OPCW did not conclude that a chemical attack occurred in Khan Sheikhun. It suggested nothing about the incident itself. It only talked about bio-medical samples of several persons - nothing more, nothing less. It also did not give any hint of how much exposure the persons in question received. Was it a minimal traceable amount that had no effect on them or did they die from it? The OPCW does not say.

The Russian foreign ministry claims that "western" powers within the OPCW block a full-scale investigation of the incident.

The "sarin like substances" the OPCW mentions could be a different chemical weapon than sarin - soman is a possible candidate. It would be more consistent with the "smell" several witnesses described after the incident (Sarin is odorless). Many general insecticides belong to the same class of chemicals as sarin and soman. They are all organophosphorus compounds. (Sarin was originally developed as an insecticide). All of such compounds could be a source of the exposure found by the OPCW. These chemicals degrade within hours or days. A forensic analysis will not find the original substance but only decomposition products of some organophosporus compound. That is the reason why the OPCW result is not fixed on sarin but also mentions "sarin like substances".

Another question is where those samples come from. Who "collected" them? When? Where? And what is the chain of evidence that connects the samples to the incident? The OPCW has not send an investigation team to Khan Sheikhun. No samples were taken in Khan Sheikhun by its own inspectors. While Russia and Syria have asked for OPCW inspections on the ground, Tahrir al-Sham, the renamed al-Qaeda in Syria which controls the Khan Sheikhun area, has not asked for inspectors. Without its agreement any investigation mission is perceived as too dangerous. None of the OPCW inspectors is interested in literally losing his head to those terrorists.

Al-Qaeda propaganda organizations in Khan Sheikhun were the first to claim that sarin was used on the ground. "Western" media and governments later repeated those claims before any further investigations could have been done. The very first claim I found was made by the former British doctor Shajul Islam who works for the terrorists. This video of him of "doctors "and "patients" in an emergence room in Khan Sheikhun is pure theater, taken over a longer time period. The main presenter, Shajul Islam, is a well-known criminal Takfiri with links to the British secret service. He talks of sarin even though the "patients" around him show no signs of sarin effects and the emergency personal in the video is unprotected against potent chemical agents.

A White House assessment later claimed that it had evidence that sarin was used. It used the claim to justify the bombing of the Syrian military airport Al Syairat. But the White House assessment contains no evidence. It includes a number of factually false statements. It claims, for example:

]T]he World Health Organization stated on April 5 that its analysis of victims of the attack in Syria showed the had been exposed to nerve agents

The WHO report from April 5 stated no such thing. It only noted:

[S]erious reports of the use of highly toxic chemicals in an attack in Khan Shaykhun

It WHO made no analysis of its own. It only mentions "reports".

Immediately after the incident, bodies of dead and wounded were brought to Turkey where they were taken into hospital. Al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda aligned personal must have transported them. It is a three hour car ride from Khan Sheikhun to the Turkish border.

The incident happened on April 4. First reports on that day by the Turkish government news agency Anadolu mentioned only chlorine:

At least 100 people were killed Tuesday when Assad regime warplanes carried out a chlorine gas attack in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, according to Syrian opposition Health Minister Firas Jundi.
...
A local civil defense official earlier told Anadolu Agency a regime aircraft carried out a chlorine gas attack on the town early Tuesday.

The first OPCW statement on April 4 referred to chlorine, not sarin or similar:

The OPCW is investigating the incident in southern Idlib under the on-going mandate of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), which is “to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic”.

The first report of the Turkish government also said chlorine. The UN Security Council convened on April 6 to discuss the incident. The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported:

Turkey sent a report to the United Nations just before a U.N. Security Council meeting to address accusations that the Syrian government staged a chemical weapons attack on April 4, stating that the gas used in the attack was chlorine gas.

Turkey’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear teams (KBRN) prepared an initial report over the possible material of the alleged chemical attack, relying on the symptoms of and tests conducted on the victims and their testimonies.

The report stated that the initial findings of the tests conducted on around 30 victims brought to Turkey for treatment pointed to a chlorine gas attack.

Thirty victims were immediately brought to Turkey after the incident. But the Turkish doctors and CBRN specialist did not consider sarin, but chlorine gas -a much less potent chemical- to be involved. (Chlorine is not designated a chemical weapon under the chemical warfare regulations. This fact is often obfuscated for propaganda reasons. ) The symptoms of chlorine ingestion and the effects of sarin exposure are quite different. It is extremely unlikely that the emergency doctors and chemical weapon specialists misdiagnosed the issue when the patients arrived and were taken care of. The 30 casualties arriving in Turkey were not the casualties of a sarin incident.

But then the Turkish Health Ministry started to tell a different story:

The poison used in the deadly chemical bomb attack in a rebel-held part of northern Syria this week was the banned nerve agent sarin, the Turkish Health Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
...
“According to the results of preliminary tests,” the statement said, “patients were exposed to chemical material (Sarin).”
...
The Turkish statement did not elaborate on how the sarin had been identified in the assault on Tuesday, but it said some of the telling symptoms seen in the victims included “lung edema, increase in lung weight and bleeding in lungs.”

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Emergency Response Database:

At high exposure levels, irritation of the upper respiratory tract and accumulation of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) contribute to a sensation of choking.

But that is from the CDC entry for chlorine.

The CDC entry for sarin mentions "fluid accumulation in the airways" as one symptom among many more conspicuous ones. It does not mention an edema in the lungs.

Contradicting the first Turkish reports the Turkish Health Ministry claimed "sarin" (in parenthesis?!). But the symptom it described as proof was not of sarin but of chlorine exposure.

The Turkish Justice Minister also made a statement, but did not mention sarin at all:

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters that "Autopsies were carried out on three of the bodies after they were brought from Idlib. The results of the autopsy confirms that chemical weapons were used," quoted by state-run Anadolu news agency.

"This scientific investigation also confirms that Assad used chemical weapons," Bozdag added, without giving further details.
...
Bozdag said autopsies were conducted with the "participation" of officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) in the southern province of Adana together with officials from Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

But WHO immediately countered Bozdag's claims that it was involved in the postmortem, saying the organisation did not conduct autopsies, adding: "It is not our mandate."
...
[It] also stressed that no samples or swabs had been taken by WHO despite claims by the Adana prosecutor that "examples" had been sent to the organisation and the OPCW.

The Justice Minister claimed that samples had been given to the WHO and OPCW from the very first autopsies. But the WHO clearly denies that. I find no OPCW statement on this. Did it receive any of those first samples or only some that were later produced by Turkish authorities?

In 2013 a Turkish court, under Justice Minister Bozdag, set one suspected Ahrar al Sham member free after he was caught with sarin precursors. The person was later sentenced in absentia as he had fled back to Syria. Ahrar al Sham, while not in charge, has a presence in Khan Sheikhun.

The neuroscientist and neuro-pharmacologist Denis O'Brien, a Ph.D. with a research and teaching career in that field, analyzed the symtoms of the casualties that were depicted in the various videos coming out of Khan Sheikhun. His detailed diagnostics and chemical-biological explanations are humorously titled Top Ten Ways to Tell When You're Being Spoofed by a False-Flag Sarin Attack.

O'Brian notes the total absence of feces, urine, vomit and cyanosis (turning blue) in the videos. Sarin exposure causes, according to the CDC database, "Nausea, vomiting (emesis), diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping." Sarin effected patients would spontaneously shit, pee and vomit all over. But the casualties in the videos, even the "dead" ones, have clean undies. The "clinic" in the videos has clean floors. The patients show red skin color, not oxygen deprived blue. The patients in the videos were not effected by sarin.

Medical personal and rescue workers in the videos (example) and pictures also show none of the typical sarin symptoms. Sarin degrades relatively fast. Half of the potency will be gone within five hours after release (depending on environmental factors). But these rescue workers and medical personal were immediately involved with the casualties. They do not wear any reasonable protection. They would have been dead or at least effected if sarin would have been involved in any relevant concentration.

The Turkish doctors and chemical weapon specialists who received the first patients diagnosed chlorine exposure, not sarin. The first news and Turkish reports to the UN speak of chlorine, not sarin. It is only the Turkish Health Minister who mentions sarin - in parentheses, but then lists a symptom of severe chlorine exposure as one of sarin. Neither the casualties nor the unprotected medical personal involved in the incident show any effect of sarin exposure. The only one who claimed "sarin" early on was an al-Qaeda alligend former doctor in a staged propaganda video.

Fifteen days after the incident the OPCW say that samples (it was given?) "indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance".

Turkey has been the supply and support lifeline for Ahrar al Sham as well as for al-Qaeda in Syria. The samples given to the OPCW were taken by Turkish personal in Turkey. The current head of the OPCW is a Turkish civil servant. It is in the interest of Turkey and its terrorist clients in Syria to blame the Syrian government for chemical weapon use.

The medical and technical evidence is not consistent with a sarin attack by the Syrian government. All of the videos and pictures of the incident were taken in al-Qaeda controlled territory. All witnesses were under al-Qaeda control. How much of the incident was staged for videos (see al-Qaeda doctor video linked above) or how many of the witnesses were told to lie is not testable under current circumstance. The Syrian government insist that it had given up all its chemical weapons and keeps no stocks. The Russian government also asserts that no chemical weapon attack took place.

The OPCW analysis may well have found that samples it received indicated some organophosphorus exposure. But the chain of evidence for these samples is very dubious. The amount of exposure was not defined.

The observable facts of the incident do not support the conclusion that sarin was present in the Khan Sheikhun incident.

Note: Part of the above is based on the work and tweets of Ali Ornek

Posted by b on April 20, 2017 at 03:26 PM | Permalink

Comments

What in the world do facts have to do with it?

Posted by: Sneed | Apr 20, 2017 3:59:29 PM | 1

Nice report. Although facts didn't matter with the incubator babies, Benghazi black mercenaries, WMD, ... it's good to set the record straight for those who are interested in the truth. It also proves again and again that big party politicians and main stream media are a bunch of whoring liars.

Posted by: xor | Apr 20, 2017 4:21:49 PM | 2

The Foreign minister of France is promising to release supposedly 'undeniable evidence' of Assad's involvement in the sarin gas attack.

http://www.newstalk.com/France-to-release-evidence-Assad-ordered-chemical-attack

There's a slight chance that this might be the radio intercept the Israeli's claim to have.

(Hint, easily faked)

Posted by: wwinsti | Apr 20, 2017 5:09:04 PM | 3

Oh I do believe the bodies will show sarin.. But they would be christian or alawite bodies.. Just like the bodies shown in ghouta who were kidnapped victims of al queda.

Who is going to verify the bodies are actual people and who they say they are.. In many decades of knowing multi racial couples I have never seen blonde white babies as shows in al queda photos. No woman would be stupid enough to go live in such freedom loving hell hole like idlib unlike kids who think screwing dozens of jihadis are actually fun.

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Apr 20, 2017 5:28:52 PM | 4

Today, TASS published a rather damning article aimed at the OPCW, http://tass.com/world/942326

The Swedish Doctors for Human Rights whose text and video were used at the UNSC presentation on the topic report: "The response of Western media journalists have also in occasions taken a bizarre, seemingly desperate character ... Le Figaro indulges in a series of libellous statements ad-hominem against the messenger of the objective research-conclusions they dislike," which is a sure sign the Doctors are correct, http://theindicter.com/libellous-attack-by-mainstream-journalists-angered-by-swedhr-denounce-of-unethical-anti-syria-propaganda/

The Indicter also published a witness account of the big refugee massacre bombing, testifying that at least 4 Turkish ambulances were on-site prior to the explosion, were filled with the children's bodies and took them away, probably for their organs. Canthama at SyrPers observes: "There is a REAL RISK of children organ trafficking, this has been a very common sad aspect of the war of aggression against the Syrians, many children and adults (thousands) were kidnaped and had their organs removed in Turkey and either for use inside Turkey or shipped to terrorist friendly UK, France, Germany, US, KSA, Qatar and Israhell. The UN is well aware of this illegal trade and crime, but as usual double standard is applied as if Syrians are no humans."
[sic]

Putin was right to publicly announce the "attack" to be a False Flag, and it looks ever more likely the Turkish government played a role and is complicit in a number of other Syria related crimes of the most vilest.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20, 2017 5:29:07 PM | 5

Igor @4--

I wanted to post the Javad Zarif‏ statement you posted at SyrPers because of its strong condemnation of the Outlaw US Empire's alliance with terrorists, but it's not yet listed at the Iranian Foreign Ministry's website. Perhaps you could post a link to where you found it?

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20, 2017 5:33:27 PM | 6

karlof1 5

The white helmet actor that played the part of father of twins in the bombing very quickly appeared for photo shoot with Erdogan. Also Bana the seven year old tweeting from Aleppo, who miraculously escaped Aleppo and then appeared for photo shoot with Erdogan.
It seems Turkey does play a very direct role, Erdogan personally, working directly with AQ.
Not forgetting the direct links between Erdogan and the ISIS oil convoys.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 20, 2017 5:40:50 PM | 7

@4 Bodies Igor? You'll never know who they were or where they came from. You think some human rights group is going to Idlib to dig them up?

Posted by: dh | Apr 20, 2017 5:41:52 PM | 8

the us election was hacked! => the russians are coming! => assad gasses his own people!

all have in common their shrill hysteria and faith-based appeal. they are diammetrically opposed to reality. but the people who want us to believe this nonsense will not be denied! the people who want us all to believe include all the western trans-national corporate mainstream media and, of course, the minority neo-cons for whom they shill.

this shrill minority is bent on continuing their terrorism in syria, ukraine, libya and elsewhere. the governments of the us/nato/eu and their gcc/il proxies comprise the early 21st-century axis of evil. they will be defeated by the alliance of the rest of the countries of the world free of their dominion as the 21st-century unfolds, but their horrid reign of death, devastation, destruction, and deceit around the world, and in ukraine and mena especially, will live on in infamy, just as has that of the third reich and its axis.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 20, 2017 5:49:11 PM | 9

thanks b, for articulating what the msm will not.. it doesn't serve there bosses agenda.

look, when someone is going for your jugular, it is a case of surviving however you can.. the west is like a heroin addict looking for it's next fix. the fix is making war openly, and if they can't do that - silently.. the msm is just a stooge for them at this point..

as for the turk throwing this out - if he hasn't gotten a promotion from king erdogan yet, i would be surprised.. what an embarrassment the turk establishment is at this point.. that means they will be used more by the west and i do wonder what this means for the turkey relationship with russia and iran at this point..

Posted by: james | Apr 20, 2017 6:00:10 PM | 10

already looks questionable when there is no chain of custody, no samples taken from the site, and no samples from the air force base that was attacked.

Posted by: Toxik | Apr 20, 2017 6:58:50 PM | 11

james @10--

It may take awhile, but Erdogan and the Turks will experience blowback in a big way when the SAA and allies push the terrorists back over the border into Turkey. Hard to fathom what Putin and Lavrov think about Erdogan at this point as little is being written or said, other than the MoD's statement on the OPCW report covered by the TASS link above and Putin's call regarding the election victory on the 18th about which little was said, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54330 And unfortunately, the remarks by Russia's OPCW rep are fully posted at the Foreign Affairs Ministry's website, although they will sometime, http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2732765

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20, 2017 7:00:22 PM | 12

re: the "Blonde" babies, it looks like peroxide...or perhaps super-strong chlorine. Too orange/yellow to be real. Also the "father" isn't one of those light-eyed Syrians iykwim.

What really clinched it for me though was the video of the already-dead children, showing no signs of chemical poisoning, lined up in a row to be filmed. As the cell phone camera panned over them, the guy realizes one of their heads is lolled to the side, not facing the camera. Instead of simply repositioning the head, he slaps it into place, very roughly.

These dead are not mourned by the living who were there to document the event.

Posted by: sejomoje | Apr 20, 2017 7:21:02 PM | 13

The word of the day is "organ donors".

Posted by: sejomoje | Apr 20, 2017 7:23:01 PM | 14

RUSSIAN MOD AGREES: IDLIB GAS ATTACK WAS #SYRIAHOAX

The Russian Ministry of Defence has changed their position on the "sarin gas attack" in Khan Sheikhoun. They now agree with what has been the ACLOS working hypothesis: the White Helmets staged the event and murdered the children.

Meanwhile, the number of unbiased experts, especially from western countries, asking these obvious questions increases every day.

These specialists cannot explain how representatives of the White Helmets managed to work for such a long period of time and remain alive without gasmasks and special protection equipment.

All doubts of professionals prove that the storm of accusations made by western politicians, who had ‘assigned the guilty’ without elementary inspection and objective investigation, is unsubstantiated.

This change may be the result of this section of the "News of the Week" program on Rossiya 1 TV on Sunday. The Westerners interviewed:

  • Theodore Postol
  • Rick Sterling
  • Peter Ford
  • Bernd Biedermann (German Air Defense Colonel)
  • Marcello Ferrada de Noli

A friend of mine was actually also interviewed over Skype, but he does not appear on the program.

***

I was the first in 2013 to propose that only chlorine, not sarin was involved in the Ghouta chemical weapons incident. Soon afterward chlorine started to be used in most rebel gas attacks.

I have been going through the alleged video evidence. It looks as if Khan Sheikhoun is like Ghouta. Hostages were gassed in some confined space.

The evidence strongly indicates the "gas attack" or incident happened at the White Helmets compound. Victims are taken out but there is no evidence of anyone brought in for treatment. We also know that alleged chlorine victims from al-Lataminah were brought to the White Helmets cave the previous day, April 3rd. Video shows dead victims carried out of what appears to be the hazmat area inside the cave complex on the morning of April 4th. Zombified victims are then taken on a tour of nearby towns and hospitals.

There are some military or al-Nusra types in camo pants that may have overall control of the complex, but the White Helmets were clearly involved in the staging part of the operation.


Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 20, 2017 7:56:40 PM | 15

Only Chlorine, Not Sarin, Involved In The Khan Sheikhun Incident

at
this
point
what
difference
does
it
maketh

assad is the new
hitler
like gaddaffi
and hussein
before them.
even hitler never used
sarin gasses
on the poor babies.
evil doers
must be trialed or mossadicked
the empire of the city of london and tel avivers everywheres must pizzacum together
need to demands president kushner ivanka chabad and terry may man of london
and the wee man nicola sturgeon dicklet.
a coalition of the transgenderisers for a new kosher nurenburghers kafka trials
my life already.


what is said was done in the past
that is what was goy processed
at this point calling it chlorine now
only confuses the medicated.
let us stick to sarin for ease of bbc histories

Posted by: charlie drakes | Apr 20, 2017 9:06:44 PM | 16

@12 karlof1.. thanks. i suppose we will see soon enough.. thanks for those links outlining the russian viewpoint.

@15 petri.. thanks for sharing your view. over at sst, a david habakkuk used the ghouta false flag in a paper he wrote over a good week ago and offered an update about a week ago here.. you have probably read it, but if not - worth reviewing as it coincides with some of your view here..

Posted by: james | Apr 20, 2017 9:28:34 PM | 18

the bottom line on the turkish 'OPCW' report : 'it talked about bio-medical samples - nothing more, nothing less'. but it give a goose to those who want to or who must believe the white house hoax. it is a cynical, despicable non-event to everyone else.

tee-rump - who loves babies - is supporting their murder for propaganda films by al-cia-duh.

but hey, it's just a deal he had to make to get the same murderous cia, the dnc, and the tnc-msm off his rump. and it worked like a charm, didn't it? hey, ya can't argue with success.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 20, 2017 9:50:29 PM | 19

Theodore Postol's analysis is posted at Global Research. From his analysis:

-------------------

.

Analysis using weather data from the time of the attack shows that a small hamlet about 300 m to the east southeast of the crater could be the only location affected by the alleged nerve agent release. The hamlet is separated from the alleged release site (a crater) by an open field. The winds at the time of the release would have initially taken the sarin across the open field. Beyond the hamlet there is a substantial amount of open space and the sarin cloud would have had to travel long additional distance for it to have dissipated before reaching any other population center.

Video taken on April 4 shows that the location where the victims were supposedly being treated from sarin exposure is incompatible with the only open space in the hamlet that could have been used for mass treatment of victims. This indicates that the video scenes where mass casualties (dead and dying) were laid on the ground randomly was not at the hamlet. If the location where the bodies were on the ground was instead a site where the injured and dead were taken for processing, then it is hard to understand why bodies were left randomly strewn on the ground and in mud as shown in the videos.

The conclusion of this summary of data is obvious – the nerve agent attack described in the WHR did not occur as claimed. There may well have been mass casualties from some kind of poisoning event, but that event was not the one described by the WHR.

Posted by: woogs | Apr 20, 2017 10:17:55 PM | 20

You can pretty much bet that the environmental samples from the impact crater will test positive for sarin consistent with Assad's stockpile. That will be the cherry on top for another Oscar-deserving production.

Those dead from sarin were not "exposed" , they were murdered. Aside from the 20 or so from a single family , it appears that the bulk of the dead were not residents :

" No one knows for sure the exact death toll, because some of the dead were refugees from the neighbouring province of Hama who sought shelter here, and their relatives took them home for burial." ( For "refugees" , read "captives". )

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/08/syria-town-mourning-chemical-attack

The now-rockstar "man with twins" who lost 19 , 20 , 22 , or 25 family members , depending on who was counting , is named Abdul Hamid al-Yousef , and is shown here ( in checked shirt ) with Erdogan at the hospital in Turkey:

http://ap.mnocdn.no/images/abb8daee-2103-4957-9867-baa2836e9544?fit=crop&q=80&w=980

To me , he appears awfully similar to the guy against the wall at the back of the room in this earlier picture depicting one of the regular McCain/terrorists strategy sessions :

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/130527175644-mccainsyria-story-top.jpg

If that is Mr. Man-with-Twins with McCain , I think he's going to be one very wealthy man when this is all over with.

Posted by: Marko | Apr 21, 2017 12:04:12 AM | 21

As expected... cheap.. clumsy false flag... Imagine, it just takes one anonymous guy to call or text a poor lad from anywhere on the planet. The poor lad should have been serving his time in prison but got freed in advance, he was known for radicalization (it seems he read Le Pen's programme), and was supposedly under surveillance. He jumped in his car and shot on a group of cops. He chose a famous touristic place otherwise the media might have ignored it. So clever, he decided to go right at the time of the last presidential 'interviews' (it was not a debate; debating is not popular in France anymore, it is now interviews with journalists patronizing you all the time). Everybody knows that cops watch presidential programmes more than football.
And now the GI-journos talk about France having proofs of the attack and 'that it is the military intelligence who has them', trying to sound serious.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 21, 2017 2:50:07 AM | 22

Director-General Üzümcü stated clearly: “The results of these analyses from four OPCW designated laboratories indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance."

Demonstrating, beyond reasonable doubt, that the OPCW is a lazy, careless, NATO bullshit & drivel laboratory - not a forensic science laboratory...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 21, 2017 4:52:40 AM | 23

The original statement of doctors without borders is still valid.

A number of victims of the April 4 attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun were brought to the hospital, located about 60 miles to the north, near the Turkish border. Eight people who were examined by MSF staff displayed symptoms consistent with exposure to an agent such as sarin gas or similar compounds, including constricted pupils, muscle spasms and involuntary defecation.

The MSF team provided drugs and antidotes to treat patients, and distributed protective clothing to medical staff in the hospital's emergency room.

MSF medical teams also visited other hospitals treating victims of the attack, and reported that they smelled of bleach, indicative of possible exposure to chlorine.

These reports strongly suggest that victims of the attack on Khan Sheikhoun were exposed to at least two different chemical agents.

Or similar compounds can be a pesticide.

The official US statement mentions Doctors without Borders with sarin (sarin-like) but not with chlorine. This alone shows intent to twist fact.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 21, 2017 5:52:20 AM | 24

Gareth Porter seems to be currently investigating the possibility that Phosphene gas is actually the substance used in most of the supposed "Sarin" incidents in Syria: https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/scotthortonshow/41417-gareth-porter-new-evidence-trump-administrations-syrian-gas-attack-assertions/

He also says this gas is lethal only in confined spaces. He mentions 20+ people said to be from one family and said to have died while in a basement. I note that this would also be consistent with the Khattab kidnapping theory as the source of victims, though Porter doesn't mention that angle in this connection.

One of the commenters above suggests that the victims may turn out to be Christian or Alewite. I would say, not necessarily. Anything known about the confessional make up of Khattab?

Lizzie Phelan of RT reported finding the ingredients for phosphene gas (when mixed with water) in East Aleppo in December: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOaHW3BcI1c

Posted by: Norumbega | Apr 21, 2017 6:37:39 AM | 25

Great piece B, ripping this storyline apart... some form you're in of late. These fukkers couldn't even stage a shag in a brothel, yet still winning oscars... The mass dumbing down of the west is complete.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 21, 2017 6:49:36 AM | 26

The UK's UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft had this to say on the Chemical weapons attack...
Syria chemical attack: Sarin gas was used in Khan Sheikhoun strike, says UK ambassador to UN

'The United Kingdom therefore shares the US assessment that it is highly likely that the regime was responsible for a sarin attack'[The Independent].
This Asshole was also responsible for a memo sent regarding Iraqi WMD.

The memo includes discussion of a "shift of attitude" in the Bush administration which made it appear that at this point, while the public was still being told that Iraq could avoid an invasion by agreeing to abide by UN resolutions,

"Military action was now seen as inevitable."

Furthermore, the memo went on to state,

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."
The moral of the story is, all propaganda and intelligence is only usefull if it matches POLICY.

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 21, 2017 7:19:22 AM | 27

One can exclude the use of Sarin (http://logophere.com/Topics2017/17-04/17_017-BLA-Sarin.htm). The facts are: The victims have been poisoned but under no circumstances by Sarin or any other organophosphate neurotoxin, one can exclude a aerial attack as cause, the "treatment" of the victims is more show business than any application of professional health care or minimum safety provisions for the "helpers", and the answer to "who benefits" is crystal clear.

Posted by: Kassandra | Apr 21, 2017 7:19:35 AM | 28

somebody 24

Doctors without borders staff do not enter AQ held Syria as far as I know. They do send medical supplies/aid in through Turkey.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 21, 2017 8:11:55 AM | 29

Marko @21

Good eyes!

They do look like the same person.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 21, 2017 8:30:27 AM | 30

Jackrabbit@30 and Marko@21 There are several face recognition systems https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facial_recognition_system Is it possible to utilize one for a definite match. It does look like the same person.This does seem very important.

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 21, 2017 9:15:30 AM | 31

Are there people from Khatab who recognice victems?
This is a part of an article on Almasdaar news by Leith Fadel -
04/04/2017
The jihadist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and Jaysh Al-‘Izza kidnapped the inhabitants of Khattab in northern Hama before fleeing the village this past weekend, a family member of the kidnapped told Al-Masdar News on Tuesday.
....
“Some people in Khattab decided to stay when jihadists entered…so their houses wouldn’t get looted,” the family member added.
“But the jihadists then took them all to Khan Sheikhoun,” he concluded.

Posted by: Harrie van der Haghen | Apr 21, 2017 9:36:31 AM | 32

@ harrylaw 27

UK & US are so confident –with great certainty that sarin was used – why is the OPCW being blocked for on-site probe?

OPCW’s block of on-site probe shows Western powers now aiming to oust Assad – Lavrov

https://www.rt.com/news/385515-lavrov-opcw-mission-syria-blocked/


The attempt by Western countries to derail Russia’s fact-finding initiative in Syria to examine the site of the chemical incident in Idlib province exposes their aim to topple the Syrian government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

I believe that it’s a very serious situation, because now it’s obvious that false information about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government is being used to move away from implementing Resolution 2254, which stipulates a political settlement with the participation of all the Syrian parties, and aims to switch to the long-cherished idea of regime change,” Lavrov said,
speaking at a press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Astana.

UNSC Resolution 2254 calls for an inclusive government in Syria and a peace process that would involve a new constitution and free and fair elections.
According to the minister, the decision displayed “complete incompetence” on the part of his Western colleagues, who, in fact, are “prohibiting the OPCW from sending their experts to the site of the incident, as well as to the airfield from where aircraft loaded with chemical weapons allegedly flew out.”

“Yesterday [April 20], our proposal that experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] visit the sites of the suspected chemical attack in Syria was blocked by Western delegations without any explanations,” Lavrov said.

(bold emphasis added)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

These people are evil. It's for the profit$$$.

Posted by: likklemore | Apr 21, 2017 9:42:14 AM | 33

OPCW describes the use of spiked CW samples to test the analysis systems of various forensic laboratories at:

https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/SAB/en/sab-19-01_e_.pdf

That means there is a common body of knowledge on how to spike a sample in a way that the will produce a very convincing result when analysed by participating OPCW laboratories (or any other lab)

The odds of a Turkish CW forensic lab not knowing how to spike a sample with Sarin / byproducts is infinitesimal.

Posted by: Charles Wood | Apr 21, 2017 9:54:31 AM | 34

Qatari hunting party freed in Iraq
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39669501
Mattis and chemicals
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39668313

Posted by: Mina | Apr 21, 2017 9:57:25 AM | 35

It would not be the first time jihadists used prisoners for gas attack victims.
There was such a case in Aleppo.

Posted by: Harrie van der Haghen | Apr 21, 2017 9:58:51 AM | 36

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 21, 2017 8:11:55 AM | 29

It is their website, their official statement, and they say they did.

You are right that there seems to be a distinction between own hospitals and hospitals 'supported by Doctors without Borders'

Anyway their claim that there were at least two chemical agents was picked up by the US with only one agent.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 21, 2017 10:05:07 AM | 37

add to 37

This is what they say:

MSF directly operates four health facilities in northern Syria and provides support to more than 150 health facilities in Syria.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 21, 2017 10:06:49 AM | 38

Why is it so inconceivable the Russians launched a preemptive attack on enemy chemical warfare munitions. Because they knew it would result in particularly large and horrific civilian casualties?

Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 21, 2017 10:21:02 AM | 39

somebody 37

Looking through the MSF site, it looks like in some cases as well as sending in medical equipment, they pay the wages of doctors and then refer to these sites as directly run by MSF, and other places were they just send supplies are termed supported.
MSF also referred to a Dr. Ahmad from Aleppo in one of their articles
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bana-alabed-syrian-girl-twitter-aleppo-safe-evacuation-aid-workers-say/

I haven't found any direct links between MSF and white helmets but when they quote people like the Dr Ahmad, MSF is obviously hooked into the AQ propaganda machine.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 21, 2017 10:37:30 AM | 40

Lavrov's new blunt talk about OPCW and the Invasion of Syria is rather damning and proves sTrumpet has worsened relations with Russia. Pile the lack of any condemnation by any NATO or GCC nation on the bus bomb attack atop and we're back to 2013. Here's the text of the statement given by Russia's OPCW representative that also contains some appropriate pointed language, http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2732765

Here's the press conference transcript that provides more info than the RT article linked above, http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2734712

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 21, 2017 11:15:46 AM | 41

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 21, 2017 10:37:30 AM | 40

MSF are legitimate, but connected to French foreign policy as founded by Bernard Kouchner.

The team was also among the first in the world to recognise how they could help shape public opinion through the enormous power of the media, a principle which helped change the nature of aid agency campaigning.

White helmets are British?

Anyway, MSF - Doctors without borders work in all conflict zones not just Syria. They got themselves bombed by the US in Afghanstan.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 21, 2017 11:18:26 AM | 42

likklemore@33 Thanks for that link. Lavrov.. "and [the West] aims to switch to the long-cherished idea of regime change,”, Thank goodness the Russians acknowledge what has been obvious for some time. They must now act on that fact by tooling themselves up, and the Syrian army, and treat the US and UK as the enemy they clearly are. You could not make this up the current Director General of the OPCW Ahmet Uzumcu is Turkish.

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 21, 2017 11:20:45 AM | 43

Sneed 1
In the WaPoo version of the story (Mattis w/Lieberman in Tel Aviv):
"Mattis did not provide any evidence to back up his claim." (that Syria still has chemical weapons)

We don't need evidence when we can use the magic words "we access."

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 21, 2017 11:21:18 AM | 44

Here's what Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif said yesterday, https://twitter.com/JZarif/status/855098010463875073

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 21, 2017 11:26:46 AM | 45

@somebody 42
Not only in Afghanistan - there almost seemed to be a concerted effort aimed at MSF facilities also in Yemen and elsewhere - which is part of the reason why they seem legit to me, so far.
It's a thin line, and anyone who pretends to be 'neutral' in a conflict region is a liar (maybe to himself, too).

@Marko 21
You don't seriously think such people are left alive 'when this is all over', do you?

Posted by: smuks | Apr 21, 2017 11:29:51 AM | 46

Finally, what difference does it make? A pretext is just a pretension that something is a justifying factor for an action to be taken. I am reminded of the Fable: Le loup et l'agneau from Jean de la Fontaine. Here the wolf is the West and Assad is the lamb. Or the french proverb: "qui veut tuer son chien l'accuse de rage." ( he who wants to kill his dog says he has rabies.)

North Korea has no peace treaty and has had no tranquility since the fifties. Japan is an enemy. South Korea has been turned into one by the United States. It is under duress and reacts exactly like a cornered animal. Trump want the NKorea "problem" solved, now.

Iran also has to be chastised. So says the West.

All these events lead to war, inexorably. He who tries to be reasonable is seen a traitor. It is like trying to resist a tsunami. The collective psyche is hell bent on taking "justified"action to punish whomever is the target of their ire and all those that stand by him. The lynching mob is ready for action.

What is important now is finding out what are the appropriate actions for survival? what can one expect of the eventual post war era?

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 21, 2017 11:32:52 AM | 47

Somebody 42

It is difficult to see where MSF stand. Some of their articles seem politicised. Perhaps they simply take the word of whoever they send money and supplies to at face value.
Also, on further checking the Dr Ahmad in the Bana article is most likely not the same Ahmad from Aleppo that MSF article referred to.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 21, 2017 11:34:45 AM | 48

My computer is having lots of difficulty both entering and looking around this site. Anyone else?

Posted by: Wisco Hillbilly | Apr 21, 2017 11:38:44 AM | 49

Trump, Mattis and Tillerson have their cassus belli if they decide to go after Assad. They care not a whit who perpetrated the attack or if it was completely staged. Remember Hans Blix, the UN chief inspector in Iraq in the lead-up to that debacle? He found no evidence of WMDs but Bush and Blair weren't buying it.

Not much difference with this incident at Khan Sheikhun. They will not back off their conclusion and, if they want, they will also conclude that the Russians were involved. Just have a listen to Tillerson's tirade about how Iran is about the worst damn actor in the whole world. One would think they were about to unleash the B2s. They're just establishing a case for whatever they decide to do.

Trump had his free kick at the cat with his Tomahawk raid. He got his bump in the polls and it took some heat off of his lamentable domestic record. He was advised that he shouldn't do it again and one can hope he or his minders are smart enough to realize that it might lead to a situation that's more than they care to handle with the assets they currently maintain in the ME. The tip off will be if they start a mass mobilization. So far they haven't.

Posted by: peter | Apr 21, 2017 12:09:58 PM | 50

me curtis 44
assess not access

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 21, 2017 12:12:09 PM | 51

@ HL 43 and All

Will someone give a shout out to the Western "leadership" and remind the Internet does not forget!! that they took credit for 100% destruction of Assad's chemical stockpile:

BBC

The destruction of the arsenal began on 6 October, overseen by the OPCW. On 31 October, the international watchdog confirmed that Syria's declared equipment for producing, mixing and filling chemical weapons had been destroyed.


WSJ
Removal of Chemical Weapons From Syria Is Completed-Chemicals Will Be Destroyed Aboard a U.S. Ship

All the dangerous substances from Syria's chemical weapons program, including sulfur mustard and precursors of sarin, have now been removed from the country after a months long process, a Hague-based watchdog agency said Monday.

Obama and Kerry in 2014:

Obama claimed 'all' of Syria's chemical weapons had been eliminated

LINK

President Obama, on Aug. 18, 2014: "Today we mark an important achievement in our ongoing effort to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction by eliminating Syria's declared chemical weapons stockpile."

Kerry on Oct. 31, 2014: "We ... cut the deal that got 100 percent of the declared chemical weapons out of Syria, and people nevertheless have been critical -- of one day of bombing versus the virtue of getting 100 percent of the chemical weapons out of Syria."

Kerry reiterated the accomplishment on Feb. 24, 2015, telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "We got, as you know, last year, all the chemical weapons out of Syria."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well, either you were incompetent then and or lying.


Posted by: likklemore | Apr 21, 2017 12:25:08 PM | 52

@39 steve johnson... yeah, and then why is it so inconceivable that al qaeda and friends are using chemical weapons??

Posted by: james | Apr 21, 2017 12:30:41 PM | 53

Vanessa Beeley reporting from Syria in UK Column News (UKC) she gave chilling detail accounts what really happens in Khan Sheikhun with Mike Robinson "allegedly chemical incident in Khan Sheikhun on April 4"

K Column News - 21st April 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX-oQbS1NE8

UKC Youtube main page

https://www.youtube.com/user/ukcolumn/videos

Posted by: OSJ | Apr 21, 2017 1:05:06 PM | 54

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 21, 2017 10:37:30 AM | 40
Posted by: somebody | Apr 21, 2017 11:18:26 AM | 42

MSF are often called on for "boots on the ground" new confirmation even opinions, for which they are are not immune to situational bias** (see also SOHR, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch) on the people (sources) around them who at this point, I think, because of extreme Government mistrust of Western funded entities, are more likely rebels-leaning. I have also wondered how dependent they are on the same "locals" for security, iow, they don't have the physical or social autonomy to do "investigative reporting" or necessarily even seek "other" opinions (nor is it in their "mission statement"). How would their "environment" and safety be altered if refused to comment or refuted the local narrative?

Much as Western news reporting is overly skewed by their interview pool of English speaking, well-educated, professional or government city dwellers. Same problem with relying on ex-pats for color or opinion or background.

Amnesty and HRW perceived "bias" was part of the demonization of Soros, when after 09/11 they relied more than ever on Soros funding (as donors dried up, as sympathy for all foreigners and "political prisoners" evaporated)

Chicken before or after egg? Intentional or situationally unavoidable? They say they do their best to stay neutral. That may be true and their "bias" is "situational"

http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/our-work/humanitarian-issues/armed-conflict

Posted by: susan_sunflower | Apr 21, 2017 1:11:20 PM | 55

While you watch Vanessa Beeley reporting from Syria in UK Column News (UKC) might as well watch yesterday Alex Thomson Insight Box - MPs clamouring to strip Mrs Assad of British citizenship are "posturing political pygmies" Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq2rAgfeqa4

Posted by: OSJ | Apr 21, 2017 1:13:26 PM | 56

oh, that said, statemenets made by the MSF (and HRW and other organizations) do parrot the "official government line" -- just like reports from "behind rebel lines" ... reports from Western capitols are generally intended to be "neutral" or at least inoffensive when neutrality is impossible. First Responder types tend to loathe the perpetrators of the violence they deal with ... police, Emergency Room staff, etc. Not obviously "political" but the bias is marked ... Government held areas in Syria and elsewhere may have less need of MSF ministration.

Posted by: susan_sunflower | Apr 21, 2017 1:36:04 PM | 57

@ likklemore | 52

As you and other commenters here surely know, this is a demonstration of the US/Western Hegemony's typical Orwellian newspeak/rewriting history.

In 2014, it served Team Obama's purposes to crow about, and take credit for, the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile.

But recently, the US political/military leaders embarked upon a new anti-Assad crusade with a fresh round of propagandistic skulduggery. In this new false flag effort, Syria's acknowledged "chemical-weapons free" status presented an insurmountable conflict to the claim that Assad/Syrian military forces had deployed chemical weapons.

Also, Team Trump's determination to undo or repudiate all of Obama's policies and decisions may have influenced the decision to upset the settled consensus that Syria's chemical weapons stocks had been eliminated.

So, as a sort of spiteful domestic-politics "bonus", challenging the premise that Syria's CW stocks had been safely removed and accounted retroactively discredited the Obama regime's handling of the issue.

Fortunately, from the perspective of the warped minds of the US consent-manufacturers, they've also been working hard, and to some degree successfully, at fomenting Russophobic hysteria.

So a "solution" to the dilemma presented itself: simply insinuate that, since it's supposedly "proven" that Assad's forces used chemical weapons-- why, Russia and the other guarantors of Syria's chemical-weapons removal must have lied or been criminally inept! That is, as Secretary of State Tillerson solemnly declared, Russia must be held responsible for Syria's illicit and illegal retention and use of these weapons.

So the inconvenient truth that Syria lacked the means for this heinous crime is simply declared to be "non-operational".

Such a transparent fraud is appalling and reprehensible to any discerning observer with two or more working brain cells. Unfortunately, the mendacious and depraved authorities who promote these Big Lies rely on the sad truth that so-called "healthy" skepticism and rational analysis/critical thinking has been greatly attenuated in the populace.

Posted by: Ort | Apr 21, 2017 1:51:19 PM | 58

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 21, 2017 11:34:45 AM | 48

They are between all the lines.

In Somalia, MSF was forced to run many operations by "remote control" because of the risk from Islamist fighters. In 2009, MSF was subjected to a 5% tax on the salary of all MSF employees by the al-Qaida linked al-Shabaab militia, not to mention "registration" costs of $10,000 (£6,300) per project, a $20,000 tax every six months and was told to dismiss all female employees.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 21, 2017 2:34:26 PM | 59

I'm thinking this is on topic. Bana the twitterer is an actor. One doesn't make the effort to secure a talent agent unless one is serious about their craft, which I'm sure her parents/guardians are. If you click on the link you can see the photo line up at Blair Agency (wonder if any relation to good ole Tony?).

7-Year-Old Professional Syrian Victim Has Same “Talent Agent” as JK Rowling…

Some people have said that 7-year-old Syrian Bana Alabed is a manufactured professional victim; intentionally created and marketed as a tool to manipulate public opinion.

Well, it would appear there is evidence in that regard. Well known left-wing advocate, JK Rowling, and Miss Bana Alabed share a talent and marketing agency:

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/04/19/7-year-old-professional-syrian-victim-has-same-talent-agent-as-jk-rowling/
____

Theordore Postol had the last word as it relates to Khan Sheikhun as far as I'm concerned. All other babble is just plain old noise. The cover up is so obvious at this point that it's sadly pathetic. But why the need for a cover up if the facts align with your 'high confidence' or 'certainty'?

Well, as we all know the U.S. violated international and domestic law when she fired those 59 Tomahawks toward the Syrian air base. Several servicemen and civilians were killed. At the time the order was given to fire off those missiles, all knew in the chain of command that they were knowingly breaking the law. All of them. They knowingly committed a war crimes. Period. This fact is what the establishment does not want discussed nor mentioned anywhere, and their wish is being granted. Nobody is writing about this unprovoked act of war other than Assad and Lavrov let alone filing the necessary paperwork in the Hague (yes, the U.S. has that body in the palm of its hands too).

It matters not one iota what happens in KS, Aleppo, Damascus, Raqqa, Iblib or wherever inside Syria as far as the United States should be concerned. The covert/overt actions the U.S. has led over the last decade+ inside Syria are WAR CRIMES, with the attack on the air base being the latest of many. The U.S. attacked a sovereign nation who posed/s no threat whatsoever to the U.S. or her miserable allies in the Middle East.

The U.S. should be held to account for violating the plethora of laws we violated, but we all know that will never be. And we all know this will happen again, and again and again...

The U.S. government will never willingly give up her hard earned title as The Mightiest Global Bully ever known to mankind. It's a winning strategy with trillions at stake that everyone in the world enables including American citizens.

The attack on the air base and the killing of the Syrian troops and civilians is the story b/c it is here the US war crime was clearly committed. As for KS? Just like all of the other false flags we've all witnessed over these last years in this area of the world, the facts will never be fully known. What we do know, however, is the FACT sarin was not used in this false flag event.

Posted by: h | Apr 21, 2017 3:09:03 PM | 60

I've sent an email to the Dutch foreign minister about the Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report by Professor Theodore A. Postol, because he was talking on television as if he had not read the report.

May be a good idea to write an email like that to politicians in your own country to be sure they know about the report.

Posted by: Harrie van der Haghen | Apr 21, 2017 4:51:52 PM | 61

"What we do know, however, is the FACT sarin was not used in this false flag event."

I agreed with everything you said until that last line. I think it's likely that sarin will be part of the story , with sufficiently convincing analytics so that the debate on that narrow issue will be limited.

That the rebels may have had access to even the best, weapons-grade sarin will come as a surprise to exactly nobody with access to top-level on-the-ground intelligence. What only a few will understand is precisely how this event was carried out - a "need to know" few - so that the bigshots maintain deniability.

What's important for Russia and Syria at this point is to hammer home the fact that they know the next false-flag is coming (sarin,napalm,anthrax,use your imagination) , and then the next and the next. They need to make the rest of the world aware of the cover-up in this case and have them primed to look for it early and often next time ,and demand that it stops.

Russia has been way too reasonable. They should signal that if the U.S. can ignore international norms at will , then those norms are henceforth meaningless , and therefore null and void. For everyone. About everything. Bring on Mad Max World , and may the best lunatic win. Either that , or fix this shit.

Posted by: Marko | Apr 21, 2017 5:22:20 PM | 62

At first I thought this was just another accusation about the use of poisonous gas by the Syrian military, like you can see almost every week on the free Syrian army twitter accounts. Most of the time it is not picked op by the press. Somebody had counted them and came to more than 80.
There are a lot of victims of war with lung problems due to fire smoke inhalation and the inhalation of hot air of thermo baric boms.
This time politicians had good use for this story, and maybe it was staged. If there was sarin gas used, or added to the story afterwards then it needed a lot of organisation. Than it must have been organised by a foreign intelligence service, and/or Al Quaida.
The whole story about the Syrian regime having used poisonous gas in this situation, thinking the US and Russia would not make a fuss about it, while he was winning the war is complete nonsense.

Posted by: Harrie van der Haghen | Apr 21, 2017 6:00:41 PM | 63

Is it possible that aluminum phosphide was used to produce phosphine gas? Is it possible that phosphine gas exposure would mimic sarin exposure? Both are organophosphates that would produce pinpoint pupils and respiratory failure. Phosphine gas exposure affects acetylcholinesterase in the body in the same way as sarin does. Lizzie Phelan has done reporting in Aleppo and discovered the pesticide Detia Gas EX-B, a readily available form of aluminum phosphide being stockpiled by militants.

Posted by: Juan Pujol | Apr 22, 2017 9:36:59 AM | 64

james@53 "...yeah, and then why is it so inconceivable that al qaeda and friends are using chemical weapons??" In this case, because there was a conventional bombing attack carried out. The jihadis are not controlling the Russian/Syrian offensive.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 22, 2017 9:46:01 AM | 65

The aria there is constantly bombed. Kahn Cheikoun is just 25 kilometers north of a very active front line.
Its on the M5 highway from the city Idlib to the city Hama. It's on the supply line to the front. Ammunition, fighters, military equipment food and fuel goes to the south and a constant stream of wounded fighters and dead bodies goes to the north. At first the jihadis offensive appeared successful, they reached the Hama airport, but on the moment of the alleged gas attack the offensive was stopped and about half of the gained territory was lost again to the Syrian army.
That's why a pile of dead bodies in the hospital does not say anything. There must have been such a pile in every hospital in that area. A lot of the bombing in the north Hama theater is with thermobalistic bombs. You can see new clips of the bombings there on Liveleak.com everyday. It makes clouds that look like those of atomic bombs. Those bombs spread dust particles and/or fuel droplets in the air and than ignites them. A lot of the survivors of such a bomb blast have inhaled very hot fume and air.

Posted by: Harrie van der Haghen | Apr 22, 2017 12:08:41 PM | 66

@64

Juan ,

Technically phosphine isn't an organophosphate , since it has no "organo" , only hydrogen atoms instead. Still , it does have some of the same effects as nerve agents , and it comes with the "rotten" smell that we've heard about in some reports from Khan Sheikoun. When talk was first made about warehouse bombing and such I looked into phosphine and found some stuff you might want to look at. The links are in this comment I made to a Gareth Porter piece , who also considered the phosphine angle :

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40222-new-revelations-belie-trump-claims-on-syria-chemical-attack#comment-3255825904

Posted by: Marko | Apr 22, 2017 2:20:45 PM | 67

@65 steven t johnson.. then you are telling me two things can't happen around the same time? that's funny if that is what you are suggesting.. perfect time for a false flag in al qaeda held area would be in exactly those circumstances.. use some imagination.. if you are fighting a war, you will do anything to tip the scale in your favour, especially if you are part of headchopper inc... same deal with headchoppers lobbing bombs towards israel from syria - israel automatically blames syria, as it is coming from syrian soil... come on! you have to be a juvenile to accept the lies and deceit have been on constant display from the west in their wars in the middle east.. bottom line steve - go back to sleep..

Posted by: james | Apr 22, 2017 3:06:53 PM | 68

Since when is chlorine a "sarin-like" substance? I understand that you are trying to provide alibis for the mafia gangster Bashar but saying chlorine is "sarin-like" makes no sense on any level. Maybe you should check the chemistry with Syrian Girl before posting such nonsense.

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Apr 22, 2017 6:47:12 PM | 69

@69 Seeing as you have been toeing the line, and as a bonus for your honourable service have now obtained a seat on the Trump bus, may it please you to know that your masters are presently preparing a coup in Indonesia. I trust that you will remain faithful to your masters, especially as they are as much the principals behind your friends in Syria as they are in Indonesia. Surely you are made of stronger stuff than Goodman, and not go soft just because the target is no the official enemy.

Posted by: johan meyer | Apr 23, 2017 2:20:42 AM | 70

i believe b's point was that, because sarin and 'sarin-like substances' are so markedly different and different is action from other chemicals like chlorine that it is clear that the former were not the cause of the deaths of the souls paraded about by the white helmets in their video. the chemical agents the al-cia-duh and daesh have been 'trusted with' by their masters have been chlorine based, so far. the presentation of human tissues with traces of sarin and 'sarin-like substances' by the turks proves only that the turks have access to such substances. bears no relation to the conditions or acute causes of death of the people in the white-helmet videos.

articles by denis o'brien, adam larson, and theodore postel make plain that sarin has never been the toxin of 'choice' for al-cia-duh/turkey, that their victims are not who they claim them to be, and that the massacres often did not take place where al-cia-duh/daesh claimed they did.

the likeliest story coming into focus is that these 'chemical attack' massacres were likely perpetrated by al-cia-duh/daesh themselves on their 'traditional' victims, often not involving any chemical poisoning at all, and at places and times of their - al-cia-duh's/daesh's - 'convenience'.

the one thing that is indisputably clear - 'without doubt' - about all such massacres is the us/nato/il/gcc's deceit with regard to not only these massacres but with everything having to do with their agency in this monstrous tableau of death, devastation, and destruction in syria; and the agency of their proxies on the ground there with the same ddd&d.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23, 2017 3:36:19 AM | 71

"Sarin like" substances = substances that contain the alkoxy methylphosphonate fragment and its hydrolysis products, either bound to acetylcholinesterase or in the environment. These would include Sarin, Soman, Cyclosarin, Thiosarin, Thiosoman, Chlorosarin, Chlorosoman. It is not possible to distinguish these from one another after several days. The methylphosphonate group is NOT seen in any commercial insecticides. Thus it IS possible to distinguish Sarin from Parathion or TEPP. And suggesting that chlorine is a "sarin-like" substance is just ridiculous.

"It would be more consistent with the "smell" several witnesses described after the incident (Sarin is odorless)."

You are only half correct. PURE sarin is odorless. Sarin deployed on the battlefield has NEVER been pure, and is often contaminated with odorous impurities such as amines (fishy/rotten meat smell) and hydrogen fluoride (irritating, acrid smell). The victims of Aum Shinrikyo's Matsumoto chemical attack (where sarin was confirmed to have been used) reported a pungent, unpleasant smell.

Posted by: DDTea | Apr 24, 2017 5:09:14 PM | 72

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