Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 14, 2018

F.U.K.U.S. Strikes Syria - Who Won?

Last night France, the UK and the U.S. launched an illegal attack on Syria and bombed several military and civilian sites within the country. They justify their attack as revenge or punishment for an alleged 'chemical attack' that had taken place a week earlier.

The 'chemical incident' on April 7 in Douma was designed to reverse Trump's publicly announced decision to order the U.S. military out of Syria. The Saudi financed Salafi 'rebels' in Douma collected bodies, probably from another incident, and stacked them up in one apartment to stage a scene and to create fake videos of a 'chemcial attack' which they falsely attributed to the Syrian government.

Trump pretended to fall for the videos and tweeted threats against Syria and Russia. Russia threatened to respond with strong force should any U.S. attack hurt its soldiers or interests in Syria.

The UK and France, who like the U.S. were only recently visited by the Saudi clown prince and showered with fresh Saudi billions, jumped onto the case. France now admits that its 'intelligence' of the Douma incident is solely based on the obviously staged youtube videos and claims made by 'western' financed propaganda operations who cooperate with the Jihadis.

Yesterday the Russian Defense Ministry accused Britain of having organized the 'chemical incident':

Today, there are other evidences at the disposal of the Russian military department, which testify to the direct participation of Great Britain in organizing this provocation in the Eastern Ghouta.

The Russian party knows for certain that from April 3 to 6, representatives of the so-called White Helmets were influenced by London for the speedy implementation of the provocation prepared in advance.

The White Helmets received information that Jaysh al-Islam militants were to conduct a series of powerful artillery shelling of Damascus on April 3 to 6.

This will promote a response from the government troops, which the White Helmets’ representatives will have to use to carry out provocations with alleged chemical weapons.

The 'White Helmets' are financed by the British government and are led by a 'former' British military intelligence officer. The direct accusations against Britain may have been a factor in the hasty launch of last night's strike. Another was surely the arrival of technicians of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Damascus. These will today investigate the alleged incident in Douma and will likely find that it did not take place. That the three countries did not even wait for preliminary results from the investigation must be seen as an admission of guilt. They know that the 'chemical attack' did not take place.

The U.S. military was wary of any potential conflict with Russia. Intense negotiations took place over the last week between the Pentagon and the Russian defense ministry. Secretary of Defense Mattis is said to have talked Trump out of a more serious strike. World War III was avoided.

Last night some 107 missiles and cruise missiles were fired against two research sites and eight military airports in Syria by U.S., French and British forces. The Russian and Syrian forces were warned. People and equipment had been moved. The Russian forces did not directly respond as their areas in Syria were not targeted. The Syrian air defense managed to shoot down or divert 71 of the incoming missiles before they reached their target. The Pentagon claims that none of its missiles were destroyed or diverted from its aim. A well known Syrian opposition outlet disagrees with the Pentagon's claim:

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights managed to monitored interception by the regime forces to tens of missiles which targeted their positions and military bases in the Syrian territory, where several intersected sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory, that the number missiles that were downed, exceeded 65 missiles ...

A 60 to 70% air defense success rate against incoming missiles is stunning. Most of these will have been killed by the Pantsir-S1 systems Russia supplied to Syria. Every Syrian military airport is now protected by such short range systems and while eight were targeted only one was hit.

One of the targets that were hit was the undefended Barzah Scientific Research Center near Damascus. The Pentagon claims that chemical weapons are made or stored there. That claim is obviously a lie:

  • In 2013 Syrian joined the Chemical Warfare Convention and gave up all its chemical weapons.
  • The OPCW has checked all accessible former chemical weapon sites in Syria and observed the destruction of the production equipment.
  • It has since visited and inspected (pdf) the Barzeh facility at least twice. That last time in November 2017.
  • One does not attack a site with normal bombs if one knows that chemical weapons are stored their. The bombs would distribute the dangerous chemicals and everyone downwind would be seriously affected.
  • After the U.S. strikes people can be seen walking through the fresh ruins. None wear any protection. There surely was nothing 'chemical' there.

The same holds for the Jaramana facility hit by the strikes. The Pentagon's claim that the strikes hit Syrian 'chemical production and storage facilities' is a lie.

No one has been reported killed by the strikes. The Russian Defense Ministry assessment says that three people were injured. Further assessments of the strikes can be found here: 1, 2 and 3.

What will be the consequences of these strikes?

Last weeks push by the media, by interventionists and by neoconservatives for a wider war on Syria (and Russia) has now been calmed down. Even John McCain, who always wants more wars, seems somewhat satisfied.

The President of Russia Vladimir Putin issued a strong statement:

An act of aggression against a sovereign state that is on the frontline in the fight against terrorism was committed without a mandate from the UN Security Council and in violation of the UN Charter and norms and principles of international law.

The Chinese government likewise laments the violation of international law and the UN charter.

In ordering the strike President Trump also broke U.S. law specifically the War Powers Resolution.

A Security Council meeting will take place today but, as the U.S., Britain and France have vetos, will have no consequences.

One issue the U.S. is certainly not happy about is the successful demonstration of the Russian supplied air defenses which was used last night against the U.S. strikes. This announcement from the Russian Defense Ministry statement will create additional headaches:

It is to be stressed that several years ago given the strong request by our western partners, Russia opted out of supplying the S-300 AD systems to Syria. Taking into account the recent incident, Russia believes it possible to reconsider this issue not only regarding Syria but other countries as well.

More countries will now be able to buy and receive state-of-the-art Russian air defense equipment. Future interferences by the U.S. as well as Israeli strikes against Syria will become significantly more risky. When Syrian receives the S-300 systems it will have the reach to detect and attack any Israeli plane flying over Lebanon. Israel has often used Lebanese airspace to attack targets in Syria.  It will soon lose that luxury.

Syria, Iran and Hizbullah all issued statement promising retaliation for the attack. Their responses will likely come on the ground against U.S. targets and assets in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. The Syrian people in Damascus could observe the success of the air defenses and were quite happy with it. They will respond with more support for their government and its plans to liberate all of Syria.

Trump evaded the public pressure created by the fake 'chemical attack' with a more or less symbolic airstrike. He tweeted "Mission Accomplished!" I expect that he will continue to press for an end of U.S. operations in Syria. Whoever instigated the faked attack has won nothing.

Trumps reaction to the incident is also an invitation to Jihadis and those who influence them to repeat such stunts whenever it suits them.

The Pentagon keeps the option open for such further 'chemical attack' stunts and U.S. strikes. It today claimed that Syria still has additional chemical weapon facilities. If this were really the case why isn't the U.S. demanding an inspection and dismantling of these facilities by the OPCW? Syria has signed the Chemical Warfare Convention and would have to accept that.

The obvious U.S. disregard for any international law and for the international organizations like the UN, the OPCW and IAEA will have serious consequences. The U.S. can now surely forget about its desire for an disarmament agreement with North Korea. Russia, China and others will use the example of last night's strikes to disregard international law when it will suit them. There will be no more favors like holding back S-300 systems or adhering to U.S. sanctions against other countries.  

In the end the instigators of the incident, the U.S., and its partners in crime will have hurt themselves more with these strikes than they hurt Syria.

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the 'chemical attack' in Douma and its consequences.

April 8 - Syria - Timelines Of 'Gas Attacks' Follow A Similar Scheme (Update II)
April 9 - Syria - Any U.S. Strike Will Lead to Escalation
April 11 - Syria - A U.S. Attack Would Be Futile - But Serve A Purpose - by M. K. Bhadrakumar
April 11 - Trump Asks Russia To Roll Over - It Won't
April 12 - Syria - Threat Of Large War Recedes But May Come Back
April 13 - Syria - Manipulated Videos Fail To Launch World War III - Updated

Posted by b on April 14, 2018 at 01:09 PM | Permalink

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Russia's reaction's very suspicious. Has something been agreed behind close doors???

Posted by: Zico | Apr 14, 2018 6:09:37 PM | 101

The FUKUS article on ACLOS was long overdue, so today I finally created it.

Posted by: CE | Apr 14, 2018 6:13:58 PM | 102

Paul@97 - Sounds like MI6 set up DSTL Chief Gary Aitkenhead to be the fall guy to insulate Mr. May. That's if UK or the OPCW ever have to release the BZ part for some insane reason. The story will just change to "Aitkenhead LIED to Dear Leader May!" or something equally stupid and improbable.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 14, 2018 6:15:28 PM | 103

Posted by: Paul | Apr 14, 2018 6:02:20 PM | 97

He is saying that both was found.

Spiez laboratory issues a strange disclaimer on twitter confirming one but not commenting on the other.

Only OPCW can comment this assertion. But we can repeat what we stated 10 days ago: We have no doubt that Porton Down has identified Novichock. PD - like Spiez - is a designated lab of the OPCW. The standards in verification are so rigid that one can trust the findings.

OPCW should publish everything.

Posted by: Zico | Apr 14, 2018 6:09:37 PM | 99
Obviously. There is an economic war on against Russia threatening all business relations with Russia world wide via sanctions.
The US did not just expell ambassadors because of the Novichok claim, they issued far reaching sanctions.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 14, 2018 6:31:04 PM | 104

Pat @ 83

Raytheon r&d.; lots of modifications to try out. The big hope and the reason for all the hype was to maybe draw out some actual Russian SAMS, most likely no luck there. Oh well, replacing all those missiles will be a nice little pork chop for the shareholders. And then there's the pay-ops value, the sheep must be fed fresh lies constantly.

Posted by: NOBTS | Apr 14, 2018 6:34:36 PM | 105

Tragically, it matters little if this chemical routine was staged, reworked or real in the end. The FUKUS would have found an excuse. That's what they've been doing for years, bombing, invading, killing and then bombing again, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, in Syria. Making a hellhole somewhere in the Middle east about which they have no idea at all. The USA presidents always have to get their own war and Trump is no exception. He's been busting for a war, with Korea, with Iran. That's what they do. We go into details, into the back-stories, into breaking down the video clips but it amounts to the same. They nearly got their forever war in Afghanistan, ensuring military expense, weapons production, war based mass death economies; they almost got another forever mayhem in Iraq. But with Syria, by interfering on all sides, stirring things ups on all sides they really have found a major opportunity for the forever conflict. They do the white house job, the houses of parliament number, they hold meetings, they go back to their palaces and they fire off rockets and sow destruction overseas. Thought Vietnam was behind' Well, maybe in truth they've got three or four of them on the go now. It's a nightmare. Sorry...but really it just feels like these people these warmongering FUKUS bosses are insane and their insanity is hugely dangerous and destructive but they’ve long since lost sight of this ground level reality of warfare….

Posted by: frankthomas | Apr 14, 2018 6:36:20 PM | 106

Excellent report by MoA.

Also the ZeroHedge article: "Independent Swiss Lab Says 'BZ Toxin' Used In Skripal Poisoning; US/UK-Produced, Not Russian"

The CIA and MI6 have since WW2 subverted US and UK foreign policy to the monetary advantage of the VIP among the Elites. The recent false flags in the UK and Syria are more of the same verm*n intelligence agency operations.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Apr 14, 2018 6:37:32 PM | 107

Professor James Fetzer just got done convincingly arguing on PressTV that this attack was just a feint, and that the real attack will follow in a few days after more hardware is in place. At first I doubted this, then revisited Trump's "Mission Accomplished" Tweet. Was that a transparent effort to show how stealthy he is in a few days when the real attack commences? Let's hope not while remembering the psychopaths and liars we are up against.

Posted by: HD | Apr 14, 2018 6:38:00 PM | 108

Nuff Sed 1

F/UK/US. Love it!
Now to find a way to work Israel into the formula.


Posted by: hopehely | Apr 14, 2018 6:40:59 PM | 109

The headquarters of the beast is the City of London.

Posted by: Lochearn | Apr 14, 2018 6:46:08 PM | 110

@106 HD: Link? Sounds interesting.

Posted by: David | Apr 14, 2018 6:46:57 PM | 111


If we believe the Russians/Syrians, this strike was a classic testing of defenses of military installations, not a silly desert strike on nonexistant "chemical facilities" as FUKUS wants us to believe. So maybe Uncle Fetzer has a point here - but I hope he's wrong, as he is more often than not.

Posted by: Ce | Apr 14, 2018 6:48:11 PM | 112

France now admits that its 'intelligence' of the Douma incident is solely based on the obviously staged youtube videos and claims made by 'western' financed propaganda operations who cooperate with the Jihadis.

Ah, so at least it wasn't Facebook.

Posted by: Stumpy | Apr 14, 2018 6:49:22 PM | 113

@109 David. It was on PressTV’s live stream about 20 minutes ago, so they will probably post it to YouTube within the next 3-4 hours. I will post the link here when it is available. Fetzer was on fire, and I agreed with 100% of his other observations, hence my rethinking that Tweet and where we are actually at if that armada isn’t clearly backing off as he claims.

Posted by: HD | Apr 14, 2018 6:49:55 PM | 114

BZ has a history. Lavrov has a strong point…

1. Psychochemical weapons:

[2009 Wikipedia cached page]">">

“The Iraqi weapon. The existence of a BZ-related compound, called Agent-15, in Iraq's arsenals was revealed in 1998. Apparently, Iraq possessed large quantities of the agent since the 1980s. A document found by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in 1995 contained a brief reference to this agent and subsequent assessment of relevant scientific and other background material indicated the size of the stockpile. Soldiers of 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart Georgia found facilities used for the production of these weapons. The facilities had been closed for several years before the invasion as dust almost a half inch thick was noted on everything. Records books of personnel who had entered the buildings and other project related equipment looked as though everything had been stopped suddenly and it did not appear that the research had ever progressed to a state of actual production”.

And from this [2014 Wikipedia cached page]:">">
Britain was also investigating the possible weaponization of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and BZ (3-quinuclidinyl benzilate) as nonlethal battlefield drug-weapons………
Hungarian researcher Lajos Rosza wrote that records of Hungary's State Defense Council meetings from 1962 to 1978 suggest that the Warsaw Pact forum had considered a psychochemical agent such as Methylamphetamine as a possible weapon
…….. The United States eventually weaponized the chemical BZ for delivery in the M43 BZ cluster bomb until stocks were destroyed in 1989

2. Zanders JP: CW Agent Factsheet - Agent-15:">"> )
“Little information is publicly known about Agent-15, except that it is closely related to BZ. The understanding of its physiological effects is based on studies with the latter agent. The existence of Agent-15 in Iraq's arsenals was revealed by the British Secretary of State George Robertson in a statement to the House of Commons on 9 February 1998. According to the statement, Iraq may have possessed large quantities of the agent since the 1980s. A document found by the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) in August 1995 contained a brief reference to Agent-15 and subsequent assessment of relevant scientific and other background material indicated the size of the stockpile.”

3.. ‘3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate’:">">

“In February 1998, the British Ministry of Defence released an intelligence report that accused Iraq of having stockpiled large amounts of a glycolate anticholinergic incapacitating agent known as Agent 15.[citation needed] Agent 15 is an alleged Iraqi incapacitating agent that is likely to be chemically either identical to BZ or closely related to it. Agent 15 was reportedly stockpiled in large quantities prior to and during the Persian Gulf War. The combination of anticholinergic PNS and CNS effects aids in the diagnosis of patients exposed to these agents.
Also in 1998, there were allegations that elements of the Yugoslav People's Army used incapacitating agents against fleeing Bosnian refugees during Srebrenica massacre in 1995 that caused hallucinations and irrational behavior. Physical evidence of BZ use in Bosnia is unsupported, however.”

And from the current 2018 Wikipedia page on ‘3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate’:
“The U.S. Army tested BZ as well as other "psycho-chemical" agents on human subjects at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland from 1955 to 1975, according to declassified documents.”


Posted by: AmsterJam | Apr 14, 2018 6:51:22 PM | 115

@Ce 110. Oh how i hope he is wrong as well!

Posted by: HD | Apr 14, 2018 6:51:37 PM | 116

Hi Paul,
the BZ was probably in the food at the restaurant (Zizzi) and they may have gotten a huge dose, it very potent. This would account for the delay -- restaurant to park bench, needs to be absorbed through the GI tract. I don't believe the doorknob scenario-- I think you would have to have several milligrams of nerve agent in a skin permeable solvent DMSO or DMF plus gelling agent to make it stick and then it would have to be wet to transfer onto the skin and then get absorbed. First, the target might notice the handle is sticky and wash his/her hands in which case you get no effect if its done in a minute or so and the water is alkaline as it is in England. Then, assuming the gel isn't noticed the transfer would be pretty inefficient as the agent has to be absorbed from a small surface area through the keratin of the skin. If you got things just right, applied the novichok in a nice anhydrous solvent and no rain got in it and someone touched it before the solvent evaporated, then you might be able to give a lethal dose. Having said that, if you absorbed say 0.1mg or so the effects would be pretty immediate collapse in 15 mins or so. So in my opinion the doorknob scenario is rubbish-- if you could get it to work the Skripal that touched the handle would have collapsed before getting near the restaurant.
So I think that there are way too many variables that would need to be optimized to get a nice transfer. But if you managed to achieve this feat the target would be very sick in about 10 mins or so.
The way to use a nerve agent is to aerosolize it, then its easy to get 1-2mg into the lungs and onto the mucosa where it is absorbed very fast (Kim's brother), the transfer through the skin is much more difficult. So my bet is BZ in the food--a huge dose, hence the consulatant's letter saying its not an nerve agent. It's an anti-cholinergic (like atropin), not an anti-cholinesterase (nerve gas).

Posted by: cj | Apr 14, 2018 7:00:45 PM | 117

@David | Apr 14, 2018 5:56:59 PM | 95

You forgot two more losers and winners:

13) FUKUS taxpayers who just shot $100 to $150 million on 100 cruise missiles depending on replacement costs for a fireworks display, AKA a war crime. I wonder how many people could be fed, or teachers and social workers could be paid with that money?

14) Raytheon, who will see a near future procurement of $150 million worth of missiles.


Posted by: Michael | Apr 14, 2018 7:03:49 PM | 118

Posted by: frankthomas | Apr 14, 2018 6:36:20 PM | 104

It does matter as the politicians doing this need to get reelected.

It does not seem to have worked for Theresa May, I doubt it worked for Trump.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 14, 2018 7:10:09 PM | 119

So all bio warfare facilities belonging to the US in West Africa are fair game.
Including those in the States.?
You calleit Trumpy.

Posted by: Jack | Apr 14, 2018 7:10:55 PM | 120

My computer is under attack. Half the keyboard was taken out when I tried to post. This post has been done with Word symbols. I am in UK...

Posted by: Lochearn | Apr 14, 2018 7:17:40 PM | 121

frankthomas @117
you are forgetting
it DID WORK for Bush
he was reelected, remember?

Posted by: mauisurfer | Apr 14, 2018 7:36:38 PM | 122

@ Paveway IV--the BZ / Novichok rundown was helpful. Thank you. Not sure that it exhausts it, but how could it...

Posted by: Paul | Apr 14, 2018 7:37:34 PM | 123

I will believe that there won't be more attacks by the US and poodles due to false flag chemical gigs, when, among other things:

- all the jihadists and their sleeper cells are destroyed
- all of Idlib province is free and retaken by the syrian army
- the carrier task force Harry S Truman et. al. goes elsewhere and not the eastern Med
- the Russians deliver S-400s to the syrians and iranians (and S-300 to Lebanon?)
- the US departs from east of the Euphrates River

the Russian general staff said that the French did not launch any missiles. that's of big interest, and russia has taken note.

neither did Germany, Italy, nor Canada got involved. looks like the usual theocratic suspects like qatar, the UAE and jordan all lent 'a helping hand'.

considering the actual 'effectiveness' of the US strikes, they should have done a massive fireworks display instead

Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 14, 2018 7:39:56 PM | 124

Probably a lot going on here. Some points:

1. Apparently the main Russian air defense systems were not used. Still, the Syrians had some fairly state-of-the-art point-defense systems acting as a point defense, and they were given advance notice of the time and place of the attacks. If the Syrian defenses really were ineffective, this will mean the US empire maintains its ability to stomp pretty near anyone it wants whenever it wants, and Russian arms sales take a hit. If the Syrians really did manage to get about half the oncoming missiles, this would be major: it would make US airstrikes on nations increasingly ineffective and expensive, wear away at the aura on invincibility of the US military, and boost Russian arms sales. But how on earth can we really know what happened?

2. Suggestion: if in the next six months there is a scramble to buy Russian air defense systems, then the Syrians really did shoot down a lot of US missiles. If not, then the opposite.

3. The ancient Romans used to have a saying: never fight the same enemy too many times, they will learn your tricks. Both sides must have been looking at the conflict under a microscope. I bet the US was wishing that the Russian would really use their top-end systems, they'd learn a lot. Meanwhile the Russians would be idiots if they didn't have Syria saturated with electronic intelligence gathering stations. Bottom line: in a conflict like this, the 'loser' could actually be the winner, because they will learn the most valuable technical lessons.

Posted by: TG | Apr 14, 2018 7:40:04 PM | 125

b: "It today claimed that Syria still has additional chemical weapon facilities. If this were really the case why isn't the U.S. demanding an inspection and dismantling of these facilities by the OPCW?"

Well, heck, if the USA knows about additional chemical weapon facilities then why didn't they bomb them yesterday?

I mean, it's not as if the Yanks have a shortage of Tomahawks - the USS Donald Cook alone brings an additional 60 to the table and didn't fire a single one.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 14, 2018 7:42:11 PM | 126

@123 "neither did Germany, Italy, nor Canada got involved"

Let me guess: the Saudi clown prince bypassed all those countries in his whirlwind world tour.

No palms were greased with recycled petrodollars, ergo, none of them had any "incentive" to get involved.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 14, 2018 7:45:41 PM | 127

Posted by: TG | Apr 14, 2018 7:40:04 PM | 124

Let's see what will be going on in Idlib. If "the opposition" will be displaced from there all they can do is cross the border to Turkey.

And from there to Europe.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 14, 2018 8:05:12 PM | 128

This might be of interest to @58

I noticed an interesting correlation this morning while going over the list of sites attacked and the success rate of the SAA in shooting the missiles down.

It seems the further from the Westerm mountain chain the target was, the more likely the SAA was to shoot down the incoming missiles. For example, Damascus sits between the southern plains and the anti-Lebanon mountains. The international airport is in the SE, in the plains, and the SAA downed 7 of 7 missiles Al Mezzah is just south of the city core and a little West, a couple km at most from the foothills. They took down a little over half of the incoming missiles. The Barzeh facility is in the foothills and got hit with most of the incoming missiles. Damascus airport probably had 3-4 minutes warning, Mezzeah had about two minutes and Barzeh had just 30 seconds. That the Barzeh facility was able to destroy any of the incoming missiles is quite impressive

The Russian coastal facilities could see the missiles all the way in and could have them targeted for last minute destruction without the deep concern @58 suggests - it may have been nerve-wracking, but not humiliating.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 14, 2018 8:07:57 PM | 129

@ Paveway IV -- comment 98
Paveway, I'm not sure whether you've seen Sushi's instalments in the "Curious Incident" series at the Saker, but perhaps you'd consider looking at the most recent one, instalment 8, and then examining the hypothetical narrative below.

A superb instalment on a stellar "Curious Incident" series.

I am trying to construct a narrative that accounts for what we have plausible reason to infer, but which does not rely on any official interlocutors (except perhaps Boris Johnson, who may not be able to help himself) clearly lying.

First question--and I imagine you might cover this in your next instalment:
Am I correct in thinking that BZ and any of the Novichok / Foliant series are simply not similar enough to be covered by Porton Down's public description of the substance "in question" as being:
a) a Novichok
b) or from that class of nerve agent
c) or a closely related compound

BZ isn't a), isn't b) a nerve agent at all and c) is not closely related to any of the family of compounds that could be in any way considered a Novichok.

1) So, if the finding was actually BZ, when the OPCW confirms the UK's findings, the OPCW is not confirming any of the statements made along lines a), b) or c).

The OPCW, then, is not
i) confirming that the substance is of a "type developed by Russia" and so it would seem are either, instead
ii) confirming something the Salisbury medical personnel have been quoted as saying, or
iii) confirming the findings of some other entity that can be plausibly glossed as having official ("UK") findings, or
iv) are confirming UK findings not made public.

Which is to say that all along there have been at least two substances in play, and a bit of a bait and switch game, in which "it" is presumed to be specified but the descriptions are referring to another substance.

For example, the bait is Novichoks, etc. But when we think they are referring to a substance whose metabolites are found in the Skripals' biophysical samples, that substance may actually be bench-grade or lab-grade BZ. Some other sample--taken from a park bench, door knob, restaurant, cemetary headstone, or car ventilation system, may have been tested as containing highly pure (Porton Down lab-grade) A-234, for example.

Each time we think they are talking about one, they are talking about another, and we never really pause to re-examine which "it" they are referring to.

Not technically a lie, except perhaps what might initially seem like an "innocent" exaggeration--"weapons-grade" but actually this, as you note, is a big giveaway. The substance for which the OPCW is confirming the UK findings, is not weapons grade, but as they say, virtually without impurities. You are the only source I am aware of who has emphasized that weapons-grade is not, as the lay person might suppose, highly pure but is in fact marked by certain impurities from a full-scale production run and perhaps additionally to introduce changes of viscosity, etc.

Is any of this making sense, and does anything seem factually incorrect here?

Posted by: Paul | Apr 14, 2018 8:11:01 PM | 130

"Only OPCW can comment this assertion. But we can repeat what we stated 10 days ago: We have no doubt that Porton Down has identified Novichock. PD - like Spiez - is a designated lab of the OPCW. The standards in verification are so rigid that one can trust the findings. #Skipal"

This statement is strange. The entire point of getting the OPCW involved is to get an opinion outside of the UK and now we have this lab deferring to the findings from the UK. They can't comment on tell the results of what they've tested but they can vouch for the work of another laboratory. What a joke. Do they suspect their own lab results were tampered with? TBH, I find it practically impossible that the UK would hand over any samples that didn't confirm to their results so this whole process was kind of pointless.

Anyway and regardless, I find Lavrov's reaction to be kind of stupid... in fact, I think he might be walking into a trap.

Posted by: blah | Apr 14, 2018 8:15:05 PM | 131

Did Trump just knock down some ugly buildings for Assad?!

Posted by: js290 | Apr 14, 2018 8:16:54 PM | 132

Who lost?

Me and I.

Putin's Russian Federation.



Your wife is being molested but you were not hurt. So, no action against the molester.


I thought we the oppressed had a champion.

We have none

Back to square one.

Then why so many warnings if there was no action at the end of these ( empty) words?

Putin's Russia has lost face and her eventual allies do not know whom to trust now.

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 14, 2018 8:20:17 PM | 133

Russia announced today that the S-300 long-range air defense system would be provided to the Syrian air defenses. That would be a game-changer in terms of both detection and range. Israel is sure to be displeased because it puts Israeli and Lebanese airspace within range. S-300 radar could also be data-linked with the S-120 and S-200 systems. The increased risk to Israeli missions over Syria would be immense. IMO that counts as a "very serious consequence" of the raid. Russia had withheld that system as long as part of a bargaining strategy with FUKUS. After their display of malice and treachery, the lid on defensive aid to SYAAF has been removed.

Report from Southfront states that the cruise missiles had their targeting jammed by Russian EW, i.e. they were mostly wounded ducks by the time they reached Damascus. Syrian air defense was mostly preventing random ground strikes by off-target missiles, in addition to getting valuable training. That would explain something I observed in videos of the shootdowns, that a lot of the targets were on a high arc. That's not my understanding of how cruise missiles are supposed to be flying in the target area.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Apr 14, 2018 8:24:31 PM | 134


What I learned in many years of travel is that politicians in most of they world are profoundly aware of the long game. In NA (sorry Mexico) they seldom think past the next poll and never past the next round of elections. Sadly, it seems many commentators here reflect the same conclusion when they cannot see the long game that must be played to allow the empire to collapse. There will be thrashing about as the beast gets hyped with its' own version of weaponized LSD (MSM fear-mongering) and inevitably there will be casualties. No amount of showdown force will help while the beast is thrashing - it is impossible to constrain a person in the middle of a fit - and the patience to allow the episode to pass is exemplary. and necessary if we are to have a future with hope.

Putin and Xi are playing the long game, with profound grief it is Syria that bears the brunt of the thrashing. May it end quickly

Posted by: les7 | Apr 14, 2018 8:30:18 PM | 135

the fact finding mission of the OPCW has arrived and will start its work

BREAKING: #OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team has arrived in Damascus, #Syria to commence its work.
7:30 AM - 14 Apr 2018

Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 14, 2018 8:37:01 PM | 136

BZ matches some known facts:

a. non-lethal but incapacitating
b. hard to make a lethal overdose - safe for incapacitations, Skripals could get high dose to be incapacitated for many days, but suffer no permanent damage that was described for victims of "novichok" accidents -- like malfunction of the lab hood.
c. delayed action
d. very durable when spread on surfaces, water resistant -- English rain would not be a problem, and it would be detectable weeks after.

It is manifestly not an assassination weapon, but it could be considered to incapacitate terrorists or defenders in bunkers or tunnels, a ship crew etc., together with hostages, civilians etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 14, 2018 8:45:02 PM | 137

Here's an excellent report from Syria by Aleksandr Kots, whom I take to be a Russian journalist: No One In Syria Criticises Russia For The Fact That It Didn't Unleash "WW3"

He was at Shayrat after those strikes a year ago, and he flew into the Russian Hmeymim air base just five hours before yesterday's strikes started. He compares the two in terms of the Syrian moves. He makes the excellent point that no one in Syria thinks Russia has lost standing because it didn't show a forceful enough response to the attack.

On the contrary, the Syrians understand that Russia, by remaining meticulously disciplined within its stated red lines and protocols, saved enormous loss of Syrian lives.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 14, 2018 8:49:33 PM | 138

Bhadrakumar: "The Russia-Iran partnership in Syria is steadily morphing into an alliance, which is in mutual interests. The defeat of the US-Israeli-Saudi containment strategy against Iran may turn out to be the most significant and enduring outcome of this US attack on Syria."

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 14, 2018 8:51:28 PM | 139

Now this is interesting.

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 14, 2018 9:27:06 PM | 140

@ Bakerpete with the link to Russia having an alternative to SWIFT

It is not just credit card transfers with SWIFT but currency exchange with BIS that is needed to break the private finance grip

China with the AIIB is the alternative to IMF and World Bank but still new on the block. Also rumors about allowing private ownership of Chinese financial companies.

Just read Nomi Prins on ZH saying that trade wars make for loose monetary policy which I agree with. The catch is that you have to have someone buying all that debt, on top of all the nauseum
I see Trump fulfilling his role of throwing the US under the bus as preparation for forcing Western control of private finance and ownership of all including governments into a new "host"
Is that new "host" going to be China or a shrinking amalgamation of nations (iFUKUS) remaining under the jackboot of private finance?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 14, 2018 10:09:39 PM | 141


This was absolutely the best world war ever. Everybody is happy, everybody got something.

  1. The US got to show that it is not afraid of Russia and to display its overwhelming might.
  2. Russia got to threaten the US and prevent FUKUS from starting an all-out war on Syria.
  3. Israel got to claim its jus primae noctis in raping Syria.
  4. Russia gets to host the World Cup.
  5. MbS got to spend his stolen billions on bombing.
  6. FUKUS got to fire off their soon-to-expire missiles, and billions in cash from MbS.
  7. Russia got to test its new Pantsir-S1 air defense system against US Tomahawks (Score 71/100)
  8. The White Helmets earned their Oscar.
  9. US warmongers got their war, at least part of it.
  10. Trump got YUGE bipartisan support.

This was a phoney attack. It was stage managed by agreement* between US and Russia. That is why it is called The Art of the Deal!

(* Do not understand me wrong. Russia and the US are still at war. Russia did not agree to the bombing of Syria of approve of it. Even a bad deal is better than nuclear Armageddon.)

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 14, 2018 10:28:47 PM | 142

I still think that the situation is as or more tense than it was on April 11. I still think it is almost inevitable there will be a crazy event leading to a real confrontation between Russia and the anglowahabizionists within the next several days.

As b noted, this first attack was rushed in order to provide the U.K. cover for the Russian expose of their most recent Syrian adventure--which stretches from Salisbury to Ghouta. Mattis said this was a "one-off" strike, and it is being presented as having successfully taken out Syrian chemical weapons sites (which don't exist). This suggests that there could in principle be no more "chemical attacks" to respond to, hence no future strikes in addition to this one. But I am afraid I do not believe this. The strike served only the short-term interest of the U.K. by distracting from the very recent and (I would bet) unanticipated public accusations of their masterminding the Ghouta trick. May is already moving in a more aggressive rhetorical direction. (The Saudi ambassadors al-Islam are unimpressed. And Russia is with the Skripal accusations intriguingly almost forcing her into escalatory desperation.)

The strike did nothing to forward the long-term goal of Israel, KSA, and the US/UK. That goal remains the destruction of Syria for the sake of the destruction of Iran. It has not changed, because nothing that happened yesterday gave them any reason to abandon it. The difficulty now becomes one of further prolonging the war by appeal to some pretext other than Assad's use of chemical weapons. But Assad's Syria is luckily not the only country in theater that has (or rather, that had) chemical weapons. Russia has them too (so we have already been told). And I wouldn't be shocked to learn that Iran is in on the game, too. (Recall that Trump claimed that both Russia and Iran were supporting a regime that used chemical weapons. They are already fellow travelers in the public's eye.)

The unstable situation is primed for an Israeli catalyst.

Posted by: Wj | Apr 14, 2018 10:51:35 PM | 143

As Wj #142 suggests, the US has essentially said: This was only a test, don't expect this will be the last, after our next phony chemical performance the US reaction will be elevated because regime change is our goal.
Hey, if the strategy works why change it. There is absolutely no downside for a president in domestic distress to pick on an enemy of Israel using stand-off weapons that don't threaten Americans. Clinton set the example and Clinton only had one blow-job intern, whereas Tump's woman problems are going into the dozens.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 14, 2018 11:22:58 PM | 144

All it takes for American military action is for a few tens or hundreds of politicians, media spinsters and smug think tank reps to lazily justify their actions. This is not how a government should operate, but that's pretty much how it is

Posted by: aaaa | Apr 14, 2018 11:25:51 PM | 145

@aaaa 144
This is not how a government should operate, but that's pretty much how it is
Yes, its governing is limited, it is basically a cabal acting in its own best interest. It's reliance on military means, a violation of the UN Charter, is endemic to the US, and a sign of weakness not strength.
Graham Fuller

American strategy seems fundamentally stuck in defensive mode against rising powers. Such powers indeed do challenge American aspirations for continued hegemony. But a defensive posture robs us of our vision and spirit; it represents a basically negative orientation, like King Canute on the beach trying to stop the encroaching tide. Worse, American military power—and the budget keeps rising—seems to have become the default US response to most foreign challenges. The Pentagon has put the State Department out of business.
NATO today particularly symbolizes that myopic and defensive orientation.
So while Washington focuses on building defensive military structures, bases and arrangements overseas against Russia and China, we are being rapidly outflanked by a whole array of new economic plans, visions, projects for a new continental infrastructure and institutional developments that span Eurasia. These developments are indeed spearheaded by China and Russia. But they are not fundamentally defensive or military in nature, but rather represent the creation of a new international order from which we have either opted out, or even oppose. Meanwhile obsession with NATO and military alliances as the major vehicle of US military policy after the Cold War is a chief reason we are losing out in that new order. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 14, 2018 11:54:33 PM | 146

One of my pet peeves, people who write it's instead of its, and there I go doing it. But don't let me distract you from the main message, it's important.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 14, 2018 11:59:02 PM | 147

Paul@129 - Old Microbiologist and others are really the ones to ask but
AFIK, a BZ molecule and FOLIANT nerve agents are entirely unrelated
animals in a chemical sense. The only commonality comes when you
consider them under the CWC's "certain toxic chemicals and their
precursors" schedules. The OPCW considers certain incapacitating agents,
including BZ, as potential chemical weapons. BZ is listed as a Schedule 2
Toxic Chemical. 'Novichoks' would be the higher risk/no non-CW use Schedule
1 list.

As far as the UK and OPCW parties playing deception by substitution or
deception by omission in their public statements? I think that's exactly
what Lavrov is hinting at. The UK is implying that only one chemical
toxin - a nerve agent - was found and is being discussed. In hindsight,
the odd use of 'military grade' might just mean 'weaponized'. In the case
of BZ, the powder has to be micronized (ground up in a jet mill) to some
ridiculously tiny size - like a micron - to travel deep into the lungs, but
not so tiny that it is immediately exhaled. I imagine the purity can only
be figured out by having enough undegraded substance to analyze. That's
nearly impossible with a nerve agent with a half-life of hours. BZ has
a half-life of weeks.

No idea if the two can be/were used together or separately or why they
would even do that. The mere presence of both is what's interesting.

If they found both Novichok-whatever AND BZ, then the whole 'Made in Russia'
claim falls apart. It doesn't mean the UK or US absolutely made it either, but
sort of levels off the playing field. The fact that they are trying to keep
everything about BZ secret means they were clearly being deceptive in order
to blame Russia based on just the 'Novichok' part.

Now whether Lavrov's suggestion of BZ is accurate or whether the OPCW or
UK will ever reveal the secret details remains to be seen.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 15, 2018 12:01:02 AM | 148

The official statement from the Russian Embassy to the UK:

The Russians explicitly state that the Swiss specialists found an “A-234 type” nerve agent in the samples, along with the BZ. The “A-234” is suspicious because it is a volatile substance, but was found in its “initial state (pure form and high concentration)” as well as with products of its decomposition. BZ better fits what happened to the Skripals. A-234 would not have remained in a pure state for so long — and would have quickly killed the Skripals.

This makes the Spiez Labs statement sound even more extraordinarily coy than it did in the first place. It doesn’t say that Spiez found a “Novichok”; it says Spiez trusts that Portdon Down did.

This seems to come down — yet again — to that word “Novichok.” My reading: Spiez found, along with the BZ, an A-234-like compound, but did not want to get into a public argument about whether or not it was the precise compound developed long ago by the Soviet Union and loosely identified by some as one of the “Novichoks” (newcomers).

Posted by: Emily Dickinson | Apr 15, 2018 12:18:28 AM | 149

Pft @ 94 said:"This is a well scripted soap opera. No wonder Hollywood has not time for making good movies. Enjoy the show."

I think you may have a valid point..

As the world Oligarchs consolidate their gains over the peons...

Posted by: ben | Apr 15, 2018 12:19:24 AM | 150

The NYT's Best-Sellers lists undoubtedly includes one of my old favorites:
The US Army's Medical Management of Chemical Casualties Handbook. Just the
thing to curl up with before nodding off in your medically-induced coma.

Here's the 14 pages on BZ, but none of you are allowed to
read it - unless you voted for Trump.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 15, 2018 12:19:41 AM | 151

There is no novichok. from the files....
In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, ‘Novichoks’ (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the ‘Foliant’ programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published. (Black, 2016)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 15, 2018 12:25:58 AM | 152

...and we know that Mirzayanov was fed false information.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 15, 2018 12:27:07 AM | 153

I doubt this is the last attack the U.S. will launch on Syria.

Regarding the dude obsessed with U.S. aircraft carries, he misses the point which is:

Russia has options. She can sink U.S. aircraft carriers (which are headed towards Syria I read) in respond to a U.S. attack and so so more easily that the U.S. can launch an attack on Syria. Or Russia can sink destroyers or whatever is used to attack Syria. Russia can do this from land based weapons or subs. Russia can also destroy U.S. bases in the Middle East more easily than the U.S. can attack Syria because she can do this from land based weapons.

Russia has options.

Will she use them?

Posted by: timbers | Apr 15, 2018 12:34:01 AM | 154

Can we reconcile the conflicting claims over how many missiles made it to targets?

Posted by: adamski | Apr 15, 2018 12:45:36 AM | 155

Trump tweets 11th April

....doing things that nobody thought possible, despite the never ending and corrupt Russia Investigation, which takes tremendous time and focus. No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back), so now they do the Unthinkable, and RAID a lawyers office for information! BAD!

Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?

Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama. Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter). No Collusion, so they go crazy!

No other tweets between these. Looks like they were going to lynch him if he didn't attack Syria.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15, 2018 12:46:38 AM | 156

Aircraft carriers are obsolete, well-illustrated by this exercise where they played no part. See, aircraft carriers replaced battleships because airplanes can out-distance gun shots, but missiles can out-distance (and out-perform) aircraft which obsoletes carriers.
But hey, they cost $12-14 billion each so that's good for the economy even if only about two of eleven are ever available for deployment because that are high-maintenance, like a Trump girl. And some people obviously have a carrier fixation so go with it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 15, 2018 12:49:57 AM | 157

Paul @ 129

Am I correct in thinking that BZ and any of the Novichok / Foliant series are simply not similar enough to be covered by Porton Down's public description of the substance "in question" as being:
a) a Novichok
b) or from that class of nerve agent
c) or a closely related compound
Response 1
BZ has a different mechanism of action from an organophosphate toxin. It incapacitates but is unlikely to kill.

Response 2
Novichok / Foliant are codewords for Soviet research programs. They are not chemical descriptors. That is to say it is not possible to reliably ascertain exactly what is being described when one speaks of Novichok / Foliant.

My best sense of the matter is that FOLIANT describes a Soviet program to create binary Next Generation nerve agents (NGA) undertaken as a Soviet response to a US deception program. Think of a secret US stealth fighter, the F-37, which is falsely communicated to the USSR. The USSR embarks on a research program intended to duplicate the US advances embodied in the non-existent F-37.But the research results in a genuine technical advance.

In a nutshell, this is what I believe happened with regard to the Soviet NGA program. They reacted to a US spoof and succeded where the US believed there was no possibility of success.

The key issue is that the Soviet research stocks were destroyed and I suspect much of the technical documentation as well. So at this point when we talk about Novichok / Foliant we are really talking about unicorns. Everybody knows what they are but no one has actually encountered one. The physical dimensions and characteristics of a unicorn can be almost anything you like.

BZ isn't a), isn't b) a nerve agent at all and c) is not closely related to any of the family of compounds that could be in any way considered a Novichok.
Response 3
BZ is not a Novichok
BZ is not from that class of nerve agent
BZ is not a closely related compound

1) So, if the finding was actually BZ, when the OPCW confirms the UK's findings, the OPCW is not confirming any of the statements made along lines a), b) or c).
Response 4
There is insufficient information available in the public OPCW report to give a precise answer. My interpretation is that OPCW is confirming a UK identification of A-234. A-234 is not a binary agent and is therefore not a Novichok. See a Curious Incident Part IX at the Saker website.

I'll leave the rest of your queries for Paveway IV. I have bumped into him on the web over several years and he strikes me as being pretty much on target.

Posted by: Sushi | Apr 15, 2018 12:50:16 AM | 158


No idea if the two can be/were used together or separately or why they
would even do that. The mere presence of both is what's interesting.

Although BZ and anticholinesterases such as A-234 are both toxic, they would actually be expected to cancel out each others' effects, at least partly. The neurotranmsitter acetylcholine activates two distinct types of receptors. There are nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (activated by the nicotine present in tobacco smoke) and the otherwise unrelated muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, both of which are found throughout the brain and body. Anticholinesterases block the breakdown of acetylcholine and thus promote the activation of both nicotinic and muscarinic receptors. In contrast, BZ and similar agents block the binding of acetylcholine to muscarinic (but not nicotinic) receptors.

Although not done in practice, in theory the toxic effects of A-234 would be reduced by BZ (by preventing the over-activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors). (This is analogous to the ability of naloxone to treat opioid overdoses.) Conversely, the symptoms of BZ poisoning would be reduced by A-234.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 15, 2018 12:57:25 AM | 159

The plot thickens. With the presence of both BZ and an A-234-type compound, one could have been used as an antidote to the other by those treating the Skripals... but only BZ matches the reported onset of their symptoms. As noted in this commentary, we and the press have quite deliberately been denied by the UK government all kinds of relevant information that would have been revealed in the course of a normal investigation -- not to mention access to the sequestered Yulia Skripal -- all so that the government can control the narrative:

“Previously, we argued that Novichok might have been administered to the Skripals as an antidote to botulinum toxin in their seafood lunch. The revelation that the Skripals were apparently poisoned with BZ, not botulinum toxin, does not necessarily negate that hypothesis, since Novichok is a choline esterase inhibitor and a recognized antidote to any anticholinergic poison, which might therefore have been administered, therapeutically, as an antidote to either botulinum toxin or BZ.


"The only way that the British account of the Skripal affair can be made to hold water is if it is demonstrated, or at least plausibly argued, that the Skripals were exposed to Novichok, but treated with BZ as an antidote to Novichok. It could then be argued that the BZ remained in the blood at the time samples were taken for analysis by the OPCW, whereas the concentration of Novichok had fallen below the limits of detection. But in that case, why are the British not presenting the relevant evidence and why did Dr. Davies, the Resident for Emergency Medicine at the Salisbury Trust Hospital, say that no one had been treated for nerve agent poisoning? If nerve agent poisoning had been assumed or suspected at the time the Skripals were admitted to hospital, there would surely have been analyses of blood and vomit conducted on the orders of the attending physicians. Why then, if that is the case, have no witnesses, lab techs or whoever been brought forward to verify Britain's justification for last night's acts of war against Syria?"

Posted by: Emily Dickinson | Apr 15, 2018 1:02:56 AM | 160

" The Western war criminals attempt to create a new Iraq in Syria"

Posted by: ben | Apr 15, 2018 1:07:10 AM | 161

Emily D @159

While BZ is a useful tool in the laboratory, as far as I know it is never used clinically. Antimuscrinic agents (other than BZ) might be used on rare occasions to treat anticholinesterase poisoning, as indicated here:

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 15, 2018 1:15:43 AM | 162

@153 and others

The question is valid: will another attack come?

There's another question related to this, which is, what will Russia's response be if it does?

Let's look at this. The first attack was constrained by Russia to fall within certain boundaries. Apparently it did, because there was no visible Russian response. Yes, there were Russian electronic countermeasures but this is not really a matter of countries, this is a matter of who has been trained and trusted with elements of knowledge and skill - and so far the Russians hold these keys, and they have not been shared with anyone.

Visibly, on the surface, Russia made no move. Russia remained still. Some commentators say she "observed". I say, Russia did not blink. She allowed the arrangements of her deconfliction communication channel to rule, and stayed in place while the missiles were flying, and did not twitch a muscle.

Somebody has to honor this.

This took nerves of steel. It took nerves of steel to stay unmoving while the missiles came inbound. Russia did not flinch because the missiles did not cross red lines, even though they could have, and crossing these lines is life or death, and happens in mere minutes.

Can we take some time to honor the courage and spiritual resolve of the Russians in this play? Russian roulette? Who exactly invented this game? Nerves of steel.


For those who sit unsatisfied, and wish for Hollywood action in Syria, I offer the following illustration of how tough the Russians were in Syria on Friday night. This will also serve those who genuinely and supportively wonder if another attack will come.

Remember the Clint Eastwood film, Josey Wales? A great movie. There's the scene where the bounty hunters track Wales to the saloon deep in the Texas borderlands.

The bounty hunter steps inside, and Josey Wales is ready but does not pull his gun. Wales says, it doesn't have to be like this - you can just ride out of here. The bounty hunter leaves. The saloon cheers. Wales says and does nothing. Wales waits. The bounty hunter returns, and says: I had to come back. Wales says, I know. They draw guns and the bounty hunter dies.

Here it is in living color:
Outlaw Josey Wales "Are you a bounty hunter"


So Wales is Russia. Hasn't made a move because it's not necessary yet. Still watching. Still waiting. And calculating. If a move is called for, Russia will shoot.

Will this satisfy you bloodthirsty, bored motherfuckers? Or does Russia have to walk on water to show you the miracle of her coming to Syria, and the genuineness of her intent?

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 15, 2018 1:20:21 AM | 163

Many thanks to Sushi and Paveway and farm ecologist. Am honoured to have had your attention.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 15, 2018 1:27:26 AM | 164

@farm ecologist 161:

Thanks for that information and the link.

Maybe you can answer this question: IF something like A-234 was used as an antidote to BZ poisoning on March 4, could traces of the pure compound still be found in samples (as Russia reports) more than 3 weeks after the poisoning. (I believe the OPCW testing was on or about March 27.)

Posted by: Emily Dickinson | Apr 15, 2018 1:28:27 AM | 165

@120 lochearn.. i hope your computer is back up and functioning properly... might be your mouse?

Posted by: james | Apr 15, 2018 1:37:05 AM | 166

Emily D @164

I assume that A-234 would never be used for any reason in a hospital setting, however similarly acting therapeutic drugs such as physostigmine apparently can be used to treat QNB/BZ poisoning ( )

I don't know about the specific pharmacokinetics of A-234, but most drugs tend to be metabolized and/or excreted within a couple of days. Still, trace amounts of the parent compound or its metabolites might still be evident at later times if a sufficiently sensitive detection method exists. I would be surprised if this would still be possible at 3 weeks, though, unless the chemical was being sequestered into fatty tissues (seems unlikely based on the structure of A-234).

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 15, 2018 1:51:25 AM | 167

If you are not a robot, take your meds.

Posted by: CD Waller | Apr 15, 2018 1:55:47 AM | 168

Emily D @ 164


For organophosphates that bind irreversibly to proteins, evidence may persist for weeks or months ( (sorry, you may need access to a university library for the full document)), but again I have no idea whether this would apply to A-234.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 15, 2018 2:07:20 AM | 169

Grieved 162

Not just nerves of steel but an inner calm. Putin, I think expressed it best - "a hanged man cannot drown". Russia is, what the US thinks it is.
The Josey Whales piece covered it nicely.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15, 2018 2:11:24 AM | 170

@154 "Can we reconcile the conflicting claims over how many missiles made it to targets?"

You could make a start by counting the number of holes in the ground that the USA can show you versus the number of burnt-out Tomahawk engine wreckage the Syrians can show you.

Mind you, in the case of a 100% intercept (as the Russian are claiming for several airfields) then the USA will simply say they were never aiming for those targets in the first place.

So the first problem is this:
1) The USA insist they only took aim at three targets
2) The Russians are claiming that there were nine targets in all, but only three were hit.

Who to believe?

Well, if you accept the Russian narrative then there should only be 30 holes in the ground:
Four at Mezzeh airforce base
Three at Homs airforce base
Twenty Three at Barzeh and Jaramanieh

Barzeh and Jaramanieh were clearly pulverised, so comparing the Russian "23" against the USA's "70+" is futile - it is merely the difference between how much the rubble was made to bounce around.

Better to look at the two air force bases: if you can spot seven distinct holes in the ground at Mezzeh and Homs then the Russian claim becomes plausible. If they can show you many dozens of burntout Tomahawk engines then the Russian claim becomes VERY plausible.

But if they can't do either then the American claim looks the better bet.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 15, 2018 2:21:18 AM | 171

Whether the Skripal incident was connected to the Syrian CW incident remains yet to be proved.
Of the Skripal incident:
Since the incident, there has been no verified communication with anyone involved. Not the Skripals, not the policeman, not Dr. Davies, not any of the first responders, none of the clean up crew, firefighters, no one at all. No one at all. Complete blackout of all and any information from the involved.
If this is not indication of Government involvement and heavy handed clampdown, I am not me and this is not 2018, and T.May is not PM. When a government resorts to this type of clampdown, it is usually coined “Damage control”. “Damage control” is an situation a Government reverts to, when Governments risks falling or could be damaged irreparably.
And yes, they have the Legalese to do that, including ruining your life and handing out 30 year sentences all under some “Secrets Act”.

The Syrian CW incidents so far have all been marred by very questionable occurrences. Either side in the Syrian war is using social media for propaganda purposes, the rebel side most heavily. What I find suspicious though is that the purported victims almost always are children. Never young women and never the “Rebels” themselves; meaning that the narrative I am supposed to accept is that the Government forces in the midst of a raging battle finds time to launch a single CW shell or two, at complete different target than minutes before, just to terror bomb some hapless civilians into submission ? Risking the wrath of the world? It makes no sense at all.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Apr 15, 2018 2:44:48 AM | 172

@ Grieved|162

Can we take some time to honor the courage and spiritual resolve of the Russians in this play? Russian roulette? Who exactly invented this game? Nerves of steel.

Let's do it by watching this one minute video of the late great Givi, hero of Donbass. RIP

Posted by: CE | Apr 15, 2018 2:57:33 AM | 173

@ Yeah, Right 170
I dont think anyone would use the time and effort in finding pieces of destroyed Tomahawks in a country littered with 7 years of spent munitions, explode or unexploded...
Aside from that, destroying 3 buildings, at a cost of roughly 150 $ million is hardly cost effective, but I believe USN stocks are more than 3000, so they might not worry too much.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Apr 15, 2018 3:02:49 AM | 174

Paveway IV @98

I agree with you. The OPCW samples were collected by them from both the Skripals and we assume environmental samples as well. BA has a very long half life of 4 weeks in UV and high humidity. Nerve agents have short half lives ranging in the neighborhood of 72 hours. At almost 4 weeks after the event there would not be any nerve agent present in the Skripals but BZ would still be there. It is in many ways very similar to LSD. It also fits with the delayed effect of up to 4 hours after exposure (dose dependent) but the described symptoms don't fit well, but the doctor's report from the ER does. I tend to believe that it was BZ and not a nerve agent.

The OPCW itself has no laboratories and utilizes split samples sent to several laboratories. In this case it went to 4 labs, each receiving identical samples. The Swiss ought to be experts at identifying BZ as it was invented there by Hoffman-La Roche labs back in 1951 as of all things, an anti-spasmolytic. Anyway, the molecular weight and purity are easily assessed by GC-MS. That their findings were not included in the final report is very suspicious. The members of the OPCW can (and will) demand the raw data from all 4 labs for verification of interpretation. This is important as you don't want outlier findings in a report as it correctly indicates discrepancies if it wanders from the pre-determined findings. This smacks of collusion and I wonder where the other 3 labs were. I can assume one is at DSTL and another the Edgewood Arsenal lab in Maryland. The raw data will indicate exactly what the findings were and are all in digital format and can be used to compare relative performance form each lab. In this we will also see what standards and controls were used and how they looked in the instrumentation of each lab. All labs should be using the same reference standards and controls. You can expect a 5% variation between labs but misidentifying substances is very difficult and this needs close inspection. Someone is not telling the truth and clearly OPCW left out important results. This means a political choice was made by the OPCW but we have seen this before with them so it is not surprising. However, every member of the OPCW is an equal member and can demand to inspect the findings and raw data. Russia is a member and can do this. As we saw with MH-17 it is very suspicious to send samples to labs in any country that might be the perpetrator which would IMHO include the UK and the US. There are excellent labs in the Czech Republic, Germany, France, China, Japan, etc. who are also certified by the OPCW to do the work. So, there are some interesting choices being made at executive level. It all seems very suspicious to me and I tend to believe Lavrov as he has an excellent history for truth telling and proper behavior. Honor is everything to him. Something distinctly lacking in Teresa May, Donald Trump, and Boris Johnson who all lie ad libitum.

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Apr 15, 2018 3:12:20 AM | 175

Grieved @164

Good comment - and analogy to Josey Wales.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 15, 2018 3:12:43 AM | 176

Should read BZ not BA typo missed on my part.

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Apr 15, 2018 3:13:08 AM | 177

I find Putin's close relationship with this odious character to be his Achilles heel.
How much of Erdogan's approach is bare two-faced hypocrisy, and how much is strategic show is hard to tell.
I'm beginning to see the former dominating any of the latter -- and personally I'm start to see
Israel's Nutanyahoo as a step up from this oil-stealing Turk slime-ball. Odious, yes; but at least consistent.
Thank God I don't live anywhere near these poor bastards suffering daily these criminals at the top and their antics.

"Erdogan calls Western attack on Syria appropriate, says it’s a ‘message to Assad’"

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has welcomed the US-led forces strikes on Syria,
saying that the joint operation by the US, UK, and France was appropriate and it sent
the Syrian government “the message that its massacres wouldn’t be left unanswered.”
Erdogan said that “the innocent Syrian people should have been defended long ago.” ...

Posted by: imo | Apr 15, 2018 3:14:41 AM | 178

As to the OPCW making "political decisions", The Intercept had an interesting piece by Mehdi Hasan recently, about a certain John Bolton.

In 2001, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell had penned a letter to [OPCW head José] Bustani, thanking him for his “very impressive” work. By March 2002, however, Bolton — then serving as under secretary of state for Arms Control and International Security Affairs — arrived in person at the OPCW headquarters in the Hague to issue a warning to the organization’s chief. And, according to Bustani, Bolton didn’t mince words. “Cheney wants you out,” Bustani recalled Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States. “We can’t accept your management style.”

Bolton continued, according to Bustani’s recollections: “You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you.”

There was a pause.

“We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”

Posted by: CE | Apr 15, 2018 3:24:43 AM | 179

US & allies will try to get Moscow on board for new UNSC resolution after attacking Syria – report

Center hit in US attack produced cancer drugs

Posted by: Anon | Apr 15, 2018 3:42:45 AM | 180

Sorry, if someone have already published the following/ May be I've missed it. But everybody may stop speculating on what or didn't find the Swiss laboratory or what did Lavrov said. You may read it yourself now in English (in Russian it became available yesterday): Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s address at the 26th Assembly of the Council for Foreign and Defence Policy, Moscow, April 14, 2018

"As you know, in the Skripal case the British specially invited a group of OCSW experts. It was done exclusively in a bilateral manner, it was announced that the others would be informed about the conclusions reached by the group. The report of this group of experts was initially distributed as a summary for public consumption and following that, a detailed and fairly substantial confidential version was distributed to the OPCW members only. In that report, in accordance with the OPCW way of conduct, the chemical composition of the agent presented by the British was confirmed, and the analysis of samples, as the report states, was taken by the OPCW experts themselves. It contains no names, Novichok or any other. The report only gives the chemical formula, which, according to our experts, points to an agent that had been developed in many countries and does not present any particular secret.

Our colleagues tell us (I have already given examples as I described previous situations) that they have secret data that they cannot share. As you understand, we also have the capacity to obtain confidential information. Since this information concerns issues that are literally connected to death and life, we are not going to keep anything secret. We became aware of this from the Swiss Federal Institute for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection in Spiez. The information was obtained on conditions of confidentiality. On March 27, experts of the Institute completed their study of the samples collected on the site of the incident in Salisbery, in line with OPCW, and sent to them by the OPCW. This laboratory in Spiez, where, I am sure, professional scientists who value their reputation are employed, came to the following conclusions. I will now be quoting what they sent to the OPCW in their report. You understand that this is a translation from a foreign language but I will read it in Russian, quote: “Following our analysis, the samples indicate traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursor which are second category chemical weapons. BZ is a nerve toxic agent, which temporarily disables a person. The psycho toxic effect is achieved within 30 to 60 minutes after its use and lasts for up to four days. This composition was in operational service in the armies of the US, the UK and other NATO countries. The Soviet Union and Russia neither designed nor stored such chemical agents. Also, the samples indicate the presence of type A-234 nerve agent in its virgin state and also products of its degradation.” End of quote. According to the specialists’ estimates, the significant concentration of A-234 discovered would have inevitably been lethal, and taking into account its high volatility, the fact that the specialists in the city of Spiez found it in its virgin state and also with high purity and in high concentration, appears to be utterly suspicious, because the period which elapsed between the poisoning and sampling was fairly long – I think, over two weeks.

Taking into account that Yulia Skripal and the policeman have already been released from hospital, whereas Sergei Skripal, as the British claim without letting us see either Yulia or Sergei, is still recovering, the clinical pattern corresponds more to the use of a BZ agent. Nothing is said whatsoever about a BZ agent in the final report that the OPCW experts presented to its Executive Council. In this connection we address the OPCW a question about why the information, that I have just read out loud and which reflects the findings of the specialists from the city of Spiez, was withheld altogether in the final document. If the OPCW would reject and deny the very fact that the Spiez laboratory was engaged, it will be very interesting to listen to their explanations."

Posted by: Maverick64 | Apr 15, 2018 3:50:59 AM | 181

The most important is quoting Swiss Federal Institute for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection in Spiez

"Following our analysis, the samples indicate traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursor which are second category chemical weapons. BZ is a nerve toxic agent, which temporarily disables a person. The psycho toxic effect is achieved within 30 to 60 minutes after its use and lasts for up to four days. This composition was in operational service in the armies of the US, the UK and other NATO countries. The Soviet Union and Russia neither designed nor stored such chemical agents. Also, the samples indicate the presence of type A-234 nerve agent in its virgin state and also products of its degradation."

Any more questions to Russia? Seems that US poodles in UK and France have a lot of things to explain. So does the OPCW.

Posted by: Maverick64 | Apr 15, 2018 4:03:17 AM | 182

Predictably, the US offered a very different account of the airstrikes: During an early morning press conference, Lt. Gen Kenneth McKenzie said all of the missiles fired by the US and its partners landed.

That's a relief.

I'd be worried if some of the US launched missiles were still up there 24 hours later.

Posted by: Sushi | Apr 15, 2018 4:11:56 AM | 183

@183 --if correct then this just means the inmates in charge of the asylum will claim
that Putin is even more evil and cunning than first thought. The charge will now become
that he stole the said chemicals from Nato et al and used them to shift the blame to
the honorable western governments who are so capable they do not need facts.

Now the narrative will move to a witch hunt on who leaked the chemicals to the Russians.


Posted by: imo | Apr 15, 2018 5:19:42 AM | 184

Being on the side of power does not mean being on the side of morality and justice, ” said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, the bombing of Syria reminded him of the NATO attack on his own country in 1999.

History will set things right, and Washington already bears the heavy responsibility for the bloody carnage in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya,” Putin said in a statement.

US/UK/France think that they have the sole right to write/re-write history to their favour, but they fail to understand what history really means, i.e. a very long long long time, In hundreds or thousand of years' time, people will see how rapacious, predatory, lawless and morally corrupt iFUKUS are.

Posted by: mali | Apr 15, 2018 5:38:06 AM | 185

It's just a copy and paste from Craig Murray's website. One of the commenters noted.

"BZ recovery after 3rd or 4th day, When did Julia check her account???

“Paradoxically, one of the most reliable indications of recovery is the return of awareness by the subject that he is not as proficient as he should be. Subjects who received an incapacitating dose usually regain this awareness by the third or fourth day. By this time, their objective performance on addition and word recognition tests has generally risen to 80 or 90 percent of their baseline level, and the principal symptoms are some residual lassitude and blurring of vision…”

Posted by: Peter Schmidt | Apr 15, 2018 5:41:20 AM | 186

With regards to the video of the victims - can i point out that none of it makes sense?

In the video, the white helmets go upstairs in a building, showing victims as they go.
UP stairs.

Chlorine flows down like water, as does Sarin.
In ww1 soldiers would usually be safe from chlorine, if they could get their head above the gas, say, by standing up on the firesteps in the trenches.
People on the upper floors should have been fine. If not completely untouched, at least they should have survived.
Further, chlorine does not kill quickly.
Which was fine for ww1 purposes, because you just needed to drive people from their positions, but is pretty useless in a tall building as shown in the video, because people can simply move up to get away from the gas.
As chlorine is clearly visible and also has a very distinct smell, and is quite unpleasant to stay in, people WOULD have moved up and out of the gas.
Add to that, the fact that chlorine exposure and its symptoms have been described in great detail, again very much thanks to its use in ww1 - and the supposed victims did not have any symptoms that align with the exposure. Sure there is a bit of foam (shaving cream?) on some of the pictures, but there should be blood in the foam. chlorine turns the water in your eyes and mucus tissue into acid, which is what kills you, if you stay in it long enough.
This means they will be coughing bloody chunks long before they die. Eyes will be red. Skin will blister. fingernails go blue. People killed by chlorine in ww1 was described as having a yellow-green tint. Again not present on the supposed corpses.

In short - whatever killed those supposedly dead people in the video, it was not chlorine

Could it have been Sarin then?
Well - sarin is odorless and colorless, so you would not know it is there, and symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath and blindness. So its theoretically possible that people could have died from Sarin, though that particular gas is also known to be rather ineffective at any real elevation, as it will also flow down like water and collect in pools at the lowest areas. So, the gas would have to have been released inside the building, without too many holes for it to flow out of.

There is a problem with that narrative though - it is absorbed through the skin - so those brave white helmets and their cameracrews would quite probably be dead moving around in a building where it would still be present in pools in every depression or hollow inside the building, touching victims could easily mean death, so handling victims exposed to sarin would require quite a lot more protection than is evident in the videos.

Seeing a lack of white helmets and cameramen dropping dead, I think its fair to assume that no sarin was present.

Which begs the question - what, if anything, killed these people?

And thats leaving aside the fact that somehow some of the corpses are found in several locations.
If the white helmets did not move these people, and why would they?
Then it would appear there might be a zombie outbreak.

IF the intelligence community really believe this BS, then they really need some more intelligence in their community.
Sadly, too many people are just repulsed by dead children, and anyone questioning the narrative is seen as insensitive to those poor dead children.

Posted by: Charles M | Apr 15, 2018 5:44:25 AM | 187

Posted by: Charles M | Apr 15, 2018 5:44:25 AM | 188

Yes, and everybody associates "Novichok" with Russia.

It is very suspicious. But the ritual acts of the western "international community" creating a storm about "chemical attacks" briefly before the Syrian state finally has taken over an important area (Aleppo, East Ghouta) just to drop some inconsequential weapons does not make much sense either.

I find two possible explanations.

a) It is all psychological warfare and they want to avoid the "Assad won" headlines ie politicians try to reassure their sheep and allies that all is well with western power.

b) Syrians do use chemicals to drive people out from rebel occupied areas but these are chemicals that make it hard to remain but do not cause visible symptoms that can be dramatically shown on video.

I would like to add to b) the US insisted all through this assymetrical war that people in areas overtaken by "rebels" would "have the right to" remain and not evacuated.
Basically they supported the civilian population taken hostage by "rebels".

I find the economic war with China (and Russia) much more worrying as this used to be the run up to WW1 and WW2.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 15, 2018 6:05:43 AM | 188

The attacks simply delivered on promises made to, and paid for by, Saudi Arabia. In true Donald Trump fashion, they delivered the very minimum that could be asked for at the lowest possible cost, militarily and politically, to the West, and yet again the Saudis and their money are soon parted.

Posted by: Jz | Apr 15, 2018 6:32:48 AM | 189


It certainly explains Macron.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 15, 2018 6:51:12 AM | 190

@Posted by: Anon | Apr 15, 2018 3:42:45 AM | 181

That´s an important point to definitely destroy the alibi offered by the Coalition of the Three Rouge States, on that their aim is to protect and save Syrian people.....

According to Eva Bartlett directly from the terrain:

...Regarding the actual nature of the buildings bombed, Syrian media, SANA, describes the Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industries Research Institute as developing “centered on preparing the chemical compositions for cancer drugs.” The destruction of this institute is particularly bitter, as, under the criminal western sanctions, cancer medicines sales to Syria are prohibited.

Interviews with one of its employees, Said Said, corroborate SANA’s description of the facility making cancer treatment and other medicinal components. One article includes Said’s logical point: “If there were chemical weapons, we would not be able to stand here. I've been here since 5:30 am in full health – I'm not coughing.”

The case is that all their lie about protecting civilians from chemical weapons fall apart since the facility in question is located inside of a densely populated area, surrounded by households:

In the same Pentagon briefing, General Joseph Dunford specified the US and allies’ targets in Syria, alleging they were “specifically associated with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons program.” One target, at which 76 missiles were fired, was the Barzeh scientific research centre in heavily-populated Damascus itself, which Dunford claimed was involved in the “development, production and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology.”

This ‘target’ is in the middle of a densely-inhabited area of Damascus. According to Damascus resident Dr. (of business and economy) Mudar Barakat, who knows the area in question, “the establishment consists of a number of buildings. One of them is a teaching institute. They are very close to the homes of the people around.”

Of the strikes, Dunford claimed they “inflicted maximum damage, without unnecessary risk to innocent civilians.”

If one believed the claims to be accurate, would bombing them really save Syrian lives, or to the contrary cause mass deaths? Where is the logic in bombing facilities believed to contain hazardous, toxic chemicals in or near densely populated areas?

Posted by: From the resistance | Apr 15, 2018 7:00:20 AM | 191

@168 farm ecologist

Noone has any public information on the pharmacokinetics of A-234, it may in fact be completely harmless.

Posted by: TJ | Apr 15, 2018 7:19:56 AM | 192

hi thanks for this topic. just peace. خرید هدیه تولد

Posted by: خرید هدیه تولد | Apr 15, 2018 7:20:16 AM | 193

@189 somebody

Regarding b) are you saying the Syrian government farts in the terrorists general direction. Context for those who are not familiar-

Posted by: TJ | Apr 15, 2018 7:35:46 AM | 194

From what chemists have been posting above, I am correct to understand that the Skripals have been poisoned with BZ at the restaurant or the pub and then administered A234 while in hospital before the samples were taken according to the chain of custody by OPCW?
Reading the so-called 'declassified intelligence report' cooked up by the French, one has the feeling of a (really bad) PR operation. I would be very worried if the French intelligence had reached this degree of stupidity and innefficiency. On top of that it was obviously written directly in English and not translated from an official document.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 15, 2018 8:14:50 AM | 196

FUKUS is great. IFUKUS is even better because it includes the arch trouble maker Israel.

Posted by: Djo | Apr 15, 2018 8:17:06 AM | 197

@192 " Where is the logic in bombing facilities believed to contain hazardous, toxic chemicals in or near densely populated areas?"

There is none. But the USA knows full well that there were no chemical weapons nor their precursors at Barzeh, because they know as well as b does that this centre was visited twice by the OPCW, the last time as recently as 22 November 2017.

The result of that inspection?
"The analysis of samples taken during the inspections did not indicate the presence of scheduled chemicals in the samples, and the inspection team did not observe any activities
inconsistent with obligations under the Convention during the second round of inspections at the Barzah and Jamrayah facilities."

There was nothing there that would pose a threat to anyone in the Damascus region, precisely because there was nothing untoward going on in either of those facilities.

Which, of course, inevitably means that the USA knew full well that there was no reason to bomb those buildings, but they bombed them anyway.

Q: So why bomb them?
A: So Trump could tweet "Mission Accomplished"

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 15, 2018 8:17:26 AM | 198

With all due respect what is this bologna? Everyone is entitled to believe in Santa Claus if they want to but this site takes it to tooth fairy status. Isnt Sessions from Alabama too by the way? Enough said.

Posted by: Jay | Apr 15, 2018 8:18:05 AM | 199


Well there is the Russian statement before the event claiming that "rebels" planned to do a false flag chemical attack. As it turned out they did.

There are lots of ways he would know this. One is that he knew this would be the answer to what Russia/Syria planned to do.

Compare the destruction of East Ghouta to the destruction of Raqqa (the West) to the destruction of Grozny.

This here are Raqqa reports on chemical use (White Phosphorous) in the air strikes plus reports that the US uses White Phosphorous in populated areas.

Politicians/military who support/plan this type of urban uprisings should end up in the The Hague.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 15, 2018 8:19:42 AM | 200

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