by Ulson Gunnar, New Eastern Outlook:
The United States finds its increasingly clumsy, circular foreign policy looping back once again to accusations of “weapons of mass destruction” being inexplicably used against a civilian population, this time in Syria’s northern city of Idlib currently serving as the defacto capital of terrorist organizations including various Al Qaeda affiliates, most notably the US State Department designated foreign terrorist organization, al-Nusrah Front.
The allegations have already been used for a rushed US attack on Syrian forces, without any formal investigation or approval from the United Nations.
There are several serious factors being intentionally omitted from this quickly evolving US-driven narrative, including:
While the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa serves as the defacto capital of the Islamic State, the northern city of Idlib serves as the defacto capital for all remaining Al Qaeda affiliates in the country;
The Syrian government is already winning nationwide using much more effective, conventional tactics and weapon systems. Syria is also under immense scrutiny, thus using chemical weapons would be an egregious tactical, strategic, political and military blunder, serving no purpose besides to incriminate the government and invite US-led foreign intervention;
The US has already prepositioned troops in Syria, increasing their number recently and expanding the scope of their operations. It is not a coincidence that they were placed there to exert greater military force against Damascus, and now suddenly have a pretext to do so;
The US has a long and sordid history of arraying false accusations against targeted states, specifically regarding the possession or use of chemical weapons and;
Militant groups the US and its allies are currently arming, funding, training and providing aid to, have been caught staging serial chemical weapon attacks or fabricating evidence regarding alleged attacks that never took place.
US-Backed Groups Already Implicated in Chemical Attacks in Syria
The allegations of the most recent attack come from the same chorus of US-European backed organizations, fronts and media platforms that have repeatedly made similar accusations over the past six years, none of which have been verified with evidence, and with several instances being exposed as staged by militant groups themselves fighting the Syrian government.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, who exposed plans to use militant groups associated with Al Qaeda to overthrow the Syrian government as early as 2007, would publish another report in 2014 titled, “The Red Line and the Rat Line,” which would explain:
In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons. Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous.
Hersh would continue by explaining:
Obama’s change of mind had its origins at Porton Down, the defence laboratory in Wiltshire. British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal. The message that the case against Syria wouldn’t hold up was quickly relayed to the US joint chiefs of staff. The British report heightened doubts inside the Pentagon; the joint chiefs were already preparing to warn Obama that his plans for a far-reaching bomb and missile attack on Syria’s infrastructure could lead to a wider war in the Middle East. As a consequence the American officers delivered a last-minute caution to the president, which, in their view, eventually led to his cancelling the attack.
Hersh would also reveal that intelligence assessments from within the US itself noted that militant groups, not the Syrian government, were the most likely culprits behind serial chemical attacks unfolding across Syrian territory:
The DIA paper went on: ‘Previous IC [intelligence community] focus had been almost entirely on Syrian CW [chemical weapons] stockpiles; now we see ANF attempting to make its own CW … Al-Nusrah Front’s relative freedom of operation within Syria leads us to assess the group’s CW aspirations will be difficult to disrupt in the future.’ The paper drew on classified intelligence from numerous agencies: ‘Turkey and Saudi-based chemical facilitators,’ it said, ‘were attempting to obtain sarin precursors in bulk, tens of kilograms, likely for the anticipated large scale production effort in Syria.’
The Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons, when its efforts to restore order across the nation are already successfully being executed using far more effective conventional means, and as it does so under the scrutiny of an “international order” led by the US eager to justify the direct use of US military might against Damascus would be absolutely inexplicable.
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