Home Latest The 2013 chemical attack on Ghouta: It was terrorists, not Assad

The 2013 chemical attack on Ghouta: It was terrorists, not Assad

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It should come as a relief Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has all but won the Syrian Civil War; he has thus far successfully prevented himself from not only becoming the next western imperialist casualty after Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi but being subsequently replaced by a compliant puppet of the international cabal to permit unfettered foreign control over Syria. Without a doubt, this is mostly owed to Russia and Iran’s intervention in Syria on behalf of pro-government forces. This decade-long conflict inflicted horrid devastation on the people of Syria, amounting to nearly half a million casualties in total, injuring more than a million, killing or wounding approximately 12,000 children, and displacing half of the country’s population which resulted in an international refugee crisis.

It’d be somewhat underrated to refer to this conflict as a “civil war” because it implies an internal clash between the Syrian population and its government. The term “proxy war” is far more accurate due to the multilateral foreign intervention to either fight for Assad or support terrorist organizations to topple him. Besides clandestine support for Syria’s “moderate rebels” involving the transfer of finances and weapons the United States, a propaganda campaign against Assad was put into overdrive from the start of the conflict in Syria for the public to be coerced into supporting American intervention in Syria on ‘humanitarian’ grounds.

Clearly, it worked over the course of both presidential administrations from the beginning. A proficient tool of war propaganda is emotional appeal and this was used to its fullest potential against President Assad to justify invasion.

On August 21, 2013, in the southwestern region of opposition-controlled Ghouta, Syria rockets containing the chemical agent sarin were dropped, killing an estimated 250 to 1,400 people. This was made the deadliest chemical weapons attack since the Iran-Iraq War. A subsequent cease-fire allowed for the UN investigation team to confirm that the deadly nerve agent sarin was used in the attacks. Almost immediately, western governments from the United States, the United Kingdom, and France pinned the blame on Assad for the heinous war crime, giving them the long-awaited justification for military intervention the west was itching for prior to 2011.

Yet, further investigation sheds new light on who exactly was responsible for this egregious war crime. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a piece in the London Review of Books outlining how the chemical attack was in fact a false flag incident manifested by Turkey. Prior to the gas attack, President Obama laid out an eerily precise telling of the brewing event:

“In the days leading up to August 21st, we know that Assad’s chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas. They distributed gas masks to their troops. Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighborhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces.”

How did he know this? Hersh explains it’s impossible and thanks to proof by Edward Snowden, we know now that to be true since the Syrian government had tightened their security so no foreign administration could monitor communications between Assad and his military commanders. So if it was impossible for the United States government to spy on Assad’s military progress, how did Obama give a premature and bizarre step-by-step account of the brewing attack? There was certainly a poison gas assault in Ghouta that day as a false flag and not a false attack. The question is who was the perpetrator?

Possession of chemical weapons by rebel groups was already suspected and afterwards well-founded when Russia secured samples of chemicals from the March attack on Khan al-Assal, concluding that the sarin substance and rocket shell containing it were not military grade, but makeshift similar to those produced by rebel fighter groups. These findings outlined in a 100-page report were handed over to the UN by Russia. Hersh goes to cite how and why US intelligence analysts suspected Turkey was the architect behind the chemical attack:

“As intercepts and other data related to the 21 August attacks were gathered, the intelligence community saw evidence to support its suspicions. ‘We now know it was a covert action planned by Erdoğan’s people to push Obama over the red line,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘They had to escalate to a gas attack in or near Damascus when the UN inspectors’ – who arrived in Damascus on 18 August to investigate the earlier use of gas – ‘were there. The deal was to do something spectacular. Our senior military officers have been told by the DIA and other intelligence assets that the sarin was supplied through Turkey – that it could only have gotten there with Turkish support. The Turks also provided the training in producing the sarin and handling it.’”

This can be corroborated by reports in May 2015 disclosing how Turkish intelligence was helping to “deliver arms to parts of Syria under Islamist rebel control during late 2013 and early 2014, according to a prosecutor and court testimony from gendarmerie officers.” Ghouta by this time was under rebel control, committing unspeakable acts of cruelty against religious minorities.

In December 2015, more evidence of the Turkish government’s guilt was revealed when Turkish MP Eren Erdem claimed materials for sarin gas production arrived to ISIS camps in Syria from Turkey. Erdem goes on to explain how authorities conducted raids, arresting 13 in the process but closing the case a week later before all of these suspects crossed into Syria from Turkey. This same MP immediately faced treason charges after receiving a barrage of smears and death threats for exposing Turkey’s assistance to terrorists.

How did President Obama react to all these revelations? He ignored it. A month after the attacks on Ghouta, Obama unilaterally waived a federal law banning the supply of lethal aid to terrorist group. This was highly suspicious considering his administration’s repeated assurances to the public that arms were being sent only to “moderate” Syrian rebels and not Islamic jihadists with links to terrorists even though intelligence officials have consistently voiced the near impossibility of controlling who receives American weaponry. Hersh also disclosed in interviews with intelligence and military officers the “deliberate manipulation of intelligence” by the Obama administration via altering the available information’s timing and sequence to present the appearance of received intelligence days after the attack look as though it had been retrieved while the assault on Ghouta was commencing.

Soon after the gas attack, rebel groups, the Syrian government, and the United States all called for a cease-fire to permit United Nations investigators complete access to the Ghouta site for inspection. Hours later, it was the Obama administration that tried unsuccessfully to convince the UN to cancel its investigation. Their excuse as presented by then Secretary of State John Kerry was that the UN investigation was “coming too late” to garner legitimate proof of Syrian opposition claims that over a thousand people were killed. What was conveniently not revealed by the State Department was that Syria had not been asked by the UN for access to the attack site until the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane presented it that Saturday, three days after the Ghouta assault. Syria agreed, issuing a cease-fire the following day.

The Syrian government continuously rejected allegations of gassing its own civilians and simultaneously presented evidence before the United Nations detailing three other smaller chemical attacks committed by rebels. Three days after Ghouta, the Syrian government raided tunnels located in Jobar, a neighborhood in Damascus, where chemical labs were found and being operated by rebels. Around the same time, Hezbollah fighters were also returning to Lebanon to seek medical treatment after it was reported they came into contact with rebel chemical agents also located in Jobar.

The desperate campaign to pin chemical weapons attacks on Assad and his military preceded Ghouta by months at the minimum. In March of that year, intelligence reports suggested rebel forces possessed chemical weapons through their technical knowledge on how to produce such destructive weapons. After an explosion near Aleppo killed 26 people and wounded dozens more, western governments quickly pointed to Assad’s forces as the perpetrator. Most of the victims however, were Syrian Armed Forces soldiers and the Syrian government subsequently demanded an international investigation.

More was to come as the Ha’aretz article explained:

“According to a number of reports, American and perhaps also British special forces are willing to enter Syria to secure the chemical weapons stockpiles from bases in Jordan and Turkey should there be any sign that they are about to be captured or used by terror organizations. The Sunni-dominated Free Syrian Army, which has among its ranks senior officers who defected from forces loyal to Assad, has also prepared a plan to take over the chemical bases in the case of the regime’s sudden collapse.”

All the way back in December 2012 as reported by the Washington Post:

“U.S. officials are increasingly worried that Syria’s weapons of mass destruction could fall into the hands of Islamist extremists, rogue generals or other uncontrollable factions.”

Sure enough, this same piece went on to break the dreaded news:

“Last week, fighters from a group that the Obama administration has branded a terrorist organization were among rebels who seized the Sheik Suleiman military base near Aleppo, where research on chemical weapons had been conducted. Rebels are also closing in on another base near Aleppo, known as Safirah, which has served as a major production center for such munitions, according to US officials and analysts.”

Two months later, UN human rights investigators stated rebel forces had in fact used the nerve agent sarin based on gathered testimony and medical staff in Syria. The United States still with “varying degrees of confidence” attributed the sarin usage on Syrians to Assad’s government. Investigator Carla Del Ponte shocked UN officials by presenting these indications, but strangely enough the UN downplayed Del Ponte’s findings in a rather pathetically constructed announcement from the inquiry commission:

“The independent international Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic wishes to clarify that it has not reached conclusive findings as to the use of chemical weapons in Syria by any parties to the conflict.”

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic was founded in August 2011 by the Human Rights Council following civil unrest in Syria during the Arab Spring. The United States did not officially join the Council until 2009 upon its election. Interestingly, Ambassador Eileen Donahoe to the Human Rights Council attended a luncheon hosted by United Nations Watch where she made public the following:

“The UN Watch mission statement aligns very closely with the reasons behind President Obama’s decision to seek membership at the Council. Well aware of the weaknesses of the Council, the United States chose to practice our creed of “principled engagement,” by seeking to improve the work and functioning of the Council from within…”

UN Watch is a Geneva-based non-governmental organization whose mission statement is “to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter.” Since 2001, the UN Watch has been funded by the American Jewish Committee. A press release from the UN Watch site noted:

“Eighteen months ago, the American Jewish Committee and the World Jewish Congress reached an agreement, approved by the international board of UN Watch, to transfer full control of the organization to AJC, an agreement that went into effect on January 1, 2001.”

On September 10, 2013, UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer delivered his testimony before the United Nations Human Rights Council rhetorically questioning whether “innocent civilians attacked by their own government with chemical weapons [are] not human rights victims?”

Given the heavy Zionist influence in American politics through formidable lobbies like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and Israel’s hawkish stance against Assad during the Syrian Civil War, this combination is a considerable explanation for Donahoe’s statement. As for Syrian relations with the United States, it has long been acknowledged since Bashar’s father the late Hafez al-Assad that “the road to Washington runs through Jerusalem.” This is just one of several historical examples where Israeli interests have stifled American objectives relating to peace processes in the Middle East.

Now that it has been heavily proven the blame for the Ghouta chemical attack should be placed squarely on the terrorist groups supplied by foreign nations and not Bashar al-Assad, why would a Nobel Peace Prize winner go through with a dangerous covert operation against Assad based on lies and deceit just like the Second Invasion of Iraq? Well, who was in his ear regarding foreign policy?

Two women who shaped Obama’s foreign policy – Susan Rice and Samantha Power – have beat the war drums against Assad throughout his presidential tenure; Rice was pushing for the Obama administration to go forward with ‘punishing’ Assad via airstrikes instead of seeking congressional authorization for military strikes against Syria’s chemical weapons facilities. Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor until March 2013 was John Brennan who was later nominated by Obama to become the fifth director of the CIA.

It was Brennan who oversaw the disastrous $1 billion covert action program – Timber Sycamore – to train rebels in Syria in ousting Assad and destabilizing the country. Secretary of State John Kerry undoubtedly the most fanatic of the war mongers among Obama’s foreign policy team “asked President Barack Obama to launch missiles at specific regime targets in Syria to “send a message” to Bashar Assad…” Lastly, it was Director of National Intelligence James Clapper who among many repeated the old tired trope of ‘Assad must go’ citing the Syrian president’s presence as “the magnet for all this extremism that has found its way to Syria.”

With 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump and his promises to reverse the disastrous foreign policy of Obama regarding Syria, it seemed at long last there was a president for the first time taking an anti-war, non-interventionist stance for the American people growing weary of their country’s forever wars. Unfortunately, over the course of his first term, Trump would capitulate to his neoconservative-infested cabinet against his promises. Stay tuned for part two of this article in the coming weeks as we go over the situation in Syria at that time, changing geopolitical strategies, the incessant war mongers in power, and more chemical weapons attacks to once again implicate Assad and ramp up western imperialist objectives.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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