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The Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria (w/ Addenda)
A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report Issued on April 11, 2017
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[Addendum to Original Assessment Report]

[Video Evidence of False Claims Made in the White House Intelligence Report]

Dear Larry:

ViewAsPDF2I am responding to your distribution of what I understand is a White House statement claiming intelligence findings about the nerve agent attack on April 4, 2017 in Khan Shaykhun, Syria. My understanding from your note is that this White House intelligence summary was released to you sometime on April 11, 2017.

I have reviewed the document carefully, and I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria at roughly 6 to 7 a.m. on April 4, 2017.

In fact, a main piece of evidence that is cited in the document points to an attack that was executed by individuals on the ground, not from an aircraft, on the morning of April 4.

This conclusion is based on an assumption made by the White House when it cited the source of the sarin release and the photographs of that source. My own assessment, is that the source was very likely tampered with or staged, so no serious conclusion could be made from the photographs cited by the White House.

However, if one assumes, as does the White House, that the source of the sarin was from this location and that the location was not tampered with, the most plausible conclusion is that the sarin was dispensed by an improvised dispersal device made from a 122 mm section of rocket tube filled with sarin and capped on both sides.

The only undisputable facts stated in the White House report is the claim that a chemical attack using nerve agent occurred in Khan Shaykhun, Syria on that morning. Although the White House statement repeats this point in many places within its report, the report contains absolutely no evidence that this attack was the result of a munition being dropped from an aircraft. In fact, the report contains absolutely no evidence that would indicate who was the perpetrator of this atrocity.

The report instead repeats observations of physical effects suffered by victims that with very little doubt indicate nerve agent poisoning.

The only source the document cites as evidence that the attack was by the Syrian government is the crater it claims to have identified on a road in the North of Khan Shaykhun.

I have located this crater using Google Earth and there is absolutely no evidence that the crater was created by a munition designed to disperse sarin after it is dropped from an aircraft.

The Google Earth map shown in Figure 1 at the end of this text section shows the location of that crater on the road in the north of Khan Shaykhun, as described in the White House statement.

The data cited by the White House is more consistent with the possibility that the munition was placed on the ground rather than dropped from a plane. This conclusion assumes that the crater was not tampered with prior to the photographs. However, by referring to the munition in this crater, the White House is indicating that this is the erroneous source of the data it used to conclude that the munition came from a Syrian aircraft.

Analysis of the debris as shown in the photographs cited by the White House clearly indicates that the munition was almost certainly placed on the ground with an external detonating explosive on top of it that crushed the container so as to disperse the alleged load of sarin.

Since time appears to be of the essence here, I have put together the summary of the evidence I have that the White House report contains false and misleading conclusions in a series of figures that follow this discussion. Each of the figures has a description below it, but I will summarize these figures next and wait for further inquiries about the basis of the conclusions I am putting forward herein.

Figure 1 shows a Google Earth image of the northeast corner of Khan Shaykhun where the crater identified as the source of the sarin attack and referred to in the White House intelligence report is located.

Also shown in the Google Earth image is the direction of the wind from the crater. At 3 AM the wind was going directly to the south at a speed of roughly 1.5 to 2.5 m/s. By 6 AM the wind was moving to the southeast at 1 to 2 m/s. The temperature was also low, 50 to 55°F near the ground. These conditions are absolutely ideal for a nerve agent attack.

When the temperature near the ground is low, and there is no sun and very slow winds, the dense cool air stays close to the ground and there is almost no upward motion of the air. This condition causes any particles, droplets, or clouds of dispersed gas to stay close to the ground as the surrounding air moves over the ground. We perceive this motion as a gentle breeze on a calm morning before sunrise.

One can think of a cloud of sarin as much like a cloud of ink generated by an escaping octopus. The ink cloud sits in the water and as the water slowly moves, so does the cloud. As the cloud is moved along by the water, it will slowly spread in all directions as it moves. If the layer of water where the ink is embedded moves so as to stay close to the ocean floor, the cloud will cover objects as it moves with the water.

This is the situation that occurs on a cool night before sunrise when the winds move only gently.

Figures 5 and 6 show tables that summarize the weather at 3 hour intervals in Khan Shaykun on the day of the attack, April 4, the day before the attack, April 3, and the day after the attack, April 5. The striking feature of the weather is that there were relatively high winds in the morning hours on both April 3 and April 5. If the gas attack were executed either the day before or the day after in the early morning, the attack would have been highly ineffective. The much higher winds would have dispersed the cloud of nerve agent and the mixing of winds from higher altitudes would have caused the nerve agent to be carried aloft from the ground. It is therefore absolutely clear that the time and day of the attack was carefully chosen and was no accident.

Figure 2 shows a high quality photograph of the crater identified in the White House report as the source of the sarin attack. Assuming that there was no tampering of evidence at the crater, one can see what the White House is claiming as a dispenser of the nerve agent.

The dispenser looks like a 122 mm pipe like that used in the manufacture of artillery rockets.

As shown in the close-up of the pipe in the crater in Figure 3, the pipe looks like it was originally sealed at the front end and the back end. Also of note is that the pipe is flattened into the crater, and also has a fractured seam that was created by the brittle failure of the metal skin when the pipe was suddenly crushed inward from above.

Figure 4 shows the possible configuration of an improvised sarin dispersal device that could have been used to create the crater and the crushed carcass of what was originally a cylindrical pipe. A good guess of how this dispersal mechanism worked (again, assuming that the crater and carcass were not staged, as assumed in the White House report) was that a slab of high explosive was placed over one end of the sarin-filled pipe and detonated.

The explosive acted on the pipe as a blunt crushing mallet. It drove the pipe into the ground while at the same time creating the crater. Since the pipe was filled with sarin, which is an incompressible fluid, as the pipe was flattened the sarin acted on the walls and ends of the pipe causing a crack along the length of the pipe and also the failure of the cap on the back end. This mechanism of dispersal is essentially the same as hitting a toothpaste tube with a large mallet, which then results in the tube failing and the toothpaste being blown in many directions depending on the exact way the toothpaste skin ruptures.

If this is in fact the mechanism used to disperse the sarin, this indicates that the sarin tube was placed on the ground by individuals on the ground and not dropped from an airplane.

Figure 8 shows the improvised sarin dispenser along with a typical 122 mm artillery rocket and the modified artillery rocket used in the sarin attack of August 21, 2013 in Damascus.

At that time (August 30, 2013) the Obama White House also issued an intelligence report containing obvious inaccuracies. For example, that report stated without equivocation that the sarin carrying artillery rocket used in Damascus had been fired from Syrian government controlled areas. As it turned out, the particular munition used in that attack could not go further than roughly 2 km, very far short of any boundary controlled by the Syrian government at that time. The White House report at that time also contained other critical and important errors that might properly be described as amateurish. For example, the report claimed that the locations of the launch and impact of points of the artillery rockets were observed by US satellites. This claim was absolutely false and any competent intelligence analyst would have known that. The rockets could be seen from the Space-Based Infrared Satellite (SBIRS) but the satellite could absolutely not see the impact locations because the impact locations were not accompanied by explosions. These errors were clear indicators that the White House intelligence report had in part been fabricated and had not been vetted by competent intelligence experts.

This same situation appears to be the case with the current White House intelligence report. No competent analyst would assume that the crater cited as the source of the sarin attack was unambiguously an indication that the munition came from an aircraft. No competent analyst would assume that the photograph of the carcass of the sarin canister was in fact a sarin canister. Any competent analyst would have had questions about whether the debris in the crater was staged or real. No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it. All of these highly amateurish mistakes indicate that this White House report, like the earlier Obama White House Report, was not properly vetted by the intelligence community as claimed.

I have worked with the intelligence community in the past, and I have grave concerns about the politicization of intelligence that seems to be occurring with more frequency in recent times – but I know that the intelligence community has highly capable analysts in it. And if those analysts were properly consulted about the claims in the White House document they would have not approved the document going forward.

I am available to expand on these comments substantially. I have only had a few hours to quickly review the alleged White House intelligence report. But a quick perusal shows without a lot of analysis that this report cannot be correct, and it also appears that this report was not properly vetted by the intelligence community.

This is a very serious matter.

President Obama was initially misinformed about supposed intelligence evidence that Syria was the perpetrator of the August 21, 2013 nerve agent attack in Damascus. This is a matter of public record. President Obama stated that his initially false understanding was that the intelligence clearly showed that Syria was the source of the nerve agent attack. This false information was corrected when the then Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, interrupted the President while he was in an intelligence briefing. According to President Obama, Mr. Clapper told the President that the intelligence that Syria was the perpetrator of the attack was “not a slamdunk.”

The question that needs to be answered by our nation is how was the president initially misled about such a profoundly important intelligence finding? A second equally important question is how did the White House produce an intelligence report that was obviously flawed and amateurish that was then released to the public and never corrected? The same false information in the intelligence report issued by the White House on August 30, 2013 was emphatically provided by Secretary of State John Kerry in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee!

We again have a situation where the White House has issued an obviously false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report.

The Congress and the public have been given reports in the name of the intelligence community about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, technical evidence supposedly collected by satellite systems that any competent scientists would know is false, and now from photographs of the crater that any analyst who has any competent at all would not trust as evidence.

It is late in the evening for me, so I will end my discussion here.

I stand ready to provide the country with any analysis and help that is within my power to supply. What I can say for sure herein is that what the country is now being told by the White House cannot be true and the fact that this information has been provided in this format raises the most serious questions about the handling of our national security.

Sincerely yours,

Theodore A. Postol

Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: postol@mit.edu
Cell Phone: 617 543-7646

 

Figures and Diagrams

Direction of lethal Plume on April 4, 2017 between 3 and 6 AM on April 4, 2017 assuming the munition crater identified by the White House report is actually a sarin dispersal site.
Direction of lethal Plume on April 4, 2017 between 3 and 6 AM on April 4, 2017 assuming the munition crater identified by the White House report is actually a sarin dispersal site.

Figure 1

 

Close up photograph of the crater that has been shown in numerous mainstream media publications that the White House alleges is proof that the source of the nerve agent attack was the Syrian government.
Close up photograph of the crater that has been shown in numerous mainstream media publications that the White House alleges is proof that the source of the nerve agent attack was the Syrian government.

Figure 2

 

Deformation of sarin containing pipe and crater from the action of the explosive charge placed on top of the sarin containing pipe. Note that pipe has been flattened from the outside and has failed along its length and at the far end due to the action of the incompressible sarin fluid against the pipe walls.
Deformation of sarin containing pipe and crater from the action of the explosive charge placed on top of the sarin containing pipe. Note that pipe has been flattened from the outside and has failed along its length and at the far end due to the action of the incompressible sarin fluid against the pipe walls.

Figure 3

 

Possible configuration of an improvised sarin dispersal device that uses an externally placed explosive and a sealed pipe that has been filled with sarin that could potentially contain 8 to 10 L of sarin.
Possible configuration of an improvised sarin dispersal device that uses an externally placed explosive and a sealed pipe that has been filled with sarin that could potentially contain 8 to 10 L of sarin.

Figure 4

 

The weather at the time of the attack was ideal for the most lethal spread of the nerve agent. The ground was cool and there was a high density layer of air near the ground that would carry the nerve agent close to the ground as it drifted towards its victims. The wind speed was also very low, which resulted in the sarin taking a long time to pass over its victims, resulting in long exposures that made it more likely that victims would get a lethal dose.
The weather at the time of the attack was ideal for the most lethal spread of the nerve agent. The ground was cool and there was a high density layer of air near the ground that would carry the nerve agent close to the ground as it drifted towards its victims. The wind speed was also very low, which resulted in the sarin taking a long time to pass over its victims, resulting in long exposures that made it more likely that victims would get a lethal dose.

Figure 5

 

The weather on the day before the attack, Monday April 3, and on the day after the attack, Wednesday April 5, had very poor weather for an effective nerve agent attack. The winds were high and gusty on both days, which would have resulted in the sarin being carried away from the ground and quickly over any possible victims, causing a very limited time for them to get a dose that would be lethal.
The weather on the day before the attack, Monday April 3, and on the day after the attack, Wednesday April 5, had very poor weather for an effective nerve agent attack. The winds were high and gusty on both days, which would have resulted in the sarin being carried away from the ground and quickly over any possible victims, causing a very limited time for them to get a dose that would be lethal.

Figure 6

 

How the sarin is dispersed by the wind: the graph above shows a rough estimate of how a cloud of sarin droplets might disperse under weather conditions similar to that in the early morning on April 4, 2017 in Khan Shaykhun. As the sarin is carried by the ambient winds, it tends to rise and spread somewhat due to the slight turbulence of the air. Note that the cloud might not disperse much for ranges of thousands of meters downwind. The cross range and vertical dispersion is determined not only by the weather conditions but also by the ground, which if rough could increase the dispersion and if flat and smooth could reduce the dispersion.
How the sarin is dispersed by the wind: the graph above shows a rough estimate of how a cloud of sarin droplets might disperse under weather conditions similar to that in the early morning on April 4, 2017 in Khan Shaykhun. As the sarin is carried by the ambient winds, it tends to rise and spread somewhat due to the slight turbulence of the air. Note that the cloud might not disperse much for ranges of thousands of meters downwind. The cross range and vertical dispersion is determined not only by the weather conditions but also by the ground, which if rough could increase the dispersion and if flat and smooth could reduce the dispersion.

Figure 7

 

The ground-placed improvised sarin dispersal device is shown next to a standard 122 mm artillery rocket and the modified rocket that was used for delivering sarin in the nerve agent attack of August 21, 2013. Unlike the modified artillery rockets used in the nerve agent attack of August 21, 2013 in Damascus, this particular improvised dispersal device is simply a section of pipe from a 122 mm rocket or for the manufacture of 122 mm rockets that could have been filled with sarin. The explosive placed on top of the pipe would cause it to be suddenly crushed up like a tube of toothpaste hit by a mallet. Just as the toothpaste would be sprayed out from the toothpaste tube, so with the sarin be sprayed from the metal tube.
The ground-placed improvised sarin dispersal device is shown next to a standard 122 mm artillery rocket and the modified rocket that was used for delivering sarin in the nerve agent attack of August 21, 2013. Unlike the modified artillery rockets used in the nerve agent attack of August 21, 2013 in Damascus, this particular improvised dispersal device is simply a section of pipe from a 122 mm rocket or for the manufacture of 122 mm rockets that could have been filled with sarin. The explosive placed on top of the pipe would cause it to be suddenly crushed up like a tube of toothpaste hit by a mallet. Just as the toothpaste would be sprayed out from the toothpaste tube, so with the sarin be sprayed from the metal tube.

Figure 8

 

Rough estimate of possible sarin densities and times to lethal exposure from the improvised sarin dispersal device described in the White House report and exploded on the road in Khan Shaykhun.
Rough estimate of possible sarin densities and times to lethal exposure from the improvised sarin dispersal device described in the White House report and exploded on the road in Khan Shaykhun.

Figure 8

 

Addendum to Original Assessment Report

ViewAsPDF2This addendum is a follow-up to the report A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report Issued on April 11, 2017 about the Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria. The full “Quick Turnaround” was written on the evening of April 11 after a quick review of the White House Intelligence Report (WHR) issued on the same day.

This addendum provides data that unambiguously shows that the assumption in the WHR that there was no tampering with the alleged site of the sarin release is not correct. This egregious error raises questions about every other claim in the WHR.

As noted in the main body of my earlier report, the assumption in WHR that the site of the alleged sarin release had not been tampered with was totally unjustified and no competent intelligence analyst would have agreed that this assumption was valid. The implication of this observation is clear – the WHR was not reviewed and released by any competent intelligence expert unless they were motivated by factors other than concerns about the accuracy of the report.

The WHR also makes claims about “communications intercepts” which supposedly provide high confidence that the Syrian government was the source of the attack. There is no reason to believe that the veracity of this claim is any different from the now verified false claim that there was unambiguous evidence of a sarin release at the cited crater.

The White House intelligence report states that:

The United States is confident that the Syrian regime conducted a chemical weapons attack, using the nerve agent sarin.

It also contains additional assertions that were key elements for underpinning its claim of a high confidence assessment:

We have confidence in our assessment because we have signals intelligence and geospatial intelligence, laboratory analysis of physiological samples collected from multiple victims, as well as a significant body of credible open source reporting, that tells a clear and consistent story.

An open source video also shows where we believe the chemical munition landed—not on a facility filled with weapons, but in the middle of a street in the northern section of Khan Shaykhun [Emphasis Added]. Commercial satellite imagery of that site from April 6, after the allegation, shows a crater in the road that corresponds to the open source video.

… observed munition remnants at the crater and staining around the impact point are consistent with a munition that functioned.

Last November, for instance, senior Russian officials used an image from a widely publicized regime chemical weapons attack in 2013 on social media platforms to publicly allege chemical weapons use by the opposition.

The evidence that unambiguously shows that the assumption that the sarin release crater was tampered with is contained in six photographs at the end of this document.

Figure A-1 shows a man standing in the alleged sarin-release crater. He is wearing a honeycomb facemask that is designed to filter small particles from the air. Other apparel on him is an open necked cloth shirt and what appear to be medical exam gloves.

Two other men are standing in front of him (on the left in the photograph) also wearing honeycomb facemask’s and medical exam gloves.

If there were any sarin present at this location when this photograph was taken everybody in the photograph would have received a lethal or debilitating dose of sarin.

The fact that these people were dressed so inadequately either suggests a complete ignorance of the basic measures needed to protect an individual from sarin poisoning, or that they knew that the site was not seriously contaminated.

This is the crater that is the centerpiece evidence provided in the WHR for a sarin attack delivered by a Syrian aircraft.

Figure A-2 shows the location of the crater on a Google Earth map of the Northeast part of Khan Sheikun. The white arrow labeled camera direction indicates the bore site of the camera when the photograph was taken. The white dot connected to a line shows the approximate location of the camera when the photo was taken. The direction the camera is looking is North Northeast.

Figure A-3 shows a photograph of the same street and crater when it is unoccupied by people. This photograph is taken from a slightly greater distance away from the crater but the bore site of the camera is in the same direction – North Northeast.

Figure A-4 shows the crater, probably shortly after the tampering occurred that is documented in Figure A-1.

The camera bore site is downward into the crater and its azimuth is roughly East Northeast. Note that the surgical gloves that can be seen on the ground behind the man in the crater in Figure A-1 can be seen almost unmoved in the photograph shown in Figure A-4. This strongly suggests that the photograph was taken a relatively short time after the tampering occurred.

Figure A-5 shows the crater at a time that may have been before the tampering occurred. The bottom of the crater looks rather different and the piece of pipe, which is clearly lying on top of the bottom of the crater in Figure A-4, now appears to be partially buried. The photograph in Figure A-5 is taken with the bore site of the camera looking roughly west.

Figure A-6 shows a photograph of the crater, probably taken at about the same time as the photo in Figure A-5, with the azimuth of the bore site of the camera looking Southwest.

Summary and Conclusions from the Data

We repeat here a quote from the WHR:

An open source video also shows where we believe the chemical munition landed—not on a facility filled with weapons, but in the middle of a street in the northern section of Khan Shaykhun [Emphasis Added]. Commercial satellite imagery of that site from April 6, after the allegation, shows a crater in the road that corresponds to the open source video.

The data provided in these photographs make it clear that the WHR made no serious attempt to collect data that would support its “confident assessment” that there was data to unambiguously support a conclusion that the Syrian government executed a sarin attack as indicated by the location and characteristics of the crater. This does not appear to be a mistake.

It is hard for me to believe that anybody competent could have been involved in producing the WHR report and the implications of such an obviously predetermined result strongly suggests that this report was not motivated by a serious analysis of any kind.

This finding is disturbing. It indicates that the WHR was probably a report purely aimed at justifying actions that were not supported by any legitimate intelligence.

This is not a unique situation. President George W. Bush has argued that he was misinformed about unambiguous evidence that Iraq was hiding a substantial amount of weapons of mass destruction. This false intelligence led to a US attack on Iraq that started a process that ultimately led to a political disintegration in the Middle East, which through a series of unpredicted events then led to the rise of the Islamic State. On August 30, 2013, the White House produced a similarly false report about the nerve agent attack on August 21, 2013 in Damascus. This report also contained numerous intelligence claims that could not be true. An interview with President Obama published in The Atlantic in April 2016 indicates that Obama was initially told that there was solid intelligence that the Syrian government was responsible for the nerve agent attack of August 21, 2013 in Ghouta, Syria. Obama reported that he was later told that the intelligence was not solid by the then Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.

Equally serious questions are raised about the abuse of intelligence findings by the incident in 2013. Questions that have not been answered about that incident is how the White House produced a false intelligence report with false claims that could obviously be identified by experts outside the White House and without access to classified information. There also needs to be an explanation of why this 2013 false report was not corrected. Secretary of State John Kerry emphatically testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee repeating information in this so-called un-equivocating report.

On August 30, 2013 Secretary of State Kerry made the following statement from the Treaty Room in the State Department:

Our intelligence community has carefully reviewed and re-reviewed information regarding this attack [Emphasis added], and I will tell you it has done so more than mindful of the Iraq experience. We will not repeat that moment. Accordingly, we have taken unprecedented steps to declassify and make facts available to people who can judge for themselves.

It is now obvious that a second incident similar to what happened in the Obama administration has now occurred in the Trump administration.

In this case, the president, supported by his staff, made a decision to launch 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base. This action was accompanied by serious risks of creating a confrontation with Russia, and also undermining cooperative efforts to win the war against the Islamic State.

Prior to these two inexplicable false intelligence reports, we had the incident in the Bush administration that led us to make decisions that we are still trying to deal with today.

I therefore conclude that there needs to be a comprehensive investigation of these events that have either misled people in the White House White House, or worse yet, been perpetrated by people seeking to force decisions that were not justified by the cited intelligence.

This is a serious matter and should not be allowed to continue.

Figures and Diagrams

Figure A-1

 

Figure A-2

 

Figure A-3

 

Figure A-4

 

Figure A-5

 

Figure A-6


_

Appendix: Quotes from the White House Report

The United States is confident that the Syrian regime conducted a chemical weapons attack, using the nerve agent sarin

We have confidence in our assessment because we have signals intelligence and geospatial intelligence, laboratory analysis of physiological samples collected from multiple victims, as well as a significant body of credible open source reporting, that tells a clear and consistent story.

We assess that Damascus launched this chemical attack in response to an opposition offensive in northern Hamah Province that threatened key infrastructure. Senior regime military leaders were probably involved in planning the attack.

Shaykhun at 6:55 AM local time on April 4

Our information indicates that the chemical agent was delivered by regime Su-22 fixed-wing aircraft our information indicates personnel historically associated with Syria’s chemical weapons program were at Shayrat Airfield in late March making preparations for an upcoming attack in Northern Syria, and they were present at the airfield on the day of the attack.

Hours after the April 4 attack, there were hundreds of accounts of victims presenting symptoms consistent with sarin exposure,

Commercial satellite imagery from April 6 showed impact craters around the hospital that are consistent with open source reports of a conventional attack on the hospital after the chemical attack. An open source video also shows where we believe the chemical munition landed—not on a facility filled with weapons, but in the middle of a street in the northern section of Khan Shaykhun. Commercial satellite imagery of that site from April 6, after the allegation, shows a crater in the road that corresponds to the open source video.

observed munition remnants at the crater and staining around the impact point are consistent with a munition that functioned

Last November, for instance, senior Russian officials used an image from a widely publicized regime chemical weapons attack in 2013 on social media platforms to publicly allege chemical weapons use by the opposition.

We must remember that the Assad regime failed to adhere to its international obligations after its devastating attacks on Damascus suburbs using the nerve agent sarin in August 2013, which resulted in more than one thousand civilian fatalities, many of whom were children. The regime agreed at that time to fully dismantle its chemical weapons program, but this most recent attack

 

Appendix: White House Intelligence Report Provided to Me on April 11, 2017

The Assad Regime’s Use of Chemical Weapons on April 4, 2017

The United States is confident that the Syrian regime conducted a chemical weapons attack, using the nerve agent sarin, against its own people in the town of Khan Shaykhun in southern Idlib Province on April 4, 2017. According to observers at the scene, the attack resulted in at least 50 and up to 100 fatalities (including many children), with hundreds of additional injuries.

We have confidence in our assessment because we have signals intelligence and geospatial intelligence, laboratory analysis of physiological samples collected from multiple victims, as well as a significant body of credible open source reporting, that tells a clear and consistent story. We cannot publicly release all available intelligence on this attack due to the need to protect sources and methods, but the following includes an unclassified summary of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s analysis of this attack.

Summary of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Assessment of the April 4 Attack

The Syrian regime maintains the capability and intent to use chemical weapons against the opposition to prevent the loss of territory deemed critical to its survival. We assess that Damascus launched this chemical attack in response to an opposition offensive in northern Hamah Province that threatened key infrastructure. Senior regime military leaders were probably involved in planning the attack.

A significant body of pro-opposition social media reports indicate that the chemical attack began in Khan Shaykhun at 6:55 AM local time on April 4.

Our information indicates that the chemical agent was delivered by regime Su-22 fixed-wing aircraft that took off from the regime-controlled Shayrat Airfield. These aircraft were in the vicinity of Khan Shaykhun approximately 20 minutes before reports of the chemical attack began and vacated the area shortly after the attack. Additionally, our information indicates personnel historically associated with Syria’s chemical weapons program were at Shayrat Airfield in late March making preparations for an upcoming attack in Northern Syria, and they were present at the airfield on the day of the attack.

Hours after the April 4 attack, there were hundreds of accounts of victims presenting symptoms consistent with sarin exposure, such as frothing at the nose and mouth, twitching, and pinpoint pupils. This constellation of symptoms is inconsistent with exposure to a respiratory irritant like chlorine— which the regime has also used in attacks—and is extremely unlikely to have resulted from a conventional attack because of the number of victims in the videos and the absence of other visible injuries. Open source accounts posted following the attack reported that first responders also had difficulty breathing, and that some lost consciousness after coming into contact with the victims— consistent with secondary exposure to nerve agent.

By 12:15 PM local time, broadcasted local videos included images of dead children of varying ages. Accounts of a hospital being bombed began to emerge at 1:10 PM local, with follow-on videos showing the bombing of a nearby hospital that had been flooded with victims of the sarin attack. Commercial satellite imagery from April 6 showed impact craters around the hospital that are consistent with open source reports of a conventional attack on the hospital after the chemical attack. Later on April 4, local physicians posted videos specifically pointing out constricted pupils (a telltale symptom of nerve agent exposure), medical staff with body suits on, and treatments involving atropine, which is an antidote for nerve agents such as sarin

We are certain that the opposition could not have fabricated all of the videos and other reporting of chemical attacks. Doing so would have required a highly organized campaign to deceive multiple media outlets and human rights organizations while evading detection. In addition, we have independently confirmed that some of the videos were shot at the approximate times and locations described in the footage.

Further, the World Health Organization stated on April 5 that its analysis of the victims of the attack in Syria showed they had been exposed to nerve agents, citing the absence of external injuries and deaths due to suffocation. Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres; MSF) said that medical teams treating affected patients found symptoms to be consistent with exposure to a neurotoxic agent such as sarin. And Amnesty International said evidence pointed to an air-launched chemical attack. Subsequent laboratory analysis of physiological samples collected from multiple victims detected signatures of the nerve agent sarin.

Refuting the False Narratives

The Syrian regime and its primary backer, Russia, have sought to confuse the world community about who is responsible for using chemical weapons against the Syrian people in this and earlier attacks. Initially, Moscow dismissed the allegations of a chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, claiming the attack was a “prank of a provocative nature” and that all evidence was fabricated. It is clear, however, that the Syrian opposition could not manufacture this quantity and variety of videos and other reporting from both the attack site and medical facilities in Syria and Turkey while deceiving both media observers and intelligence agencies.

Moscow has since claimed that the release of chemicals was caused by a regime airstrike on a terrorist ammunition depot in the eastern suburbs of Khan Shaykhun. However, a Syrian military source told Russian state media on April 4 that regime forces had not carried out any airstrike in Khan Shaykhun, contradicting Russia’s claim. An open source video also shows where we believe the chemical munition landed—not on a facility filled with weapons, but in the middle of a street in the northern section of Khan Shaykhun. Commercial satellite imagery of that site from April 6, after the allegation, shows a crater in the road that corresponds to the open source video.

Moscow has suggested that terrorists had been using the alleged ammunition depot to produce and store shells containing toxic gas that they then used in Iraq, adding that both Iraq and international organizations have confirmed the use of such weapons by militants. While it is widely accepted that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has repeatedly used sulfur mustard on the battlefield, there are no indications that ISIS was responsible for this incident or that the attack involved chemicals in ISIS’s possession.

Moscow suggested this airstrike occurred between 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM local time on April 4, disregarding that allegations first appeared on social media close to 7:00 AM local time that morning, when we know regime aircraft were operating over Khan Shaykhun. In addition, observed munition remnants at the crater and staining around the impact point are consistent with a munition that functioned, but structures nearest to the impact crater did not sustain damage that would be expected from a conventional high-explosive payload. Instead, the damage is more consistent with a chemical munition.

The Syrian regime has used other chemical agents in attacks against civilians in opposition held areas in the past, including the use of sulfur mustard in Aleppo in late 2016. Russia has alleged that video footage from April 4 indicated that victims from this attack showed the same symptoms of poisoning as victims in Aleppo last fall, implying that something other than a nerve agent was used in Khan Shaykhun. However, victims of the attack on April 4 displayed tell-tale symptoms of nerve agent exposure, including pinpoint pupils, foaming at the nose and mouth, and twitching, all of which are inconsistent with exposure to sulfur mustard.

Russia’s allegations fit with a pattern of deflecting blame from the regime and attempting to undermine the credibility of its opponents. Russia and Syria, in multiple instances since mid- 2016, have blamed the opposition for chemical use in attacks. Yet similar to the Russian narrative for the attack on Khan Shaykhun, most Russian allegations have lacked specific or credible information. Last November, for instance, senior Russian officials used an image from a widely publicized regime chemical weapons attack in 2013 on social media platforms to publicly allege chemical weapons use by the opposition. In May 2016, Russian officials made a similar claim using an image from a video game. In October 2016, Moscow also claimed terrorists used chlorine and white phosphorus in Aleppo, even though pro-Russian media footage from the attack site showed no sign of chlorine use. In fact, our Intelligence from the same day suggests that neither of Russia’s accounts was accurate and that the regime may have mistakenly used chlorine on its own forces. Russia’s contradictory and erroneous reports appear to have been intended to confuse the situation and to obfuscate on behalf of the regime.

Moscow’s allegations typically have been timed to distract the international community from Syria’s ongoing use of chemical weapons—such as the claims earlier this week—or to counter the findings from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-United Nations (UN) Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), which confirmed in August and October 2016 reports that the Syrian regime has continued to use chemical weapons on multiple occasions long after it committed to relinquish its arsenal in 2013. Russia has also questioned the impartial findings of the JIM—a body that Russia helped to establish—and was even willing to go so far as to suggest that the Assad regime should investigate itself for the use of chemical weapons.

Moscow’s response to the April 4 attack follows a familiar pattern of its responses to other egregious actions; it spins out multiple, conflicting accounts in order to create confusion and sow doubt within the international community.

International Condemnation and a Time for Action

The Assad regime’s brutal use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and poses a clear threat to the national security interests of the United States and the international community. Use of weapons of mass destruction by any actor lowers the threshold for others that may seek to follow suit and raises the possibility that they may be used against the United States, our allies or partners, or any other nation around the world.

The United States calls on the world community in the strongest possible terms to stand with us in making an unambiguous statement that this behavior will not be tolerated. This is a critical moment— we must demonstrate that subterfuge and false facts hold no weight, that excuses by those shielding their allies are making the world a more dangerous place, and that the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons will not be permitted to continue. We must remember that the Assad regime failed to adhere to its international obligations after its devastating attacks on Damascus suburbs using the nerve agent sarin in August 2013, which resulted in more than one thousand civilian fatalities, many of whom were children. The regime agreed at that time to fully dismantle its chemical weapons program, but this most recent attack—like others before it—are proof that it has not done so. To be clear, Syria has violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the UN Charter, and no drumbeat of nonsensical claims by the regime or its allies can hide this truth. And while it is an embarrassment that Russia has vetoed multiple UN Security Council resolutions that could have helped rectify the situation, the United States intends to send a clear message now that we and our partners will not allow the world to become a more dangerous place due to the egregious acts of the Assad regime.

 
Of Related Interest
Analysis of the Times and Locations of Critical Events in the Alleged Nerve Agent Attack at 7 AM on April 4, 2017 in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria
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  1. A Congressman and Iraq war vet suggests an investigation and the Dems denounce her:

    Read More
    • Replies: @Agent76
    This is what the Bankster puppet's do when they have been outed!

    Dec 8, 2016 Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill to Stop Arming Terrorists

    https://youtu.be/uKV1sTw8zOc

    December 08, 2016 Bipartisan Bill Would Forbid US Funding ISIS, al-Qaeda Affiliates

    Gabbert-Rohrabacher Bill Would Effectively End CIA Program Arming Syrian Rebels. The Stop Arming Terrorists Act (SATA) has been introduced today in the House of Representatives by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D – HI).

    http://news.antiwar.com/2016/12/08/bipartisan-bill-would-forbid-us-funding-isis-al-qaeda-affiliates/
    , @anon
    A very sick dog is this guy by name Dean. He has earned his liberal credentials He is now using it to stay inside the tent
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  2. Let me add that Jimmy Dore made a great point in that video. Many blame Assad for the half million Syrians who have died in this civil war; yet it was mostly caused by an invasion of outside Islamic mercs paid for by the Saudis and Qatar.

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war? The confederate rebels weren’t even trying to conquer the north, they just wanted to be left to run their own affairs.

    Who is worse, Assad or Lincoln?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chris Mallory

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war?
     
    Yes

    Who is worse, Assad or Lincoln?
     
    Lincoln wins that race in a blowout. Lincoln was one of the most evil monsters to ever walk the earth.
    , @Clark Westwood

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war? The confederate rebels weren’t even trying to conquer the north, they just wanted to be left to run their own affairs.
     
    Yes.
    , @bjondo
    Wouldnt compare Old Abe to President Assad
    Pres Assad doesn't deserve the very questionable "who is worse" comparison.
    Assad is GOOD. Period.
    , @woodNfish
    Good to know I am not alone in thinking Lincoln was an evil butcher.
    , @Steve Rendall
    I like Dore, but if he said that he's almost surely wrong.

    Assad was bombing Syria for quite a while before Jihadis were much of a factor. He had the only Air Force and mechanized army in Syria from 2011 to 2014. For all of that time his bombing was the primary driver of the refugee crisis. It is impossible to say how many refugees Assad is responsible for, but it's likely he has caused the lion's share.
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  3. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    When USSR was still around and a superpower, the US backed the Jihadis against the secular Marxist regime in Kabul. Jihadis won in the end.

    Now, Russia is no longer a superpower, but it again backing a secular Muslim nation against Jihadis funded and aided by US and its proxies.

    History repeats itself.

    Russia lost Afghanistan. Will it win in Syria?

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  4. I was really hoping that Prof. Postol would share his thoughts about the attack in Khan Sheikhoun. If you are interested, I wrote a very detailed blog post, in which I examine the evidence about the recent chemical attack and compare the situation with what happened after the chemical attack in Ghouta in August 2013. I argue that, in the case of the attack in Ghouta, the media narrative had rapidly unravelled and that, for that reason, we should be extremely prudent about the recent attack and not jump to conclusions. Among other things, I discuss the ballistic analysis produced by Postol and Lloyd at the time, which showed that both the much-touted NYT/HRW analysis and the US intelligence were mistaken. I also show that, despite the fact that a lot of evidence came out that undermined the official narrative, the media never changed their stance and continued to talk as if there was no doubt that Assad’s regime was responsible for the attack. It’s more than 5,000 words long and I provide a source for every single factual claim I make. The post has already been widely shared and some people have criticized it, so I will soon post a follow-up where I reply to critics and say more about the evidence that bears on the attack in Khan Sheikhoun.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Awaiting your next post.
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  5. […] lange Artikel von Theodore Postol diskutiert ausführlich die Faktenlage zum Giftgasvorfall und insbesondere die […]

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  6. This just gets weirder and weirder. Is the position of the Trump Administration and the intelligence community that the Syrian Air Force went through all the trouble to launch an aerial attack and drop one bomb? Handling chemical munitions is inherently dangerous. Syrian Air Force personnel loading the nerve agent into the bomb and then fitting it on the plane would have to wear protective clothing and receive special training, and might even then suffer some exposure casualties. And my recollection is that chemical weapons, even nerve gas, generally have to be used in massive quantities to achieve any military result.

    The chances that the gassing was as a result of a Syrian Air Force attack are vanishingly small. Other forces are in play here. The American people are being deceived.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivan
    Gilad Atzmon had another question: if the US really did believe that air force base had chemical weapons stores then launching a Tomahawk strike would in all likelihood release those same gases . Duh.
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  7. Technical stuff is interesting, but from the layman’s perspective it’s really straightforward: means, motive, opportunity.

    Opportunity: yes.
    Means: seems doubtful, due to the 2013-14 OPCW cleanup of the government-controlled territory.
    Motive: not just absent, but manifestly counterproductive, under the circumstances.

    There’s also ample evidence of the government desperately trying to avoid antagonizing the population. In the territories they they liberate, they routinely – and that’s a fact – transport anti-government militants and their families, and even with their light weapons, into rebel-controlled territories, that same Idlib province. In government-supplied buses. Even though they could easily kill them all, right on the spot. How does it square with with the supposed indiscriminate gassing?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    You make good points.

    {How does it square with with the supposed indiscriminate gassing?}

    It doesn't.
    Particularly a chemical attack, to kill, what, 100 people?
    Assad knows very well what that would mean: even Russia would not let it slide.
    As you said, SAA could easily kill hundreds of terrorists and their sympathizers with conventional bombs if they wanted to kill indiscriminately.


    On the other hand it squares 100% with enemies of Syria.
    SAA is winning, albeit at a very slow pace, and Neocons clearly are panicking and desperate to prevent the breakout of peace in Syria at any cost.
    , @siberiancat
    Do you call killing under 100 civilians an opportunity?
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  8. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    A courageous and honorable man indeed. This is putting America first!

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  9. The Scalpel says: • Website

    Much “evidence” can be faked. This is just an example of that fact. Looking at that tube, it is obvious that it did not explode. If it is very difficult to determine if evidence is real or faked, then one must be very careful reaching conclusions based on said evidence. At that point, motives must be taken into consideration.

    The argument that the Syrian government had any motive whatsoever to carry out this attack is very,very weak. Also, I have heard the claim that the US government believes only one chemical weapon was used. Assuming that the Syrian government carried out the attack, which I do not believe, why would they use just one chemical weapon?

    So what we have here is very weak evidence, very weak motive, and an illogical and inefficient proposed mechanism. This does not pass the smell test at all.

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  10. […] An MIT scientist makes the case that the Syrian chemical weapons attack was not carried out the way the US claims. [Link] […]

    Read More
  11. […] makes the case that the Syrian chemical weapons attack was not carried out the way the US claims. [Link] Syria […]

    Read More
  12. @Carlton Meyer
    Let me add that Jimmy Dore made a great point in that video. Many blame Assad for the half million Syrians who have died in this civil war; yet it was mostly caused by an invasion of outside Islamic mercs paid for by the Saudis and Qatar.

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war? The confederate rebels weren't even trying to conquer the north, they just wanted to be left to run their own affairs.

    Who is worse, Assad or Lincoln?

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war?

    Yes

    Who is worse, Assad or Lincoln?

    Lincoln wins that race in a blowout. Lincoln was one of the most evil monsters to ever walk the earth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Well, President Asad is trying to prevent the destruction of his nation, the probable partitioning of it, the crushing of any institutions reflecting the Arab consensus that has always bound the nation together and made its institutions work, as well as preventing openly genocidal barbarians from achieving victory, erasing Earth's oldest Christian communities and other religious minorities. President Lincoln was facing a foe that just wanted slavery and separatism. The Confederates were not genocidal, although the cruelties of the slave trade and the plantation system often reached the same level of inhumanity. So, overall, from the perspective of a CNN/MSNBC believer, or a Trumpian nouveau-neocon, Asad is much worse...worse than Hitler, in fact, as Sean Spicer was trying to say. Here's a tip: Keep it simple, Sean. Don't bring up the Holocaust, just say he's worse than Hitler. Some will question that, but those who matter will let it slide.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. Avery says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    Technical stuff is interesting, but from the layman's perspective it's really straightforward: means, motive, opportunity.

    Opportunity: yes.
    Means: seems doubtful, due to the 2013-14 OPCW cleanup of the government-controlled territory.
    Motive: not just absent, but manifestly counterproductive, under the circumstances.

    There's also ample evidence of the government desperately trying to avoid antagonizing the population. In the territories they they liberate, they routinely - and that's a fact - transport anti-government militants and their families, and even with their light weapons, into rebel-controlled territories, that same Idlib province. In government-supplied buses. Even though they could easily kill them all, right on the spot. How does it square with with the supposed indiscriminate gassing?

    You make good points.

    {How does it square with with the supposed indiscriminate gassing?}

    It doesn’t.
    Particularly a chemical attack, to kill, what, 100 people?
    Assad knows very well what that would mean: even Russia would not let it slide.
    As you said, SAA could easily kill hundreds of terrorists and their sympathizers with conventional bombs if they wanted to kill indiscriminately.

    On the other hand it squares 100% with enemies of Syria.
    SAA is winning, albeit at a very slow pace, and Neocons clearly are panicking and desperate to prevent the breakout of peace in Syria at any cost.

    Read More
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  14. I was a demo guy in the Marine Corps, so I am familiar with the effect of explosive charges. There is no question that the photo, if accurate, is consistent with a charge placed above rather than within. There may be other explanations for the compression but definitely not an internal charge. I would note that the diagram in the article suggests some sort of “pipe bomb” type charge on top, but I do not see any sort of fragments from that type of device. If it was a charge on top it would have needed to be a simple explosive charge, probably tamped with dirt or sand. In any case, there would be explosive residue on the outside of the pipe which could easily be identified. Obviously, if this pipe was source of the agent someone should have preserved this evidence and turned it over to the UN or whoever.

    Read More
    • Replies: @another fred
    I essentially agree, but the lack of soot on the tube indicates that there was some sort of tamper device between the charge and the tube (more than dirt or sand), which is logical to avoid burning off some of the sarin in the fireball.
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  15. El Dato says:

    Why is there a neatly printed red panel with a death’s head next to the “incriminating tube”? Do White Helmets (or whoever did the photographing, maybe our undeclared “boots on the ground”?) carry these with them? My arabic reading skills are not so good, what does it say?

    Read More
    • Replies: @D Trump
    Ivanka tells me - she does all my reading for me - that it says "Danger. Unexploded weapon"
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  16. Ivan says:
    @Diversity Heretic
    This just gets weirder and weirder. Is the position of the Trump Administration and the intelligence community that the Syrian Air Force went through all the trouble to launch an aerial attack and drop one bomb? Handling chemical munitions is inherently dangerous. Syrian Air Force personnel loading the nerve agent into the bomb and then fitting it on the plane would have to wear protective clothing and receive special training, and might even then suffer some exposure casualties. And my recollection is that chemical weapons, even nerve gas, generally have to be used in massive quantities to achieve any military result.

    The chances that the gassing was as a result of a Syrian Air Force attack are vanishingly small. Other forces are in play here. The American people are being deceived.

    Gilad Atzmon had another question: if the US really did believe that air force base had chemical weapons stores then launching a Tomahawk strike would in all likelihood release those same gases . Duh.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think sarin is not stored in a weaponized state, but rather its components are stored separately, because otherwise it would deteriorate quickly. Normally the components are mixed shortly before usage or could happen within the warhead itself. At least that's what I read somewhere.

    Can anyone offer an expert opinion?
    , @El Dato
    Which is why

    https://www.rt.com/news/384042-shayrat-probe-chemical-weapons/

    and also

    https://southfront.org/debunking-rumors-about-chemical-weapons-containers-in-syrias-shayrat-airbase/
    , @RobinG
    Gilad's whole argument is flawed. The US has not said that chem. weapons were stored there. [If anyone has official statement to contrary, please correct me.] The US only claimed that chem. attacks were launched from there.

    Then, as to targeting, US said it was targeting below-ground fuel storage, perhaps munitions also, but not chem. Again, anyone have better info? Official, not MSM who will say anything.
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  17. Weiteres zum Giftgasvorfall in Syrien | narrenspeise
    April 13, 2017 at 6:00 am GMT
    […] lange Artikel von Theodore Postol

    I’ll say it was a “lange” Artikel!!

    Anyway, I always suspect that the usual suspects are lying until proven otherwise and it’s good to have such suspicions bolstered.

    Read More
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  18. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @Ivan
    Gilad Atzmon had another question: if the US really did believe that air force base had chemical weapons stores then launching a Tomahawk strike would in all likelihood release those same gases . Duh.

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but I think sarin is not stored in a weaponized state, but rather its components are stored separately, because otherwise it would deteriorate quickly. Normally the components are mixed shortly before usage or could happen within the warhead itself. At least that’s what I read somewhere.

    Can anyone offer an expert opinion?

    Read More
    • Replies: @another fred
    I'm not sure if I qualify as an expert, but I have dealt with the matter. Large quantities are often kept separate as "precursors," but munitions are loaded quite some time before use, years even. The munitions stored by both the USA and FSU were old enough that some shells/rockets had deteriorated due to the corrosive nature of the liquid and could not be opened and emptied for disposal.
    , @Diversity Heretic
    I do. not claim to be an expert, but the most advanced chemical weapons are binary. Neither component gas is by itself toxic, but when the two gases are mixed they produce a toxic result. In artillery delivered munitions, this mixing did not occur until after the shell had been fired; I don't know about aerial bombs. Older or improvised chemical weapons would not likely have this binary feature. As I said above, handling chemical munitions is tricky and untrained personnel can be expected to suffer some exposure casualties. If they're wearing chemical warfare suits, they have to be rotated frequently or they start suffering heat exhaustation, particularly in a desert environment. Given these constraints, the likelihood that the attack consisted of an aeriel bomb or bombs dropped by the Syrian Air Force seems to me to vanishingly small.
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  19. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @Philippe Lemoine
    I was really hoping that Prof. Postol would share his thoughts about the attack in Khan Sheikhoun. If you are interested, I wrote a very detailed blog post, in which I examine the evidence about the recent chemical attack and compare the situation with what happened after the chemical attack in Ghouta in August 2013. I argue that, in the case of the attack in Ghouta, the media narrative had rapidly unravelled and that, for that reason, we should be extremely prudent about the recent attack and not jump to conclusions. Among other things, I discuss the ballistic analysis produced by Postol and Lloyd at the time, which showed that both the much-touted NYT/HRW analysis and the US intelligence were mistaken. I also show that, despite the fact that a lot of evidence came out that undermined the official narrative, the media never changed their stance and continued to talk as if there was no doubt that Assad's regime was responsible for the attack. It’s more than 5,000 words long and I provide a source for every single factual claim I make. The post has already been widely shared and some people have criticized it, so I will soon post a follow-up where I reply to critics and say more about the evidence that bears on the attack in Khan Sheikhoun.

    Awaiting your next post.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philippe Lemoine
    That's nice to know! I have a lot of work and I have been sick as a dog for the past 3 days, so I didn't have much time to work on the follow-up post, but I hope to publish it sometime next week.
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  20. @Xander USMC
    I was a demo guy in the Marine Corps, so I am familiar with the effect of explosive charges. There is no question that the photo, if accurate, is consistent with a charge placed above rather than within. There may be other explanations for the compression but definitely not an internal charge. I would note that the diagram in the article suggests some sort of "pipe bomb" type charge on top, but I do not see any sort of fragments from that type of device. If it was a charge on top it would have needed to be a simple explosive charge, probably tamped with dirt or sand. In any case, there would be explosive residue on the outside of the pipe which could easily be identified. Obviously, if this pipe was source of the agent someone should have preserved this evidence and turned it over to the UN or whoever.

    I essentially agree, but the lack of soot on the tube indicates that there was some sort of tamper device between the charge and the tube (more than dirt or sand), which is logical to avoid burning off some of the sarin in the fireball.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  21. El Dato says:
    @Ivan
    Gilad Atzmon had another question: if the US really did believe that air force base had chemical weapons stores then launching a Tomahawk strike would in all likelihood release those same gases . Duh.
    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. @reiner Tor
    Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think sarin is not stored in a weaponized state, but rather its components are stored separately, because otherwise it would deteriorate quickly. Normally the components are mixed shortly before usage or could happen within the warhead itself. At least that's what I read somewhere.

    Can anyone offer an expert opinion?

    I’m not sure if I qualify as an expert, but I have dealt with the matter. Large quantities are often kept separate as “precursors,” but munitions are loaded quite some time before use, years even. The munitions stored by both the USA and FSU were old enough that some shells/rockets had deteriorated due to the corrosive nature of the liquid and could not be opened and emptied for disposal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Thanks, that's useful to know.

    Are you sure it's true of sarin? I read that about sarin specifically.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Chris Mallory

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war?
     
    Yes

    Who is worse, Assad or Lincoln?
     
    Lincoln wins that race in a blowout. Lincoln was one of the most evil monsters to ever walk the earth.

    Well, President Asad is trying to prevent the destruction of his nation, the probable partitioning of it, the crushing of any institutions reflecting the Arab consensus that has always bound the nation together and made its institutions work, as well as preventing openly genocidal barbarians from achieving victory, erasing Earth’s oldest Christian communities and other religious minorities. President Lincoln was facing a foe that just wanted slavery and separatism. The Confederates were not genocidal, although the cruelties of the slave trade and the plantation system often reached the same level of inhumanity. So, overall, from the perspective of a CNN/MSNBC believer, or a Trumpian nouveau-neocon, Asad is much worse…worse than Hitler, in fact, as Sean Spicer was trying to say. Here’s a tip: Keep it simple, Sean. Don’t bring up the Holocaust, just say he’s worse than Hitler. Some will question that, but those who matter will let it slide.

    Read More
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  24. @Mao Cheng Ji
    Technical stuff is interesting, but from the layman's perspective it's really straightforward: means, motive, opportunity.

    Opportunity: yes.
    Means: seems doubtful, due to the 2013-14 OPCW cleanup of the government-controlled territory.
    Motive: not just absent, but manifestly counterproductive, under the circumstances.

    There's also ample evidence of the government desperately trying to avoid antagonizing the population. In the territories they they liberate, they routinely - and that's a fact - transport anti-government militants and their families, and even with their light weapons, into rebel-controlled territories, that same Idlib province. In government-supplied buses. Even though they could easily kill them all, right on the spot. How does it square with with the supposed indiscriminate gassing?

    Do you call killing under 100 civilians an opportunity?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  25. @Carlton Meyer
    Let me add that Jimmy Dore made a great point in that video. Many blame Assad for the half million Syrians who have died in this civil war; yet it was mostly caused by an invasion of outside Islamic mercs paid for by the Saudis and Qatar.

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war? The confederate rebels weren't even trying to conquer the north, they just wanted to be left to run their own affairs.

    Who is worse, Assad or Lincoln?

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war? The confederate rebels weren’t even trying to conquer the north, they just wanted to be left to run their own affairs.

    Yes.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. Agent76 says:

    April 07, 2017 Pentagon Trained Syria’s Al Qaeda “Rebels” in the Use of Chemical Weapons

    The Western media refutes their own lies.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/pentagon-trained-syrias-al-qaeda-rebels-in-the-use-of-chemical-weapons/5583784

    Apr 9, 2017 No More

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  27. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @another fred
    I'm not sure if I qualify as an expert, but I have dealt with the matter. Large quantities are often kept separate as "precursors," but munitions are loaded quite some time before use, years even. The munitions stored by both the USA and FSU were old enough that some shells/rockets had deteriorated due to the corrosive nature of the liquid and could not be opened and emptied for disposal.

    Thanks, that’s useful to know.

    Are you sure it’s true of sarin? I read that about sarin specifically.

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    • Replies: @El Dato
    It seems creating the sarin generates either hydrochloric acid or hydrofluoric acid as byproduct (especially the latter is Very Not Good), so keeping sarin even in glass bottles is bound to be fraught with difficulties over the long run (instant expert via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarin)

    In particular the US had capabilities to fire sarin precursors in a single shell that are reacting in-flight to avoid the storage problems. I'm not sure Syria had that, but even for the Ghouta attack there was talk about "our intelligence services picked up the order for mixing" (however debatable that is), so I don't suppose they did.
    , @another fred
    My familiarity is with older stockpiles. I'm not saying storing it for years was the smartest thing ever done, but it was done.
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  28. utu says:

    Where is Russia’s propaganda machine? 71 years old, retired American professors does amateurish analysis using one pict obtained from social media and Sputnik and Russia Today will publish it, right? But where are the Russians? What did they do to support the belief that the gas attack was a false flag? Apparently nothing. Lavrov calls of UN investigation. That’s about all. But what about the assets they have in Syria? Couldn’t they release some information pointing to the real culprits?

    Inept, indolent losers!

    Why Russia’s media are so pathetically weak? For some years already I follow some Russian media outfits and I am amazed why they are so inept and indolent. Their approach is totally inadequate when targeted with Anglo-Zio media aggressive anti-Russia narratives.

    This time when Russia and Putin were smacked in the face in Syria the best Russia came up with was to claim that it did not hurt that much, that only 23 out of 59 missiles reached the target and that the damage to the airport was minimal. And next day they doubled down on it by having planes taking off from the airport. Whether the claims are factual or not it does not matter. The opposite approach should have be used: exaggerate the pain and loss you have suffered. Keep showing dead bodies and damage even if invented. Do not pretend that it rains when they are spitting in your face. Show your hurt, your weakness. Be more like Anglo-Zio propaganda that will accuse every drop a real rain of aggressive intent or even of being anti-semitic. Be proactive not reactive.

    So why Russia’s propaganda machine is so weak? Is it because Russians are proud people or that their journalists and propagandists have moral scruples and won’t engage in lies and manipulations? Obviously not. They just do not know because they are conditioned by the working of propaganda in the authoritarian regime just like during Tsars and Bolsheviks. In the authoritarian regime the chief objective of propaganda is to convince the subjects of the regime that the regime knows what it is doing and that it is strong. The propaganda is not really directed for the foreign enemies but for the domestic friends. For this reason any setbacks or losses will be hidden from the populace or minimized. No disasters and no catastrophes ever happened in the Soviet Union if you just read Pravda or Izvestia. Towards the end of WWII Goebbels was disappointed with inability of German propaganda to produce sympathy around the world for Germans suffering due to American and British bombing of German civilian population that was killing children women, and elders. But this was a consequence of years of hiding these losses from German population because the regime wanted to project its strengths. And that was a mistake. So if Russia wants to confront Anglo-Zio media they must shape up and change the approach. So far they are failing though I am sure they are doing a wonderful job for people like Smoothie (if you ask him) and other clumsy and ineffective agents of influence on behalf of Russia.

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  29. El Dato says:
    @reiner Tor
    Thanks, that's useful to know.

    Are you sure it's true of sarin? I read that about sarin specifically.

    It seems creating the sarin generates either hydrochloric acid or hydrofluoric acid as byproduct (especially the latter is Very Not Good), so keeping sarin even in glass bottles is bound to be fraught with difficulties over the long run (instant expert via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarin)

    In particular the US had capabilities to fire sarin precursors in a single shell that are reacting in-flight to avoid the storage problems. I’m not sure Syria had that, but even for the Ghouta attack there was talk about “our intelligence services picked up the order for mixing” (however debatable that is), so I don’t suppose they did.

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  30. just another false flag.

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  31. Alfa158 says:

    What was the date of the image from Google Earth showing the supposed bomb crater? Google Earth is not a real time satellite reconnaissance system. You can get the date of the image from the display options, and they are usually months or years old.
    Is it possible that this crater was already there prior to the gas attack?

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    • Replies: @El Dato
    It's just to show the location:

    The Google Earth map shown in Figure 1 at the end of this text section shows the location of that crater on the road in the north of Khan Shaykhun, as described in the White House statement.
     
    That warehouse is a bit bombed-out by now.

    See:

    http://syria.liveuamap.com/en/2017/7-april-pentagons-location-of-impact-crater-linked-to-the

    It's right here, a lonely crater of a single chemical munition:

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/35%C2%B026'59.7%22N+36%C2%B038'55.6%22E/@35.449907,36.6478998,353m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d35.449907!4d36.648767
    , @Brewer
    There is a glaring anomaly in that there appears to be a 5-hour time difference between the gas release and the Syrian air attack - the former at around 6am, the latter at 11am. This should be easy enough to ascertain if one has the proper resources. If so it clears the SAA of responsibility.
    , @Anon
    The 75s were the last real Alfas, though the new Giulia is interesting.
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  32. MarkinLA says:

    And on CNN this morning there was a claim that the US intercepted Syrian military people interacting with chemical weapons specialists or some garbage like that. Just when the story is about to explode in the US’s face, out comes a convenient claim that doesn’t make any sense to people with IQs above room level. I am sure if there was such a dubious communication it was created by Mossad or Saudi secret services.

    This is like all our intercepted communiques. Like that one just before we invaded Iraq.

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  33. bjondo says:
    @Carlton Meyer
    Let me add that Jimmy Dore made a great point in that video. Many blame Assad for the half million Syrians who have died in this civil war; yet it was mostly caused by an invasion of outside Islamic mercs paid for by the Saudis and Qatar.

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war? The confederate rebels weren't even trying to conquer the north, they just wanted to be left to run their own affairs.

    Who is worse, Assad or Lincoln?

    Wouldnt compare Old Abe to President Assad
    Pres Assad doesn’t deserve the very questionable “who is worse” comparison.
    Assad is GOOD. Period.

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  34. El Dato says:

    Everybody has Sarin Fever, soon there will be Sarin Pokemons, Sarin with your ice cream, Sarin pillows, a George Lucas movie called “Sarin!” and voucher for Sarin holidays I’m sure:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/13/asia/north-korea-missiles-japan/

    “North Korea may be able to arm missiles with sarin, Japan PM says … Abe did not provide any evidence why he felt North Korea had the capability to equip missiles with chemical weapons. ”

    Well, one might totally suppose the Norks are not total peasants.

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  35. El Dato says:
    @Alfa158
    What was the date of the image from Google Earth showing the supposed bomb crater? Google Earth is not a real time satellite reconnaissance system. You can get the date of the image from the display options, and they are usually months or years old.
    Is it possible that this crater was already there prior to the gas attack?

    It’s just to show the location:

    The Google Earth map shown in Figure 1 at the end of this text section shows the location of that crater on the road in the north of Khan Shaykhun, as described in the White House statement.

    That warehouse is a bit bombed-out by now.

    See:

    http://syria.liveuamap.com/en/2017/7-april-pentagons-location-of-impact-crater-linked-to-the

    It’s right here, a lonely crater of a single chemical munition:

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/35%C2%B026’59.7%22N+36%C2%B038’55.6%22E/@35.449907,36.6478998,353m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0×0!8m2!3d35.449907!4d36.648767

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  36. JPTravis says: • Website

    Sadly, the way these things work, the evidence as it stands will henceforth be irrelevant. Now that the Trump administration has staked its reputation on a cruise missile attack to punish Assad for using chemical warfare, they will NEVER admit they were wrong. Just like Obama will never admit he royally screwed up Libya and his amateurish machinations got a U.S. ambassador dragged through the streets like a dead cat. We seem to live in a world where truth no longer matters. What matters is whether you can get the idiots in the media to buy your version of events rather than your political enemy’s version of events. Personally, I never thought Assad was responsible for this atrocity. Why risk something like that when everybody agreed he was finally winning this thing?

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  37. @reiner Tor
    Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think sarin is not stored in a weaponized state, but rather its components are stored separately, because otherwise it would deteriorate quickly. Normally the components are mixed shortly before usage or could happen within the warhead itself. At least that's what I read somewhere.

    Can anyone offer an expert opinion?

    I do. not claim to be an expert, but the most advanced chemical weapons are binary. Neither component gas is by itself toxic, but when the two gases are mixed they produce a toxic result. In artillery delivered munitions, this mixing did not occur until after the shell had been fired; I don’t know about aerial bombs. Older or improvised chemical weapons would not likely have this binary feature. As I said above, handling chemical munitions is tricky and untrained personnel can be expected to suffer some exposure casualties. If they’re wearing chemical warfare suits, they have to be rotated frequently or they start suffering heat exhaustation, particularly in a desert environment. Given these constraints, the likelihood that the attack consisted of an aeriel bomb or bombs dropped by the Syrian Air Force seems to me to vanishingly small.

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  38. El Dato says:

    Olive branch extension and face-saving in progress?

    https://www.rt.com/uk/384592-ambassador-brenton-russia-syria/

    Russia ‘horrified at chemical attacks’ in Syria, says former UK ambassador to Moscow

    Russia has been badly mishandled by Western powers, which fail to realize the Kremlin is not fond of the Syrian leadership and is horrified at recent chemical attacks, former British diplomat Tony Brenton has told the BBC.

    Speaking to the BBC ‘Today’ program on Thursday, Brenton, who served as ambassador to Moscow from 2004 to 2008, said it is important to understand Syria from the Russian perspective.

    “The Russian view of the situation in Syria is very clear. They don’t much like [Syrian President Bashar] Assad and they must be horrified at the chemical weapons attack last week.

    But the question they ask themselves is, ‘if we get rid of Assad, what comes after?’” Brenton said.

    “Their answer to that question is that ‘we get some of Islamic fundamentalism which is worse for us than Assad’… so we put up with the nasty dictator that we’ve got rather than admitting fundamentalism which is a direct threat to us.”

    Asked if the Russians need “help” to move away from Assad, Brenton said: “I think that is exactly it. I think if we can get together with the Russians they have a real interest in moving away from Assad as well.”

    Understanding the domestic political situation in Russia is also vital in order to grapple with the question of how the country operates in the world, he said.

    “They are dealing with a population which doesn’t really understand why they are in Syria at all.

    “If we could move towards an after-Assad regime in Syria which guaranteed the non-intervention of Islamic fundamentalism, [Russia] would be delighted to work in that direction.”

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  39. @reiner Tor
    Awaiting your next post.

    That’s nice to know! I have a lot of work and I have been sick as a dog for the past 3 days, so I didn’t have much time to work on the follow-up post, but I hope to publish it sometime next week.

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  40. Agent76 says:
    @Carlton Meyer
    A Congressman and Iraq war vet suggests an investigation and the Dems denounce her:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1oECQ6r6do

    This is what the Bankster puppet’s do when they have been outed!

    Dec 8, 2016 Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill to Stop Arming Terrorists

    December 08, 2016 Bipartisan Bill Would Forbid US Funding ISIS, al-Qaeda Affiliates

    Gabbert-Rohrabacher Bill Would Effectively End CIA Program Arming Syrian Rebels. The Stop Arming Terrorists Act (SATA) has been introduced today in the House of Representatives by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D – HI).

    http://news.antiwar.com/2016/12/08/bipartisan-bill-would-forbid-us-funding-isis-al-qaeda-affiliates/

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  41. Sean says:

    Professor Popkin’s magic bullet theory draped in the skin of murdered Syrian children escapes from the Warren commission archive to haunt the net.

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  42. […] 14 Web Pages As Their “Evidence” To Bomb Syria. 13. The Unz Review: Theodore Postol, The Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria. A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Int… [Full Report (PDF): woodNfish says:

    @Carlton Meyer
    Let me add that Jimmy Dore made a great point in that video. Many blame Assad for the half million Syrians who have died in this civil war; yet it was mostly caused by an invasion of outside Islamic mercs paid for by the Saudis and Qatar.

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war? The confederate rebels weren't even trying to conquer the north, they just wanted to be left to run their own affairs.

    Who is worse, Assad or Lincoln?

    Good to know I am not alone in thinking Lincoln was an evil butcher.

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  43. Art says:

    The Jew keep their eye on the price – a busted up Syria. They have the Kushner White House, all the rest of Stockholm DC, and their MSM all pumping out the “Assad did it” lie.

    The world’s two major nuke powers are at loggerheads – but what the hell – Israel is happy and getting its way.

    You Stockholmers must never forget what the Jew terrorists tell you – “Jews are the eternal victims” – so suck it up you 7,000,000,000 fools – you must always defer to us!

    Laugh in your face!

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  44. RobinG says:
    @Ivan
    Gilad Atzmon had another question: if the US really did believe that air force base had chemical weapons stores then launching a Tomahawk strike would in all likelihood release those same gases . Duh.

    Gilad’s whole argument is flawed. The US has not said that chem. weapons were stored there. [If anyone has official statement to contrary, please correct me.] The US only claimed that chem. attacks were launched from there.

    Then, as to targeting, US said it was targeting below-ground fuel storage, perhaps munitions also, but not chem. Again, anyone have better info? Official, not MSM who will say anything.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    I think you are right about US claims but they really don't make any sense if the aim was to punish someone using chemical weapons. At least Bush pretended to be looking for the WMD even though he likely knew they didn't exist.

    Where else would they be stored unless you think Assad has a secret stash someplace and pulls them out, now and then, to do some gassing. If that was the case, wouldn't it make more sense to bomb the stash and prove to the rest of the world Assad had them rather than just bomb an airfield and leave yourself open to the kind of criticism Trump is getting? The idea that we can track everything the Syrian military does but they have a secret chemical weapons store that Mossad, Turkey, the CIA, FSB, and Saudi intelligence agencies don't know about seems incredible.
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  45. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Carlton Meyer
    A Congressman and Iraq war vet suggests an investigation and the Dems denounce her:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1oECQ6r6do

    A very sick dog is this guy by name Dean. He has earned his liberal credentials He is now using it to stay inside the tent

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  46. anon says: • Disclaimer

    the Wall Street Journal’s right wing neocon-in-residence Brett Stephens loudly called for “regime change” in North Korea two weeks ago.

    And then there’s Iran, which the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol is once again saying is the ultimate “prize” for regime change, now that Trump is directly bombing Assad’s forces.

    Weeks ago, Trump’s defense secretary James Mattis was reportedly planning a brazen and incredibly dangerous operation to board Iranian ships in international waters. ” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/10/not-just-syria-trump-ratcheting-up-wars-world

    One day they or their children will move to Israel or to another country and use North Korean or Iranian to do terrorism against America or even use the entire country using this history of what is happening today to invade America .

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  47. @Carlton Meyer
    Let me add that Jimmy Dore made a great point in that video. Many blame Assad for the half million Syrians who have died in this civil war; yet it was mostly caused by an invasion of outside Islamic mercs paid for by the Saudis and Qatar.

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war? The confederate rebels weren't even trying to conquer the north, they just wanted to be left to run their own affairs.

    Who is worse, Assad or Lincoln?

    I like Dore, but if he said that he’s almost surely wrong.

    Assad was bombing Syria for quite a while before Jihadis were much of a factor. He had the only Air Force and mechanized army in Syria from 2011 to 2014. For all of that time his bombing was the primary driver of the refugee crisis. It is impossible to say how many refugees Assad is responsible for, but it’s likely he has caused the lion’s share.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Assad was bombing Syria for quite a while before Jihadis were much of a factor. He had the only Air Force and mechanized army in Syria from 2011 to 2014.
     
    You have a rather unrealistically late idea of when foreign groups started backing the terrorists in Syria.

    Qatar, to name just one, is on the record as having actively supported the rebels militarily since at least April 2012, and the FT reported in May 2013 it had already spent $1-3 billion backing the rebels:

    How Qatar seized control of the Syrian revolution

    Turkey started providing support to the "Free Syria Army" in 2011, and jihadist groups such as Al Qaeda were openly calling for volunteers to fight in Syria by February 2012.

    This is all information in the public domain. It's likely covert interference started long before that.
    , @RobinG
    "It’s likely covert interference started long before that." Yes, Randal. About 2006.

    Steve Randall, where do you think all those weapons and Jihadis went when Ambassador Chris Stevens arranged their passage out of Libya?
    , @L.K
    Everything you wrote is pure BS. But I guess that is your purpose here.

    Even Robert Fisk admitted there were Salafi jihadis involved from day one. Al-Ciada in Iraq was involved from day one, etc.
    There were and there are NO moderate 'rebels'. This ain't fucking star wars.
    Since early 2012, the Al-Nusra Front & co have been the main fighting force trying to topple the Syrian government. They are actually a more serious threat to Syria than Daesh/is.
    Increasingly from 2012 the Jihadis have been ever more heavily armed.
    The key Jihadi groups all have armored forces, artillery, ATGMs, the only thing they don't have is an air-force. Robert Fisk reported from the front lines in 2013/14/15 re how oftentimes the Syrian army faced militants that were as well armed and, in some cases, even better armed.
    Armored Assault by Al-Nusra in Aleppo, Caught on Nusra Drone Camera
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4cbyt7prvM
    Go sell your BS elsewhere.
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  48. anon says: • Disclaimer

    do not ignore these guys -

    “Susannah Sirkin from the Soros-funded Physicians for Human Rights claimed, “We know that sarin has been used before by the Assad regime.” But that has NOT been confirmed by any credible organization. On the contrary, the most thorough investigations point to sarin being used by the armed opposition, NOT the Syrian government.

    The other guest was Andrew Tabler from the neoconservative Israeli-associated Washington Institute for Near East Policy. His editorial from last fall makes clear what he wants: “The case for (finally) bombing Assad.” So, the viewers of the publicly funded network got one of their usual doses of “Assad must go” propaganda”

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/10/how-media-bias-fuels-syrian-escalation/

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  49. m___ says:

    Higher intelligence individuals, moral integrity, ethical overview, physical courage.

    Since even the detailed and easy language above analysis leaves the world at large clueless, the few with necessary perception within the public, having no trouble understanding as outsiders what is meant, speak about what is the quality of the Washington power structures.

    The harnessed ‘elites’, including universities, are corrupted, cater to superficial riches, the short term, in equivalents of family and clan. Washington is a dump, where high quality individuals that by definition need less structure have no place.

    Since the public needs elites, since elites carry responsibility, “noblesse obligue”, the essence of our de facto society can be concluded rotten to the core.

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  50. Randal says:
    @Steve Rendall
    I like Dore, but if he said that he's almost surely wrong.

    Assad was bombing Syria for quite a while before Jihadis were much of a factor. He had the only Air Force and mechanized army in Syria from 2011 to 2014. For all of that time his bombing was the primary driver of the refugee crisis. It is impossible to say how many refugees Assad is responsible for, but it's likely he has caused the lion's share.

    Assad was bombing Syria for quite a while before Jihadis were much of a factor. He had the only Air Force and mechanized army in Syria from 2011 to 2014.

    You have a rather unrealistically late idea of when foreign groups started backing the terrorists in Syria.

    Qatar, to name just one, is on the record as having actively supported the rebels militarily since at least April 2012, and the FT reported in May 2013 it had already spent $1-3 billion backing the rebels:

    How Qatar seized control of the Syrian revolution

    Turkey started providing support to the “Free Syria Army” in 2011, and jihadist groups such as Al Qaeda were openly calling for volunteers to fight in Syria by February 2012.

    This is all information in the public domain. It’s likely covert interference started long before that.

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    • Replies: @Steve Rendall
    Anon does not reposed to my argument. Early on, Jihadi fighters were not much of a factor in driving the flight of refugees. And long term covert machinations, which I agree there was plenty of, don't matter if those it supports are not terrorizing people to leave the country. See how that works?

    See how Assad sacked major parts of Homs, with artillery, tanks, and an Air Force, while opposition had little more than mortars to fight back with.

    I dare you to find me an independent Syria expert who says the rebels are responsible for most of the refugee problem.
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  51. MarkinLA says:
    @RobinG
    Gilad's whole argument is flawed. The US has not said that chem. weapons were stored there. [If anyone has official statement to contrary, please correct me.] The US only claimed that chem. attacks were launched from there.

    Then, as to targeting, US said it was targeting below-ground fuel storage, perhaps munitions also, but not chem. Again, anyone have better info? Official, not MSM who will say anything.

    I think you are right about US claims but they really don’t make any sense if the aim was to punish someone using chemical weapons. At least Bush pretended to be looking for the WMD even though he likely knew they didn’t exist.

    Where else would they be stored unless you think Assad has a secret stash someplace and pulls them out, now and then, to do some gassing. If that was the case, wouldn’t it make more sense to bomb the stash and prove to the rest of the world Assad had them rather than just bomb an airfield and leave yourself open to the kind of criticism Trump is getting? The idea that we can track everything the Syrian military does but they have a secret chemical weapons store that Mossad, Turkey, the CIA, FSB, and Saudi intelligence agencies don’t know about seems incredible.

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  52. D Trump says:
    @El Dato
    Why is there a neatly printed red panel with a death's head next to the "incriminating tube"? Do White Helmets (or whoever did the photographing, maybe our undeclared "boots on the ground"?) carry these with them? My arabic reading skills are not so good, what does it say?

    Ivanka tells me – she does all my reading for me – that it says “Danger. Unexploded weapon”

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  53. RobinG says:
    @Steve Rendall
    I like Dore, but if he said that he's almost surely wrong.

    Assad was bombing Syria for quite a while before Jihadis were much of a factor. He had the only Air Force and mechanized army in Syria from 2011 to 2014. For all of that time his bombing was the primary driver of the refugee crisis. It is impossible to say how many refugees Assad is responsible for, but it's likely he has caused the lion's share.

    “It’s likely covert interference started long before that.” Yes, Randal. About 2006.

    Steve Randall, where do you think all those weapons and Jihadis went when Ambassador Chris Stevens arranged their passage out of Libya?

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  54. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Considering everything that’s been happening recently, I think there is a strong possibility that this was either a false flag or they were simply waiting for an excuse to attack Syria – anything would do. In fact, Mattis had cooked up a plan to illegally board Iranian ships in international waters as a kind of Gulf of Tonkin provocation. The plan was only scrapped because it was leaked. Now, these maniacs are sending more troops to Afghanistan, concealing the numbers of troops they are deploying to the Middle East, dropping MOABs to scare other nations into submission, and threatening to attack North Korea.

    “Weeks ago, Trump’s defense secretary James Mattis was reportedly planning a brazen and incredibly dangerous operation to board Iranian ships in international waters. This would have effectively been an act of war. Apparently, the only reason the Trump administration didn’t carry it out was because the plan leaked and they were forced to scuttle it – at least temporarily. But that hasn’t stopped the ratcheting up of tensions towards Iran ever since he took office

    On top of all this madness, 16 years after America’s longest war in history started, a top general has already testified to Congress that the military wants more troops in Afghanistan to break the “stalemate” there. Well before the end of the Trump administration, there will be troops fighting and dying in Afghanistan who weren’t even born when the 9/11 attacks occurred.
    To further shield the public from these decisions, the Trump administration indicated a couple weeks ago they have stopped disclosing even the amount of additional troops that they are sending overseas to fight. The numbers were already being downplayed by the Obama administration and received little attention as the numbers continually creeped up over the last two years. Now, the public will have virtually no insight into what its military is doing in those countries.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/10/not-just-syria-trump-ratcheting-up-wars-world

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  55. @Randal

    Assad was bombing Syria for quite a while before Jihadis were much of a factor. He had the only Air Force and mechanized army in Syria from 2011 to 2014.
     
    You have a rather unrealistically late idea of when foreign groups started backing the terrorists in Syria.

    Qatar, to name just one, is on the record as having actively supported the rebels militarily since at least April 2012, and the FT reported in May 2013 it had already spent $1-3 billion backing the rebels:

    How Qatar seized control of the Syrian revolution

    Turkey started providing support to the "Free Syria Army" in 2011, and jihadist groups such as Al Qaeda were openly calling for volunteers to fight in Syria by February 2012.

    This is all information in the public domain. It's likely covert interference started long before that.

    Anon does not reposed to my argument. Early on, Jihadi fighters were not much of a factor in driving the flight of refugees. And long term covert machinations, which I agree there was plenty of, don’t matter if those it supports are not terrorizing people to leave the country. See how that works?

    See how Assad sacked major parts of Homs, with artillery, tanks, and an Air Force, while opposition had little more than mortars to fight back with.

    I dare you to find me an independent Syria expert who says the rebels are responsible for most of the refugee problem.

    Read More
    • Troll: L.K
    • Replies: @anon
    Refugees s been pouring in Jordan and Turkey before moving to EU. Refugees eas expected by saudi They put barbed wire I think to stop.

    Syria initially saw a peaceful demonstration and before government started using arms or ammunition , demonstration got violent with assassination and killing of government forces Soon UK and USA were demanding that Assad needed to surrender. Assad started using air force to stem the tide of the violence .Assad offered amnesty and reconciliation s All were discarded at the behest of Western ad Saudi and Turkey Before that the 'Rat line" from Libya flooded the country with weapons Long before that French FM exposed the plans of destabilizing Syria . in 2007 Cheney was planning with Rice to start a civil war in Syria and western Iraq. Arms were in plenty already


    Assad had no choice but use all powers he had .
    Why did refugees go to EU?


    No one knows.

    But one thing is sure that this fallout and aftermath were in-built in the projects cooked in DC

    , @KA
    Rebels are not responsible for the refugee flow Neither are the hijackers responsible for the chronic health problem of the firefighters and the first responders to the 911 attacks .
    , @El Dato
    Syria may be an autocratic shithole where women must know their place and you better kowtow to the friendly state employee (or face a guided tour of a dungeon) with the Assad family in power (indeed we have https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Hama_massacre under daddy already) but

    I dare you to find me an independent Syria expert who says the rebels are responsible for most of the refugee problem.
     
    This is just jumping the shark.

    People just don't like to stay in warzones and flattened cities, yes.
    , @Randal

    Anon does not reposed to my argument. Early on, Jihadi fighters were not much of a factor in driving the flight of refugees.
     
    The comment to which you responded referred to deaths, not refugees.

    But with regard to refugees, the UNHCR figures show that the number of registered Syrian refugees was still below 1m at the end of March 2013 (it's now over 5 million), whereas as I pointed out above, the external backing for the rebels that prevented the government restoring order and really ratcheted up the fighting had markedly increased during 2012.

    The blame for the devastation in Syria belongs with those who have perpetuated the rebellion and prevented the Syrian government restoring order, as Assad's father restored order following the uprising in 1982. Primarily with the US as the global hegemon, and with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel who have directly or indirectly interfered to seek regime change in Syria regardless of the human cost.

    Those who have a genuine humanitarian concern and are not motivated by ulterior strategic or political interests, should direct their criticism and their pressure appropriately.
    , @bluedog
    Well one would think it would be who ever started the dance not what happened after the lights went out..
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  56. Am I the only guy who finds it strange that the “bomb” explored exactly in the middle of a road?

    Read More
    • Replies: @El Dato
    Not only that but it seems to be the only chemical payload in evidence.

    Maybe it fell out of someone's pocket?

    It would have been more effective to blanket the area with CS gas, then kill using old-school shrapnel.

    (This suggests another explanation for the "it was Syria" camp: the Munitions and Missile Maintenance Officer may have had a badly marked item lying around and released it, thinking it was a standard HE/fragmentation device. Nah... )
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  57. Contraviews says: • Website

    Dear Mr.Postol,
    What I did miss in your excellent analysis are comments on White Helmets and other rescuers handling sarin contaminated victims with bare hands and no protective clothing. As you know sarin is a highly toxis chemical, targeting the muscles and nervous system. Rescuers would have been contaminated themselves and died probably within hours.
    It’s my take that these images were staged and filmed already before the “attack”. Could you please comment on this aspect?
    Also listening to a chemical expert on Rt he stated that delivering sarin or chlorine from the air would be totally ineffective. Could you possibly elaborate on this as well?
    Tom Van Meurs
    New Zealand
    I will pubish your article on my Facebook

    Read More
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  58. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Steve Rendall
    Anon does not reposed to my argument. Early on, Jihadi fighters were not much of a factor in driving the flight of refugees. And long term covert machinations, which I agree there was plenty of, don't matter if those it supports are not terrorizing people to leave the country. See how that works?

    See how Assad sacked major parts of Homs, with artillery, tanks, and an Air Force, while opposition had little more than mortars to fight back with.

    I dare you to find me an independent Syria expert who says the rebels are responsible for most of the refugee problem.

    Refugees s been pouring in Jordan and Turkey before moving to EU. Refugees eas expected by saudi They put barbed wire I think to stop.

    Syria initially saw a peaceful demonstration and before government started using arms or ammunition , demonstration got violent with assassination and killing of government forces Soon UK and USA were demanding that Assad needed to surrender. Assad started using air force to stem the tide of the violence .Assad offered amnesty and reconciliation s All were discarded at the behest of Western ad Saudi and Turkey Before that the ‘Rat line” from Libya flooded the country with weapons Long before that French FM exposed the plans of destabilizing Syria . in 2007 Cheney was planning with Rice to start a civil war in Syria and western Iraq. Arms were in plenty already

    Assad had no choice but use all powers he had .
    Why did refugees go to EU?

    No one knows.

    But one thing is sure that this fallout and aftermath were in-built in the projects cooked in DC

    Read More
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  59. Brewer says:
    @Alfa158
    What was the date of the image from Google Earth showing the supposed bomb crater? Google Earth is not a real time satellite reconnaissance system. You can get the date of the image from the display options, and they are usually months or years old.
    Is it possible that this crater was already there prior to the gas attack?

    There is a glaring anomaly in that there appears to be a 5-hour time difference between the gas release and the Syrian air attack – the former at around 6am, the latter at 11am. This should be easy enough to ascertain if one has the proper resources. If so it clears the SAA of responsibility.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Xander USMC
    If there is a time gap that merely is evidence that it was someone on the ground. The U.S. claims a Syrian Sukoi-22 (an airplane so old the Russians don't use it anymore) dropped ordinance (the alleged chemicals) at the time of the attack. So if there was an airstrike by an Su-22 using high explosives that could well have damaged chemicals on the ground.

    There are also many possible explanations for a delay--we don't really know very much so its is pure speculation, but for example, if a warehouse storing chemical weapons by the rebels was damaged they may have tried to remove the chemicals from the warehouse hours after the attack and it was the attempt to move the damaged containers that resulted in an "accident." It is also consistent with a set-up as it would take time for rebels after the airstrike to engineer a chemical attack.
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  60. Google Earth isn’t real-time or near-real-time, so if you are comparing craters to what you see there, you are using a dubious reference.

    Read More
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  61. KA says:
    @Steve Rendall
    Anon does not reposed to my argument. Early on, Jihadi fighters were not much of a factor in driving the flight of refugees. And long term covert machinations, which I agree there was plenty of, don't matter if those it supports are not terrorizing people to leave the country. See how that works?

    See how Assad sacked major parts of Homs, with artillery, tanks, and an Air Force, while opposition had little more than mortars to fight back with.

    I dare you to find me an independent Syria expert who says the rebels are responsible for most of the refugee problem.

    Rebels are not responsible for the refugee flow Neither are the hijackers responsible for the chronic health problem of the firefighters and the first responders to the 911 attacks .

    Read More
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  62. @reiner Tor
    Thanks, that's useful to know.

    Are you sure it's true of sarin? I read that about sarin specifically.

    My familiarity is with older stockpiles. I’m not saying storing it for years was the smartest thing ever done, but it was done.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Older stockpiles of sarin?

    I guess the Syrians (or especially the rebels) used the easiest methods, because they had very limited expertise.
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  63. marc_J says:

    A very careful and interesting analysis which is probably true, but also irrelevant.

    In my own experience, careful, fact-based analysis is almost always ignored and represents wasted time and effort. The audience has nowhere near the attention span necessary to read and understand analysis based on science.

    My work (completely unrelated to anything to do with the military or security) has taught me that a 2 sentence assertion is as good as a 30 page analysis supported by facts.

    From the old tee shirt, “I’ve already made up my mind, don’t confuse me with the facts”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    This seems as good a place as any to introduce a little more from an expert who won't convjnce those who already have their minds made up. I see in the Weekend Australian (www.theaustralian.com.au)
    an article by David Kilcullen headed "Sarin attack shows Assad is desperate" sub-headed "Rebel jihadist forces are making huge gains on the road to Damascus". That deems to come from an alternative universe from the discussions I have read hitherto. Someone who actually reads stuff before opinionating might care to reply.
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  64. […] Institute of Technology has analyzed the rather thin “evidence” provided by the US government in a letter to former CIA analyst Larry C. […]

    Read More
  65. Emily says:

    Careful Theodore!
    You are a brave man.
    We, in Britain, know what happens to scientists who dare to tell the truth and buck the warmongers.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10192271/The-betrayal-of-Dr-David-Kelly-10-years-on.html

    Dr David Kelly – almost certainly murdered by the Blair government
    Keep safe.

    Read More
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  66. El Dato says:
    @Steve Rendall
    Anon does not reposed to my argument. Early on, Jihadi fighters were not much of a factor in driving the flight of refugees. And long term covert machinations, which I agree there was plenty of, don't matter if those it supports are not terrorizing people to leave the country. See how that works?

    See how Assad sacked major parts of Homs, with artillery, tanks, and an Air Force, while opposition had little more than mortars to fight back with.

    I dare you to find me an independent Syria expert who says the rebels are responsible for most of the refugee problem.

    Syria may be an autocratic shithole where women must know their place and you better kowtow to the friendly state employee (or face a guided tour of a dungeon) with the Assad family in power (indeed we have https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Hama_massacre under daddy already) but

    I dare you to find me an independent Syria expert who says the rebels are responsible for most of the refugee problem.

    This is just jumping the shark.

    People just don’t like to stay in warzones and flattened cities, yes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @L.K
    Your view of Syria is a grotesque caricature. Here's what former US marine, Brad Hoff, found in Syria before the war:

    DURING MY FIRST WEEKS in Damascus, I was pleasantly shocked. My preconceived notions were shattered: I expected to find a society full of veiled women, mosques on every street corner, religious police looking over shoulders, rabid anti-American sentiment preached to angry crowds, persecuted Christians and crumbling hidden churches, prudish separation of the sexes, and so on. I quickly realized during my first few days and nights in Damascus, that Syria was a far cry from my previous imaginings, which were probably more reflective of Saudi Arabian life and culture. What I actually encountered were mostly unveiled women wearing European fashions and sporting bright makeup — many of them wearing blue jeans and tight fitting clothes that would be commonplace in American shopping malls on a summer day. I saw groups of teenage boys and girls mingling in trendy cafes late into the night, displaying expensive cell phones. There were plenty of mosques, but almost every neighborhood had a large church or two with crosses figured prominently in the Damascus skyline.
     
    A Marine in Syria
    https://medium.com/news-politics/a-marine-in-syria-d06ff67c203c

    As for the 'Hama massacre', it was actually a battle between the army and a sectarian islamic insurgency.
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  67. @another fred
    My familiarity is with older stockpiles. I'm not saying storing it for years was the smartest thing ever done, but it was done.

    Older stockpiles of sarin?

    I guess the Syrians (or especially the rebels) used the easiest methods, because they had very limited expertise.

    Read More
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  68. El Dato says:
    @JoaoAlfaiate
    Am I the only guy who finds it strange that the "bomb" explored exactly in the middle of a road?

    Not only that but it seems to be the only chemical payload in evidence.

    Maybe it fell out of someone’s pocket?

    It would have been more effective to blanket the area with CS gas, then kill using old-school shrapnel.

    (This suggests another explanation for the “it was Syria” camp: the Munitions and Missile Maintenance Officer may have had a badly marked item lying around and released it, thinking it was a standard HE/fragmentation device. Nah… )

    Read More
    • Replies: @El Dato
    Plus, how does one identify the single small crater in the quite likely crater-marked region "that done it"?

    Hmm.....
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  69. El Dato says:
    @El Dato
    Not only that but it seems to be the only chemical payload in evidence.

    Maybe it fell out of someone's pocket?

    It would have been more effective to blanket the area with CS gas, then kill using old-school shrapnel.

    (This suggests another explanation for the "it was Syria" camp: the Munitions and Missile Maintenance Officer may have had a badly marked item lying around and released it, thinking it was a standard HE/fragmentation device. Nah... )

    Plus, how does one identify the single small crater in the quite likely crater-marked region “that done it”?

    Hmm…..

    Read More
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  70. White House Explanation of Alleged Syrian Strategy is Utter Nonsense.

    I have not really seen much comment on the White House explanation for why the Syrians supposedly did this. The Paper discussed claims that the Syrian government did this attack in “southern Idlib province” in response to a threat “in response to an opposition offensive in northern Hamah province that threatened key infrastructure.” This explanation is utterly nonsensical. If key infrastructure is being threatened in one part of the country why did the government have an airstrike in another area of the country–much less an entirely insignificant single rocket attack that does not appear to have accomplished anything militarily. If they were going to use gas why didn’t they use it in Hamah where the “key infrastructure” was allegedly being threatened?

    Of course, there may be times when you can strike your enemies’ supply lines, (like MacArthur wanted to take out the bridge over the Yalu River) but in any event I wish someone would ask the White House to explain this statement. No one has yet to offer any coherent explanation for the alleged actions of the Syrian government.

    Read More
    • Replies: @alexander
    Xander,

    Let us assume, for arguments sake, you are President Assad.

    Over the past year, with the assistance of Russian forces, you have been able to mount decisive, significant victories against ISIS using conventional weapons, and you are on the verge of reclaiming your country from the assorted Jihadist's who are fragmenting it and destroying it.

    If you are well aware the ONE action you could take, which might force the hand of the most powerful military on the planet to descend upon you...Wouldn't you avoid it like the plague ?

    Is there any strategic or tactical value for you to attempt it ?


    If there is....What is it ?
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  71. @Brewer
    There is a glaring anomaly in that there appears to be a 5-hour time difference between the gas release and the Syrian air attack - the former at around 6am, the latter at 11am. This should be easy enough to ascertain if one has the proper resources. If so it clears the SAA of responsibility.

    If there is a time gap that merely is evidence that it was someone on the ground. The U.S. claims a Syrian Sukoi-22 (an airplane so old the Russians don’t use it anymore) dropped ordinance (the alleged chemicals) at the time of the attack. So if there was an airstrike by an Su-22 using high explosives that could well have damaged chemicals on the ground.

    There are also many possible explanations for a delay–we don’t really know very much so its is pure speculation, but for example, if a warehouse storing chemical weapons by the rebels was damaged they may have tried to remove the chemicals from the warehouse hours after the attack and it was the attempt to move the damaged containers that resulted in an “accident.” It is also consistent with a set-up as it would take time for rebels after the airstrike to engineer a chemical attack.

    Read More
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  72. alexander says:
    @Xander USMC
    White House Explanation of Alleged Syrian Strategy is Utter Nonsense.

    I have not really seen much comment on the White House explanation for why the Syrians supposedly did this. The Paper discussed claims that the Syrian government did this attack in "southern Idlib province" in response to a threat "in response to an opposition offensive in northern Hamah province that threatened key infrastructure." This explanation is utterly nonsensical. If key infrastructure is being threatened in one part of the country why did the government have an airstrike in another area of the country--much less an entirely insignificant single rocket attack that does not appear to have accomplished anything militarily. If they were going to use gas why didn't they use it in Hamah where the "key infrastructure" was allegedly being threatened?

    Of course, there may be times when you can strike your enemies' supply lines, (like MacArthur wanted to take out the bridge over the Yalu River) but in any event I wish someone would ask the White House to explain this statement. No one has yet to offer any coherent explanation for the alleged actions of the Syrian government.

    Xander,

    Let us assume, for arguments sake, you are President Assad.

    Over the past year, with the assistance of Russian forces, you have been able to mount decisive, significant victories against ISIS using conventional weapons, and you are on the verge of reclaiming your country from the assorted Jihadist’s who are fragmenting it and destroying it.

    If you are well aware the ONE action you could take, which might force the hand of the most powerful military on the planet to descend upon you…Wouldn’t you avoid it like the plague ?

    Is there any strategic or tactical value for you to attempt it ?

    If there is….What is it ?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Xander USMC
    Right, but that is the strategic lack of sense, but I'm pointing out the strike would make no sense tactically either. If something was being threatened arguably it would make tactical sense to gas the area under attack--but not a minor attack 50 miles away that does not appear to have any relation to the alleged threat elsewhere. I haven't even seen any confirmation of any threat to "key infrastructure." Not to mention Syria retook Aleppo without the need for chemicals--wasn't that a lot more key than this unidentified "key infrastructure"?
    , @Wizard of Oz
    See #97

    I too have been assuming that Assad, with Russian help, was winning.

    Increasingly the US led push to get rid of Assad seems like folly of Libyan, if not Iraqi invasion proportions. The UK's William Hague seems to have been as delusional as Obama.

    Only Israel could rationally support a Balkanisation of Syria which included defeat of the Alawite regime and that would be on the supposition that Israel desperately needs to curb extensions of Iranian power and holds the Arabs in total contempt apart from Hezbollah and Assad.

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  73. Randal says:
    @Steve Rendall
    Anon does not reposed to my argument. Early on, Jihadi fighters were not much of a factor in driving the flight of refugees. And long term covert machinations, which I agree there was plenty of, don't matter if those it supports are not terrorizing people to leave the country. See how that works?

    See how Assad sacked major parts of Homs, with artillery, tanks, and an Air Force, while opposition had little more than mortars to fight back with.

    I dare you to find me an independent Syria expert who says the rebels are responsible for most of the refugee problem.

    Anon does not reposed to my argument. Early on, Jihadi fighters were not much of a factor in driving the flight of refugees.

    The comment to which you responded referred to deaths, not refugees.

    But with regard to refugees, the UNHCR figures show that the number of registered Syrian refugees was still below 1m at the end of March 2013 (it’s now over 5 million), whereas as I pointed out above, the external backing for the rebels that prevented the government restoring order and really ratcheted up the fighting had markedly increased during 2012.

    The blame for the devastation in Syria belongs with those who have perpetuated the rebellion and prevented the Syrian government restoring order, as Assad’s father restored order following the uprising in 1982. Primarily with the US as the global hegemon, and with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel who have directly or indirectly interfered to seek regime change in Syria regardless of the human cost.

    Those who have a genuine humanitarian concern and are not motivated by ulterior strategic or political interests, should direct their criticism and their pressure appropriately.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RobinG
    Isn't the real question whether Steve Rendall is receptive to your kind efforts to educate him, or whether his feigned ignorance is SOP in the disinfo war?
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  74. bluedog says:
    @Steve Rendall
    Anon does not reposed to my argument. Early on, Jihadi fighters were not much of a factor in driving the flight of refugees. And long term covert machinations, which I agree there was plenty of, don't matter if those it supports are not terrorizing people to leave the country. See how that works?

    See how Assad sacked major parts of Homs, with artillery, tanks, and an Air Force, while opposition had little more than mortars to fight back with.

    I dare you to find me an independent Syria expert who says the rebels are responsible for most of the refugee problem.

    Well one would think it would be who ever started the dance not what happened after the lights went out..

    Read More
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  75. RobinG says:
    @Randal

    Anon does not reposed to my argument. Early on, Jihadi fighters were not much of a factor in driving the flight of refugees.
     
    The comment to which you responded referred to deaths, not refugees.

    But with regard to refugees, the UNHCR figures show that the number of registered Syrian refugees was still below 1m at the end of March 2013 (it's now over 5 million), whereas as I pointed out above, the external backing for the rebels that prevented the government restoring order and really ratcheted up the fighting had markedly increased during 2012.

    The blame for the devastation in Syria belongs with those who have perpetuated the rebellion and prevented the Syrian government restoring order, as Assad's father restored order following the uprising in 1982. Primarily with the US as the global hegemon, and with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel who have directly or indirectly interfered to seek regime change in Syria regardless of the human cost.

    Those who have a genuine humanitarian concern and are not motivated by ulterior strategic or political interests, should direct their criticism and their pressure appropriately.

    Isn’t the real question whether Steve Rendall is receptive to your kind efforts to educate him, or whether his feigned ignorance is SOP in the disinfo war?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    I'm not that bothered about trying to persuade him (that's up to him), more just making sure he can't persuade me. :-) And anyone reading the exchange, for that matter.
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  76. […] This is a portion of an assessment of the alleged April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria by MIT Professor Theodore A. Postol.  The full assessment, published in the Unz Review, can be found here. […]

    Read More
  77. […] 6) Letter from MIT Scientist: Sarin attack was executed by individuals on the ground, not from an aircraft http://www.unz.com/article/the-nerve-agent-attack-in-khan-shaykhun-syria/  […]

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  78. […] Postol, ein pensionierter Professor des MIT, widerspricht der Einschätzung der Trump-Administreation frontal (eigene […]

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  79. […] The Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria […]

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  80. […] 3″A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report Issued on April 11, 2017  About the Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria.” (also here); […]

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  81. @alexander
    Xander,

    Let us assume, for arguments sake, you are President Assad.

    Over the past year, with the assistance of Russian forces, you have been able to mount decisive, significant victories against ISIS using conventional weapons, and you are on the verge of reclaiming your country from the assorted Jihadist's who are fragmenting it and destroying it.

    If you are well aware the ONE action you could take, which might force the hand of the most powerful military on the planet to descend upon you...Wouldn't you avoid it like the plague ?

    Is there any strategic or tactical value for you to attempt it ?


    If there is....What is it ?

    Right, but that is the strategic lack of sense, but I’m pointing out the strike would make no sense tactically either. If something was being threatened arguably it would make tactical sense to gas the area under attack–but not a minor attack 50 miles away that does not appear to have any relation to the alleged threat elsewhere. I haven’t even seen any confirmation of any threat to “key infrastructure.” Not to mention Syria retook Aleppo without the need for chemicals–wasn’t that a lot more key than this unidentified “key infrastructure”?

    Read More
    • Replies: @alexander
    Yes ,

    It would make the most sense were one to use chemical weapons as a TACTIC, to use them in areas and situations where (as you suggest) one would get the most "bang for their buck".

    It is very clear to you,based on its location, this chemical attack was almost meaningless tactically.

    Right ?

    So if this chemical assault was tactically absurd and strategically suicidal, then what would be Assad's thinking by attempting it ?

    Is there some "rationale" that escapes us ?

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  82. alexander says:
    @Xander USMC
    Right, but that is the strategic lack of sense, but I'm pointing out the strike would make no sense tactically either. If something was being threatened arguably it would make tactical sense to gas the area under attack--but not a minor attack 50 miles away that does not appear to have any relation to the alleged threat elsewhere. I haven't even seen any confirmation of any threat to "key infrastructure." Not to mention Syria retook Aleppo without the need for chemicals--wasn't that a lot more key than this unidentified "key infrastructure"?

    Yes ,

    It would make the most sense were one to use chemical weapons as a TACTIC, to use them in areas and situations where (as you suggest) one would get the most “bang for their buck”.

    It is very clear to you,based on its location, this chemical attack was almost meaningless tactically.

    Right ?

    So if this chemical assault was tactically absurd and strategically suicidal, then what would be Assad’s thinking by attempting it ?

    Is there some “rationale” that escapes us ?

    Read More
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  83. L.K says:
    @Steve Rendall
    I like Dore, but if he said that he's almost surely wrong.

    Assad was bombing Syria for quite a while before Jihadis were much of a factor. He had the only Air Force and mechanized army in Syria from 2011 to 2014. For all of that time his bombing was the primary driver of the refugee crisis. It is impossible to say how many refugees Assad is responsible for, but it's likely he has caused the lion's share.

    Everything you wrote is pure BS. But I guess that is your purpose here.

    Even Robert Fisk admitted there were Salafi jihadis involved from day one. Al-Ciada in Iraq was involved from day one, etc.
    There were and there are NO moderate ‘rebels’. This ain’t fucking star wars.
    Since early 2012, the Al-Nusra Front & co have been the main fighting force trying to topple the Syrian government. They are actually a more serious threat to Syria than Daesh/is.
    Increasingly from 2012 the Jihadis have been ever more heavily armed.
    The key Jihadi groups all have armored forces, artillery, ATGMs, the only thing they don’t have is an air-force. Robert Fisk reported from the front lines in 2013/14/15 re how oftentimes the Syrian army faced militants that were as well armed and, in some cases, even better armed.
    Armored Assault by Al-Nusra in Aleppo, Caught on Nusra Drone Camera

    Go sell your BS elsewhere.

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  84. Randal says:
    @RobinG
    Isn't the real question whether Steve Rendall is receptive to your kind efforts to educate him, or whether his feigned ignorance is SOP in the disinfo war?

    I’m not that bothered about trying to persuade him (that’s up to him), more just making sure he can’t persuade me. :-) And anyone reading the exchange, for that matter.

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  85. L.K says:
    @El Dato
    Syria may be an autocratic shithole where women must know their place and you better kowtow to the friendly state employee (or face a guided tour of a dungeon) with the Assad family in power (indeed we have https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Hama_massacre under daddy already) but

    I dare you to find me an independent Syria expert who says the rebels are responsible for most of the refugee problem.
     
    This is just jumping the shark.

    People just don't like to stay in warzones and flattened cities, yes.

    Your view of Syria is a grotesque caricature. Here’s what former US marine, Brad Hoff, found in Syria before the war:

    DURING MY FIRST WEEKS in Damascus, I was pleasantly shocked. My preconceived notions were shattered: I expected to find a society full of veiled women, mosques on every street corner, religious police looking over shoulders, rabid anti-American sentiment preached to angry crowds, persecuted Christians and crumbling hidden churches, prudish separation of the sexes, and so on. I quickly realized during my first few days and nights in Damascus, that Syria was a far cry from my previous imaginings, which were probably more reflective of Saudi Arabian life and culture. What I actually encountered were mostly unveiled women wearing European fashions and sporting bright makeup — many of them wearing blue jeans and tight fitting clothes that would be commonplace in American shopping malls on a summer day. I saw groups of teenage boys and girls mingling in trendy cafes late into the night, displaying expensive cell phones. There were plenty of mosques, but almost every neighborhood had a large church or two with crosses figured prominently in the Damascus skyline.

    A Marine in Syria

    https://medium.com/news-politics/a-marine-in-syria-d06ff67c203c

    As for the ‘Hama massacre’, it was actually a battle between the army and a sectarian islamic insurgency.

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  86. […] The Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria; A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report: The document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack […]

    Read More
  87. Brewer says:

    Timeline:

    April 4, at 8 a.m., Abdullah al-Gani and Muaz al-Shami, freelance journalists who have links with radical groups located in Idlib, provided Orient News and Al-Jazeera with the video footage made by the White Helmets. The graphics show the consequences of the alleged chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun. According to Muazz al-Shami, sarin gas was used in the attack.

    http://theduran.com/lebanese-journalist-intependently-investigates-alleged-khan-sheikhoun-chemical-attack/

    Yesterday, (April 4) from 11:30 am to 12:30 p.m. local time, Syrian aviation made a strike on a large terrorist ammunition depot and a concentration of military hardware in the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhoun town,” Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konoshenkov said in a statement posted on YouTube.

    http://www.iraqinews.com/arab-world-news/russia-says-syria-gas-incident-caused-rebels-chemical-arsenal/

    “Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem explained that the first reports of the chemical attack appeared several hours before the government airstrike”

    https://sputniknews.com/politics/201704091052469244-us-syria-chemical-weapons-war-pretext/

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  88. […] The full assessment, published in the Unz Review, can be found here. […]

    Read More
  89. […] the reason for that isn’t entirely clear either (The Free Thought Project, Voltairenet, The Unz Review, truthdig).  My guess is that this is all a bunch of chest-thumping aimed at North Korea.  Are […]

    Read More
  90. @marc_J
    A very careful and interesting analysis which is probably true, but also irrelevant.

    In my own experience, careful, fact-based analysis is almost always ignored and represents wasted time and effort. The audience has nowhere near the attention span necessary to read and understand analysis based on science.

    My work (completely unrelated to anything to do with the military or security) has taught me that a 2 sentence assertion is as good as a 30 page analysis supported by facts.

    From the old tee shirt, "I've already made up my mind, don't confuse me with the facts".

    This seems as good a place as any to introduce a little more from an expert who won’t convjnce those who already have their minds made up. I see in the Weekend Australian (www.theaustralian.com.au)
    an article by David Kilcullen headed “Sarin attack shows Assad is desperate” sub-headed “Rebel jihadist forces are making huge gains on the road to Damascus”. That deems to come from an alternative universe from the discussions I have read hitherto. Someone who actually reads stuff before opinionating might care to reply.

    Read More
    • Troll: L.K
    • Replies: @L.K
    Ridiculous propaganda.
    David Kilcullen headed “Sarin attack shows Assad is desperate” Pure BS.
    sub-headed “Rebel jihadist forces are making huge gains on the road to Damascus”. More BS.

    The usual garbage in, garbage out kind of stuff.
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  91. @alexander
    Xander,

    Let us assume, for arguments sake, you are President Assad.

    Over the past year, with the assistance of Russian forces, you have been able to mount decisive, significant victories against ISIS using conventional weapons, and you are on the verge of reclaiming your country from the assorted Jihadist's who are fragmenting it and destroying it.

    If you are well aware the ONE action you could take, which might force the hand of the most powerful military on the planet to descend upon you...Wouldn't you avoid it like the plague ?

    Is there any strategic or tactical value for you to attempt it ?


    If there is....What is it ?

    See #97

    I too have been assuming that Assad, with Russian help, was winning.

    Increasingly the US led push to get rid of Assad seems like folly of Libyan, if not Iraqi invasion proportions. The UK’s William Hague seems to have been as delusional as Obama.

    Only Israel could rationally support a Balkanisation of Syria which included defeat of the Alawite regime and that would be on the supposition that Israel desperately needs to curb extensions of Iranian power and holds the Arabs in total contempt apart from Hezbollah and Assad.

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  92. […] The report is titled “Assessment of White House Intelligence Report of April 11, 2017” and it was authored by Theodore Postol, an MIT professor who is among the world’s leading experts on chemical weaponry. […]

    Read More
  93. L.K says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    This seems as good a place as any to introduce a little more from an expert who won't convjnce those who already have their minds made up. I see in the Weekend Australian (www.theaustralian.com.au)
    an article by David Kilcullen headed "Sarin attack shows Assad is desperate" sub-headed "Rebel jihadist forces are making huge gains on the road to Damascus". That deems to come from an alternative universe from the discussions I have read hitherto. Someone who actually reads stuff before opinionating might care to reply.

    Ridiculous propaganda.
    David Kilcullen headed “Sarin attack shows Assad is desperate” Pure BS.
    sub-headed “Rebel jihadist forces are making huge gains on the road to Damascus”. More BS.

    The usual garbage in, garbage out kind of stuff.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Bu**er! Now I'm going to have to read it to see what to mske of your assessment! I suppose Kilcullen, an authentic counter-something expert in his day may have to pose as someone still worth paying for an opinion....
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  94. @L.K
    Ridiculous propaganda.
    David Kilcullen headed “Sarin attack shows Assad is desperate” Pure BS.
    sub-headed “Rebel jihadist forces are making huge gains on the road to Damascus”. More BS.

    The usual garbage in, garbage out kind of stuff.

    Bu**er! Now I’m going to have to read it to see what to mske of your assessment! I suppose Kilcullen, an authentic counter-something expert in his day may have to pose as someone still worth paying for an opinion….

    Read More
    • Replies: @L.K
    The fact that D. Kilcullen is an alleged expert in COIN does NOT mean the man is not a propagandist, which he IS.
    Simple as that.
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  95. […] The Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria; A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report: The document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack http://www.unz.com/article/the-nerve-agent-attack-in-khan-shaykhun-syria/ […]

    Read More
  96. […] Top academic scholars and seasoned Intelligence professionals have widely derided the alleged Syrian government Sarin gas attack as an apparent false-flag hoax. Yet our fanatically Trump-hating mainstream media has almost totally ignored these facts, instead fulsomely praising the President for immediately launching an unconstitutional missile attack upon Syria in retaliation, while congratulating him for his new-found “moderation” in potentially provoking a dangerous military confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia. […]

    Read More
  97. Nailrod says:

    I’m glad I found my way to this site. I have a couple of questions about the ‘gas attack’ that are very unlikely to be addressed by anyone in our mainstream media. They’re not based on any expertise, but on common sense, and I’m hoping that somebody who does have some level of expertise will be able and willing to address them. They concern the delivery method of the ‘sarin bomb’.

    It was supposedly dropped from a Syrian Air Force attack aircraft, an SU22 or some such. I don’t know the speed of these aircraft on a bombing run, but I believe their maximum is about 800mph. Likewise I’ve no idea what altitude they would be flying at on a bombing run. But it would seem to me that the ‘sarin bomb’ would have had to have a forward velocity of several hundred mph, and a downward velocity of more than one hundred mph, when it hit the ground.

    When a normal bomb hits the ground it detonates on the spot where it impacts, because it’s packed with high explosives. I understand that sarin gas would be incinerated by high explosives. (I heard this from an ‘expert’ on the BBC, who was explaining why the gas couldn’t have been released by rebel munitions in a warehouse hit by the Syrian air attack.) So the ‘sarin bomb’ couldn’t have been carrying a significant explosive charge, or it would have destroyed the payload.

    And yet it hit the ground – a hard road – with a forward velocity of several hundred mph, and a downward velocity of more than one hundred mph, formed a crater that appears to be no more than a foot deep, and just stayed there where it landed. How plausible is that?

    Secondly, it had to be a carrier that was robust enough to survive a ground impact of several hundred mph. And yet it had to be sophisticated enough to then activate itself and discharge its payload. How plausible is that? Does such a thing even exist?

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  98. L.K says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Bu**er! Now I'm going to have to read it to see what to mske of your assessment! I suppose Kilcullen, an authentic counter-something expert in his day may have to pose as someone still worth paying for an opinion....

    The fact that D. Kilcullen is an alleged expert in COIN does NOT mean the man is not a propagandist, which he IS.
    Simple as that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I doubt that he is a propagandist in a way that distingjishss bim from most people who get paid to write. I think PG would be much closer to the mark witb bis observation in effect tbat be gets well paid for his articles and speeches/appearances and wants to gk on being paid. Although he may have a fair bit if fat to live off he would not be so coolish az to allow himself to be seen as frequently wrong. So I don't tbink "Simple as that" quite catches it.
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  99. Svigor says:

    Let me add that Jimmy Dore made a great point in that video. Many blame Assad for the half million Syrians who have died in this civil war; yet it was mostly caused by an invasion of outside Islamic mercs paid for by the Saudis and Qatar.

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war?

    No. Lincoln stands as a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of half a million Americans in the Civil War, all by himself. No need to drag Syria into it.

    The confederate rebels weren’t even trying to conquer the north, they just wanted to be left to run their own affairs.

    Who is worse, Assad or Lincoln?

    Lincoln.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {half a million Americans}

    The estimate for US Civil War deaths is 785,000-1,000,000.
    So closer to 'one million Americans'.
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  100. Svigor says:

    Nailrod, logical way to deliver chemical weapons would seem to be airburst, a few feet off the ground. On the other hand, that requires more sophisticated delivery than they had in WWI, when chemical shells were a thing. I don’t know anything about the subject; maybe they had timed shells in WWI, set to blow before they hit the ground?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Nailrod
    This seems logical to me Svigor. According to the online authorities I've consulted an artillery shell loses most of its forward momentum during its trajectory. It picks up momentum as it falls towards the ground due to gravity. But a device dropped from an aircraft maintains most of its forward momentum as well as acquiring downward momentum before it impacts. I'm hoping that someone with a bit of personal expertise will get back and say what they think.

    As far as WW1 is concerned, they were using mustard gas or chlorine. I think basically they just lobbed artillery casings filled with the gas which broke apart when they impacted. Sarin is much more volatile and vulnerable, and has to be managed with much more physical care.
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  101. Avery says:
    @Svigor

    Let me add that Jimmy Dore made a great point in that video. Many blame Assad for the half million Syrians who have died in this civil war; yet it was mostly caused by an invasion of outside Islamic mercs paid for by the Saudis and Qatar.

    Does this mean that Abe Lincoln was a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of a half a million Americans during our civil war?
     
    No. Lincoln stands as a ruthless thug responsible for the deaths of half a million Americans in the Civil War, all by himself. No need to drag Syria into it.

    The confederate rebels weren’t even trying to conquer the north, they just wanted to be left to run their own affairs.

    Who is worse, Assad or Lincoln?

     

    Lincoln.

    {half a million Americans}

    The estimate for US Civil War deaths is 785,000-1,000,000.
    So closer to ‘one million Americans’.

    Read More
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  102. Nailrod says:
    @Svigor
    Nailrod, logical way to deliver chemical weapons would seem to be airburst, a few feet off the ground. On the other hand, that requires more sophisticated delivery than they had in WWI, when chemical shells were a thing. I don't know anything about the subject; maybe they had timed shells in WWI, set to blow before they hit the ground?

    This seems logical to me Svigor. According to the online authorities I’ve consulted an artillery shell loses most of its forward momentum during its trajectory. It picks up momentum as it falls towards the ground due to gravity. But a device dropped from an aircraft maintains most of its forward momentum as well as acquiring downward momentum before it impacts. I’m hoping that someone with a bit of personal expertise will get back and say what they think.

    As far as WW1 is concerned, they were using mustard gas or chlorine. I think basically they just lobbed artillery casings filled with the gas which broke apart when they impacted. Sarin is much more volatile and vulnerable, and has to be managed with much more physical care.

    Read More
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  103. @L.K
    The fact that D. Kilcullen is an alleged expert in COIN does NOT mean the man is not a propagandist, which he IS.
    Simple as that.

    I doubt that he is a propagandist in a way that distingjishss bim from most people who get paid to write. I think PG would be much closer to the mark witb bis observation in effect tbat be gets well paid for his articles and speeches/appearances and wants to gk on being paid. Although he may have a fair bit if fat to live off he would not be so coolish az to allow himself to be seen as frequently wrong. So I don’t tbink “Simple as that” quite catches it.

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  104. […] Arguments against the chemical strike on Syria […]

    Read More
  105. RobinG says:

    I see Ron has added the Addendum. Here’s what appears to be the 4th article -

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/nerve_agent_attack_did_not_occur_in_syria_expert_finds_20170419

    “THE NERVE GAS ATTACK DESCRIBED IN THE WHITE HOUSE REPORT
    DID NOT OCCUR, EXPERT SAYS OF SYRIA INCIDENT”

    Read More
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  106. […] della Casa Bianca. Il Professore del MIT Theodore Postol, considerato un esperto sulle munizioni, ha messo in dubbio il resoconto del governo su quanto è avvenuto a Khan Sheikhoun tramite una […]

    Read More
  107. […] Professor Theodore Postol, considered to be an expert on munitions, has also questioned the government’s account of what took place in Khan Sheikhoun through a detailed analysis of the […]

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  108. annamaria says:

    “US, UK and France refuse to send forensic scientists to site of alleged chemical attack in Syria:” http://theduran.com/us-uk-and-france-refuse-to-send-forensic-scientists-to-site-of-alleged-chemical-attack-in-syria/

    The names of some mass murderers:
    “… what could go wrong with three nations, that are begging for the natural resources of Syria and want regime change? Removing the elected Head of the Sovereign Nation and replacing him with ISIS/Al Qaeda? Then have a look at Matthew Rycroft? Tony Blair‘s (wanted for war crimes in Iraq) Private Secretary, back in 2003. He is now the UK representative to the UN. Yet, fully upto speed in trying to take Sadam out, blaming it on WMD and what did the Chilcot Report say or leave out? Then you have the involvement of Tim Bell, founder of Bell Pottinger (daddy of White Helmets) …”
    Who funds White Helmets?“…Bell Pottinger is a British multinational public relations and marketing company, co-founded in 1989 by Tim Bell and Piers Pottinger. With headquarters in London, Bell Pottinger is the largest UK-based public relations consultancy measured by 2010 fee income and is described as having “the most controversial client list” in the PR industry
    In October 2016, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported that Bell Pottinger had been paid more than $500 million by the Pentagon to make fake videos that appeared to be the work of local groups such as Al Qaeda. Martin Wells reported that he was briefed to create news stories that looked as though they were produced by Arab media outlets, and distributed them through Middle Eastern news networks. He also reports that he made VCDs which were used to try to track people.
    Bell Pottinger worked in Camp Victory, the US military base in Baghdad, and the propaganda videos were personally approved by General David Petraeus – then the commander of US-led coalition forces in Iraq, who would go on to become the Director of the CIA. On some occasions, even the White House reportedly signed off on the propaganda materials.
    In December 2011, Bell Pottinger came under public scrutiny after managers were secretly recorded talking to fake representatives of the Uzbekistan government and violating Wikipedia rules by removing negative information and replacing it with positive spin.”

    https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Bell_Pottinger

    Read More
    • Replies: @RobinG
    Hi annamaria,

    Yesterday I saw a new article by Postol (this must be his 5th on this). I think it has 'retraction' in the title, or a similar word. The subject was the wind direction, which Postol says he recalculated (having previously used wrong time, or something). Anyway, it changes his analysis somewhat - but not to the advantage of the WH and "rebels."

    Now I can't find this. I wanted to finish reading and share. Did you see it? Have a link? Anyone?
    , @RobinG
    Hah! Just found it.....

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/04/67182.html

    IMPORTANT CORRECTION TO The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur
    "When the error in wind direction is corrected, the conclusion is that if there was a significant sarin release at the crater as alleged by the White House Intelligence Report issued on April 11, 2017 (WHR), the immediate result would have been significant casualties immediately adjacent to the dispersion crater.

    The fact that there were numerous television journalists reporting from the alleged sarin release site and there was absolutely no mention of casualties that would have occurred within tens to hundreds of meters of the alleged release site indicates that the WHR was produced without even a cursory low-level review of commercial video data from the site by the US intelligence community."

    And now this from Russia -
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/04/22/moscow-demands-opcw-explain-how-white-helmets-emerged-unharmed-in-syrian-sarin-attack/
    The Russian Defense Ministry says no representatives of the OPCW visited Syria’s Khan Shaykun, so the origin of samples the organization claims to have is unclear.
    "The Russian Defense Ministry wants the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to explain how members of the White Helmets (an organization positioning itself as a human rights campaigner – TASS) managed to stay unharmed by sarin in Khan Shaykhun, Defense Ministry spokesman said.

    “If it is true that sarin was used in Khan Shaykhun, how can the OPCW then account for the fact the charlatans from the White Helmets organization were hustling and bustling inside sarin clouds with no protective gear on? Everybody could see that. Ahmed Uzumcu should provide comprehensible answers to these questions as soon as possible,” Konashenkov said."
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Let me get this straight. Do you explicitly or implicitly endorse the idea that the "three nations" ..."are begging for the resources of Syria"? Set aside the strictly non-resource issue of whether Syria might have a pipeline built across it, and do you not regard anyone who spouts such ignorant and innumerate blather as disqualifying themselves from being treated as an authority or even a quotable source on anything?
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  109. […] by the White House. MIT Professor Theodore Postol, considered to be an expert on munitions, has also questioned the government’s account of what took place in Khan Sheikhoun through a detailed analysis of the […]

    Read More
  110. RobinG says:
    @annamaria
    "US, UK and France refuse to send forensic scientists to site of alleged chemical attack in Syria:" http://theduran.com/us-uk-and-france-refuse-to-send-forensic-scientists-to-site-of-alleged-chemical-attack-in-syria/

    The names of some mass murderers:
    "... what could go wrong with three nations, that are begging for the natural resources of Syria and want regime change? Removing the elected Head of the Sovereign Nation and replacing him with ISIS/Al Qaeda? Then have a look at Matthew Rycroft? Tony Blair's (wanted for war crimes in Iraq) Private Secretary, back in 2003. He is now the UK representative to the UN. Yet, fully upto speed in trying to take Sadam out, blaming it on WMD and what did the Chilcot Report say or leave out? Then you have the involvement of Tim Bell, founder of Bell Pottinger (daddy of White Helmets) ..."
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/389ce11164e6b90b23fa30601ef18c52a5ce157527ba754eb8dbab3fb71f3030.jpg

    Who funds White Helmets? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/93aa314f0cc53c117ee231786ac3af1bcf59da3232ef01f5258e6b3bcb7a8b7f.png
    "...Bell Pottinger is a British multinational public relations and marketing company, co-founded in 1989 by Tim Bell and Piers Pottinger. With headquarters in London, Bell Pottinger is the largest UK-based public relations consultancy measured by 2010 fee income and is described as having "the most controversial client list" in the PR industry
    In October 2016, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported that Bell Pottinger had been paid more than $500 million by the Pentagon to make fake videos that appeared to be the work of local groups such as Al Qaeda. Martin Wells reported that he was briefed to create news stories that looked as though they were produced by Arab media outlets, and distributed them through Middle Eastern news networks. He also reports that he made VCDs which were used to try to track people.
    Bell Pottinger worked in Camp Victory, the US military base in Baghdad, and the propaganda videos were personally approved by General David Petraeus – then the commander of US-led coalition forces in Iraq, who would go on to become the Director of the CIA. On some occasions, even the White House reportedly signed off on the propaganda materials.
    In December 2011, Bell Pottinger came under public scrutiny after managers were secretly recorded talking to fake representatives of the Uzbekistan government and violating Wikipedia rules by removing negative information and replacing it with positive spin."
    https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Bell_Pottinger

    Hi annamaria,

    Yesterday I saw a new article by Postol (this must be his 5th on this). I think it has ‘retraction’ in the title, or a similar word. The subject was the wind direction, which Postol says he recalculated (having previously used wrong time, or something). Anyway, it changes his analysis somewhat – but not to the advantage of the WH and “rebels.”

    Now I can’t find this. I wanted to finish reading and share. Did you see it? Have a link? Anyone?

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    Hi Robin: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/04/67182.html
    MPORTANT CORRECTION TO The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur
    Posted on April 23, 2017 by WashingtonsBlog
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  111. RobinG says:
    @annamaria
    "US, UK and France refuse to send forensic scientists to site of alleged chemical attack in Syria:" http://theduran.com/us-uk-and-france-refuse-to-send-forensic-scientists-to-site-of-alleged-chemical-attack-in-syria/

    The names of some mass murderers:
    "... what could go wrong with three nations, that are begging for the natural resources of Syria and want regime change? Removing the elected Head of the Sovereign Nation and replacing him with ISIS/Al Qaeda? Then have a look at Matthew Rycroft? Tony Blair's (wanted for war crimes in Iraq) Private Secretary, back in 2003. He is now the UK representative to the UN. Yet, fully upto speed in trying to take Sadam out, blaming it on WMD and what did the Chilcot Report say or leave out? Then you have the involvement of Tim Bell, founder of Bell Pottinger (daddy of White Helmets) ..."
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/389ce11164e6b90b23fa30601ef18c52a5ce157527ba754eb8dbab3fb71f3030.jpg

    Who funds White Helmets? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/93aa314f0cc53c117ee231786ac3af1bcf59da3232ef01f5258e6b3bcb7a8b7f.png
    "...Bell Pottinger is a British multinational public relations and marketing company, co-founded in 1989 by Tim Bell and Piers Pottinger. With headquarters in London, Bell Pottinger is the largest UK-based public relations consultancy measured by 2010 fee income and is described as having "the most controversial client list" in the PR industry
    In October 2016, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported that Bell Pottinger had been paid more than $500 million by the Pentagon to make fake videos that appeared to be the work of local groups such as Al Qaeda. Martin Wells reported that he was briefed to create news stories that looked as though they were produced by Arab media outlets, and distributed them through Middle Eastern news networks. He also reports that he made VCDs which were used to try to track people.
    Bell Pottinger worked in Camp Victory, the US military base in Baghdad, and the propaganda videos were personally approved by General David Petraeus – then the commander of US-led coalition forces in Iraq, who would go on to become the Director of the CIA. On some occasions, even the White House reportedly signed off on the propaganda materials.
    In December 2011, Bell Pottinger came under public scrutiny after managers were secretly recorded talking to fake representatives of the Uzbekistan government and violating Wikipedia rules by removing negative information and replacing it with positive spin."
    https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Bell_Pottinger

    Hah! Just found it…..

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/04/67182.html

    IMPORTANT CORRECTION TO The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur
    “When the error in wind direction is corrected, the conclusion is that if there was a significant sarin release at the crater as alleged by the White House Intelligence Report issued on April 11, 2017 (WHR), the immediate result would have been significant casualties immediately adjacent to the dispersion crater.

    The fact that there were numerous television journalists reporting from the alleged sarin release site and there was absolutely no mention of casualties that would have occurred within tens to hundreds of meters of the alleged release site indicates that the WHR was produced without even a cursory low-level review of commercial video data from the site by the US intelligence community.”

    And now this from Russia -

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/04/22/moscow-demands-opcw-explain-how-white-helmets-emerged-unharmed-in-syrian-sarin-attack/

    The Russian Defense Ministry says no representatives of the OPCW visited Syria’s Khan Shaykun, so the origin of samples the organization claims to have is unclear.
    “The Russian Defense Ministry wants the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to explain how members of the White Helmets (an organization positioning itself as a human rights campaigner – TASS) managed to stay unharmed by sarin in Khan Shaykhun, Defense Ministry spokesman said.

    “If it is true that sarin was used in Khan Shaykhun, how can the OPCW then account for the fact the charlatans from the White Helmets organization were hustling and bustling inside sarin clouds with no protective gear on? Everybody could see that. Ahmed Uzumcu should provide comprehensible answers to these questions as soon as possible,” Konashenkov said.”

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  112. annamaria says:
    @RobinG
    Hi annamaria,

    Yesterday I saw a new article by Postol (this must be his 5th on this). I think it has 'retraction' in the title, or a similar word. The subject was the wind direction, which Postol says he recalculated (having previously used wrong time, or something). Anyway, it changes his analysis somewhat - but not to the advantage of the WH and "rebels."

    Now I can't find this. I wanted to finish reading and share. Did you see it? Have a link? Anyone?

    Hi Robin: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/04/67182.html
    MPORTANT CORRECTION TO The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur
    Posted on April 23, 2017 by WashingtonsBlog

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  113. […] technology, and national-security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Postol has examined the evidence in the photos and concluded that the toxin was fired from the ground, not from the air, adding that […]

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  114. […] technology, and national-security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Postol has examined the evidence in the photos and concluded that the toxin was fired from the ground, not from the air, adding that […]

    Read More
  115. […] technology, and national-security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Postol has examined the evidence in the photos and concluded that the toxin was fired from the ground, not from the air, adding that […]

    Read More
  116. […] technology, and national-security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Postol has examined the evidence in the photos and concluded that the toxin was fired from the ground, not from the air, adding that […]

    Read More
  117. […] technology, and national-security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Postol has examined the evidence in the photos and concluded that the toxin was fired from the ground, not from the air, adding that […]

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  118. @annamaria
    "US, UK and France refuse to send forensic scientists to site of alleged chemical attack in Syria:" http://theduran.com/us-uk-and-france-refuse-to-send-forensic-scientists-to-site-of-alleged-chemical-attack-in-syria/

    The names of some mass murderers:
    "... what could go wrong with three nations, that are begging for the natural resources of Syria and want regime change? Removing the elected Head of the Sovereign Nation and replacing him with ISIS/Al Qaeda? Then have a look at Matthew Rycroft? Tony Blair's (wanted for war crimes in Iraq) Private Secretary, back in 2003. He is now the UK representative to the UN. Yet, fully upto speed in trying to take Sadam out, blaming it on WMD and what did the Chilcot Report say or leave out? Then you have the involvement of Tim Bell, founder of Bell Pottinger (daddy of White Helmets) ..."
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/389ce11164e6b90b23fa30601ef18c52a5ce157527ba754eb8dbab3fb71f3030.jpg

    Who funds White Helmets? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/93aa314f0cc53c117ee231786ac3af1bcf59da3232ef01f5258e6b3bcb7a8b7f.png
    "...Bell Pottinger is a British multinational public relations and marketing company, co-founded in 1989 by Tim Bell and Piers Pottinger. With headquarters in London, Bell Pottinger is the largest UK-based public relations consultancy measured by 2010 fee income and is described as having "the most controversial client list" in the PR industry
    In October 2016, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported that Bell Pottinger had been paid more than $500 million by the Pentagon to make fake videos that appeared to be the work of local groups such as Al Qaeda. Martin Wells reported that he was briefed to create news stories that looked as though they were produced by Arab media outlets, and distributed them through Middle Eastern news networks. He also reports that he made VCDs which were used to try to track people.
    Bell Pottinger worked in Camp Victory, the US military base in Baghdad, and the propaganda videos were personally approved by General David Petraeus – then the commander of US-led coalition forces in Iraq, who would go on to become the Director of the CIA. On some occasions, even the White House reportedly signed off on the propaganda materials.
    In December 2011, Bell Pottinger came under public scrutiny after managers were secretly recorded talking to fake representatives of the Uzbekistan government and violating Wikipedia rules by removing negative information and replacing it with positive spin."
    https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Bell_Pottinger

    Let me get this straight. Do you explicitly or implicitly endorse the idea that the “three nations” …”are begging for the resources of Syria”? Set aside the strictly non-resource issue of whether Syria might have a pipeline built across it, and do you not regard anyone who spouts such ignorant and innumerate blather as disqualifying themselves from being treated as an authority or even a quotable source on anything?

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  119. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Alfa158
    What was the date of the image from Google Earth showing the supposed bomb crater? Google Earth is not a real time satellite reconnaissance system. You can get the date of the image from the display options, and they are usually months or years old.
    Is it possible that this crater was already there prior to the gas attack?

    The 75s were the last real Alfas, though the new Giulia is interesting.

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  120. […] Syria than Trump. After all, Trump bombed Syria only after a tragedy gave him a pretext, however flimsy and unproven. Pence was advocating for outright confrontation even when no comparable pretext […]

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  121. […] Syria than Trump. After all, Trump bombed Syria only after a tragedy gave him a pretext, however flimsy and unproven. Pence was advocating for outright confrontation even when no comparable pretext […]

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  122. […] air. Within a day of the White House releasing its intelligence report on the incident, Dr Postol declared that it could not possibly be correct. Now, he has moved beyond that initial analysis and recently […]

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  123. […] air. Within a day of the White House releasing its intelligence report on the incident, Dr Postol declared that it could not possibly be correct. Now, he has moved beyond that initial analysis and recently […]

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  124. […] shifted gears in April following a chemical weapons attack that the West pinned on Assad, despite refutations from some experts. During his time in office, President Barack Obama also repeatedly called for […]

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