Assad, Russia claim chemical attack was fabricated

President Assad of Syria claims that the chemical attack that is alleged to have killed more than 80 civilians, received widespread media coverage and international condemnation, and the US used to justify their missile attack on a Syrian Air Force base, was fabricated.

RNZ: Syria chemical attack ‘fabricated’ – Assad

In an exclusive video interview with AFP news agency, he said “there was no order to make any attack”.

Mr Assad told AFP that the Syrian government had given up its chemical arsenal in 2013, adding “even if we have them, we wouldn’t use them”.

Mr Assad accused the West of making up events in Khan Sheikhoun so it had an excuse to carry out missile strikes on the government’s Shayrat airbase, which took place a few days after the alleged attack.

“It’s stage one, the play [they staged] that we saw on social network and TVs, then propaganda and then stage two, the military attack,” he said, questioning the authenticity of the video footage.

He also said Khan Sheikhoun, in Syria’s north-western Idlib province, had no strategic value and was not currently a battle front. “This story is not convincing by any means,” he told AFP.

Mr Assad told AFP that he would only allow an “impartial” investigation, involving “unbiased countries… to make sure that they won’t use it for politicised purposes”.

That is despite international claims that the attack was real.

The US, UK and France reacted angrily on Wednesday after Russia, Syria’s key ally, vetoed a draft resolution at the UN Security Council – the eighth time it has done so over the Syrian conflict.

Western allies have said there is compelling evidence that the Syrian government was behind what happened in Khan Sheikhoun.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday it was “highly likely” the Assad regime was behind the attack.

Turkey, which treated many of the wounded, said it has “concrete evidence” Sarin was used.

Turkey and the UK said tests showed Sarin or a Sarin-like substance was used in Khan Sheikhoun, which would be the first time since 2013 that a prohibited chemical had been used on such a scale.

Now Russia has come in to the debate on Syria’s side.

Bloomberg: Russia Says Evidence Growing Syria Chemical Attack Was Staged

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a chemical-weapons attack in Syria that provoked U.S. missile strikes on the Middle Eastern country may have been orchestrated.

“There’s growing evidence that this was staged,” Lavrov said at a Moscow news conference with his Iranian and Syrian counterparts on Friday. Publications including in the U.S. and the U.K. have highlighted “many inconsistencies” in the version of events in Syria’s Idlib province that was used to justify the American airstrikes, he said.

The U.S. hasn’t shown evidence that Assad was responsible for the April 4 attack in Idlib, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Friday in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where Putin was attending a collective-defense meeting of former Soviet republics.

The U.S. “is confident that the Syrian regime conducted a chemical weapons attack, using the nerve agent sarin, against its own people,” according to a four-page document published by officials in Washington on Tuesday that contained evidence including satellite images, reports from the scene and details of exposure gathered from victims.

Russia says Syrian forces struck a building where terrorists kept the internationally banned chemical. The U.S. says it has images proving the bomb left a crater in a road rather than hitting a building.

Russia, Iran and Syria want an independent investigation and those opposed to the call “don’t have a clear conscience,” Lavrov said. Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on Wednesday that demanded the Syrian government cooperate with an inquiry into the suspected sarin-gas attack that killed dozens of people.

All countries will be playing to their domestic audiences to an extent.

‘Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages.’ (Samuel Johnson, The Idler, 1758)

“The first casualty when war comes is truth” – purported to have been said in 1918 by US Senator Hiram Warren Johnson but not recorded.

‘When war is declared, truth is the first casualty’. (Arthur Ponsonby, Falsehood in Wartime, 1928).

Leave a comment

38 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 15, 2017

    I don’t expect Assad to fabricate another any time soon.

    Reply
  2. duperez

     /  April 15, 2017

    Now there’s a surprise – “fake news” isn’t exclusive!

    Reply
  3. I have done a fair bit of research on this situation and have concluded:
    The claim it was an anti-Assad bombing of an ISIS cache of chemical weapons is untrue because Sarin can not be dispersed in that manner.
    The bomb containing Sarin and possibly some chlorine was delivered from a SU22 Bomber in Syrian colours. Nationality of Pilot was Syrian (determined by SIGINT intercept).
    The intention to target the area was discussed and intercepted by ELINT resources.
    Russian SU24 aircraft subsequently flew two missions to damage hospitals in the vicinity where sarin victims were being treated (established by video taken at the time of one attack and by ELINT)
    The Russia and Syria motives of denying their complicity is a deliberate smoke screen to let both off the hook because of the failure to hand over all Chemical weapons as agreed with the US. I think thats about it?

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 15, 2017

      Anyone can paint a plane. How do they know it was a Syrian pilot-and how do they know that the pilot was a Syrian patriot and not a traitor ?

      I have no idea who did it, and would be guessing pointlessly, but it is silly to accept things at face value in these situations.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  April 15, 2017

        Don’t think those underneath have much choice about how to accept it. Let’s see. Russia and Assad say it wasn’t him. Everyone else says it was. I think it is silly to believe it wasn’t.

        Reply
      • Pilot spoke Syrian idiomatic speech to base, the aircraft was a SU22 and would be identified by tail number at takeoff/return. Russia is using SU24s in Syria. Yes, they can be repainted, but why bother? Until I see evidence to the contrary, I will accept at face value what the Intelligence Community are publishing from in country sources.
        Did you see the North Korean SLBMs in the parade today. They worry me more!

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  April 15, 2017

          I think the issue is how do they know it was a chemical bomb that was dropped? All I have seen so far is a crater in the road on a street somewhere, with a bit of metal casing of some kind in it. I cant read Arabic so I don’t know from the street signs where the street was. Also, what is “a Sarin-like substance”. Was it Sarin or nor? These are still puzzles. Remember, it would be an extraordinarily stupid thing for Assad (or Ashard, as my friend Sean called him) to have his pilots drop one of these things & think the world wouldn’t quickly hear about it or see it.

          Reply
          • Gezza it was over 55 years since I did my extended Nuclear, Biological and Chemical warfare course in Australia. So, take that into account please. Sarin is an organo-phosphate compound that is absorbed through the skin and lungs. In its purest form it seems to be colourless and odourless, however if it has been mixed in a “bush” laboratory then there will be smells and colours that are noticeable. The victims complained of a bad smell like garlic which could indicate arsine, but that is not as powerful as phosgene and is harder to produce. Phosgene is COCL2 pretty easy to manufacture and fairly toxic and will kill at concentrations above 500 ppm in a minute (except if you are a rat when you get 30 minutes!). I noticed many of the first line responders (the dreaded White Helmets) were not wearing medical gloves and most did not wear masks. That indicates either stupidity, or an acceptance that the agent used was not absorbable by skin and had to be breathed in. Not a characteristic of any gas I am aware of (But of course I am not omnipotent and all-knowing).
            The other thing that was a clue, was the shallow size of the crater and the lack of blast effect, but an unusual coloured smoke cloud so not a normal bomb bomb!

            Reply
          • David

             /  April 15, 2017

            “Also, what is “a Sarin-like substance”. Was it Sarin or nor?”

            There is no clear cut answer. The effects are similar, but it appears what was used is less powerful that would be expected from Sarin. It’s possible for it to be a low grade of Sarin, or a mixture of some sort.

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  April 15, 2017

            Well it’s interesting that he’s still bombing people who don’t like him – even though he’s just had 59 Tomahawks up his trousers. But if there’s another chemical attack I’d very surprised if it was him.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  April 15, 2017

              If there’s another chemical attack, I’d be pretty sure it is him and expectant that he would be unlikely to survive its consequences.

            • Gezza

               /  April 15, 2017

              Well, yes, but you’ve got it in for him, Al.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  April 15, 2017

          I know idiomatic French, but I am not French.

          Do you expect Korea to wait meekly until they are blown to pieces ?

          Reply
          • Of course you are right Kitty, I could not reach the conclusion I did, solely on the basis of the evidence I heard. Its a bit like “It quacked, your Honour, it had feathers, two legs and flew. However in the light of the evidence now before me by esteemed counsel, it was clearly a Parrot brought up since it was an egg, with ducks as advised by the owner.” I apologise for my lack of foresight.
            About (North) Korea? Did you see the Anniversary Parade today, and study the meaning of the paraded models during the March Past? They were stating that they had the capacity to attack the US by use of submarine launched missiles and would use them if attacked.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 15, 2017

              What does the US expect people they attack to do ? Thank them ? It’s time that someone stood up to the bullies. I hope that the US will not gratuitously attack North Korea, it’s looking horribly as if Trump is trying to rule the world. Make America Hated Again.

              I know that he piked out of being drafted, so has no direct experience, but surely the people of the US and the world won’t let him persuade the government to declare war on a much smaller country which seems not to have provoked it. One may not support its regime, but that is their business and the change has to come from them-there could well be a surprise in store for this/some Beloved Leader (or whatever they are called) when the people say bugger this for a way of living.

              Trump’s like someone with a new chainsaw who wants to flatten everything he sees.

  4. Zedd

     /  April 15, 2017

    I hear ‘rumors’ that the Syrian MIG jets (bought from Russia) may also be flown by Russian pilots too ?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  April 15, 2017

      That was Korea I believe. The MIG 15 gave the US a helluva shock.

      Reply
      • Brown

         /  April 15, 2017

        Only because the English sent the Soviets a turbojet and the Soviets had copied some captured German designs to create an airframe. They copied impounded Boeing 29’s as well – down to the last rivet. Their original work was then, and remains today, behind the Wests’.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  April 15, 2017

          More manouevrable, faster climb rate than the sabre, airframe built like a brick shithouse. Everybody grabbed the 262’s there were scores of them dumped all over the place cos no fuel, & any other Luftwaffe jet technology. The yanks whacked a Merlin into the Mustang & it went from average to the all round best fighter of WW2. Doesn’t matter how they all got there, the point is never underestimate the Russians’ ability to find a match for Western techonlogy.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  April 15, 2017

            So very true. And they do it on a shoestring budget. The Russians have taken a parallel technological path to America based on concepts foreign to us Westerners.That said, when a derivative of the Aurora comes screaming down from 2clock high at 10,000 miles per hour, Russia will realise they have a fight on their hands. The same goes for that crewcut North Korean freak. He doesn’t know what he’s asking for.

            Reply
    • That sort of thing usually happens in the earlier days of the transfer of new aircraft into a new country. I recall that the first live firing of the brand new Hawke aircraft from the UK to Indonesia at Moratai was flown by a (former?) RAF Pilot who hit every target he fired on (100% accuracy)!

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  April 15, 2017

        Are you talking about Hawker Hunters, out of interest, Bj?

        Reply
        • The same beasts Gezza. I watched the live firing as a guest of the Commander of Indonesian Armed Forces, mumble years ago!

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  April 15, 2017

            Lovely looking aircraft. Were there any American troops involved in sorting out the Malaysian Emergency?

            Reply
  5. Oliver

     /  April 15, 2017

    I told you it was a false flag event. Now there’s credible evidence. Does it even come as a surprise that this type of stuff happens? The states have been doing it for years. Hopefully North Korea will deal to Trump.

    Reply
    • patupaiarehe

       /  April 15, 2017

      Assad claiming he didn’t do it, is hardly ‘credible evidence’, Oliver. Do you have a link that you would like to share?

      Reply
      • Do you have a problem with USA as a matter of principle, Oliver? Your responses are not rational and indicate a fixed position. Think about it?

        Reply
        • patupaiarehe

           /  April 15, 2017

          I must concur, BJ. Our ‘resident military expert’, seems to be lacking in evidence, once again….

          Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  April 15, 2017

      So much stupidity in three sentences, Oliver. Almost a record.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  April 15, 2017

      “Hopefully North Korea will deal to Trump.”

      The odds are extraodinarily low, imo.

      Reply
      • Nelly Smickers

         /  April 15, 2017

        Well Wayne doesn’t think anyone should be so *cock-sure* about that, G…..

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  April 15, 2017

          Probably typically, Wayne is *totally underestimating* their rate of technological advancement Nelly.

          Reply
  6. Telegraph reporting that Assad has plenty more gas where that came from.

    “President Bashar al-Assad continues to retain hundreds of tonnes of his country’s chemical stockpile after deceiving United Nations inspectors sent in to dismantle it, according to Syria’s former chemical weapons research chief and other experts.

    Brigadier-General Zaher al-Sakat – who served as head of chemical warfare in the powerful 5th Division of the military until he defected in 2013 – told the Telegraph Assad’s regime failed to declare large amounts of sarin precursor chemicals and other toxic materials.

    Syria handed over what it said was its entire chemical arsenal to the UN’s Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in 2014 under a deal negotiated by the US and Russia after hundreds of people were killed in a sarin gas attack in the outskirts of the capital, Damascus.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/14/bashar-al-assad-still-has-hundreds-tonnes-chemical-weapons-former/

    Reply
  7. In amongst all of the comments about the use by the US of the MOAB, it may be of interest to know that last I heard the US has a stockpile of 16 GBU57 bombs that contain three times the weight of the explosive in MOAB. It would certainly help most people suffering from constipation?

    Reply
    • patupaiarehe

       /  April 15, 2017

      Yup, Colonel, that should be enough to give anyone ‘the shits’. The real question, ‘Is that the right thing to inflict on the opposing side?’, when their cowardly so called leaders, are hiding in bunkers…

      Reply
      • PP, one hopes they use them all on the “dear leaders” and no one else. They are designed as the ultimate non-nuclear bunker and nuclear facility buster.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s