The Hasty Trump Syria Attack Game – It Doesn’t Add Up
By F. William Engdahl
14 April 2017
The US launch of 59 US Tomahawk cruise missiles at 3:40 am Syrian time on April 7, allegedly aimed to destroy the Syrian Government Shayrat military air base, according to the letter US President Trump sent Congress, was done, “in the vital national security and foreign policy interests” of the United States, done “to degrade Assad’s ability to conduct chemical weapons attacks, and to dissuade the Syrian regime from using or proliferating chemical weapons.” The entire incident leaves huge strategic questions begging serious responsible answers .
First questionable issue of many is the fact that Washington has refused to allow any serious independent investigation of the alleged Syrian government sarin gas attack by the scientifically competent UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the body that certified in January 2016 that Syria’s government was free of all chemical weapons after a 2013 US near-war over allegations of Assad using sarin gas weapons.
The same UN organization supervised the removal of all Assad government chemical weapons in 2013, acting on a Russian initiative to prevent a US war in Syria. US Secretary of State Tillerson has now charged that Russia did not remove all Syrian chemical weapons in 2013. He ignores the fact that US military forces took part in 2013 in what was not a Russian operation, as the US Secretary of State Tillerson falsely charges, but an international UN OPCW operation, to remove and destroy all Syrian chemical weapons held by the Assad government, as Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to US Secretary of State Colin Powell, points out.
2013 Sarin Gas ‘false flag’
At that time, in August 2013, as President Barack Obama was talking about how Assad had crossed a “red line” by using banned Sarin poison gas, Carla del Ponte, former Hague International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia prosecutor acting as a UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria member, told media that their UN investigations had uncovered definite use of sarin gas in Ghouta. However, she said, they found no evidence sarin was used by Assad’s military. Rather, del Ponte stated, “This was used on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.” Her report was blacked out of mainstream western media.
Other investigations at that time, including one in August 2013 by Associated Press war correspondent Dale Gavlak, stated from eye-witness interviews in and around Ghouta at the time, that the illegal sarin gas in 2013 was provided to Al Qaeda and other terrorist anti-Assad “rebels” by then-Saudi Intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, an intimate of the Bush family.
Dr Christof Lehmann of NSNBC in September 2013 gave detailed evidence, including eyewitness reports from citizens in Ghouta, that the sarin chemical weapons used were provided to Al Qaeda in Syria or Al Nusra terrorists by Saudi Arabia, with knowledge of the CIA and US Special Forces stationed at Al Mafraq, Jordan on the border to Syria. Al Mafraq was the major transit point for smuggled weapons from Jordan into Syria for Al Nusra and other anti-Assad terrorist mercenaries. The Al-Qaeda terrorist forces in Ghouta then were also led by a Saudi national known by the name Abu Ayesha.
Was this latest chemical weapons incident another ‘false flag’ as intelligence jargon describes it, done by US-Saudi backed ISIS or Al Nusra, in order to give the Trump Administration war hawks the excuse for major military action in Syria for the first time in six years of US-backed war? All evidence says yes.
Illogical and Mad
There is the bizarre fact that the alleged sarin gas bombing by the Syrian Air Force came just days after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the US President both indicated that forcing Assad out was no longer US priority, but an issue that ought to be decided by the Syrian people. With Assad’s forces having liberated large swaths of ISIS and Al Nusra terrorist areas, including Aleppo, it would make no sense for Assad to use illegal chemical weapons at this stage when he is apparently winning on all fronts including diplomatic. It would have been illogical and suicidal of Bashar al Assad. And whatever his faults, those are not among them.
According to an analysis by Charles Abi Nader, a retired Lebanese Army General published in the Lebanese Al-Ahed News, numerous Syrian witnesses interviewed in the Khan Sheikhoun area where the April 4 chemical explosion took place, confirmed that, “the explosion took place in the targeted building because it was struck by a missile from the air. A small cloud of smoke – a result of the explosion of barrels of poisonous gases – appeared shortly afterwards.” General Abi Nader poins out that, “This is completely contrary to the specifications and methods used in a chemical weapons strike, which requires a military technician to carry out the explosion using a temporary sheath that explodes at least 100 meters above the surface in order to avoid the ineffective launch of this type of weapon that can happen in case the rocket carrying poisonous gas explodes directly on the target.” That a Syrian Air Force missile hit the Al Qaeda weapons storage depot, not aware it concealed also banned chemical weapons, corresponds to what both the Russian and Syrian governments also claim took place.
Abi Nader points out that had there first been a serious independent scientific investigation on-the-ground to determine true facts, it would necessarily include both Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, the site of the chemical explosion, as well as inspection of the Syrian Shayrat airbase from which Assad’s air force launched their attack on the terrorist weapons depot in Idlib.
Such inspection Abi Nader stresses, would “certainly show the existence or absence of the missiles or bombs loaded with chemical weapons whose effects cannot be obscured or hidden from a scientific standpoint. The (April 7 US) missile strike against the air base, the warehouses, and bomber jet launchers eliminates any possibility to reach the scientific data needed by any commission of inquiry to investigate the facts.” That’s very convenient to prevent discovery of the false flag and allows Mad Dog Mattis and the Washington Flying Circus otherwise called the Trump Administration to charge anything they wish.
White Helmets’ Fake Videos
There is overwhelming evidence that the entire Syrian sarin gas incident at Khan Shaykhun in Idlib, controlled today by Al Nusra Front terrorists tied to al Qaeda, was fake news and a deliberate US-backed false flag attempt to charge Assad with illegal war atrocities.
Videos supplied by the Syrian White Helmets, a US and UK government-funded NGO that pompously renamed itself Syria Civil Defense, along with tweets from the head of the terrorist-controlled Idlib Province Health Authority, were the source of the sarin gas bombing allegations. However the videos released by White Helmets and sent by them to the dubious London-based Syria Observatory on Human Rights, show a man in a White Helmets uniform carrying an alleged sarin gassing child victim with bare hands and no mask.
For anyone familiar with protective measures in chemical warfare attacks with sarin, CBRN (Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense) protective gear of the most severe high security, masking the breathing and the entire body of the first aid emergency rescue workers, such as the rescue workers of victims in the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack, is standard. If White Helmets are truly the “Syrian Civil Defense” which they misleadingly name themselves, they would have been trained in dealing with chemical toxic attacks.
Another video posted by Syrian journalist “Partisangirl” shows a young girl supposedly killed by the alleged sarin attack of April 4. The only problem, overlooked by the video taker was that in the final second of the video the “dead” girl opens her eye to see if the act is over.
White Helmet Fake Videos
In November 2016 the same White Helmets organization was forced to apologize for using another fake video to make its case. White Helmets, the “reliable” source for the CIA and Trump Defense Secretary General Mad Dog Mattis, for the decision to bomb Assad’s airbase on April 7, were created by money from USAID, an arm of the US Government tied intimately to worldwide CIA regime change operations known as “democracy promotion.”
According to the organization Swedish Doctors for Human Rights, the Syrian White Helmets had also filmed gruesome faked videos in April 2015 detailing an alleged chlorine gas attack in Sarmin, Idlib. The White Helmets used bodies of dead children. The videos claimed to show the White Helmets “first responders” intensely working to revive the children via adrenalin injection and artificial respiration techniques.
On careful viewing of the White Helmet videos, the Swedish medical expert, Dr. Leif Elinder, stated, “After examination of the video material, I found that the measures inflicted upon those children, some of them lifeless, are bizarre, non-medical, non-lifesaving, and even counter-productive in terms of life-saving purposes of children.”
Another Swedish doctor who viewed the same video, stated, “In order to perform the injection, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) has to be interrupted, and then the CPR resumed immediately after. Which is not done in the procedures shown in the video… The doctor who wrote the comment, ‘If not already dead, this injection would have killed the child’ was right! What a macabre scene; and how sad.”
USAID Created the NGO
The White Helmets were created in 2013 by USAID’s Office of Transitional Initiatives, a slush fund for US-backed regime-change Color Revolution funding. They’ve gotten $23 million in funding from the USAID. USAID supplies the White Helmets through Chemonics, a for-profit contractor based in Washington DC. They are “managed” by a slick image-maker PR firm with offices in London and New York called Purpose.
According to award-winning researcher Max Blumenthal, the Syrian White Helmets were founded March 2013 by a former British military intelligence officer named James Le Mesurier. Le Mesurier is a veteran of NATO interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo and Iraq, who set up a private mercenary security company before being recruited by USAID to train what became the Syrian White Helmets under the USAID’s Syria Regional Option program.
Le Mesurier’s job for USAID was to organize a band of Syrian people who would go to the terrorist-held regions. They were trained to rush into freshly bombed buildings to extract survivors—while filming themselves—in terrorist-held areas, facing routine bombing by Syrian army aircraft. Curious we never see videos of Jihadi John or other ISIS figures cutting the heads of any White Helmets.
In 2014, Le Mesurier established Mayday Rescue, a non-profit based in Turkey that grew out of the Dubai-based “research, conflict transformation, and consultancy” firm known as Analysis, Research, and Knowledge, short for ARK. That group, which employed Le Mesurier while he was overseeing the White Helmets’ training, has received millions in grants from the US government and the British Ministry of Defense.
Blumenthal continues his report on the true origins of Syrian White Helmets, describing it as a de facto NATO propaganda arm creating the sympathy for a US No-fly Zone as in Libya and ultimately a NATO military attack on Syria.
There are enormously important unanswered questions behind Washington’s staging of the latest false flag sarin gas incident in Khan Shaykhun. While the Trump Administration shows contempt for international law or the truth, will he now widen the war from Yemen and Somalia to Syria directly, directly facing the Russian military presence in a Trump-style “gunfight at OK Corral”?
Notably, the Russian Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry report that the US missile attack on sovereign Syrian territory was planned well before the alleged sarin gas incident of 4 April. Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov stated, “It is evident that the US cruise missile strikes against a Syrian airbase have been prepared long before today’s events. A large system of measures of reconnaissance, planning, preparation of flight tasks and bringing the missiles to launch readiness needs to be carried out to prepare such an attack,” Konashenkov pointed out.
If the US media reports that Trump made his decision to bomb Syria on April 7 because of the pleas of his “heartbroken and outraged” daughter Ivanka, the world is in even more dangerous peril than we realize. Neither Trump nor his daughter, nor her husband, Jared Kushner, have any international political experience, most certainly not sufficient to be making decisions that could decide war and global disorder. That, however, is most likely a Trump media false story designed to give the entire bizarre and dangerous Trump bombing a touch of human interest for something inhuman.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”