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In 2013 US had no proof Syrian government used Sarin gas but under pressure from the media, Obama decided to launch a massive US taxpayer funded attack on sovereign nation of Syria anyway-Huffington Post UK, Charles Shoebridge, 6/17/2013

February 20, 2019

In 2013 US admitted it had no proof that Syrian government carried out a Sarin gas attack but under pressure from media, Obama greatly escalated US taxpayer funded invasion of Syria, a sovereign nation thousands of miles away: 6/14/2013, White House statement: “Each positive result indicates that an individual was exposed to sarin, but it does not tell us how or where the individuals were exposed or who was responsible for the dissemination.” 6/14/2013, “Syrian chemical weapons: White House statement,” BBC]

6/17/2013, “Syria Chemical Weapons Used…But Used by Whom? Huffington Post UK, Charles Shoebridge, “Charles Shoebridge Security analyst and former counter terrorism intelligence officer”

The CW [chemical weapons] claim has two components, each of which must be considered separately. The first is that CW have been used; the second that they have been used by Assad’s government.
In respect of the first component, the US has referred to apparently compelling evidence. Videos by news reporters and opposition activists, the reports of doctors, as well as forensic testing of samples and the bodies of [so-called] rebel fighters all suggest the use of a nerve agent such as sarin, as does that casualties reportedly responded positively to atropine – a nerve agent antidote. Of course, such evidence can be part of an elaborate fabrication. On balance however it seems possible, at least to this onetime chemical warfare trained writer, that sarin has indeed been used.
One must therefore move on to consider the second component of the US claim, that not only has sarin been used, but that it has been used by Assad’s forces. It is in this respect, at least publicly so far, that the US has produced little if any evidence to support its claim, other than to suggest that as the rebels don’t have sarin, its use must therefore have been by Assad. This assumption however may be false.
For example, just two weeks ago [June 2013] security forces in neighbouring Iraq announced the capture of an alleged al Qaeda cell engaged in the manufacture of sarin. The al Nusra Front, long reported to be at the core of the most effective anti Assad Syria rebel forces, is integrally linked to the same al Qaeda group to which the alleged Iraqi terrorists belong.
Similarly, in neighbouring Turkey the week before, police arrested a number of Syrian al Nusra suspects, reported by the Turkish media to be in possession of sarin. Turkey is a strong supporter of Syria’s rebels however, and the sarin story quickly disappeared from the Turkish mediajust as also happened recently to coverage of Turkey’s current anti-government protests. [The Turkish government has been a key supporter of the Syrian opposition, and has allowed rebels as well as refugees onto its territory.” BBC]
To this picture must be added the comments of Carla del Ponte, a leading member of the UN Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the alleged use of CW in Syria. The commission has yet to report, but on 6 May [2013] del Ponte, a former war crimes prosecutor, stated that there was strong evidence of the use of sarin by Syria rebels.
There is then, contrary to the US claims, ample evidence to suggest that Syria’s [US backed] rebels have access to sarin, or the capability to produce or acquire it. Obama himself implicitly acknowledged this in his “red line” speech of August 2012, when he stated that the red line was intended not only for Assad, but for the rebels too – suggesting his intelligence services considered this a credible possibility.
This situation is reversed however for the [US backed] rebels, who ever since Obama’s red line was created have had every incentive to use CW, which could then be blamed on Assad to provoke US [taxpayer] intervention. Indeed, as even the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights pointed out in January [2013], rebels have frequently made claims of Syria government use of CW, but these claims are never confirmed as true.
For anti-rebel activists [and for US taxpayers without whom the Syrian “war” wouldn’t exist] such a turn of events, a so-called “false flag” operation, has long been predicted, as for example in this activist video [which You Tube removed]. For such activists, as for surely anyone looking objectively at the evidence made public so far, there are strong grounds to at least suspect that this prediction may now have come true.
It’s of course no coincidence that the sudden [2013] US decision that Assad has used CW, and to consequently assist Syria’s rebels despite grave concerns as to who the rebels are and what the consequences for US interests and the people of Syria might be, has come just days after the serious reversal of rebel fortunes at Qusair. In the last few days, Obama has come under intense pressure from France, the UK and his own media to save the retreating [US backed] rebels, whether to blindly show US resolve, or to simply bloody the nose of Iran. Perhaps even more compelling as an explanation is that just days ago the [US backed] Syrian opposition refused to attend Obama brokered peace talks unless he supplied them with [more] US weapons. In this context, the CW [chemical weapons] issue would be a useful pretext to justify rather than explain deeper US involvement, just as WMD were used by the US and UK ten years ago to justify the Iraq war.


Added: “Those advocating arming [Islamist rebels] also assume that, because rebels are fighting a dictator, the rebels must themselves support democracy. While opposition leaders outside Syria speak of inclusive democracy, gender equality and human rights, such concepts are largely alien to the Islamist fighters dominating Syria’s rebels.”

3/14/2013, “Why We Shouldn’t Be Arming Syria’s Rebels,” Huffington Post UK, Charles Shoebridge

“The officially stated UK government rationale justifying arming Syria’s rebels relies upon at least two flawed assumptions.

The first is that pouring sophisticated weaponry into a war zone already awash with weapons will save civilian lives. Whilst this argument may have had some force when the army attacked unarmed demonstrators two years ago, Syria is now in a [some say] civil war in which two well armed sides have achieved military stalemate.

Western politicians often imply Syria’s 70,000 dead have all been killed by the state, a picture further complicated by media quoted opposition activists counting armed rebel fighters as civilians. Estimates suggest security forces have suffered 15,000 fatalities, rebels 10,000, with the remainder being civilians killed by both sides.

Arming one side with better weapons seems unlikely to improve this situationparticularly when rebels have been repeatedly condemned, for example this week by the UN, for murder, kidnapping, torture of prisoners and civilians, use of child soldiers, widespread assaults and corruption against civilians, all without remedial action from the rebel Free Syria Army the West supports.

Rebel tactics of attacking and fighting from densely populated areas, itself a war crime, also inevitably result in heavy weapon use and civilian casualties – as now at previously peaceful Homs and Aleppo, as in the recent past at Gaza and Fallujah. Further arming the rebels will only increase such attacks.

Those advocating arming also assume that, because rebels are fighting a dictator, the rebels must themselves support democracy.

While opposition leaders outside Syria speak of inclusive democracy, gender equality and human rights, such concepts are largely alien to the Islamist fighters dominating Syria’s rebels, the most influential of whom are groups such as the al Qaeda linked al Nusra Front. Rather, they aim to replace Syria Shia with Sunni power.

This is why the [Syrian] rebels are backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar – sectarian dictatorships with no interest in promoting human rights or inclusive secular democracy. They do so to promote their own extreme brand of Sunni Islam, and because a crippled, possibly partitioned Syria isolates and weakens Shia Iran. This also promotes the interests of Israel….

Some suggest that Islamist dominance of Syria’s rebellion is reason to arm more moderate groups. As Arab Spring states are discovering however, ‘moderate’ is a relative term. And even assuming such ‘good’ rebels can be found to arm, doing so against ‘bad’ rebels is likely to cause civil war to continue well beyond any fall of Assad, with further appalling civilian suffering. In the chaos of civil war, it will also be impossible to monitor in whose hands such weapons end up.”…


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