Idlib "chemical weapons attack" reality: Syria bombed REBEL chemical weapons storehouse, Russia says military support will continue, vetoes U.S./UK/France UN resolution
Breakingnews.sy / Fort Russ
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 14:55 UTC
Mekdad said that the media reports, surrounding the events, were used as a tool of distortion and falsification of facts, noting that Syria has fulfilled all obligations to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, with the latter already verifying this.
He also denied that Syrian Army is in possession of chemical weapons, by saying: "The army has never used such weapons, even in the most intense and critical battles with the terrorist groups", while also reminding Staffan de Mistura, UN's Special Envoy to Syria, to act in accordance with his role and neutrally approach the situation.
Mekdad also stressed that Syria strongly condemns the attacks on Khan Sheikhoun, yesterday carried out by armed terrorist groups and their supporters, operating in the area and called on the international community to hold the parties, responsible for the crime, accountable. He also expressed concerns that Wednesday's conference on the Syrian issue in Brussels could be used as a tool to spread blatant lies and accusations against Syria.
The Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister further stated that the area where the incident occurred is under complete control of the terrorist groups and that the attacks are obviously their work and that of their aides and supporters, located in Britain, France, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, pointing out that the so-called "Syrian opposition" which itself refused to play its part in restoring peace and stability to Syria, is now trying to put pressure on the Syrian government by making such provocations.
Yesterday, reports came about a chemical weapons attack in the Syrian village of Khan Sheikhoun, located in Syria's Idleb province. Almost 60 people, many of them children, were said to have been killed by the poisonous substances that were dropped during air raids on the village. Despite no evidence and the fact that no raids were conducted on Khan Sheikhoun, the Islamist and corporate press accused the Syrian and Russian side to be behind the incident. The two have since denied and debunked the accusations.
Comment: See also:
- Projection: Tillerson accuses Syrian government of 'barbarism' for chemical weapons attack in Idlib
- Jumping to conclusions: The 'official version' of Idlib gas attack stinks to high heaven
- Breaking News: Rebel warehouse with chem weapons hit by Syrian airstrike in Idlib - Russian MOD
- Syrian army denies involvement as dozens reported killed in alleged gas attack
Maria Zakharova provided more details:
"These facts together with soil samples were recorded and handed over to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Unfortunately, without taking any action, guided solely by fake information, the United States, France and the United Kingdom once again... submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that is of obvious anti-Syrian nature and is capable of igniting an already difficult internal political situation in Syria and the region as a whole."Zakharova's criticism can be summed up in one Internet meme:
"Currently, the main goal is to objectively figure out what happened. So far, I want to emphasize that falsified reports on this issue come only from the notorious White Helmets and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that has already become infamous. Neither the White Helmets, nor the SOHR can be trusted. They have repeatedly undermined trust by [making] fake footages and [reporting] information later denied by all parties."
The ministry spokeswoman said that the reports by the White Helmets and the SOHR are conflicting as the White Helmets constantly changes its version of what happened. "First they speak about bombings from a helicopter or a warplane. Then they tell about the use of chlorine, then about sarin, change data about the number of victims. According to photos and videos spread on social media, representatives of the White Helmets are providing the victims with help while they [the NGO] have no reliable means of protection and act extremely unprofessionally."
Russia categorically rejects the draft resolution on chemical weapons in Syria, Maria Zakharova said. She added that the West-proposed resolution is of "anti-Syrian nature" and risks making negotiations process impossible.
"I wanted to note that the presented text [of the resolution] is categorically unacceptable. Its main problem — and its a fundamental one — is that it anticipates the results of the probe and immediately finds those to be blamed."
"The document is completely falsified, completely based on fake information. Colin Powell number two. Later, you will be ashamed for the actions of your authorities in the UN Security Council, stop your representatives, I am speaking to the Western audience," Zakharova said at the briefing.
Now the Syrian "opposition" are calling for a no-fly zone. We're sure ISIS feels the same way, guys.
Moscow's response is the only sane one:
Moscow will continue to support Syrian Army troops in their anti-terrorism effort, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, after being asked whether Russian policy had changed following a reported chemical attack in the Idlib province.Update: More responses to the hasty UN draft resolution:
"You have heard the statement from the Russian Defense Ministry and I have nothing to add to the facts they stated. The Russian Federation and its military are continuing the operation to support the anti-terrorism operation and liberation of the country, which is being conducted by the Syrian armed forces," Peskov said.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova suggested later on Wednesday that the Security Council should urge the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to launch a fact-finding mission, provided that full access to the incident site is allowed.
"It is crucial to call upon an OPCW fact-finding mission in charge of investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria to collect evidence of the incident under the following condition - the composition of the fact-finding mission will be submitted to the UN Security Council for approval, and it will be balanced in terms of geographical [representation]," Zakharova said, according to Interfax.
Staffan de Mistura, UN special envoy for Syria, said reliable evidence would be needed to confirm the alleged use of chemical weapons, let alone establish who was responsible for it.
"We have no yet any official or reliable confirmation," he said on Wednesday. "We will be stimulating all those who have the capacity of finding out technically what had happened."
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also said there was no evidence yet to draw any conclusion on what had happened in the Idlib governorate, but stated that the Syrian government held "primary responsibility" for the situation.
The UN Security Council convened on Wednesday to discuss a draft resolution proposed by the US, the UK and France, which would condemn Damascus for the reported use of chemical weapons in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on Tuesday.From the Duran:
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, delivered an emotional speech that included images of children to argue in favor of swift action. The pictures were used in reporting of the alleged chemical weapons attack.
She claimed the incident carried "all hallmarks" of an attack by Damascus, adding that the toxin used in the alleged assault was "more deadly" than in previous cases attributed to the Syrian military by Washington.
US envoy to UN also accused Russia of failing to ensure that there were no chemical weapons in the possession of the Syrian government.
"The truth is that Russia, Iran and [Syrian President Bashar] Assad have no interest in peace," Haley claimed.
The US has hinted at taking its own action in Syria unless the UN Security Council moves to prevent the use of chemical weapons in the war-torn country.
"When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action," the US ambassador to the UN said.
Russia criticized the draft resolution for being unbalanced and jumping to conclusions. It said the document would have to include several amendments, such as calling on the rebels controlling the area to provide full access to UN investigators and setting an unbiased and comprehensive probe into the incident as the primary goal of the resolution.
"This draft was penned in haste and adopting it would have been irresponsible," the Russian deputy acting envoy to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov, said.
He also blamed Western members of the UNSC for unwillingness to investigate previous cases of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, where rebel groups were accused of using toxin agents.
Earlier the council was briefed by Kim Won-soo, the UN high representative for disarmament affairs, who acknowledged that the organization so far has no independent evidence on the suspected chemical weapons attack.
Russia has just vetoed a resolution proposed jointly by the US, UK and France. The resolution would have condemned Syria for a chemical weapons attack near Idlib.Update: After a sanctimonious piece of idiocy on behalf of the UK ambassador to the UN re: the Idlib attack, Russia's deputy ambassador Vladimir Safronkov hit back:
Acting Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov said that,"This draft was penned in haste and adopting it would have been irresponsible".The US, UK and France have been exposed as relying on fake news sources, including the al-Qaeda affiliated White Helmets, as a basis for their condemnation, in spite of the fact that the clear evidence indicates that the chemical weapons in question belonged to a terrorist group and not the Syrian government which forfeited its chemical weapons stock in 2013.
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley become unhinged and threatened that the US may take action unilaterally in light of the resolution being vetoed. If this means military action against the government of Syria, this of course would be a violation of international law.
"In Syria, do you carry any sense of responsibility? No, you don't," Russia's deputy ambassador to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov, said at an emergency meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday. "Everything is guided by the need to change the regime. Even this obsession with the regime change is what hinders the work of the Security Council.Trump made a semi-boneheaded remark at his joint press conference with Saudi warlord King Abdullah II at the White House, saying his opinion on Assad and Syria has "changed very much" in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons (which Syria does not possess):
"[The UK] is not doing anything about the situation [in Syria]," he added. "No - it's true, you are doing one thing. You are submitting drafts in the Security Council that only provoke."
Safronkov's comments come in response to Britain's ambassador to the UN, Mark Rycroft, who challenged Moscow to stop supporting the Assad government. "What is your plan? What is your plan to stop these horrific senseless attacks? We had a plan and we had the support and you rejected it to protect Assad," Rycroft said.
"Beyond the norms of diplomatic standards your statements about Russia and China are unacceptable ... We will not stand for it. You should answer for what Great Britain is doing in contributing to resolving this situation."
China also responded to Rycroft's comments.
"The UK delegate... is openly distorting the position of China, this is not to be tolerated," Chinese UN Ambassador Liu Jieyi said, adding that Rycroft was "abusing the Security Council, [and] doing so will not be in the interests of the Syrian people."
"It crossed a lot of lines with me. When you kill innocent children - innocent babies - with chemical gas... that goes beyond red lines," Trump told reporters on Wednesday when responding to a question about whether the attack cross the red line.You're going to have to do better than that, Trump.
Update: More from Trump - keeping it ambiguous as usual:
"These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated," he emphasized.Someone should remind Trump that he's commander in chief of some baby killers of his own.
The chemical attack was an "affront to humanity," he said, adding that the US is raising its voice with the global chorus denouncing the tragedy. Biochemical warfare against enemy militants and innocent civilians "cannot be tolerated," Trump said.
Last week, the Trump administration announced there was no choice but to "accept the political reality" of Assad's administration.
However, today Trump said that his strategy is to remain "flexible" with Syria, while noting that the attack will not go unnoticed.
"I now have responsibility" to respond to the chemical attack, Trump said. "When you kill innocent little babies" this crosses not just a red line but "many, many lines."
Nevertheless, Trump did not show his hand regarding how he would move forward in the Middle East. "I am not going to be telling anyone one way or another," he said.
Update (April 6): Syria's foreign minister Muallem has condemned the use of chemical weapons, and denied their use by the Syrian army, saying it's impossible that the SAA would use such weapons against their own people - even terrorists. He also highlighted the problems any fact-finding mission might face, pointing out that past "missions" of that type haven't been encouraging, given the intentions of those engaged in the "fact" finding.
Muallem also pointed out that the first reports of the attack came out before (6 am) the Syrian army launched their airstrikes on the chemical weapons depot (11 am). Curiously, reporter Feras Karam posted on Facebook the day before: "Tomorrow starting a media campaign to cover the density of air raids on rural #hama and use #chlorine _ poison against civilians." Great timing!
The head of the Russian foreign ministry's Arms Control Department responded to Mike Pence's claim that Syria had failed to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons stockpile in 2013 with the following words: "I wouldn't use profane language, especially when it comes to the second-most powerful man in the US administration, but I do believe that this is ignorance rather than irresponsibility," Mikhail Ulyanov said.
Tillerson, for his part, said there was "no doubt in our mind" that Syria was responsible ... and we think it's time the Russians really need to think carefully about their continued support for the Assad regime." Wow. We think it's time the Americans need to think carefully about ACTUALLY THINKING and realizing that it's pretty dumb to have "no doubt" about something for which you've had no investigation and no analysis of the evidence. Seriously, Tillerson, you sound like an idiot.
As Alexander Mercouris writes for the Duran, there are at least five problems with the current anti-Assad narrative. The media is failing to report the following: 1) all reports come from jihadi groups, 2) no one has or is able to establish control of the crime scene (since it is controlled by jihadis), 3) the group in control of the area is al-Qaeda, 4) the White Helmets are not a credible source, 5) no investigation has been carried out, so a rush to judgment is irresponsible.
Turkey is reporting that autopsies have been carried out on the bodies (why Turkey?), confirming the use of Sarin, and that this apparently "confirms that Assad used chemical weapons". That's logic for you! "A gun was used, therefore that guy we don't like is responsible!" As for the presence of Sarin, even that is unlikely. Former army bomb disposal officer Damian Walker says it's unlikely that sarin was used, based on the symptoms shown in the videos.
After the farce of a resolution introduced by the UK, US and France that Russia vetoed, Russia has submitted its own draft resolution aimed at conducting a real investigation, proposing to "fully investigate the reports about the incident on the ground under the mandatory condition that the list of investigators will be submitted to the UN for approval and will be geographically balanced as well". Makes sense, no? Well, yes it does, but that just means the U.S. and its allies won't like it. They've already decided who was responsible, facts be damned.
US Congressman Thomas Massie stunned CNN anchor Kate Bolduan by stating some simple common sense, saying, "It's hard to know exactly what's happening in Syria right now. I'd like to know specifically how that release of chemical gas, if it did occur — and it looks like it did — how that occurred. Because frankly, I don't think Assad would have done that. It does not serve his interests. It would tend to draw us into that civil war even further." Crimethink! Cognitive dissonance alert! Take a look.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, whose IDF enjoys deliberately attacking Palestinian civilians and children, said that "there's no, none, no excuse whatsoever for the deliberate attacks on civilians and on children, especially, with cruel and outlawed chemical weapons." Today, Israeli "Defense" Minister Lieberman said he was "sure" (just as sure as Tillerson? presumably) that the Syrian government was behind the attack: "The two murderous chemical weapons attacks on civilians in the Idlib region in Syria and on the local hospital were carried out by direct and premeditated order of Syrian President Bashar Assad, with Syrian planes. I say this with 100 percent certainty." SOTT is 100% certain that Lieberman is actually a 90-year-old American used car salesman. But, of course, that doesn't make it so.
Putin spoke to Netanyahu on the phone and called him out for acting like a certifiable yahoo:
Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a telephone conversation that it was unacceptable to make "groundless" accusations concerning the alleged chemical weapons incident that took place in Syria earlier this week.You'd have better luck speaking to a brick wall, Putin.
During the phone call initiated by the Israeli side on Thursday, Putin and Netanyahu stressed the importance of boosting international efforts to tackle terrorism, the Kremlin said in a statement.
Both sides "expressed readiness to expand [cooperation] in the interest of assuring stability and security in the Middle East and, first of all, in Syria," it said.
In particular, Putin "pointed out that it was unacceptable to make groundless accusations against anyone without conducting a detailed and unbiased investigation."
Update: Trump is reportedly "considering military action" in Syria, according to FakeNews CNN reporter Dana Bash:
The source said the President had not firmly decided to go ahead with it but said he was discussing possible actions with Defense Secretary James Mattis. Trump is relying on the judgment of Mattis, according to the source. US officials tell CNN the Pentagon has long-standing options to strike Syria's chemical weapons capability and has presented those options to the administration. The sources stressed a decision has not been made.Justin Raimondo has tweeted some more common sense to combat the madness surrounding the attack:
In addition to submitting a new draft resolution on the Idlib attack, Russia says they have submitted data and evidence that undermines the U.S.'s "slam dunk" case.
Update: More related coverage on SOTT:
- Scott Adams: Syrian Gas Attack Is Pure Persuasion
- Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem says terrorists bringing chemical weapons to Syria from Iraq, Turkey
- Syria chemical weapons attack red flags and false flags
- Why Donald Trump is unlikely to attack Syria
- Ron Paul: Syrian Chemical Attack 'Makes No Sense'
- Latest 'chemical attack' lies: West sheds crocodile tears while calling for blood in Syria
- St. Petersburg Metro Bombing, Syria Chemical Attack - Trump Folds to the 'Deep State'?
- 'What are you doing to help Syria?' Russia hits back at Britain during heated UN session
- Western media quiet as Russia exposes lies at Security Council
- United Nations Secretary General Stephane Dujarric: UN cannot verify reports about chemical attack in Syria
- WMDs All Over Again: Tillerson accuses Syrian government of 'barbarism' for chemical weapons attack in Idlib
- Was Killary behind false flag chemical attack in Idlib?
- Peter Hitchens: Idlib attack is WMD all over again! Why don't you see it?
- Could Washington's 'red line' in Syria spell the prospect of victory for Assad?
- Pepe Escobar: The toxic meltdown in Syria
- Trump's remarks on Syria, five possible explanations - Tillerson says regime change back on the table
President Donald Trump is being briefed on the full range of military options in Syria, after the White House blamed the government in Damascus for the alleged chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians in Idlib province.Of course "being briefed" is a far cry from drawing up battle plans. But if Trump caves, that will be a black mark. Trump, however, denies the report, according to Chad Pergram from Fox News:
Among the options would be using cruise missiles to attack Syrian targets and "grounding" Syrian aircraft, an unnamed US official told Reuters on Thursday. The official did not say how likely US military action would be, however.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster have been discussing the matter, the official said. Mattis is due to meet with Trump later in the day at the president's Mar-a-Lago retreat, where a summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping is underway.
Speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump said that "something should happen" with Assad after the chemical attack, calling what happened in Syria "a disgrace to humanity."
Rand Paul says he'll oppose any military action without a vote. John "Buck Turgidson" McCain and his little friend Lindsey Graham are chomping at the bit blow Assad to smithereens:
"The United States should lead an international coalition to ground Assad's air force," they said in a joint statement Thursday. "This capability provides Assad a strategic advantage in his brutal slaughter of innocent civilians, both through the use of chemical weapons as well as barrel bombs, which kill far more men, women and children on a daily basis."Backing them up is the HNC, which says it would support US military action against Assad. Of course they would; what jihadi wouldn't?