Shayrat air base
© Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Sputnik
The wreckage of destroyed planes on Shayrat air base in Syria
Continuing our coverage of the yet-to-be-investigated chemical attack in Idlib, and the yet-to-be justified U.S. attack on a Syrian airbase by the U.S., here are the most important developments since our last update (available here).

First of all, confirming reports from on the ground at the airbase, and from the Russian Defense Ministry's press conference, that the damage caused by the U.S. Tomahawks (the 23 of 59 that actually hit their target, that is) was not very extensive - the Syrian air force has resumed use of the base. That's a good thing because, as Qusai Nasr, a relative of one of the 14 victims of the Tomahawk attack, told RT, it has been, and will continue to be, actively involved in the fight against ISIS in Syria. Now they can continue to fight the war on terror that the U.S. under Bush and Obama (and now, increasingly, under Trump) has only pretended to fight.

The Syrian Army confirmed their special forces fired at a US reconnaissance plane flying over northwestern Syria. Since the US is flying there illegally, who can blame them?

The U.S. claims the plane that allegedly launched the alleged chemical weapons attack in Idlib came from the targeted base. If so, there would be stores of chemical weapons at the base. And since the ammunition storehouses were targeted, you'd think some of those WMDs would've been hit. Nope. Journalists were at the scene in the immediate aftermath of the strikes - no hazmat suits required... because the Syrian military doesn't have any chemical weapons. It's really that simple.

But just as the U.S. and its allies have no interest in conducting an actual investigation into the chemical attack (can't let inconvenient facts get in the way of a convenient narrative, after all), they will have no interest in having an independent probe of the airbase they allege to have been the source of those chemical weapons. As Russian defense ministry spokesman, Maj.-Gen. Konashenkov, said in a statement today:
"Twenty-four hours have passed since the US Navy warships launched a massive missile strike at the Shayrat airfield, and neither the Pentagon nor the State Department have provided any evidence of presence of chemical weapons at this airbase."

Dozens of representatives of the media, local authorities, fire departments, police, and the Syrian military have visited the airfield since then, with no alleged "storage units" or any chemical shells having been found, he said.

"The only way to receive and present to the whole international community any objective evidence on the alleged presence of poisonous substances at Shayrat is to send a mission of professional experts there."
Isn't it a crazy world when the Russians make more sense than anyone else? As Maria Zakharova explained during her briefing yesterday, more investigative work is put into traffic violations than what goes into establishing blame for events that lead to acts of war. It's insane. Along with Russia, Iran is calling for a special commission of neutral states to investigate the chemical weapons attack. It just goes to show how hysterical Western society has become that having an independent investigation to determine guilt for a crime seems like such a crazy idea. Again, it's insane.

Iraq's PM apparently had a heated phone conversation with VP Pence, stressing the need to deescalate the situation in Syria and launch an actual investigation. Pence assured Abadi that "US policy in the region didn't change, and its priority is to defeat Daesh in Iraq and the region."

In an interview with Rossiya-1, Zakharova also had the following to say:
"I think it has been confirmed one more time that the policies and everything that currently happens in the US prove a disappointing fact: it is the most unpredictable state. And if there is something predictable in the US, it is the unpredictability of its foreign policy."
Zakharova alluded to the fact that America's internal 'deep state wars' have now been internationalised:
"I would call it the game of American thrones. It is a war of internal political clans, military-financial, political and financial structures that cannot accept the results of the election".
She continued,
"They (the United States) have just demanded to conduct an investigation regarding the equipment, the aircraft, used in (the Khan Sheyhun) strikes. And then they carry out a strike on the equipment, they would like to examine, to analyse. This has absolutely nothing to do with attempts to find out what happened with the chemical weapons, or to make any real steps in the direction of the investigation".
Russian PM Medvedev has apparently warned the Trump administration that it is one step away from war with Russia. The Trump administration's response? We'll do it again if we want to. Ahh, the maturity, the eminent reasonableness, the sense of personal and collective responsibility inherent in that response just warms the cockles of my heart.

Translation: the next time some jihadis want to call in their big brother air force, they just need to kill a few more Syrians with chemical weapons, get the White Helmets to film it, and the U.S. will be happy to oblige. That's what Nikki Haley calls "a measured response".

Tillerson is apparently "disappointed" that the Russians condemned the U.S.'s illegal, unjustified, and bat-shit-crazy attack on Syria. Hey, who can disagree? It's the responsibility of every mature, adult human to support the U.S. whenever it bombs people on trumped up pretexts, without any evidence, without any investigation, and without any legal support. It's our moral duty.

Anyway, Putin has convened a meeting of the Russian Security Council to discuss a possible response to yet another instance of U.S.-toddlers-with-bombs. We'll see what that brings.

Virginia State Senator Richard Black is one of those rare U.S. politicians with a functioning head on his shoulders. He told Sputnik the following:
I give the probabilities of Syria launching the Syrian gas attack a zero probability," Black said on Friday. "I think there's absolutely no chance that they [Syrian government] did it because there is nothing on earth to gain and in exchange he would incur the wrath of the whole world. So it didn't happen. I know that it didn't happen."
"We're [United States] not even sure he [Assad] has chemical weapons," Black stressed.
"The United States has relied on evidence that has come solely from terrorists... There are no independent observers on the ground. One of the primary sources of information has come from the White Helmets who, as you know, have been completely compromised as an element of al-Qaeda," Black said.
"There are elements of the Central Intelligence Agency whose sole purpose is to create propaganda to foster warfare against innocent countries," Black said.
He added that the U.S. is "not even sure" that Assad has chemical weapons. That's putting it politely. The U.S. and the "international community" knows full well that the Syrian government doesn't have chemical weapons. And they know full well that the rebels and terrorists do. This came out in an interesting statement from the anti-government Kurds, who happen to think bombing the Syrian military is all fine and good. But notice this, from the PYD co-leader:
We hope that the United States will not confine itself to punishing the Syrian regime alone, because there are a lot of chemical weapons in Syria and others parties have also used it, in Sheikh Maqsoud, in Rojava, and Raqqa.
Indeed. If the U.S. really cared, it'd be doing things differently. Just like if they really cared about human rights, Saudi Arabia would've been "regime-changed" generations ago.

Speaking of insane people, here's Lindsey Graham being Lindsey Graham:

In Graham's mind, the "Syrian opposition" is apparently equivalent to a small minority of jihadis who don't like Assad. This guy is an idiot. CNN too is praising Trump for finally crossing over to the warmonger camp (Mosul isn't enough for these freaks). Fareed Zakaria called it a "big moment" for Trump, saying he "became president of the United States last night." Because only hyper-aggressive murderers are presidential material, apparently.

To restore your mental hygiene, we prescribe a dose of Tulsi Gabbard:

And Ron Paul (see the Duran for quotes):

Paul Joseph Watson's videos are usually hit or miss, but he's pretty on point in this one:

Apparently the Pentagon gave Israel a front-row seat for the strike, updating Israeli officials "in real time" about the strike. Those same Israeli officials are elated about the attack. And that says all that needs to be said about that.

More related coverage and commentary on the events: