As predicted days before the UN's Syrian chemical weapons report was made public, the West has begun spinning the findings to bolster their faltering narrative regarding alleged chemical weapon attacks on August 21, 2013 in eastern Damascus, Syria. The goal of course, is to continue demonizing the Syrian government while simultaneously sabotaging a recent Syrian-Russian deal to have Syria's chemical weapon stockpiles verified and disarmed by independent observers.
The UN report did not attribute blame for the attack, as that was not part of its remit.
From the wealth of technical detail in the report - including on the scale of the attack, the consistency of sample test results from separate laboratories, witness statements, and information on the munitions used and their trajectories - it is abundantly clear that the Syrian regime is the only party that could have been responsible.And US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power who stated:
The technical details of the UN report make clear that only the regime could have carried out this large-scale chemical weapons attack.French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is also quoted as saying:
When you look at the findings carefully, the quantities of toxic gas used, the complexity of the mixes, the nature, and the trajectory of the carriers, it leaves absolutely no doubt as to the origin of the attack.The Washington Post went one step further, and perhaps foolishly, laid out a detailed explanation of each fabrication the West is using to spin the latest UN report. In an article titled, "The U.N. chemical weapons report is pretty damning for Assad," 5 points are made and explained as to why the UN report "points" to the Syrian government.
The report concludes that the shells came from the northwest of the targeted neighborhood. That area was and is controlled by Syrian regime forces and is awfully close to a Syrian military base. If the shells had been fired by Syrian rebels, they likely would have come from the rebel-held southeast.What the Washington Post fails to mention are the "limitations" the UN team itself put on the credibility of their findings. On page 18 of the report (22 of the .pdf), the UN states [emphasis added]:
The time necessary to conduct a detailed survey of both locations as well as take samples was very limited. The sites have been well travelled by other individuals both before and during the investigation. Fragments and other possible evidence have clearly been handled/moved prior to the arrival of the investigation team.It should also be noted that militants still controlled the area after the alleged attack and up to and including during the investigation by UN personnel. Any tampering or planting of evidence would have been carried out by "opposition" members - and surely the Syrian government would not point rockets in directions that would implicate themselves.
The U.N. investigators analyzed 30 samples, which they found contained not just sarin but also "relevant chemicals, such as stabilizers." That suggests that the chemical weapons were taken from a controlled storage environment, where they could have been processed for use by troops trained in their use.Only, any staged attack would also need to utilize stabilized chemical weapons and personnel trained in their use. From stockpiles looted in Libya, to chemical arms covertly transferred from the US, UK, or Israel, through Saudi Arabia or Qatar, there is no short supply of possible sources.
The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday.
The training, which is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials, according to the sources. Some of the contractors are on the ground in Syria working with the rebels to monitor some of the sites, according to one of the officials.4. Cyrillic characters on the sides of the shells: The Washington Post claims:
The Russian lettering on the artillery rounds strongly suggests they were Russian-manufactured. Russia is a major supplier of arms to the Syrian government, of course, but more to the point they are not a direct or indirect supplier of arms to the rebels.The Washington Post's logic fails even at face value. Terrorists operating inside of Syria also possess rifles and even tanks of Russian origin - stolen or acquired through a large network of illicit arms constructed by NATO and its regional allies to perpetuate the conflict.
"This is perhaps the most circumstantial case at all, but it's difficult to ignore the apparent subtext in Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's news conference discussing the report..."That the Washington Post, and the interests driving its editorial board, could not even produce 5 reasonably convincing arguments as to why the UN report somehow implicates the Syrian government casts doubt on claims regarding the "wealth of technical detail" pointing in President Bashar al-Assad's direction.
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