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No evidence presented yet of who is responsible for crime in Syria

In the British parliament debate on military action against Syria George Galloway noted that the leader of the opposition conceded “there is no compelling evidence that the Assad regime is responsible for this crime yet!” And Galloway said “The reason for the (public) unease is that people can see the character of the Syrian opposition on videos downloaded by elements of  the Syrian opposition… heads sawn off – not chopped off – sawn off with bread knives… Every religious minority in Syria – and there are 23 of those – is petrified of the victory of the Syrian rebels that the British prime minister and foreign secretary have been doing their utmost to supply with weapons and money these last two years.”

Galloway added: “When did Russia and China, two and a half billion people, cease to be members of the international community? Who are you on the other side to decide what the international community thinks should do? If you are unable to persuade the Security Council to go along with your point of view, who are you to decide that you will launch a war in any case?”

There is a serious disconnect between what the leader of the opposition in the British parliament conceded (i.e. “there is no compelling evidence that the Assad regime is responsible for this crime yet!”) and what The Wall Street Journal reported on 29 August 2013 (i.e. “the White House had yet to release details about the intelligence, but said its findings “conclusively showed the Assad regime used chemical weapons on a large scale against civilians last week. U.S. intelligence agencies believe the main poison used was likely sarin, and estimate the death toll at 500 to 1,000 people,” according to a senior U.S. official.”)

Syrian government officials have denied the Assad regime used chemical weapons, and accused their opponents of staging the attacks to provoke international action. Logic supports this probability as United Nations weapons inspectors are in Syria at the direct REQUEST of the Syrian government to prove that they have not used chemical weapons at any time and the latest attack from rebel-controlled Douma that landed on East Ghouta took place a mere ten miles away from the inspection team, on the very day they arrived, with a video of the victims appearing on the internet BEFORE the actual attack! (a playlist of videos entitled ‘Alleged Chemical Attack in Eastern Ghouta August 21st 2013‘ contains 159 videos – every one of which was uploaded to YouTube on August 20th while the attack happened on August 21st . <See

The credibility of the video of the alleged chemical attack is being widely questioned by chemical weapons experts. The victims are not displaying the proper symptoms of having been struck by a Sarin nerve gas. The people shown treating them are not wearing proper equipment.

On 12 May members of the Syrian rebel forces were arrested in Turkey. The rebels possessed 4.5 pounds of Sarin, the neurotoxin gas alleged to have been used in the recent attack. <http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_05_31/Moscow-expects-Turkey-s-explanations-for-Syrian-rebels-sarin-Lavrov-4286/ and http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/30/us-syria-crisis-turkey-idUSBRE94T0YO20130530&gt;

In January, the British “Daily Mail” reported that the Syrian rebels were planning a chemical attack which they would blame on the Syrian government in order to justify U.S. intervention. The report was based on leaked emails from military contractors. <See http://www.globalresearch.ca/britains-daily-mail-u-s-backed-plan-to-launch-chemical-weapon-attack-on-syria/5346912&gt;

The Assad government has fully cooperated with the weapons inspection teams. Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom says the high numbers of killed and wounded being reported “sound suspicious.” He told Swedish broadcaster SVT that this “sounds like something we need to look into.” <http://news.yahoo.com/un-team-syria-wants-probe-gas-attack-claim-111820649.html&gt;

”Reports on the attack are extremely inconsistent. The numbers are unclear and totally unsubstantiated. The report being circulated by “Doctors Without Borders” is not based on their own information, but based on reports they received from a Syrian rebel group by their own admission. Evidence strongly suggests that previous chemical weapons attacks in Syria were carried out by FSA rebels and then blamed on Assad, in an attempt to fulfil Barack Obama’s “red line” for US military intervention.

Back in May, UN human rights investigator Carla del Ponte said that according to evidence her team had gathered, “The rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas.” <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10039672/UN-accuses-Syrian-rebels-of-chemical-weapons-use.html&gt;

Two months earlier, an audio recording emerged of a phone conversation between two members of the Free Syrian Army during which discussion centered around a plan to carry out a chemical weapons attack capable of impacting an area the size of one kilometer. (The conversation is featured at the end of the YouTube clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BLAMVtLq2V0)

The U.S. is currently urging the U.N. weapons inspection team to halt its work. The U.N. weapons inspectors insist that they must be allowed to continue their investigations and to determine actual facts. Over the weekend, unidentifiable snipers in a rebel controlled area began shooting at UN inspectors who were trying to carry out investigations into all of the attacks.

Russia’s ambassador in the UNSC, Vitaly Churkin, presented conclusive evidence to the Security Council, based on satellite images, of two rockets carrying toxic chemicals, fired from Douma, controlled by the Syrian rebels, and landing on East Ghouta. <Churkin supplied the Security Council with an 80 page document of conclusive evidence! <See http://webtv.un.org/media/media-stakeouts/watch/vitaly-i.-churkin-russian-federation-on-syria-security-council-media-stakeout-11-july-2013/2540226511001&gt;

Materials implicating the forces of Syrian president Bashar Assad in a recently alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus were prepared prior to the incident on August 21, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“We’re getting more new evidence that this criminal act was of a provocative nature,” he stressed. “In particular, there are reports circulating on the Internet, in particular that the materials of the incident and accusations against government troops had been posted for several hours before the so-called attack. Thus, it was a pre-planned action,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich, said in a statement.

Despite the U.S. effort to portray the Syrian government policy as one of “delay”, the formal request from the United Nations for access to the site did not go to the Syrian government until Angela Kane, U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, arrived in Damascus on Saturday, as Ban’s spokesman, Farhan Haq, conceded in a briefing in New York Tuesday… Haq sharply disagreed with the argument made by Kerry and the State Department that it was too late to obtain evidence of the nature of the Aug. 21 incident. “Sarin can be detected for up to months after its use,” he said. <from http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/08/in-rush-to-strike-syria-u-s-tried-to-derail-u-n-probe/&gt;

Specialists on chemical weapons also suggested in interviews with IPS that the U.N. investigating team, under a highly regarded Swedish specialist Ake Sellstom and including several experts borrowed from the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, should be able to either confirm or disprove the charge of an attack with nerve or another chemical weapon within a matter of days.

Dan Kastesza, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps and a former adviser to the White House on chemical and biological weapons proliferation, told IPS the team will not be looking for traces of the nerve gas sarin in blood samples but rather chemicals produced when sarin degrades. But Kastesza said that once samples arrive at laboratories, specialists could make a determination “in a day or two” about whether a nerve agent or other chemical weapons had been used. <from http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/08/in-rush-to-strike-syria-u-s-tried-to-derail-u-n-probe/&gt;

The real reason for the Obama administration’s hostility toward the U.N. investigation appears to be the fear that the Syrian government’s decision to allow the team access to the area indicates that it knows that U.N. investigators will not find evidence of a nerve gas attack.

The administration’s effort to discredit the investigation recalls the George W. Bush administration’s rejection of the position of U.N. inspectors in 2002 and 2003 after they found no evidence of any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the administration’s refusal to give inspectors more time to fully rule out the existence of an active Iraqi WMD programme.

In both cases, the administration had made up its mind to go to war and wanted no information that could contradict that policy to arise. <from http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/08/in-rush-to-strike-syria-u-s-tried-to-derail-u-n-probe/&gt;

Below is the latest news from Dave Gavlan in Ghouta, the site of the 21 August chemical attack:

Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh wrote on 29 August 2013 that rebels and local residents in Ghouta have accused Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group. <http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/&gt; Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta, said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.” Ghouta townspeople said the rebels were using mosques and private houses to sleep while storing their weapons in tunnels. Abdel-Moneim said his son and the others died during the chemical weapons attack. “They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons. When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution. A well-known rebel leader in Ghouta named ‘J’ agreed. “Jabhat al-Nusra militants do not cooperate with other rebels, except with fighting on the ground. They do not share secret information. They merely used some ordinary rebels to carry and operate this material,” he said. “We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” ‘J’ said.

Doctors who treated the chemical weapons attack victims cautioned interviewers to be careful about asking questions regarding who, exactly, was responsible for the deadly assault. More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government. <Besides Mint Press News this article is also published at http://original.antiwar.com/Dale-Gavlak/2013/08/30/syrians-in-ghouta-claim-saudi-supplied-rebels-behind-chemical-attack/&gt; Gavlak also refers to an article in the UK’s Daily Telegraph stating that Prince Bandar threatened Russian President Vladimir Putin with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if Russia doesn’t agree to change its stance on Syria. “Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord,” the article stated. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Saudi Prince allegedly told Vladimir Putin.

Mint Press News stated that some of the information couldn’t be independently verified and pledged to continue providing updates on this topic.

5 responses to “No evidence presented yet of who is responsible for crime in Syria

  1. [Editor’s note – I have amended the article submitted by Ray (allbornequalrights)]

    Below and attached is the document again with the info from Dave Gavlak added at the bottom. Really there is so much new info that should go out, it can’t all go in one article. I’ve added Ian Curr as recipient who has just made a comment that Pepe Escobar has discussed in CrossTalk: Syrian Sequel (Pepe Escobar vs. Stephen Schlesinger) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FViX1sBtdaw#t=82 and in ‘War on chemical weapons’: Obama traps himself into Syrian combat at http://rt.com/op-edge/war-chemical-weapons-obama-syria-120/

    And here’s something that local activists should be taking up:
    Israel contrary to international law has for the 1st time granted oil exploration licences for occupied Syrian territory, the Golan Heights. Murdoch is a shareholder in the company involved a/c Global Research.http://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-has-granted-oil-exploration-rights-inside-syria-in-the-occupied-golan-heights/5346959

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  2. US's serpentine road to Damascus

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  3. On the eve of Armageddon?

    The United States is destablising Syria and prolonging the crisis to distract from the continuing genocide of the Palestinian people by Israel. Who’s to say or know what will happen or when or even if we will find out? Israeli soldiers who spend their time shooting tear gas at old people and children on the West Bank are no match for the better organised & disciplined Hezbollah militia. This was proven in 2006 – so too was the strong link that Hezbollah have with their people at the local level.

    More likely than the eve of Armageddon is targeted strikes by low flying tomahawk missiles released from US ships off the coast of Lebanon. Doubtless such strikes would hurt the poor and the vulnerable.

    This is a sad day for the Syrian people because, as we saw with Baghdad, it soon became shock & awe, what was supposed to be targeted and clinical was soon a war where the bombing was a carpet, where people died in their homes, on the streets, in their daily lives, moment to moment and it did not stop it just got worse & worse and the US war machine and its generals did not care … and the numbers on the streets who opposed it were ignored world wide by this small cabal of the political class in the US, UK & Australia … people like Obama, Abbott & Rudd and their spinmeisters just keep the lies coming.

    One thing is sure, the UN inspection team in Damascus will not return anything conclusive … particularly about who the perpetrators were, even if sarin gas was used (it is not hard to make sarin gas, anyone could have) be they rogue elements in the Syrian army, or perhaps more likely, the rebels – whichever of the many factions they might be … the UN weapons inspectors will not say and nor will there be any conclusive proof … but that will not make one jot of difference … cos the Americans will bomb that ancient city from offshore and will not risk hurt and will not be held accountable for the deaths they cause … not, at least, until a radical change comes over their society and ours.

    See http://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/41838

    ian curr
    30 Aug 2013

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  4. Are we on the eve of Armageddon?

    It’s Father Dave, and I confess that as I write to you today I’m feeling sick in my stomach.

    It’s not something that I ate or drank (though I have had a second glass of red tonight to steel my nerves). It’s Syria, and it’s what I’m seeing on the news!

    I’ve been watching and listening to European leaders and US and Israeli officials all talking about how urgent it is that we start bombing Bashar Al-Assad into submission, and all this before the UN inspectors have produced a single finding!

    I remember having the same sick and sinking feeling on the eve of the Iraq invasion. I remember thinking then, “No. Surely they won’t do it. They’re not that stupid. They know there are no ‘weapons of mass destruction’. It’s all just saber rattling!” And now … 1,000,000 dead Iraqi’s later … history seems to be repeating itself!

    Here’s how the scenario plays out in my mind:

    The US and NATO attack Syrian government forces on the pretext of the chemical weapon attacks.
    The government falls and the country crumbles into uncontrollable sectarian violence with jihadists gaining control of major areas (as in Iraq).

    Lebanon’s infrastructure cannot withstand the further influx of refugees (already almost 50% of the size of its citizenry) and so it falls into anarchy as well Iran is now left without allies (which I believe is one of the main aims of the game) and so Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities, confident that Iran will not retaliate.

    Iran declares war on Israel and the regional war against the Shi’a goes into overdrive.

    Shi’a majorities in Bahrain and Iraq and elsewhere rise up and turn the entire Middle East into a cauldron of bloody violence.

    Israel eventually becomes the focus of the wrath of all its neighbours.

    The reverberations are felt throughout the world. Terrorist acts take place in every major city. There is widespread religious and ethnic violence, reprisals, etc.

    It all climaxes with some massive nuclear detonations.

    Everyone looks back and realises that there never were any chemical weapons attacks carried out by the Syrian government.

    You might think this is all very fanciful, but I have military friends in the US that were put on ‘Class 1 Alert’ on the weekend, indicating possible immediate deployment to Syria!

    Meanwhile, my sources in Damascus are expecting the bombing to start on Tuesday!

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  5. Snap protest: No to Australian involvement in US wars!

    [When] Friday
    [Time] 12:00pm
    [Where] Kevin Rudd’s Office – 653 WYNNUM RD, MORNINGSIDE
    [Description] Recent statements by Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd show that they are lining up behind the US and UK to launch an attack on Syria.

    Socialist Alliance supports the Syrian people’s democratic uprising against the tyranny of the Bashar al-Assad regime but we reject the interventions of the US and its allies in Syria. The Syrian people should have the right to decide their own future.

    The horrendous chemical weapons attack on civilians is being used as the justification for this latest intervention. The use of chemical weapons is a heinous war crime and whoever uses it should be brought to account.

    However, whatever the truth is about the exact responsibility for this brutal attack, the US and its imperial allies do not have the moral right to be judge, jury and executioner on the manufacture and use of weapons of mass destruction, chemical and other weapons. These countries have been profiteering from the deadly arms trade (including banned weapons) – and in the process have propped up, and continue to prop up, numerous dictatorial regimes around the world.

    Both Iraq and Afghanistan also had brutal tyrants – yet the US-led military interventions made the situation far worse for the peoples of both these countries. Between 1-2 million people have been killed in these two wars and in addition, depleted uranium weapons will continue to cause death and deformities for decades to come.

    Let’s protest outside Kevin Rudd’s office tomorrow at 12 noon to demand what’s right:

    NO TO AUSTRALIAN INVOLVEMENT IN US WARS!
    NO TO US MILITARY INTERVENTION IN SYRIA!

    For more information contact Liam: 0432 619 844.

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