Live from Syria

Is the use of gas by Syria against its own population a vital American interest?

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113 Responses to Live from Syria

  1. Tel

    Biggest load of bullshit ever.

    Now they are all doubled down so if anyone spills the beans that they knew it’s bullshit then they get war crimes for the lot of them. Keeps the little tribe nice and tight going forward.

  2. Dr Faustus

    It’s official. Trump = Literally Hitler.

    Alexander Sherin, deputy head of the State Duma’s defense committee, says Trump “can be called Adolf Hitler No. 2 of our time — because, you see, he even chose the time that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union.”

    Russia 0: Godwin’s Law 1.

  3. Empire 5:5

    Is the use of gas by Syria against its own population a vital American interest?

    Where are the chemical weapons stored?
    Who supplied the weapons?
    Why?
    Who used the weapons?
    Why?

    If precision missile strikes destroy the weapons, no innocent civilians are killed and US troops are not placed in harm’s way, US interests are served.

  4. Empire 5:5

    Now they are all doubled down so if anyone spills the beans that they knew it’s bullshit then they get war crimes for the lot of them. Keeps the little tribe nice and tight going forward.

    Why would POTUS act on anything other than sound intel? What’s in it for him?

  5. Griffo

    This US attack is designed to expose Russia’s weakness. We can expect more of this as time goes on both in Europe and other areas where Putin seeks to exaggerate his strength and expand his influence.

  6. nemkat

    It’s day to day for Trump now.
    Every day he’s bombing some shithole is a day free from Mueller and Stormy Daniels headlines.
    That’s how much shit he’s in.

  7. Winston

    That’s what a Red Line looks like. I wonder if Obama is taking any notes?

  8. It was especially important to carry out a surgical strike like this. It sends a huge message to North Korea, who were hoping Russia might work to help them too.

  9. Herodotus

    Since when was anti-aircraft fire a “counter attack””?

  10. Ubique

    That’s what a Red Line looks like. I wonder if Obama is taking any notes?

    100+

  11. MichelLasouris

    Odd, I’ve never heard anyone say that Bashir al Assad will be arrested and hauled before the International War Crimes Court , as a War Criminal. isn’t it about time? He’ll scoff no doubt, until some Special Forces arrest hime and deliver him to the Dutch Court.

  12. PB

    The Yinon Plan will not be delayed any further. The (((Chosen))) have decided, and their latest puppet has acted.

  13. PB

    “Why would POTUS act on anything other than sound intel?”

    Is this a serious question?

  14. stackja

    Syria has never been held to account over previous actions. Lebanon?

  15. Oh come on

    A long time ago, when the Arab Spring went sour and the contours of the Syrian civil war were starting to emerge, I said we should be trying our hardest to bring Assad into the tent. Offer him a deal in which he’s brought in from the cold, helped to defeat the Islamist rebels, cuts Iran loose and in return the Assad dynasty is guaranteed by the western coalition for as long as him or one of his heirs sticks by the deal. Because the fact is that he’s better than any viable alternative.

    Unfortunately, that boat has long sailed. After Qaddafi’s Western-backed ouster and assassination, after the West’s dithering while ISIS established its caliphate, after Assad trampled all over Obama’s red lines with zero consequences, after Syria and Iran have become closer than ever due in large part to the importance of Hezbollah in Assad’s anti-insurgency coalition, after witnessing the utterly lopsided Iran nuclear deal – there is no chance of Assad making any kind of mutually beneficial deal with the West.

    Sad.

  16. Boambee John

    because, you see, he even chose the time that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union.”

    Hasn’t time flown, 22 June already!

  17. H B Bear

    So what does Teh Poot do now?

  18. Tel

    Why would POTUS act on anything other than sound intel? What’s in it for him?

    We all know he isn’t getting sound intel, the CIA hates Trump’s guts and wants him out of there, or at very least wants to control him. Trump can’t be stupid enough to think that Assad would use chemical weapons to kill a small handful of remaining insurgents who were surrounded and easily defeated anyhow. The entire East Ghouta area is now entirely controlled by Assad, so it was one last hurrah from the White Helmet acting school.

    Only a couple of weeks ago Trump was planning the withdrawal of US troops from Syria (troops that have no legal reason to be there, either under international law, or under US law). Therefore the most likely conclusion is that Trump is being pushed into doing this. Not sure how they are pushing him, or what he is able to get in exchange.

  19. Mark A

    How long will Birdy last this time? That is the question.

  20. alexnoaholdmate

    Hitler invaded Russia on June 22nd.

    They really will say anything, won’t they? And no one pulls them up on it, and the soundbite is eternal.

  21. 132andBush

    Trump can’t be stupid enough to think that Assad would use chemical weapons to kill a small handful of remaining insurgents who were surrounded and easily defeated

    One would hope not.
    It’s almost as if he’s letting them push him.

  22. Tel

    If precision missile strikes destroy the weapons, no innocent civilians are killed and US troops are not placed in harm’s way, US interests are served.

    So if you knew there was a big tank of chemical weapons… would dropping a missile into the middle of that seem to be the best way to avoid killing innocent civilians?

    I’m pretty sure the places they hit with missiles not only had no chemical weapons, but also the US knew perfectly well there would be no big gas cloud after the strike. They hit some research center, and since there are OPCW inspectors already in Syria, no doubt they will be going over the wreck to see if they can find any residue, my prediction is there won’t be any.

  23. Bruce of Newcastle

    Trump can’t be stupid enough to think that Assad would use chemical weapons to kill a small handful of remaining insurgents who were surrounded and easily defeated

    Depends which Assad.

    Brother who heads the SRG and the 4th Army is the nutter who launched the gas attack in 2013 seemingly without his boss’s approval.

    I can easily believe he’d try it again if he thought he could get away with it.

  24. Bruce of Newcastle

    Oops, that should be “4th Armoured” not “4th Army”. Doesn’t deserve a promotion.

  25. Empire 5:5

    Spell it out Graeme. What was the objective of the strikes?

  26. Zatara

    there are OPCW inspectors already in Syria

    The OPCW declared Syria’s last chemical weapons were shipped out of the country for destruction on 23 June 2014. Both the Russians and the Syrians also swore this was true.

    Since then there have been 30 reported chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian Govt including Chlorine, Sarin, and Mustard gasses. Here is the OPCW report on one of them.

    So, weapons they say didn’t exist were used in an attack which they confirmed.

    Since 2014 they were supposed to be supervising the destruction of chemical weapons production facilities in Syria. Just how long could that take?

    Their integrity is questionable to say the least.

  27. Empire 5:5

    So if you knew there was a big tank of chemical weapons… would dropping a missile into the middle of that seem to be the best way to avoid killing innocent civilians?

    Obviously that depends on the location.

  28. None

    Wasn’t it Ivanka who took credit for the first bombing to avenge the poor little babies? I’ve said it time and time again. Trump’s kids will be his downfall.

  29. Empire 5:5

    We all know he isn’t getting sound intel, the CIA hates Trump’s guts and wants him out of there, or at very least wants to control him

    Trump knows CIA intel is comped. That isn’t true for military intel.

    The entire East Ghouta area is now entirely controlled by Assad, so it was one last hurrah from the White Helmet acting school.

    Agreed. TWH and their enablers are hostile to POTUS.

    Only a couple of weeks ago Trump was planning the withdrawal of US troops from Syria (troops that have no legal reason to be there, either under international law, or under US law).

    There has been no change in policy. The presence of the troops was necessary to eradicate ISIS. The troops will withdraw.

  30. lotocoti

    because, you see, he even chose the time that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union.”

    Somebody might be confusing Barbarossa with Katyn.

  31. Neenee

    because, you see, he even chose the time that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union.

    He said Time (not Date) and specified 4am.

  32. Fisky

    Hope this is limited to “sending a message” to Russia/North Korea or whoever.

  33. Zatara

    He said Time (not Date) and specified 4am.

    Hitler’s attack on the Soviets (Barbarossa) kicked off at 0315. By 0400 thousands of aerial bombs and artillery shells had already impacted.

    On the other hand, Stalin’s attack on Poland did begin at 0400. So maybe he got confused and meant Trump was Stalin 2.

  34. Tel

    Since then there have been 30 reported chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian Govt including Chlorine, Sarin, and Mustard gasses. Here is the OPCW report on one of them.

    The report you linked to describes Chlorine gas attacks, and that’s available at your local pool supplies store, but even then they could not trace the Chlorine back to Assad directly in any case listed in that report, only that Syrian government helicopters had been dropping bombs in the area around the same time the gas appeared. A hint that Assad might have been involved, but not at all a “reported chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian Govt” as you claim. In short, no the report you linked to does not match your claim, and yes I do check these things.

    Paragraph 58 (Marea, Aleppo, 21 Aug 2015) describes “sulfur mustard gas” launched by ISIL using artillery shells but no explanation of how they got hold of it.

    Paragraph 65 (Qmenas, Idlib, 16 Mar 2015) could not even determine for sure that Chlorine had been used.

    Most of the other conclusions are very sketchy, claiming insufficient evidence to come to any conclusion, there’s not a single confirmed case of sarin or any nerve poison in that report. They said some witnesses had reported it but other witness statements were contradictory and there’s heaps of provisos as well, saying that they did not have access to the site, etc.

  35. Tel

    I should point out that the leadership of ISIL are mostly composed of Sunni officers who once used to work for Saddam’s military in Iraq, and part of their standard M.O. during the Iran/Iraq war was launching sulfur mustard gas using artillery shells. To the extent that WOMD were discovered by the US invasion of Iraq, it was warehouses of old mustard gas shells, mostly rusting and decaying, not in fit condition for battle, and left over from the Iran/Iraq war.

    If there was a stash of good quality mustard gas artillery shells still hidden somewhere, it would not be in the least surprising that the ISIL leadership would be the ones who knew were to find them. Alternatively, maybe they had access to very old artillery shells and just took a risk, or got some captured slaves to load them up. There’s consistency in the reports that ISIL were the source of mustard gas attacks, and that artillery was their delivery mechanism :

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/09/22/pentagon-confirms-isil-chemical-attack-near-us-troops-iraq/90841824/

    The top U.S. military officer confirmed Thursday that Islamic State militants targeted a military base in Iraq where U.S. troops were stationed with a potentially deadly chemical weapon this week.

    “We assess it to be a sulfur-mustard blister agent,” Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    Dunford did not elaborate, but the shell landed at a military base in northern Iraq where U.S. military advisers are helping Iraqi forces prepare for an upcoming offensive, according to an earlier account from two defense officials. They asked not to be named because they were not authorize to discuss the issue publicly. The defense officials suspected the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, of launching the attack.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/08/13/reports-isil-used-mustard-gas-against-kurds/31665149/

    WASHINGTON — Islamic State militants allegedly used deadly mustard gas against Kurdish forces in Iraq this week, according to media reports that cited unnamed U.S. officials.

    “We’re looking into the reports,” Air Force Col. Pat Ryder, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said Thursday night.

    The Wall Street Journal and NBC News reported the allegations, citing unnamed defense and intelligence officials, about the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS.

  36. Tel

    He said Time (not Date) and specified 4am.

    Well that explains where the NSW cops got their playbook.

    Ha ha, just joking, I’m sure it’s a complete coincidence.

  37. Tel

    Hope this is limited to “sending a message” to Russia/North Korea or whoever.

    On reflection, probably a mistake to stop using Morse.

  38. JC

    Tel

    I recall there were reports at the time when Bush was threatening war against Saddam that the Iraqis moved their gas stash to Syria. It may be the theory you suggest could be true. It could also be the Syrian regime still has the Saddam stash.

  39. Steve trickler.

    Valid points from Weston.



  40. Texas Jack

    If you were looking for inexpensive/effective ways to restore the former unwritten respect for US resolve in the aftermath of the Obama disaster you’d welcome opportunities presented by Assad – or ISIS, or whoever.

  41. jupes

    Is the use of gas by Syria against its own population a vital American interest?

    Probably. Trump’s aim is to send a message not to fuck with him because he isn’t Obama. That’s a good message for not just the Syrians to hear. I’m sure the Brits and Frogs have different motives.

    I also have to laugh at the phrase “… against his own population…” as if the targets are just citizens peacefully going about their business when they are in fact his jihadist enemies in a civil war.

    That’s like saying that Abraham Lincoln attacked his own population at Gettysburg.

  42. nemkat

    Abraham Lincoln’s Armies marched through South Carolina and Georgia, burning all the farms, murdering the men, boys and all the stock, and doing other stuff to the women and girls.
    So yes, you could say he attacked his own civilians.

  43. Tel

    I recall there were reports at the time when Bush was threatening war against Saddam that the Iraqis moved their gas stash to Syria. It may be the theory you suggest could be true. It could also be the Syrian regime still has the Saddam stash.

    Yeah, it’s a bit more complex than that, because the Baathist government in Iraq under Saddam Hussein was never good buddies with the Baathist government in Syria under house Assad. Remember that although Saddam’s government was nominally secular, it operated as a gang of Sunnis ruling over a Shiite majority… while although Assad’s government was also nominally secular it operated as an Alawite (i.e. Shiite) minority ruling over a grab bag of other religious sects (including quite a few Sunnis). During the Iran/Iraq war, it was the Syrian government that took the side of IRAN and hence were the enemy of Iraq. Indeed they were openly hostile to Iraq at the time, closing oil pipelines and such.

    Iraq was loosely within the Western sphere at the time (as per the infamous Donald Rumsfeld meeting with Saddam Hussein) while Syria has had long standing agreements with Russia (even going back to the USSR).

    All things considered, it’s very unlikely that Saddam would have sent his best kit over to one of his long term rivals for safekeeping. More likely, if that gear did enter Syria it would have been hidden by anti-government Sunnis who never enjoyed Assad’s rule.

  44. struth

    This is just West versus east with Trump saying to Putin I dare ya.
    He’s saying that because there is no way Putin dares.
    Trump is looking for an excuse to shirt fromt Putin.

    Have faith in the west my friends.
    Believe in it and stop being chicken shit.

  45. Fisky

    Also, bombing Syria will inevitably lead to calls for admitting millions of illiterate “refugees”. So not sure if this is such a hot idea.

  46. Caveman

    Nothing to see here, move on. MSM going full retardo because it’s Trump.

  47. Infidel Tiger

    Also, bombing Syria will inevitably lead to calls for admitting millions of illiterate “refugees”. So not sure if this is such a hot idea.

    Why do you think the Neocons and the left are walking around with massive receptions and foaming mouths demanding war?

    So many idiots at the Cat supporting this folly. No nothing lunatics who have zero appreciation of history or the disgusting globalist forces at play.

    Sad.

  48. Infidel Tiger

    Erections not receptions.

  49. struth

    The refugees won’t be going to the United States, IT.

  50. jupes

    Also, bombing Syria will inevitably lead to calls for admitting millions of illiterate “refugees”. So not sure if this is such a hot idea.

    Yeah nah.

    The Syrian civil war has been going on for six or seven years now. The US has (was?) bombing the place for years. This raid is only different because they bombed Assad’s forces rather than IS.

    The only way this will result in increased calls for “refugees” is if they can find a photo of a dead or injured kiddy linked to the raid. I doubt they will.

  51. Infidel Tiger

    The refugees won’t be going to the United States, IT.

    The globalists want to destroy the west.

    Fucking europe in the arse is the primary goal.

  52. Zatara

    Tel, you are correct. I overstated the case when I hastily said that the Syrian armed forces had reportedly carried out 30 chemical attacks. I certainly believe the opposition forces are guilty of a large portion of them, possibly most (at least of the chlorine ones), as well.

    That doesn’t change the fact that chemical warfare attacks by both the Syrians and the opposition have taken place since OPCW certified that the Syrians had no more and were supposedly destroying the production facilities. If they didn’t know for sure they shouldn’t have bowed to the pressure of saying so and the production facilities should have been dust years ago.

    Yes, chlorine gas weapons are fairly easy to make and likely have been produced and employed by both sides since then. But Sarin and Mustard weapons have been confirmed to have been used as well.

    Sarin attack 4 April 2017 Apparently deployed by aerial rocket.

    Mustard attack 16 Sept 2016 Delivery appears to be via ancient looking 210mm mortar shell(s).

    Mustard attack 21 Aug, 1 Sept, and 4 Sept 2015 Apparently delivered via mortar barrage.

    None seem to have had the full potency they should have. Which leads one to believe they were past their normal shelf life or employed in poorly made or improvised delivery systems. Or that they were improperly stored, which seems likely.

    I do agree with the possibility of some of these being from stockpiles of evacuated Iraqi weapons or more probably Syrian ones hidden from the inspectors. If not the actual weapons themselves at least the chemical ‘fillers’ for them.

  53. struth

    I agree IT.

    But that’s not Trump’s problem.
    If the socialist EU and their muppets in Europe use this to import more mussies, what does that mean for Trump?
    It means that the invasion will be greater into Europe and not just done at a speed with which the Europeans grumble a bit, but too quickly which will mean revolt.
    The best thing that can happen to Europe right now is another million per year.
    And the global socialists in Europe will not be able to resist this opportunity.
    This is all positive for Trump.
    100 percent positive.

  54. Confused Old Misfit

    Tel
    #2686583, posted on April 14, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Biggest load of bullshit ever.

    No. Human initiated global warming via CO2 wins that prize.

  55. jupes

    Apparently deployed by aerial rocket.

    So not a rocket on wheels then?

  56. candy

    I thought Trump was going to focus on America/domestic issues. He seems fixated on this Syrian business.

    They would have only have to miss the target and civilians killed (the famous collateral damage), and his time would be over.

  57. jupes

    They would have only have to miss the target and civilians killed (the famous collateral damage), and his time would be over.

    You are an idiot candy.

  58. Confused Old Misfit

    They would have only have to miss the target and civilians killed (the famous collateral damage), and his time would be over.

    You wish!

    He seems fixated on this Syrian business.

    The pundits were all insisting that last week he was too focused on a wall!

    Get with the program people!

  59. Empire 5:5

    I thought Trump was going to focus on America/domestic issues. He seems fixated on this Syrian business.

    They would have only have to miss the target and civilians killed (the famous collateral damage), and his time would be over.

    Candy

    Whatever the merits of taking military action, beware of two important things.

    Firstly, the munitions used are not your grandpa’s 500lb “dumb” bomb. Secondly, the media narrative you cite is a movie and bears no resemblance to reality. Trump is not fixated on Syria. It’s a side show.

  60. OneWorldGovernment

    Candy

    Syria was recently “appointed” President of The UN Disarmament Commission and The USA, France and Britain are just giving Assad a hand to get the ‘arms’ out of Syria.

  61. johnrmcdougall

    Some years ago, having returned from a three year period in the middle-east, I made a comment to a group of friends that there was only one way for the west to handle this middle-east “cluster-f**k. Get out and stay out. Build a (figurative) wall around the place and let them, the inmates, fight it out. They have been having this scrap for a thousand years and there is no way we can sort it out in just a decade or two.
    It will cost us trillions, and we will make no difference.

  62. Zatara

    So not a rocket on wheels then?

    Could be one of these. Or maybe this one. Probably not this one.

    But a witness described an air raid.

  63. classical_hero

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-ghouta-negotiati/rebel-fighters-begin-leaving-syrias-douma-after-weeks-long-military-assault-idUSKBN1HF09Z

    This is why Assad did the gas attack.

    It follows a seven-week government offensive to capture the towns and villages on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, in which more than 1,600 people have been killed, according rescuers and a monitoring group.

    Medical aid groups reported that dozens of people were killed by poison gas in Douma on Saturday in an attack the rebels say was carried out by Damascus. The government has denied carrying out any such attack.

    Do the attack and the next day the rebels leave. A coincidence? not likely. 7 weeks of bombardment failed to do what one gas attack did. Yet this is some sort of false flag or done by the Rebels. Come on and use your brains people.

  64. Settle down, Cats. This isn’t the 20th century, and there will be no WWIII, and Trump ain’t no GWB or Obozo.

    Whatever it’s presented as, the reality is different.

    This has more to do with Iran and Saudi Arabia than Syria. Clearly, this is an excuse to remove Iranian military assets. I’m just hoping that any regime change is predetermined to avoid the Iraq debacle. Note that so-called “rebel groups” are more of less fronts, likely long removed, left to keep up pretences.

    Trump may be many things, but he ain’t stupid. You can take that to the bank.

  65. Tel

    Sarin attack 4 April 2017 Apparently deployed by aerial rocket.

    That was the one where they confirmed Sarin in the samples. I point out that they never actually visited the site in question, but at least they did find Sarin. Thing is, they were unable to confirm who created the Sarin, or where it came from, or even whether it was dropped from the air or whether an existing chemical weapons stash was hit with conventional explosives. The did confirm Sarin in the samples (and hexamine, similar to what they found in the East Ghouta sarin).

    Here’s something interesting though, read the news report covering this incident,

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-warcrimes/syrian-government-forces-used-chemical-weapons-more-than-two-dozen-times-u-n-idUSKCN1BH18W

    A government warplane dropped sarin on the town in Idlib province, killing more than 80 civilians, the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria said, in the most conclusive findings to date from investigations into that chemical weapon attack.

    The panel also said U.S. air strikes on a mosque in Al-Jina in rural Aleppo in March that killed 38 people, including children, failed to take precautions in violation of international law, but did not constitute a war crime.

    The weapons used on Khan Sheikhoun were previously identified as containing sarin, an odorless nerve agent. But that conclusion, reached by a fact-finding mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), did not say who was responsible.

    “Government forces continued the pattern of using chemical weapons against civilians in opposition-held areas. In the gravest incident, the Syrian air force used sarin in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib, killing dozens, the majority of whom were women and children,” the U.N. report said, declaring the attack a war crime.

    See the bait and switch in operation?

    The OPCW could NOT figure out who was responsible, but some other, different, UN group jumped in and decided Assad was responsible. Well, who is this guy who made such an important decision, and how did he figure is out? This is Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, a human rights lawyer who knows very little about chemistry or field investigation and he can’t really explain how he knows it was Assad, but you just have to trust him. Here’s another point from the same article:

    In their 14th report since 2011, U.N. investigators said they had in all documented 33 chemical weapons attacks to date.

    Twenty-seven were by the government of President Bashar al-Assad, including seven between March 1 to July 7. Perpetrators had not been identified yet in six attacks, they said.

    The Assad government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons. It said its strikes in Khan Sheikhoun hit a weapons depot belonging to rebel forces, a claim “excluded” by Pinheiro.

    That attack led U.S. President Donald Trump to launch the first U.S. air strikes on a Syrian air base.

    Hmmm, we know they are bullshitting because there was the ISIL mustard gas attack that was confirmed by the OPCW report (linked above, Marea, Aleppo, 21 Aug 2015) plus there were the other cases where US troops and Kurdish troops confirmed mustard gas attacks from ISIL. Strangely Paulo Pinheiro caused these attacks to just disappear. What’s more the various Chlorine gas attacks could not be precisely sourced but all of them get dumped on Assad? All of them?!? Give me a break!

  66. Andre S

    Trump tries to push off the label, Putin and him are partners in crime+ collusion fake news agenda, image.
    Ticks off the Russians and Iranians.
    Appeases his Arab allies.
    Appeases the warmongers in the Democratic and Republican party and the EU.
    Pretends to do serious strategic damage to Syrian infrastructure
    All this braahoohah is signalling.
    Its a Circus!- metaphorical funambulism without a safety net.
    If he can avoid a war with Russia, get out of Syria and shut the warmongers up it will be a miracle.

  67. Splatacrobat

    “None seem to have had the full potency they should have. Which leads one to believe they were past their normal shelf life or employed in poorly made or improvised delivery systems. Or that they were improperly stored, which seems likely.”

    I know my Keen’s hot English mustard is not as potent after languishing in the pantry for two years.

  68. Zatara

    See the bait and switch in operation?

    Indeed. Did you notice how “U.S. air strikes on a mosque” was twisted out of:

    The American F-15s hit the building adjacent to the prayer hall with 10 bombs, followed by a Reaper drone that fired two Hellfire missiles at people fleeing, the U.N. report said.

    Most of the residents of al-Jina, relatives of victims and first responders interviewed by the Commission stated on that on the evening in question, a religious gathering was being hosted in the mosque’s service building.

    Of course they they did. But it wasn’t an air strike on a mosque then was it Paulo? Splitting hairs? Nope.

    “There are strict and detailed requirements in muslim jurisprudence for a place of worship to be considered a mosque… There are stringent restrictions on the uses of the area formally demarcated as the mosque (which is often a small portion of the larger complex).”

    So yeah, Paulo Pinheiro evidently has an agenda and doesn’t mind adjusting truth to ideology.

  69. Muddy

    One reason I love The Cat is because you can always find 300+ experts on every conceivable subject.

  70. Arky

    Muddy
    #2686925, posted on April 14, 2018 at 10:47 pm
    One reason I love The Cat is because you can always find 300+ experts on every conceivable subject.

    ..
    I have zero idea of what this Syrian thing is really about, even after reading everything I can on it.
    You’ve got your ISIL.
    You’ve got your Saudi’s.
    You’ve got your Ruskies, Israel, Iran, Iraqis.
    Sounds damn near impossible to figure out.
    I’ll lesve it to others to try to guess the rights and wrongs of it.

  71. max

    US President George W. Bush, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and John Howard lied about WMDs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKX6luiMINQ

    are they lying now as well?

    of course.

  72. W Hogg

    Madcow thinks Trump-loathing Macron went into Syria to help T666 distract from…the same impeachment / bimbo explosion / Wussia / FakeNews stuff that happens every single week.

    Probably the world’s most severe case of RETARD.

  73. squawkbox

    To all of you people quoting inconsistencies, odd behaviors and people generally behaving as if they might possibly not be rational actors….

    This is the Middle East

  74. squawkbox

    One reason I love The Cat is because you can always find 300+ experts on every conceivable subject.

    I am available to answer queries on Group Theory, the Catholic Church in the 12 and 13th centuries, and the care and maintenance of the Austin Metro 1.0 HLE. Why couldn’t I be an expert on something that paid?

  75. struth

    Muddy, these experts are more reliable than an ABC finance reporter and get more flack when they are wrong.

  76. PB

    “This is Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, a human rights lawyer who knows very little about chemistry or field investigation and he can’t really explain how he knows it was Assad, but you just have to trust him. Here’s another point from the same article:..”
    You don’t need expertise, you only need a price tag.

  77. Roger.

    That’s like saying that Abraham Lincoln attacked his own population at Gettysburg.

    Ever heard of Sherman’s March?

    Lincoln was a tyrant.

    But we digress…

  78. old bloke

    Tel
    #2686780, posted on April 14, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    All things considered, it’s very unlikely that Saddam would have sent his best kit over to one of his long term rivals for safekeeping. More likely, if that gear did enter Syria it would have been hidden by anti-government Sunnis who never enjoyed Assad’s rule.

    Saddam sent most of his air force to Iran immediately prior to Gulf War II, so it’s also likely that he sent his chemical weapons to Syria as has been reported. The reports were that the chemical weapons were stored in the Bekaa Valley which is under Hezbollocks control (i.e., not Sunni).

  79. duncanm

    Its also a good message from Trump to the UN.

    “I’m going to act regardless of what you decide”

  80. Cynic of Ayr

    There’s a lot of anguish and crap about Trump’s bombing mission.
    But there is a fact – FACT – that no one is mentioning, and that is there is no way to sensibly negotite, talk, or come to agreement with Syria, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China or or even Russia.
    It’s not possible!
    Years and years of talk, talk, talk, talk, and cocktail party after cocktail party after cocktail party, and millions of dollars in travel and accommodation and state dinners, have brought us to this very situation.
    NO talking has ever been successful without the domination of one party over the other, or at least the demonstration of the will to dominate if necessary..
    Does anyone seriously believe outside their imagination that Germany would have surrendered after a few more years of talking? Italy the same? Japan the same? In more recent years, North Korea? China? Both the latter want to talk now. Why is that? Doya really think it’s because of the goodness of their hearts?

  81. Oh come on

    US President George W. Bush, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and John Howard lied about WMDs

    There is a difference between being wrong and lying. At the time, every intelligence service was saying Saddam had WMDs. Hans Blix insisted there were WMDs and he and his team would find them – until he didn’t. Saddam’s men sure acted like they had something to hide and actually were hiding something, ie. UN inspection teams delayed or denied access to certain sites by hostile armed guards. There were convoys of trucks sighted hastily leaving certain facilities, as well as satellite images of suspicious convoys of trucks crossing the Iraq-Syrian border. To this day, Karl Rove insists that it was a mistake not to release the intel the US had that strongly suggested Saddam had moved his WMDs as a pushback against the ‘Bush lied, people died’ rhetoric.

    I don’t know if Saddam was bluffing about his WMDs prior to the invasion of Iraq. He certainly had form for manufacturing and using them. But I am sure that the US and its coalition were acting on intel about Saddam’s WMD programme that they believed to be sound. This intelligence could well have been wrong. This doesn’t mean Bush lied when he took the action he did. Just about every member of Congress voted to go to war in Iraq on the basis of the same intel, the same presumption that Saddam’s WMD programme was “a slam dunk” as then-CIA director infamously described it as. Did all those Congress critters lie, too? If you want to say that Bush, Blair, Howard and Aznar lied, then why not everyone else who had some role in making the decision to overthrow Saddam?

    Or maybe they were simply wrong?

  82. mh

    Hitler’s National Socialists gassed the handicapped first. When there were no consequences for their actions, it was full steam ahead for the gassing of millions of European Jews.

    Well done USA, France and the UK.

  83. mh

    Hitler’s National Socialists gassed the handicapped first. When there were no consequences for their actions, it was full steam ahead for the gassing of millions of European J–s.

    Well done USA, France and the UK.

  84. Roger.

    I don’t know if Saddam was bluffing about his WMDs prior to the invasion of Iraq. He certainly had form for manufacturing and using them. But I am sure that the US and its coalition were acting on intel about Saddam’s WMD programme that they believed to be sound.

    Saddam destroyed his WsMD in the second half of 1991, along with all evidence they had ever existed. He had thought he cold maintain a clandestine program after declaring and destroying some stockpiles to the UN, but soon reconsidered and destroyed them all when the UN was more inquisitive than he had expected. In 1992 the Iraqis took UN inspectors to the actual desert sites where the weapons had been destroyed and produced documentary evidence in the form of the personal diaries of the soldiers involved. Later, Saddam’s son in law, who had been in charge of the WsMD program, defected and told the UN that all Saddam’s WsMD had been destroyed. However, the UN didn’t believe him, something Saddam decided to use to his advantage to deter Iran or anyone else from ever invading and taking Baghdad. He thought this would assure his regime’s security, instead it brought about its downfall. Blix found nothing because there was nothing to find; if there was lack of cooperation from the Iraqi it was out of resentment at their presence, not fear they would find anything. The intelligence was wrong, as Blix was beginning to suspect before he and his team were ordered out of Iraq days prior to the invasion. The intelligence community was incapable of working with any other hypothesis than that Saddam just had to have WsMD and they fitted the supposed evidence to that narrative. If they lied to anyone, they lied to themselves first. We invaded and nearly destroyed a country and destabilised the region because of the limitations of intelligence analysts and their elevation of belief over data. Has anything changed since? Have we learned any lessons?

  85. None of us have the inside intel and none of us are privy to back-channel discussions, so let’s look at some things we do know by now.

    * The Syrian war was initiated by the Europeans (with the support of Hillary) due to 2 competing proposed gas pipelines.
    * One pipeline from the GCC (Arabs) through Iraq, Syria and Turkey to Europe. Assad rejected this.
    * One pipeline from Iran through Iraq and Syria to Europe. Assad wanted this.
    * Europeans desperately want the Arab gas to rid themselves of the Russian gas they are reliant on now.
    * The Russian and Iranian gas comes with perpetual threats of blackmail (ask the Ukrainians and Baltic states).
    * The Europeans and US (via John McCain) funded and armed Syrian Rebel groups INCLUDING ISIS. (There are pictures of McCain with ISIS leadership including Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi).
    * This is why Obama wouldn’t destroy ISIS even though he could have very easily as Trump has demonstrated.
    * Trump is reversing all of this with his current strategy. This is why McCain is so rabidly anti-Trump.
    * Recently Trump announced the cessation of funds and support for Syrian Rebel groups.
    * He also announced the withdrawal of remaining few troops.

    Now some speculation

    * The recent gas attack was a false flag operation by rebel groups to keep the US in Syria.
    * Trump didn’t fall for it. He gets the best intel NOT FROM THE CIA but from military intelligence and Mossad.
    * This is the first time Trump announced an attack in advance (this is important).
    * Rebels just outside of Damascus prepared to attack Assad forces as the air strike got underway.
    * As soon as the Rebels came out of their strongholds, they were met with overwhelming Syrian Army and Russian forces who were prepared in advance, DESPITE THE US/EU bombing (there’s a hint).
    * Hundreds of rebels were killed and captured including ISIS (citizen reports via social media).
    * Assad is now in a much stronger position and on the cusp of victory.
    * This was a well disguised and coordinated operation WITH RUSSIAN CO-OPERATION.
    * The Syrian Civil War will end by the end of this year.

    Further speculation.

    * Both gas pipelines will be built.
    * The Iranian one will be required to support the Iranian people and their NEW GOVERNMENT when the Mullahs are ousted sometime this year.
    * Syria will be rebuilt with the money from both pipelines.

    It’s all good people. Trust the VSG (very stable genius).

  86. mh

    The globalist-owned media and the West’s public service media are obsessed with Trump, so every issue is about how Trump is getting it wrong. I haven’t heard much serious analysis on Putin’s geo-political strategies. Russia appears to be getting things wrong, over and over again. When America has said that Syria is not our war, why would you invite the US military back in to the conflict by letting Assad start using chemical warfare against civilians again?

  87. JamesS

    Two years ago, pre election, Trump was marketed as wanting to reduce overseas military entanglements and letting other countries fight their own battles and settle their own regional squabbles. On current actions, either he was lying, someone has him by the balls, threatened the safety of his family or he is playing 4D chess! Big business this oil and military spending – show me the money.

  88. Tel

    * This was a well disguised and coordinated operation WITH RUSSIAN CO-OPERATION.
    * The Syrian Civil War will end by the end of this year.

    Although that’s not impossible, it would presume that Trump is coordinating his actions with Putin via some secret channel that the CIA and the FBI cannot monitor. This is highly speculative at best.

  89. Leo G

    I wonder if Obama is taking any notes?

    Obama famously said his foreign policy was based on a simple premise.
    The media reported his statement as: “Don’t do stupid shit”.
    I suggest he really said: “Stupid don’t do shit”.

  90. Leo G

    This was a well disguised and coordinated operation WITH RUSSIAN CO-OPERATION.

    Now that the Syrian civil war is coming to an end, there is a common interest for Russia and the US. Neither should really want Syria any longer to provide military facilities for Iran.

  91. Boris

    Neither should really want Syria any longer to provide military facilities for Iran.

    LOL. Russia does want and the US does not care. The end of Syria mission demonstrates this.

  92. Boris

    Although that’s not impossible, it would presume that Trump is coordinating his actions with Putin via some secret channel that the CIA and the FBI cannot monitor.

    Not at all. On what basis you make this assertion? This is done most likely through pentagon.

    It’s not like trump asked the Russians permission. He said we are going to strike despite your objections, so let’s discuss how to minimize chances of a direct confr9ntatipm.

  93. Boris

    On current actions, either he was lying, someone has him by the balls, threatened the safety of his family or he is playing 4D chess! Big business this oil and military spending – show me the money.

    None of the above. Campaign is one thing, but when reality strikes, you have to defend what’s left of credibility of the nation. Enforcing declared red lines is part of that.

  94. Nerblnob

    Dominic Lawson in The Times:

    The unmentionable truth is that the effect of the latest chlorine barrel bomb, aside from murdering innocent children and their parents, was to persuade the Islamist rebels to abandon their last bastion on the outskirts of Damascus. They exited in tour buses laid on by the regime. To put it bluntly, Assad’s atrocity brings closer what the West actually wants: the speediest possible end to a civil war that has displaced millions.

    This, presumably, is what Trump’s military advisers will have told him. So yesterday morning Assad turned up for work as normal.

    And “end to the civil war” is what most of us want, insofar as we give a rat’s . We just don’t like the means.

  95. Boris

    why would you invite the US military back in to the conflict by letting Assad start using chemical warfare against civilians again?

    Good question. Maybe to show that the West is impotent?

  96. Nerblnob

    But don’t expect these “Islamist rebels” to just disappear quietly.

    They are not your poor and dispossessed.

    They are well-funded and well-armed and will surface elsewhere.

  97. Boris

    Humbug all what you wrote is pure speculation.

    You are conspiracy artist per excellance

  98. Leo G

    LOL. Russia does want and the US does not care. The end of Syria mission demonstrates this.

    The Russians have been careful so far to maintain good relations with Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Israel.
    How long will the cordiality last if Russia allows Iran and Hezbollah to launch major attacks on Israel from Syrian bases?
    Recall the consequences of the reported incident on 10th February when Israel shot down what it claimed was an Iranian drone after it entered Israel’s airspace from Jordan, but operated from an Irnian/Hezbollah base in Palmyra Syria. Israel retaliated with air attacks on Iranian and Syrian bases in Syria, and Russia subsequently mediated the conflict.
    The dynamic has changed with the end of the Syrian civil war, and the Russians must come to terms with the next phase of Iran’s strategic plan for the east Mediterranean.

  99. Boris

    The dynamic has changed with the end of the Syrian civil war, and the Russians must come to terms with the next phase of Iran’s strategic plan for the east Mediterranean.

    Yeh please tell this to Putin. He recently changed his rhetoric in the opposite direction, strongly condemned latest suspected Israeli attack and said they may supply Syria with S300. So much for friendship with isrsel. It looks from all sides that ultimately Iran has higher priority for Putin than Israel. Hope I am wrong.

  100. Boris

    They are well-funded and well-armed and will surface elsewhere.

    Actually they are very poorly armed. But they do have an ability to metastasize.

  101. J.H.

    They miss the point. Assad isn’t using poison gas on fighters, he’s using poison gas on Sunni civilians. Unless he can “de-Sunni-fy” these areas, Assad doesn’t win anything… They remain, Sunni. So he terrorizes the civilians so that they flee to the refugee areas….. Underkerstumble now?

  102. win

    Who are the rebels that the West are aiding in unseating Assad? Are these rebels Sunni and do they use poison gas and wipe out ancient Christian and other minority communities in their battle to take over Syria?
    Trump was visited by the King and Queen of Jordan . Just how much was Trump influenced against Assad by them if at all.
    Surely the west should have learned by now not to get involved in Muslim wars.
    As one elderly immigrant from there said.They kill each other and then start on every one else.

  103. Egor

    Western hating muslims killing western hating muslims.
    Yep, it sure keeps me awake at night with worry.

  104. nerblnob

    JH, he can’t “de-Sunnify” because the vast majority of Syrian Muslims are Sunni.

    Assad’s family Alawite rule kept a lid on the fundies and we in the West were happy to turn a blind eye to how they did it.

    Then the lid came off and every fundie group, plus plenty of plain old criminals, exploited the chaos.

    Having said that, if you’re going to draw a red line, then you have to show you mean it.

  105. tgs

    Baa Humbug
    #2687217, posted on April 15, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    You should write for infowars with that level of tin-foil hat ranting.

  106. max

    Oh come on say:
    “There is a difference between being wrong and lying. At the time, every intelligence service was saying Saddam had WMDs.”

    The US has a record of launching wars on deceptive grounds.

    Spanish–American War, i.e, the Sinking of the USS Maine

    1953 Iranian coup d’état was the consequence of the U.S. and British-orchestrated false flag operation, Operation Ajax. Operation Ajax used political intrigue, propaganda, and agreements with Qashqai tribal leaders to depose the democratically elected leader of Iran, Mohammed Mosaddeq.

    Operation Northwoods

    The planned, but never executed, 1962 Operation Northwoods plot by the U.S. Department of Defense for a war with Cuba involved scenarios such as fabricating the hijacking or shooting down of passenger and military planes, sinking a U.S. ship in the vicinity of Cuba, burning crops, sinking a boat filled with Cuban refugees, attacks by alleged Cuban infiltrators inside the United States, and harassment of U.S. aircraft and shipping and the destruction of aerial drones by aircraft disguised as Cuban MiGs. These actions would be blamed on Cuba, and would be a pretext for an invasion of Cuba and the overthrow of Fidel Castro’s communist government. It was authored by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then rejected by President John F. Kennedy.

    The Gulf of Tonkin incident granted President Lyndon B. Johnson justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam.

    Nayirah False Flag Testimony
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=bhGl03QFUi4

    WMD

    maybe even 9/11 — i would not be surprised

    “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

  107. Nerblnob
    #2687490, posted on April 15, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Dominic Lawson in The Times:

    The unmentionable truth is that the effect of the latest chlorine barrel bomb, aside from murdering innocent children and their parents, was to persuade the Islamist rebels to abandon their last bastion on the outskirts of Damascus. They exited in tour buses laid on by the regime. To put it bluntly, Assad’s atrocity brings closer what the West actually wants: the speediest possible end to a civil war that has displaced millions.

    My bolding.
    Those rebels didn’t just give up, they were smashed by Syrian and Russian forces waiting for them.
    Like I said in my comment above, those rebels thought they’d gain some more territory during the bombing by the US UK and Fr, came out of their strongholds only to be smashed by the forces waiting for them.

    To believe that rebels gave up because some people died from a gas attack, despite doggedly fighting on for years faced with much much worse is naivety at the max.
    They were surprised and smashed. They were told the US would no longer help them (and their bestest buddy John McCain is out of action getting cancer treatment), so they had no choice.

    tgs
    #2687720, posted on April 16, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Baa Humbug
    #2687217, posted on April 15, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    You should write for infowars with that level of tin-foil hat ranting.

    To be precise, none of us know more than a fraction of what’s really happening so WE ALL SPECULATE.
    Time will tell. Bookmark my comment and we’ll get back to it ok?

  108. mh

    Putin has a domestic economy tanking.

    Putin’s allies are now miscreants of the highest order, like Iran.

    The intelligent have left.

    Shame.

  109. Chris M

    Haven’t seen any evidence in the media of the use of poison gas in Syria recently. If they had real evidence they would make a big deal about it I’m sure.

    Not sure about Donalds U-turn, don’t like the look of this attack at all. And $100m+ for a few levelled buildings seems lame. If they really believed it was Assad (and they don’t) it would be easy to hit him hard.

  110. Tel

    Not sure about Donalds U-turn, don’t like the look of this attack at all. And $100m+ for a few levelled buildings seems lame. If they really believed it was Assad (and they don’t) it would be easy to hit him hard.

    And what that means is no one with any real authority believes this whole shenanigan about chemical weapons, it’s merely a vaudeville show for the dopey US public. Both P.T. Barnum and Jonathan Gruber were right as it turns out. This was really a missile fire test and some sabre rattling. I presume since they knew it was only mucking around and the outcome didn’t really matter, that’s why the invited the UK and the French to join in.

  111. Nerblnob

    Muddy
    #2686925, posted on April 14, 2018 at 10:47 pm
    One reason I love The Cat is because you can always find 300+ experts on every conceivable subject.

    Sure, opinions are like arseholes, everyone’s got one, including me.

    Experts – I don’t know any experts who would describe themselves as such.
    I’m not even an expert’s arsehole, but I worked in NE Syria (Deir ez Zor) in the 90s and we hired a guy from there so I’ve had an interest in the place for the last 20+ years.

    Our guy moved to Oman and took his family with him before all this shit started.

    Old man Assad ran the place as a totalitarian one-party socialist state back then, and like I said, we in “The West” were OK with that because he kept the fundies repressed. So were a lot of the Syrian middle-class. They had an inkling of what might happen if the lid came off.

    Back then, Arab women in Deir ez Zor centre walked around dressed normally, skirts, heels, uncovered hair. You only saw the full burqa stuff in the tribal/Bedouin areas outside of the town centre.

  112. Whalehunt Fun

    Bomb them, don’t bomb them. Whatever!
    There is no world shortage of Arabs. So long as the oil flows, it matters not at all to me.
    Mountain of blather about nothing important.

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