‘Chemical Weapons’: The Pipedream Excuse Used in Syria by Two US Administrations

Sunday, April 9, 2017
By Paul Martin


On Friday, US Navy ships off the Syrian coast launched a massive cruise missile strike into the country, destroying an air base following claims that Damascus had launched a chemical attack in Idlib province. Brazilian political analyst Diego Pautasso recalled that the ‘chemical weapons’ pretext is one that the US seems to never get tired of.

Last week, Washington pulled what seemed like a 180 degree turn on its Syria policy, launching 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria’s Ash Sha’irat airbase in Homs province, destroying six MiG-23 fighters, killing over a dozen soldiers and civilians, and causing significant damage to the base.

The attack came just days after statements by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last week that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s long-term status would be decided by the Syrian people, leading observers to speculate that Washington had abandoned the Obama-era policy of regime change for the Middle Eastern country. Other US officials, including White House spokesman Sean Spicer and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley made similar comments, seemingly confirming that the US was going to accept political reality and focus on fighting Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) terrorists.

However, on Tuesday, everything changed. A chemical attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun in rebel-held Idlib province took the lives of over 70 people, injuring hundreds of others. The Pentagon rushed to pin the blame on the Syrian government, providing no evidence, apart from some internet videos featuring the White Helmets, who are known by detractors as ‘al-Qaeda’s civil defense’ for their close ties to jihadist militants. Damascus insisted that it “did not, does not and will not” use chemical weapons, even against suspected terrorists.

Other theories soon emerged, featuring actual timelines and important background information. The Russian Defense Ministry reported that Syrian aircraft did indeed conduct an airstrike on a warehouse containing ammunition and equipment belonging to terrorists near Khan Shaykhun, and suggested that the warehouse may have contained a rebel chemical arms stockpile. However, on Thursday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem explained that the first reports of the chemical attack appeared several hours before the government airstrike, indicating that the chemical attack may have been a cruel and cynical ‘false flag’ operation used by the jihadists in a bid for US support. Russia has since submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council to further investigate the incident.

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