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Sat07Apr alleged Douma chlorine attack UK, US France strikes

 
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:24 am    Post subject: Sat07Apr alleged Douma chlorine attack UK, US France strikes Reply with quote

Sat07Apr: alleged Douma chlorine gas attack Russia warned of

Russia warns of 'serious consequences' if US acts on alleged Syrian chemical attack
By CONOR FINNEGAN PATRICK REEVELL
Apr 8, 2018, 12:49 PM ET
http://abcnews.go.com/International/syrias-alleged-chemical-attack-dem and-response-state-department/story?id=54318219

PHOTO: This image released early Sunday, April 8, 2018 by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, shows a child receiving oxygen through respirators following an alleged poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma, near Damascus, Syria.PlaySyrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP
WATCH Syria accused of launching new poison gas attack on civilians
Warning: This story contains images that may be upsetting to some readers.

Russia is warning the U.S. against any “military intervention” in Syria over the government's alleged chemical attack against civilians this weekend, saying any such response would be “unacceptable” and lead to the “most serious consequences”.


The foreign ministry in Moscow also says in a statement on its website that allegations of the chemical attack are “fabricated,” suggesting the claims were invented by rebel forces and the Syrian Civil Defense known as the White Helmets.

“It is necessary to warn again that military intervention under invented and fabricated pretexts in Syria, where at the request of the lawful government there are Russian military personnel, is absolutely unacceptable and can lead to the most serious consequences,” the statement reads. “The aim of these false speculations, that have no basis, is to shield the terrorists and the irreconcilable radical opposition, who reject a political solution, at the same time while trying to justify possible armed strikes from outside.”

The alleged attack on Saturday killed 40 in the rebel-held town of Douma, multiple opposition and rescue groups including told The Associated Press, which was unable to independently verify the reports.

It came a year and a day after President Donald Trump ordered dozens of strikes on a Syrian regime air base for its alleged use of sarin gas on April 4, 2017, that killed approximately 100 people, according to the the State Department. More than 30 of the victims were children. The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied carrying out the attack.

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PHOTO: This image released early Sunday, April 8, 2018 by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, shows a child receiving oxygen through respirators following an alleged poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma, near Damascus, Syria.Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP
This image released early Sunday, April 8, 2018 by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, shows a child receiving oxygen through respirators following an alleged poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma, near Damascus, Syria.more +
President Donald Trump meanwhile blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin and the government of Iran for backing Assad, whom Trump dubbed "Animal Assad," in the country's years-long civil war.


Trump on Twitter called it a “mindless CHEMICAL attack” and blamed "President Putin, Russia and Iran" for backing the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.




The State Department, while unable to confirm reports of chemical weapon use Saturday, called the alleged attack "horrifying."

"Reports from a number of contacts and medical personnel on the ground indicate a potentially high number of casualties, including among families hiding in shelters," Nauert said in a release. "These reports, if confirmed, are horrifying and demand an immediate response by the international community."

The United Nations also weighed in, saying that the alleged use of chemical weapons if true is "abhorrent."

"The Secretary-General is particularly alarmed by allegations that chemical weapons have been used against civilian populations in Douma," a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. "While the United Nations is not in a position to verify these reports, the Secretary-General notes that any use of chemical weapons, if confirmed, is abhorrent, and requires a thorough investigation."

"It is critical that civilians be protected," the statement from spokesman Stephane Durjarric said. "There has also been shelling on Damascus city, reportedly killing civilians."

This photo released by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows smoke rising after Syrian government airstrikes hit in the town of Douma, in Syria, Saturday, April. 7, 2018. AP
This photo released by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows smoke rising after Syrian government airstrikes hit in the town of Douma, in Syria, Saturday, April. 7, 2018. more +
What's changed 1 year after US missile strikes in Syria
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The Syrian government has always denied using chemical weapons against opposition forces or civilians.

But a U.N. war-crimes investigation found the Assad regime was responsible for the attack last year in Khan Sheikhoun.

The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria found in September that Syrian government warplanes dropped a sarin bomb in that attack and that Syrian government forces have carried out more than two dozen chemical attacks in the course of the country's civil war.

Human Rights Watch has estimated the Syrian government has committed “at least five more chemical weapons attacks” since April 2017 when Trump ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles fired on a Syrian airbase. The missiles were fired after the U.S. said a year ago that Assad was responsible for a sarin gas attack on the area of Khan Sheikhoun in northwestern Syria, which killed over 100 people.

Russia’s military, which has supported Assad, denied the Syrian army is behind the chemical attack in Douma in Eastern Ghouta on Sunday and accused Western countries of trying to use the alleged attack for their own ends.

"We decisively deny that information,” the head of Russia’s Reconciliation Center in Syria, Major Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko, told Interfax, referring to allegations that the chemical attack was caused by a chlorine bomb dropped by pro-Assad forces.

Yevtushenko said that after Douma has been retaken by the government, Russia is ready to immediately send its own chemical weapons experts in to “collect data that will confirm the fabricated character” of the allegations.

PHOTO: An image grab taken from a video released by the Syrian civil defense in Douma shows an unidentified volunteer holding an oxygen mask over a childs face at a hospital following a reported chemical attack on the rebel-held town, April 8, 2018.AFP/HO/Syria Civil Defense/Getty Images
An image grab taken from a video released by the Syrian civil defense in Douma shows an unidentified volunteer holding an oxygen mask over a child's face at a hospital following a reported chemical attack on the rebel-held town, April 8, 2018.more +
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrians gathered next to a bunt car hit by a shelling by members of the Army of Islam rebel group at Rabwa neighborhood in Damascus, Syria, Friday, April 6, 2018. Syrian state TV saidThe Associated Press
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrians gathered next to a bunt car hit by a shelling by members of the Army of Islam rebel group at Rabwa neighborhood in Damascus, Syria, Friday, April 6, 2018. Syrian state TV saidmore +
“We express our readiness, after the liberation of Douma from militants, to immediately send Russian specialists in radiological, chemical and biological protection for the collection of data, that will confirm the fabricated character of these statements,” Yevtushenko said.

Yevtushenko then accused “a range of Western countries” of using the allegations of the attack to try to hinder the Russian-Syrian operation to pull out militants from Douma.

“For that, that theme beloved by the West, the use of chemical weapons by the armed forces of Syrian Arab Republic, is being used,” Yevtushenko told Interfax. He also said the allegations were being made by groups like the White Helmets, which he accused of “being widely known for their fake news.”

The U.S., meanwhile, has supported Kurdish and Arab forces on the other side of the country as they attempt to eradicate ISIS forces from the country.

FILE - This Feb. 2, 2018 file photo provided by the Syrian rebel group Army of Islam, shows a fighter with the Army of Islam rebel group, firing a weapon during clashes with government forces in Housh al-Dhawahira in the eastern Ghouta region near DaThe Associated Press
FILE - This Feb. 2, 2018 file photo provided by the Syrian rebel group Army of Islam, shows a fighter with the Army of Islam rebel group, firing a weapon during clashes with government forces in Housh al-Dhawahira in the eastern Ghouta region near Damore +
It was less than a week ago that Trump announced during a rally in Ohio that he planned to get U.S. troops out of Syria "very soon." The timing of the comment caught even senior officials off-guard, a senior administration official and a U.S. official familiar with the matter told ABC News. He repeated that he wanted the U.S. military out of the country in a press conference on Tuesday.

"It's time. We were successful against ISIS," Trump said. "We'll be successful against anybody militarily, but sometimes it's time to come back home — and we're thinking about that very seriously."

The White House walked back those claims a little on Wednesday, with press secretary Sarah Sanders telling reporters the president isn't going "to put an arbitrary timeline" on withdrawal.

ABC News' Elizabeth McLaughlin and Justin Fishel contributed to this report.


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Trump calls raid on his personal lawyer's home and offices 'a disgrace'
By JUSTIN FISHEL ALEXANDER MALLIN
Apr 9, 2018, 8:04 PM ET
Email
PHOTO: President Donald Trumps personal attorney Michael Cohen appears in front of members of the media after a closed door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Sept. 19, 2017.PlayAndrew Harnik/AP, FILE
WATCH Trump calls raid on his personal lawyer's home and offices 'a disgrace'
President Donald Trump Monday reacted angrily to news that the FBI has raided the offices of his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, calling it a "disgraceful situation" and "a total witch hunt."

At a meeting Monday evening with senior military leadership at the White House, Trump described the raid as a break-in.

"I just heard they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys - a good man," he said.

Trump called the raid "an attack on our country, in a true sense. It's an attack on what we all stand for."

"That is really now on a whole new level of unfairness," Trump said.

The story about the raid on Cohen's home and offices was first reported by the New York Times just hours before the meeting, where it was expected that Trump would focus any remarks on the situation in Syria.

Trump lamented to reporters that "here we are talking about Syria and I have this witch hunt constantly going on."

Following his extensive complaints about the Russia investigation, reporters in the meeting asked the president why he wouldn't just take the next step and fire special counsel Robert Mueller, a step Republicans have repeatedly warned Trump against taking.

Trump didn't rule out the idea.

"Why don't I just fire Mueller? Well, I think it's a disgrace what's going on. We'll see what happens," Trump said. "Many people have said you should fire him."

Unprompted, Trump railed against Mueller's investigative team, saying it's made up of the "most biased group of people."

"These people have the biggest conflicts of interest I've ever seen," Trump said. "Democrats all or just about all. Either Democrats or a couple Republicans that worked for President Obama. They are not looking at the other side."

When asked if he is concerned about what federal investigators might find in the raid, the president responded sharply: “No.”

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer warned Trump not to fire Mueller.

“If the president is thinking of using this raid to fire Special Counsel Mueller or otherwise interfere with the chain of command in the Russia probe, we Democrats have one simple message for him: don’t.”

_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al Nusra, White Helmets plotting chemical weapons attack in Syria, military warns
http://tass.com/world/989799/amp
World February 13, 14:48
According to the Russian Center for Reconciliation, a chemical weapons attack in Syria's Idlib is being prepared

HMEYMIM /Syria/, February 13. /TASS/.The Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria has received a phone call warning about a chemical weapons attack plot in Idlib being hatched by the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group (outlawed in Russia) together with the White Helmets organization, the Center said in a statement.
"On the evening of February 12, a resident from the Serakab settlement located in the Idlib province called the Russian Center for Reconciliaition to notify (the center) about a chemical weapons attack that could be staged to provide footage for a foreign TV channel," the statement reads. "The caller said that earlier on February 12, Jabhat al-Nusra members travelling in three cars had brought more than 20 chlorine gas cylinders and personal protective equipment to Serakab," the Center added.
"According to the caller, members of the local While Helmets branch wore personal protective equipment while rehearsing first aid provision to civilians suffering from chemical poisoning," the Russian Center said.

"All this shows that the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and White Helmets members have been working on preparations to stage a chemical attack meaning to blame it on the Syrian government," the Russian military said.
"The caller pointed out that all the proceedings had been filmed by professional reporters who used a mic with the CNN logo, while commenting on the actions being taken by the White Helmets," the statement said, adding that in between takes, the reporters had consulted with some people over a satellite telephone in English.
The Russian Center added that "the information provided by the Idlib province resident raises serious concern."

_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russia Tells US Not To Attack Syria – Or Else…
By Inessa Sinchougova On Apr 10, 2018
https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/russia-tells-us-not-to-attack-syria- or-else/

The United States of America can expect “serious consequences” if Washington strikes a blow against the Syrian government troops. Such a statement was made by Russia’s permanent representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzia.

The US leadership is considering an attack on Syrian territory in response in an alleged chemical attack in the city of the Douma. The diplomat recalled that Russian experts on radiological, chemical and biological protection found no signs of a chemical attack. A reminder, that President Putin warned of a chemical weapon provocation in Syria a number of days ago.

RevContent InArticle SOLO
“We have repeatedly warned the American side about the possible negative consequences of their use of weapons against the legitimate Syrian government, and especially if the use of these weapons – God forbid, of course – affect our military, who are lawfully in Syria,” Nebenzia said.

According to him, Western politicians need to “moderate their hawkish rhetoric” and stop challenging global security. He also stressed that Western leaders were not obliged to perform the role of world gendarmes.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump announced plans to strike at Syria in around two days time.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott Bennett wrote:
Funny how on the very day John Bolton starts work as NSA, Trump's lawyer gets raided, and the entire establishment demands Syrian war based on "chemical attacks" blamed on Assad.

I must say this seems to be one of the best shows Tucker has done, because he seems to be at his wits end and sick and tired of enduring the witless, arrogant, blind stupidity and deceitfulness of the establishment politicians--like this inbred bumpkin who had the treason to say as the first words out of his mouth, "Well if you care about Israel, you will care about Syria, etc..."

Then had the mendacity to try and insinuate Tucker was a Putin apologist of some degree because he questioned the honesty and accuracy of the claims of the chemical attacks last year and this past Saturday--which interestingly occurred about a year apart to the day.

The truth is as follows: 1) no chemical attack was executed by Syrian President Assad, but most likely was performed by DAESH/ISIS Israeli-Saudi mercenaries as a "false flag" against Syria. This is apparent from the earlier intelligence of 40 tons of chlorine being found in Gouta a few weeks ago, which indicated the rebels/terrorists were planning such an attack; 2) the Israeli air strike would have been coordinated with US intelligence; 3) the air strike was a declaration of War upon Syria by Israel, and legally is a war crime and should be prosecuted as such; 4) the goading of President Trump to bomb Syria by the Israelis is an attempt to manipulate Americans using "Christian Zionism impulses" into committing to fight another Iraq war using American lives, in an illegal war Congress has not declared, and could also be used to create a political trap to impeach Trump; 5) Democrats are pushing Trump to continue "regime change" in Syria, along with Lindsay "man-boy love" Graham, in order to abandon the "border wall" focus--which frees up democrats to continue their invasion and attempt to redefine the American voter population through illegal laws in CA; 6) War in Syria will result in Russia-Iran countering using military means, which will open the door for America to expand a larger conflict in Ukraine and Iran; 7) Russian countermeasures will trigger more sanctions and attempt to unify NATO into a larger posture of hostility against Russia.

What the major miscalculation will be is that when the needle goes from "yellow to red", and DefCon 2 goes to 1, at that moment Russia will follow its instincts developed from hundreds of years of enduring Napoleon, the Kaiser, Hitler, and the West, and "pull the visor down" and lunge forward with a ferocity Americans have never experienced, using weaponry American defenses cannot defeat. This of course will result in devestating military losses (Navy ships, aircraft), and mobilize China and Iran to liberate Syria and contain Israel, and hopefully capture Netanyahu and prosecute him for starting a war....ending him like Hitler, ironically enough. If Trump is not careful, the very same may apply to him. Time will tell.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skripal, Syria & the long tradition of British govt. misinformation - Prof. David Miller, Bath Uni

Link

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Fq_VxBMNcuA

Sociology Professor David Miller, Bath University
Skripal case – Russia, Novichok, Syria and the long tradition of
British government misinformation - words & phrases 'a suspect
car bomb' or 'of a type developed by Russia' which are 'terms of
art' used to distract from the truth, to deceive politicians, press
& public. 'Putin (probably) behind death of Alexander
Litvinenko', 'Novichok (probably) made by a state actor'
– 3,500 'communications professionals' within government,
press officers, advisers, spin doctors
- Thompson Reuters' 'World-Check' database of 'terrorists' used
to smear Islamic and anti-war activists
- GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG)
churning out fake social media and news at taxpayers expense
- Russia warned of staged chemical weapons attack in Douma
- Lebanon/Syria report British special forces captured in Douma
- Douma's Jaish Al Islam used chemical weapons two years ago
thisweek.org.uk Fri 13 April 2018
Prof. David Miller, Martin Summers, Tony Gosling

Gen. Jonathan Shaw vs Sky News model Samantha Washington - INTERRUPTED!

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZzUGHvj-Hc

TV news interview with former army officer cut short as he questions whether Syria launched chemical attack
People have asked whether Major General Jonathan Shaw was censored for questioning the idea that Assad launched the attack. Here's what happened
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tv-news-interview-former-army-1 2358938

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www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
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www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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Last edited by TonyGosling on Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:39 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The British Government’s Legal Justification for Bombing is Entirely False and Without Merit
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/04/the-british-government s-legal-justification-for-bombing-is-entirely-false-and-without-merit/
15 Apr, 2018 in Uncategorized by craig
Theresa May has issued a long legal justification for UK participation in an attack on a sovereign state. This is so flawed as to be totally worthless. It specifically claims as customary international law practices which are rejected by a large majority of states and therefore cannot be customary international law. It is therefore secondary and of no consequence that the facts and interpretations the argument cites in this particular case are erroneous, but it so happens they are indeed absolutely erroneous.

Let me put before you the government’s legal case in full:

1.This is the Government’s position on the legality of UK military action to alleviate the extreme humanitarian suffering of the Syrian people by degrading the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability and deterring their further use, following the chemical weapons attack in Douma on 7 April 2018.
2.The Syrian regime has been killing its own people for seven years. Its use of chemical weapons, which has exacerbated the human suffering, is a serious crime of international concern, as a breach of the customary international law prohibition on the use of chemical weapons, and amounts to a war crime and a crime against humanity.
3.The UK is permitted under international law, on an exceptional basis, to take measures in order to alleviate overwhelming humanitarian suffering. The legal basis for the use of force is humanitarian intervention, which requires three conditions to be met:
(i) there is convincing evidence, generally accepted by the international community as a whole, of extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale, requiring immediate and urgent relief;
(ii) it must be objectively clear that there is no practicable alternative to the use of force if lives are to be saved; and
(iii) the proposed use of force must be necessary and proportionate to the aim of relief of humanitarian suffering and must be strictly limited in time and in scope to this aim (i.e. the minimum necessary to achieve that end and for no other purpose).
4.The UK considers that military action met the requirements of humanitarian intervention in the circumstances of the present case:
(i) The Syrian regime has been using chemical weapons since 2013. The attack in Eastern Damascus on 21 August 2013 left over 800 people dead. The Syrian regime failed to implement its commitment in 2013 to ensure the destruction of its chemical weapons capability. The chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017 killed approximately 80 people and left hundreds more injured. The recent attack in Douma has killed up to 75 people, and injured over 500 people. Over 400,000 people have now died over the course of the conflict in Syria, the vast majority civilians. Over half of the Syrian population has been displaced, with over 13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. The repeated, lethal use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity. On the basis of what we know about the Syrian regime’s pattern of use of chemical weapons to date, it was highly likely that the regime would seek to use chemical weapons again, leading to further suffering and loss of civilian life as well as the continued displacement of the civilian population.
(ii) Actions by the UK and its international partners to alleviate the humanitarian suffering caused by the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime at the UN Security Council have been repeatedly blocked by the regime’s and its allies’ disregard for international norms, including the international law prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. This last week, Russia vetoed yet another resolution in the Security Council, thwarting the establishment of an impartial investigative mechanism. Since 2013, neither diplomatic action, tough sanctions, nor the US strikes against the Shayrat airbase in April 2017 have sufficiently degraded Syrian chemical weapons capability or deterred the Syrian regime from causing extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale through its persistent use of chemical weapons. There was no practicable alternative to the truly exceptional use of force to degrade the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their further use by the Syrian regime in order to alleviate humanitarian suffering.
(iii) In these circumstances, and as an exceptional measure on grounds of overwhelming humanitarian necessity, military intervention to strike carefully considered, specifically identified targets in order effectively to alleviate humanitarian distress by degrading the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability and deterring further chemical weapons attacks was necessary and proportionate and therefore legally justifiable. Such an intervention was directed exclusively to averting a humanitarian catastrophe caused by the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons, and the action was the minimum judged necessary for that purpose.
14 April 2018
The first thing to note is that this “legal argument” cites no authority. It does not quote the UN Charter, any Security Council Resolution or any international treaty or agreement of any kind which justifies this action. This is because there is absolutely nothing which can be quoted – all the relevant texts say that an attack on another state is illegal without authorisation of the UN Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

Nor does the government quote any judgement of the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court or any other international legal authority. This is important because rather than any treatment, the government makes a specific claim its actions are justified by customary international law, which means accepted state practice. But the existence of such state practice is usually proven through existing court judgements, and there are no judgements that endorse the approach taken by the government in its argument.

The three “tests” set out under para 3 as to what is permitted under international law are not in fact a statement of anything other than the UK’s own position. These “tests” are specifically quoted by Ola Engdahl in Bailliet and Larsen (ed) “Promoting Peace Through International Law” (Oxford University Press 2015). Engdahl notes:

The UK position, that it is permitted to take coercive action under a doctrine of humanitarian intervention when certain conditions are met, is a minority view and does not reflect lex data on the prohibition of the use of force in international relations as expressed in article 2(4) of the UN Charter.
That is undeniably true, and as it is equally undeniably true that a minority view cannot be customary international law, the British government position is utterly devoid of merit.

The Government argument is a classic statement of the doctrine of “liberal intervention”, which is of course the mantra adopted by neo-conservatives over the last 30 years to justify resource grabs. It is not in any way accepted as customary international law. It is a doctrine opposed by a very large number of states, and certainly by the great majority of African, South American and Asian states. (African states have occasionally advocated the idea that UN Security Council authorisation may be replaced by the endorsement of a UN recognised regional authority such as ECOWAS or the African Union. This was the Nigerian position over Liberia 20 years ago. The Security Council authorised ECOWAS action anyway, so no discord arose. The current Nigerian government does not support intervention without security council authorisation).

The examples of “liberal intervention” most commonly used by its advocates are Sierra Leone and Libya. My book “The Catholic Orangemen of Togo” details my experiences as UK Representative at the Sierra Leone peace talks, and I hope will convince you that the accepted story of that war is a lie. Libya too has been a disaster, and it is not a precedent for the government’s legal argument as the western forces employed were operating under cover of a UN Security Council Resolution authorising force, albeit only to enforce a no fly zone.

In fact, if the British government were to offer examples of state practice to attempt to prove that the doctrine it outlines is indeed customary international law, the most appropriate recent examples are Russian military intervention in Ukraine and Georgia. I oppose those Russian interventions as I oppose the UK/US/French actions now. It is not a question of “sides” it is a question of the illegality of military action against other states.

The rest of the government’s argument is entirely hypothetical, because as the liberal intervention doctrine is not customary international law these arguments cannot justify intervention.

But the evidence that Assad used chemical weapons against Douma is non-existent, and the OPCW did not conclude that the Assad government was responsible for the attack on Khan Sheikhoun. There is no evidence whatsoever that military action was urgently required to avert another such “immediate” attack. Nor is it true that the UK’s analysis of the situation is “generally accepted” by the international community, as witness China and Russia voting together in the Security Council yesterday to condemn the attack.

So the British government sets up its own “three tests” which have no legal standing and are entirely a British concoction, yet still manages to fail them.


April 15, 2018 at 12:37
Quite a Parliamentary week ahead for May and the Conservative party to fight their rearguard action for popularity with local elections due on May 3.

May statement on Syria tomorrow (Mon).

Renewed “Labour antisemitism” debate opportunity for Corbyn critics of all parties.

PMQs on Wednesday with the usual no-answer routine from May.

https://calendar.parliament.uk/calendar/Commons/All/2018/4/16/Daily

Not so good for the Tories after the local elections with the opening of the election corruption trial of MP Craig Mackinlay and other May associates:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/15/date-set-for-conservat ive-mp-craig-mackinlay-trial-over-election-expenses

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Former Naval chief: Syria chemical attack 'could be propaganda'
http://talkradio.co.uk/news/former-naval-chief-syria-chemical-attack-c ould-be-propaganda-18041325517

The west has blamed President Assad for the attacks

By Nick Moore - @nick_moore
Friday, April 13, 2018

Retired senior Naval Officer Lord Alan West has questioned whether the chemical attack in Syria was the work of President Assad’s troops.

“We need unequivocal proof that this attack was done by Assad’s forces – I’m not at all convinced at the moment,” he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

“All of the reports are coming from people like the White Helmets, who have a history of doing propaganda for the opposition forces in Syria. The WHO reports are coming from doctors who are also part of the opposition.

“If I’d been advising the opposition, I’d have said ‘get a barrel of chlorine, at some stage there will be bombs dropped on you – blow it up and we can blame them, because what we really want is the allies coming in’.”

Lord West added that if proof is provided: “we do need to be part of a coalition,” but that we should wait for evidence.


Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Pnkh7zHmsg

Read more at http://talkradio.co.uk/news/former-naval-chief-syria-chemical-attack-c ould-be-propaganda-18041325517

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

‘Episode #229 – ‘War by Way of Deception’ with Vanessa Beeley, Piers Robinson’:
http://21stcenturywire.com/2018/04/15/episode-229-war-by-way-of-decept ion-in-syria-with-vanessa-beeley-piers-robinson/

Around 36.20 of this audio, evidence of a doctor from the hospital who says there were no patients with CW symptoms, just smoke inhalation. Vanessa Beeley, who was in Damascus in the latest cruise missile attack, also explains how previous CW hoaxes have been carried out.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Terrorist capabilities laid bare in an Eastern Ghouta chemical lab':
http://www.syriasolidaritymovement.org/2018/03/16/terrorist-capabiliti es-laid-bare-in-an-eastern-ghouta-chemical-lab/

'....This week, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) liberated some Eastern Ghouta farmlands between Shifouniyeh and Douma and discovered a well-equipped chemical laboratory run by Saudi-backed Islamist terrorists. Not a single Western reporter showed up to investigate the facility.

The media disinterest is strange, given that US officials appear poised to green-light military attacks against Syria, which they claim has used chemical weapons (CW) against civilian populations. This charge remains unproven and highly contentious, with other parties arguing that anti-government militants are employing CW munitions to provoke a US military intervention against Syria.

So perhaps it’s not so strange that a chemical lab discovered right at the epicenter of a major strategic battle over Syria is being ignored by one side. In the end, it is likely that only one side is right about who is using CWs in Syria. Which is why one side went silent when this lab was revealed.

The chemical facility lies only a few dozen meters away from the current military frontline and was liberated as recently as Monday. The lab is surrounded by farmlands – the last place one would expect to find this stash. I see fields of wheat, green peas, beans and chickpeas scattered liberally in a conflict area Western media dubs a “starvation siege.” The building itself is shell-pocked and littered with debris, like so many of the structures I pass in Shifouniyeh and other towns in Eastern Ghouta where war rages.

But the sight inside is astounding. Upper rooms packed with electronic hardware, basements outfitted with large boilers, shelves filled with chemical substances, corners heaving with blue and black canisters (reportedly containing chlorine), chemistry charts, books, beakers, vials, test tubes and all the paraphernalia familiar to the average student of science. And then, in several corners, piles of pipe-shaped projectiles – clear munitions of some sort.

There’s one real standout in an upper room of the facility. It’s a newish looking piece of equipment with “Hill-Rom Medaes Medplus Air Plant” written on its front. A cursory Google search pulls up several interesting facts immediately – the machine is some kind of air or gas compressor, it’s a US-manufactured product, and Saudi Arabia put out tenders for this device in 2015....'

How odd - no MSM coverage!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ISIS Have Used Chemical Waepons at Least 52 Times in Syria and Iraq Says 2016 IHS Markit Conflict Monitor Report
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/world/middleeast/isis-chemical-weap ons-syria-iraq-mosul.html
https://nyti.ms/2lN7xCr

By ERIC SCHMITTNOV. 21, 2016

A cemetery on the outskirts of Gaziantep, Turkey. Grave No. 38487 holds the body of a 4-year-old girl who died of wounds she received when a shell containing sulfur mustard agent hit her home in Marea, Syria. Credit Bryan Denton for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Islamic State has used chemical weapons, including chlorine and sulfur mustard agents, at least 52 times on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq since it swept to power in 2014, according to a new independent analysis.

More than one-third of those chemical attacks have come in and around Mosul, the Islamic State stronghold in northern Iraq, according to the assessment by the IHS Conflict Monitor, a London-based intelligence collection and analysis service.

The IHS conclusions, which are based on local news reports, social media and Islamic State propaganda, mark the broadest compilation of chemical attacks in the conflict. American and Iraqi military officials have expressed growing alarm over the prospect of additional chemical attacks as the allies press to regain both Mosul and Raqqa, the Islamic State capital in Syria.

“The coalition is concerned about ISIL’s use of chemical weapons,” Col. John Dorrian, a military spokesman in Iraq, said in an email on Monday, using another name for the Islamic State. “ISIL has used them in Iraq and Syria in the past, and we expect them to continue employing these types of weapons.”

Colonel Dorrian said that the Islamic State’s ability to use chemical weapons is “rudimentary,” and that American, Iraqi and other allied troops are equipped to deal with the impact of these chemical attacks — typically rockets, mortar shells or artillery shells filled with chemical agents. The effects of these chemical munitions thus far have been limited to the immediate area where they land.

Continue reading the main story
RELATED COVERAGE

Shell Fired by ISIS at U.S. and Iraqi Troops May Have Contained Chemical Agent SEPT. 21, 2016

Syria Used Chlorine in Bombs Against Civilians, Report Says AUG. 24, 2016

ISIS Detainee’s Information Led to 2 U.S. Airstrikes, Officials Say MARCH 9, 2016

The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons OCT. 14, 2014
The IHS assessment is to be made public on Tuesday. The New York Times obtained an advance copy of the assessment and the location of the 52 reported chemical attacks. The analysis did not break down the cases by type of chemical attack.

In an effort to blunt the Islamic State’s ability to make the weapons, the American-led air campaign has bombed militants associated with overseeing their production and the facilities where chemical ordnance is manufactured. In September, for instance, allied warplanes attacked a converted pharmaceutical factory in northern Iraq thought to have been a chemical weapons production facility.

As Iraqi forces now advance into Mosul, analysts warned that the Islamic State could unleash more chemical attacks as they cede control. Iraqi forces have reclaimed about one-third of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.

“As the Islamic State loses ground around Mosul, there is a high risk of the group using chemical weapons to slow down and demoralize advancing enemy forces.” said Columb Strack, a senior analyst and the head of the IHS Conflict Monitor. “And to potentially make an example of — and take revenge on — civilian dissidents within the city.”

At least 19 of the 52 chemical attacks have taken place in and around Mosul, according to the IHS data, but the assessment noted a decline in attacks before the Iraqi-led offensive against the city.

“Mosul was at the center of the Islamic State’s chemical weapons production,” Mr. Strack said. “But most of the equipment and experts were probably evacuated to Syria in the weeks and months leading up to the Mosul offensive, along with convoys of other senior members and their families.”

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The Islamic State is not the only actor in Syria to carry out chemical weapons’ strikes: The Syrian government has conducted many more such attacks.

Syrian military helicopters dropped bombs containing chlorine on civilians in at least two attacks over the past two years, a special joint investigation of the United Nations and an international chemical weapons monitor said in August.

Beginning last year, American officials confirmed the first instances of the Islamic State using sulfur mustard, a chemical warfare agent, and the presence of the mustard gas on fragments of ordnance used in attacks by the group in Syria and Iraq. Laboratory tests, which were also performed on scraps of clothing from victims, showed the presence of a partly degraded form of distilled sulfur mustard, an internationally banned substance that burns a victim’s skin, breathing passages and eyes.

Chemical warfare agents, broadly condemned and banned by most nations under international convention, are indiscriminate. They are also difficult to defend against without specialized equipment, which many of the Islamic State’s foes in Iraq and Syria lack. The chemical agents are worrisome as potential terrorist weapons, even though chlorine and blister agents are typically less lethal than bullets, shrapnel or explosives.

It was unclear how the Islamic State had obtained sulfur mustard, a banned substance with a narrow chemical warfare application. Both the former Hussein government in Iraq and the current government in Syria at one point possessed chemical warfare programs.

Chlorine is commercially available as an industrial chemical and has been used occasionally by bomb makers from Sunni militant groups in Iraq for about a decade. But it is not known how the Islamic State would have obtained sulfur mustard, the officials said.

Abandoned and aging chemical munitions produced by Iraq during its war against Iran in the 1980s were used in roadside bombs against American forces during the occupation that followed the 2003 American invasion of Iraq. But American officials have said the types of ordnance that have been publicly disclosed so far have not matched known chemical ordnance in the former Iraqi inventory.

The attacks have been geographically scattered and have varied in their delivery systems, suggesting that the Islamic State had access to, and was experimenting with, different types of rockets and shells configured to carry chemical warfare agents or toxic industrial chemicals.

One theory is that the militants were manufacturing a crude mustard agent themselves, American officials say. Another theory is that the Islamic State acquired sulfur mustard from undeclared stocks in Syria, either through capture or by purchasing it from corrupt officials, although this theory is not widely held by American analysts.

Follow Eric Schmitt on Twitter @EricSchmittNYT.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-r obert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html

Exclusive: Robert Fisk visits the Syria clinic at the centre of a global crisis
Robert Fisk Douma, Syria
@indyvoices
4 hours ago
656 comments
This is the story of a town called Douma, a ravaged, stinking place of smashed apartment blocks – and of an underground clinic whose images of suffering allowed three of the Western world’s most powerful nations to bomb Syria last week. There’s even a friendly doctor in a green coat who, when I track him down in the very same clinic, cheerfully tells me that the “gas” videotape which horrified the world – despite all the doubters – is perfectly genuine.

War stories, however, have a habit of growing darker. For the same 58-year old senior Syrian doctor then adds something profoundly uncomfortable: the patients, he says, were overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived, on a night of wind and heavy shelling that stirred up a dust storm.

As Dr Assim Rahaibani announces this extraordinary conclusion, it is worth observing that he is by his own admission not an eyewitness himself and, as he speaks good English, he refers twice to the jihadi gunmen of Jaish el-Islam [the Army of Islam] in Douma as “terrorists” – the regime’s word for their enemies, and a term used by many people across Syria. Am I hearing this right? Which version of events are we to believe?


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By bad luck, too, the doctors who were on duty that night on 7 April were all in Damascus giving evidence to a chemical weapons enquiry, which will be attempting to provide a definitive answer to that question in the coming weeks.

France, meanwhile, has said it has “proof” chemical weapons were used, and US media have quoted sources saying urine and blood tests showed this too. The WHO has said its partners on the ground treated 500 patients “exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals”.

At the same time, inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are currently blocked from coming here to the site of the alleged gas attack themselves, ostensibly because they lacked the correct UN permits.

Before we go any further, readers should be aware that this is not the only story in Douma. There are the many people I talked to amid the ruins of the town who said they had “never believed in” gas stories – which were usually put about, they claimed, by the armed Islamist groups. These particular jihadis survived under a blizzard of shellfire by living in other’s people’s homes and in vast, wide tunnels with underground roads carved through the living rock by prisoners with pick-axes on three levels beneath the town. I walked through three of them yesterday, vast corridors of living rock which still contained Russian – yes, Russian – rockets and burned-out cars.


Douma chemical attack: Syria war in pictures
13show all

So the story of Douma is thus not just a story of gas – or no gas, as the case may be. It’s about thousands of people who did not opt for evacuation from Douma on buses that left last week, alongside the gunmen with whom they had to live like troglodytes for months in order to survive. I walked across this town quite freely yesterday without soldier, policeman or minder to haunt my footsteps, just two Syrian friends, a camera and a notebook. I sometimes had to clamber across 20-foot-high ramparts, up and down almost sheer walls of earth. Happy to see foreigners among them, happier still that the siege is finally over, they are mostly smiling; those whose faces you can see, of course, because a surprising number of Douma’s women wear full-length black hijab.

I first drove into Douma as part of an escorted convoy of journalists. But once a boring general had announced outside a wrecked council house “I have no information” – that most helpful rubbish-dump of Arab officialdom – I just walked away. Several other reporters, mostly Syrian, did the same. Even a group of Russian journalists – all in military attire – drifted off.

It was a short walk to Dr Rahaibani. From the door of his subterranean clinic – “Point 200”, it is called, in the weird geology of this partly-underground city – is a corridor leading downhill where he showed me his lowly hospital and the few beds where a small girl was crying as nurses treated a cut above her eye.

“I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night – but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a “White Helmet”, shouted “Gas!”, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning.”

Oddly, after chatting to more than 20 people, I couldn’t find one who showed the slightest interest in Douma’s role in bringing about the Western air attacks. Two actually told me they didn’t know about the connection.

But it was a strange world I walked into. Two men, Hussam and Nazir Abu Aishe, said they were unaware how many people had been killed in Douma, although the latter admitted he had a cousin “executed by Jaish el-Islam [the Army of Islam] for allegedly being “close to the regime”. They shrugged when I asked about the 43 people said to have died in the infamous Douma attack.

The White Helmets – the medical first responders already legendary in the West but with some interesting corners to their own story – played a familiar role during the battles. They are partly funded by the Foreign Office and most of the local offices were staffed by Douma men. I found their wrecked offices not far from Dr Rahaibani’s clinic. A gas mask had been left outside a food container with one eye-piece pierced and a pile of dirty military camouflage uniforms lay inside one room. Planted, I asked myself? I doubt it. The place was heaped with capsules, broken medical equipment and files, bedding and mattresses.

Of course we must hear their side of the story, but it will not happen here: a woman told us that every member of the White Helmets in Douma abandoned their main headquarters and chose to take the government-organised and Russian-protected buses to the rebel province of Idlib with the armed groups when the final truce was agreed.

There were food stalls open and a patrol of Russian military policemen – a now optional extra for every Syrian ceasefire – and no-one had even bothered to storm into the forbidding Islamist prison near Martyr’s Square where victims were supposedly beheaded in the basements. The town’s complement of Syrian interior ministry civilian police – who eerily wear military clothes – are watched over by the Russians who may or may not be watched by the civilians. Again, my earnest questions about gas were met with what seemed genuine perplexity.

How could it be that Douma refugees who had reached camps in Turkey were already describing a gas attack which no-one in Douma today seemed to recall? It did occur to me, once I was walking for more than a mile through these wretched prisoner-groined tunnels, that the citizens of Douma lived so isolated from each other for so long that “news” in our sense of the word simply had no meaning to them. Syria doesn’t cut it as Jeffersonian democracy – as I cynically like to tell my Arab colleagues – and it is indeed a ruthless dictatorship, but that couldn’t cow these people, happy to see foreigners among them, from reacting with a few words of truth. So what were they telling me?

They talked about the Islamists under whom they had lived. They talked about how the armed groups had stolen civilian homes to avoid the Syrian government and Russian bombing. The Jaish el-Islam had burned their offices before they left, but the massive buildings inside the security zones they created had almost all been sandwiched to the ground by air strikes. A Syrian colonel I came across behind one of these buildings asked if I wanted to see how deep the tunnels were. I stopped after well over a mile when he cryptically observed that “this tunnel might reach as far as Britain”. Ah yes, Ms May, I remembered, whose air strikes had been so intimately connected to this place of tunnels and dust. And gas?

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