Skip to Content

Genl Mattis; Lieberman, Mattis

Pentagon chief ‘no longer doubts’ Syrian chemical weapons

Pentagon chief, general James Mattis says there is "no doubt" that Syrian government has chemical weapons.

Published: April 22, 2017, 11:01 am

    On April 21, 2017, the US Secretary of Defense, Mattis said, alongside his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman, that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad still had a significant amount of chemical weapons.

    “There can be no doubt in the international community’s mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all. There is no longer any doubt,” Mattis told reporters during his tour of the Middle East. Mattis did not provide any evidence to back up his claim.

    Mattis sounded very much like Dick Cheney, on August 27, 2002, when Cheney declared falsely: “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”

    A UN commission on Syria has not come to the same conclusion as general Mattis, and maintains that there could be various sources of “chemical agent release” in Idlib.

    The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, investigating allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity, says it cannot yet say for certainty what the source of the gas allegedly used in Idlib really was. Citing eyewitnesses, experts and studied data, they said on Friday that “nerve gas” was released in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in April.

    “[It was] likely sarin or a sarin-like [substance],” the commission’s chair, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, told journalists during a Friday press briefing after having presented preliminary results of the investigation at a closed UN Security Council meeting.

    A White House assessment has claimed that it had evidence that “sarin” was used, but its assessment contains no evidence. The report actually includes a number of factually false statements, for example: “The World Health Organization stated on April 5 that its analysis of victims of the attack in Syria showed the had been exposed to nerve agents.” The WHO report from April 5 however stated no such thing. It only noted: “[S]erious reports of the use of highly toxic chemicals in an attack in Khan Shaykhun…” Thus the WHO made no analysis of its own, but only mentions “reports”.

    Immediately after the incident, bodies of the dead and wounded were brought to Turkey.Turkey’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear teams (KBRN) prepared an initial report over the possible material of the alleged chemical attack, relying on the symptoms of and tests conducted on the victims and their testimonies. The report stated that the initial findings of the tests conducted on around 30 victims brought to Turkey for treatment pointed to a chlorine gas attack, says researcher Ali Ornek.

    The Turkish government news agency Anadolu also mentioned only chlorine: “[W]arplanes carried out a chlorine gas attack in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, according to Syrian opposition Health Minister Firas Jundi.”

    The first OPCW statement on April 4 too referred to chlorine, not sarin. The OPCW is investigating the incident in southern Idlib under the on-going mandate of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), which is “to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic”.

    The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported: “Turkey sent a report to the United Nations just before a UN Security Council meeting to address accusations that the Syrian government staged a chemical weapons attack on April 4, stating that the gas used in the attack was chlorine gas.”

    Chlorine is not designated a chemical weapon under the chemical warfare regulations. The symptoms of chlorine ingestion and the effects of sarin exposure are quite different.

    The neuroscientist and neuro-pharmacologist Denis O’Brien, analyzed the symtoms of the casualties that were shown in the various videos made after the alleged attack. His detailed diagnostics and chemical-biological explanations are humorously titled Top Ten Ways to Tell When You’re Being Spoofed by a False-Flag Sarin Attack.

    O’Brian notes the total absence of feces, urine, vomit and cyanosis (turning blue) in the videos which sarin exposure causes, according to the CDC database. All of the videos and pictures of the incident were taken in al-Qaeda controlled territory, and all witnesses were under al-Qaeda control. They all confirmed “sarin” without the slightest proof.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Middle East

    Chemical lab discovered in Douma as Neocons push for war legislation

    On Friday, Russian broadcaster VGTRK released a video of an alleged chemical laboratory in Douma, suspected of belonging to militant group Jaish al-Islam, an Al Qaeda affiliate.

    Is lying becoming new US foreign policy?

    WashingtonThe neocons in both the Republican and Democratic parties, disappointed by the limited nature of President Trump’s recent airstrikes on three Syrian "chemical facilities", are calling for a permanent occupation under the friendly-sounding phrase “comprehensive strategy”.

    President Assad is well-liked in his country for the stability he brings

    DamascusMany anti-war activists, even those who are against bombing Syria, have described President Assad's rule as a "dictatorship" and his government as a "regime".

    Despite evidence of false flags, US and allies persist with lies

    According to the Swiss Institute for the Protection of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons, the poison collected in Salisbury by OPCW investigators in the Skripal case is "BZ".

    US, France and Britain launch joint aggression against Syria

    DamascusThe UK’s Defense Ministry confirmed that four tornado warplanes using Storm Shadow missiles targeted military bases located west of Homs, in contravention of the UN Charter.

    Lavrov: Russia has irrefutable proof that chemical attack was staged

    MoscowRussian Foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, told his Dutch counterpart, Stef Blok, that Russia has obtained firm evidence that the incident in Douma, Syria on April 7 was staged by the intelligence services of a foreign state in order to launch a "Russophobic campaign".

    Trump vows to bomb Syria – Russia threatens retaliation

    In a tweet today, United States President Donald Trump said that Russia vows to shoot down missiles targeting Syria and comments: “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming”. Military experts now talk about a situation more explosive than the Cuban Crisis of 1962. The geopolitical analyst Manuel Ochsenreiter tells FWM that the harsh rhetoric in any case has destroyed the diplomatic mechanisms that helped prevent escalation during the Cold War.

    Trackers show all civilian aircraft ceasing flights over Syria

    With war drums beating ever louder, the EU's air traffic control body, Eurocontrol, has issued a 72-hour Rapid Alert Notification to flight operators in the eastern Mediterranean - warning of possible rocket launches into Syria.

    Russian experts: Zero trace of chemical attack in Syria

    The Russian military has found zero trace of chemical weapons in Douma, the Syrian town which was allegedly targeted by an “attack”. Photos of victims posted by the White Helmets are fake, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry.

    Russia, Syria on red alert after Trump threatens war in tweets

    Both the Syrian and Russian air forces have been put on red alert after US President Donald Trump directly threatened Syria, Iran and Russia in a series of tweets.

    Go to archive