aside Why Would Assad Risk His Current Status With A Sarin Gas Attack?

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad (AP Photo/ Mikhail Klementiev, ITAR-TASS, Presidential Press Service )

I have been reading numerous reports by a few folks giving credence to Russia and Syria’s official’s denials of their orchestrating the 4/5/17 Sarin gas attack on innocent civilians with the use of this question, why would the Syrian President Bashar al Assad risk taking such an action, guaranteed to cause worldwide outrage when his diplomatic more secure position, is looking so rosy?

There is a persuasive answer to this question...

On 4/6/17 Anne Barnard of the New York Times penned the following article, “The Grim Logic Behind Syria’s Chemical Weapons Attack.”

“So why would Mr. Assad risk it all, outraging the world by attacking civilians with what Turkey now says was the nerve agent sarin, killing scores of people, many of them children? Why would he inflict the deadliest chemical strike since the 2013 attacks outside Damascus? Those attacks came close to bringing American military retaliation then. And in a stunningly swift reversal, Tuesday’s attack drew a response from President Trump: dozens of cruise missiles launched at a Syrian air base.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF ASSAD“One of the main defenses offered by Mr. Assad’s allies and supporters, in disputing that his forces carried out the strike on Tuesday, is that such an attack would be “a crazy move,” as one Iranian analyst, Mosib Na’imi, told the Russian state-run news site Sputnik. Yet, rather than an inexplicable act, analysts say, it is part of a carefully calculated strategy of escalating attacks against civilians.”

For years, at least since it began shelling neighborhoods with artillery in 2012, then bombing them from helicopters and later from jets, the Syrian government has adopted a policy of seeking total victory by making life as miserable as possible for anyone living in areas outside its control.”

“Government forces have been herding defeated opponents from across the country into Idlib Province, where the chemical attack occurred. Starved and bombed out of their enclaves, they are bused under lopsided surrender deals to the province, where Qaeda-linked groups maintain a presence the Syrian military uses as an excuse to bomb without regard for the safety of civilians.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF minister, Walid al-Moallem“Dr. Monzer Khalil, Idlib Province’s health director, said such extreme tactics aimed to demonstrate the government’s impunity and to demoralize its foes.”

“It makes us feel that we are defeated,” said Dr. Khalil, whose gums bled after he was exposed to scores of chemical victims on Tuesday. “The international community will stay gazing at what’s happening — and observing the explosive barrels falling and rockets bombing the civilians and the hospitals and the civil defense and killing children and medical staff — without doing anything.”

“Militarily, there is no need,” said Bente Scheller, the Middle East director of the Berlin-based Heinrich Böll Foundation. “But it spreads the message: You are at our mercy. Don’t ask for international law. You see, it doesn’t protect even a child.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF minister, Walid al-Moallem
Foreign-Minister-Walid-al-Moallem

“On Thursday, Syria’s foreign minister challenged accounts by witnesses, experts and world leaders that his government was involved. “I stress to you once again: The Syrian Army has not, did not and will not use this kind of weapons — not just against our own people, but even against the terrorists that attack our civilians with their mortar rounds,” the minister, Walid al-Moallem, said in Damascus.”

“But the denial, as well as a Russian assertion that a bomb hit a chemical weapons depot controlled by the rebels, seemed perfunctory, almost without regard to the facts, which Western governments said pointed to a Syrian government hand.”

“Critics of President Barack Obama, including President Trump, say that his decision not to enforce his “red line” on chemical attacks in 2013 convinced the Assad government it could get away with anything, and that it has been escalating its harsh tactics against civilians ever since.”

Image result for photos of sarin gas attack syria
Assad (R)

“Since that “green light,” wrote Jihad Yazigi, an opposition-leaning Syrian economist, “Assad knows that a large-scale attack against its civilians is a short-term public relations liability but a long-term political asset.”

“That was only reinforced, critics say, by recent statements by American officials that it was time to accept the “political reality” of Mr. Assad’s grip on power.”

“By showing it puts no limits on the tactics it uses, Mr. Yazigi wrote, “the regime shows to the world the West’s impotence and weakness.”

“Dr. Khalil, 35, fled his job at a state-run hospital in 2011. The Syrian uprising was in its early days, with largely peaceful protests that faced crackdowns from security forces. He said he was threatened with arrest for treating wounded protesters.”

Image result for photos of Idlib syria
Idlib

“In 2015, a mix of Qaeda-linked and other rebels, some supported by the United States and its allies, drove government forces from Idlib, the capital of Idlib Province. Dr. Khalil became the health director. The city then became a bombing target, and the Syrian government accused the Americans of backing the Qaeda-linked group, then called the Nusra Front.”

“We are aware that we are in this Qaeda trap,” Dr. Khalil said. “But in Idlib we have 2.2 million people, and how many Qaeda fighters? You cannot kill the two million for their sake.”

Image result for photos of trump tillerson hailey
Tillerson/ Haley

Image result for photos of Idlib syria“The fall of Idlib led to another turning point: Russia’s full-on entry into the conflict, adding its firepower to the Syrian government’s. Russia said it entered to fight the Islamic State, but directed most of its strikes at places farther west, like Idlib, where rival insurgents more urgently threatened government forces.”

“Chlorine attacks continued — investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations concluded the government had carried out at least three in 2014 and 2015 — with little international reaction.”

“Idlib’s population grew as rebels and civilians moved there from areas recaptured by Assad forces and allies.”

Image result for photos of trump tillerson hailey
Tillerson/ Trump

After Mr. Trump came into office, proclaiming a wish to work with Russia and maybe even Mr. Assad against the Islamic State, expectations grew that the international community would accept relegitimizing Mr. Assad. And last week came the statements from Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and the ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, indicating effectively that Washington could accept Mr. Assad remaining in power.”

“On Monday (4/3/17), Western officials were gathering in Brussels to weigh billions of dollars in reconstruction aid to the Assad government, amid opposition fears that they would drop their demand for a political transition first.”

“By Thursday (4/6/17), however, American military officials were discussing a possible military strike on Syria, and Mr. Tillerson was saying there was “no role” for Mr. Assad in Syria’s future. And then Thursday — before dawn on Friday in Syria — Mr. Trump ordered the attack on the Shayrat air base, from which, he said, the chemical attack was launched.”

Image result for photos of sarin gas attack syria“Witnesses described how Tuesday’s (sarin) attack unfolded. That morning, a network of observers was, as usual, tracking the skies to warn residents and rescuers of possible airstrikes. They spotted Syrian aircraft and sent out warnings on walkie-talkies.”

“Syrian Su-22 aircraft were then seen circling above Khan Sheikhoun at 6:47 a.m. and again at 6:51 a.m. One of the observers — based on long experience — believed that the planes might be carrying a chemical payload.”

“Guys, tell people to wear masks,” he warned.”

“Witnesses put the attack itself at just before 7 a.m. A video of the area at that time shows three towering puffs of smoke and one smaller cloud.”

“Dr. Khalil said he and his wife were drinking coffee at home at 8 a.m. when he got a call and rushed to Idlib’s central hospital. He found 60 patients already packing the wards. His nose began to itch, from the toxic substances, he believes. Back in Khan Sheikhoun, new airstrikes hit a hospital and a civil defense headquarters.”

Image result for photos of Dr. Khalil at recent sarin attacksyria“Across the province, doctors were noticing symptoms similar to those from sarin. Some of the displaced people who wound up in Idlib in recent years come from the Damascus suburbs that were attacked with sarin in 2013.”

“One, a media activist from near Damascus, Moaz al-Shami, was sickened for two months by the 2013 attacks. Now living in Idlib, he was struck with the same vomiting and respiratory distress he remembered from that day.”

4 comments

  1. Clearly there’s some sort of power play between Russia and the West, Assad is just a pawn in the geopolitical game of death. Wherever there are factions weakening the government within, insurgents willing and ready to tear their country apart, those locations will be the battleground for superpowers. Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Libya, Egypt, now Syria. There are no simple, clear answers or solutions when globalists wage war.

    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      I have been putting some thought to this whole situation.

      Here is what I know:

      1.) DDT is not one who I would think becomes emotional over pictures of children being hurt to where he does 180 degree adjustment in his thinking. I do not ascribe to him any credibility, integrity or decency.

      2.) President Bashar is more than capable of gassing his own peoples to get them to move to areas under his control. This is not a good guy. Still, his timing was totally tone deaf but then he knew he had the backing of Russia.

      3.) Russia has good control over the area and President Putin is not a good guy.

      4.) Too many witnesses saw a Syrian aircraft strike where peoples were victimized by sarin gas. US military can verify this via its advanced technology. When the Turkish doctors did autopsies, there were UN observers present. The victims all presented themselves with symptoms typical of those gassed with sarin chemical weapon. I absolutely buy this scenario.

      So how could this be a wag the dog scenario?

      Here is where new pieces of the puzzle are helpful.

      1.) It turns out that post the Syrian gas attack on the same day, witnesses saw a RUSSIAN DRONE which was followed up with an airstrike on a medical facility where the sarin gas victims were being treated.
      2.) Close up photos reviewed by military experts of the Shayrat airbase indicate that Russian planes are interspersed with Syrian aircraft. This means Russian military are working side by side with the Syrian soldiers to where it would be hard to fathom how Russia would not have been aware of Syria’s plan to inflict a sarin gas attack on its own peoples from this very same airfield.

      3.) This retaliatory US military action did minimal damage.

      4.) US military brass is now looking into any Russian involvement in the sarin gas attack.

      So, the “wag the dog” scenario is possible, even plausible but not likely (my bias), if Russia orchestrated these events to help DDT improve his standing with the American peoples to where DDT would be in a better position to help Russia in the future by the lifting sanctions against it. For Russia’ s effort to be worthwhile, it would require DDT’s tacit approval.

      Russia and Syria’s reaction to DDT’S US military retaliatory action will tell me more.

      Ciao, Gronda

  2. Good response, Gronda, well reasoned and presented….and possible. But I am not so fast to buy this scenario. I am not an expert on that region of the world, nor on Syria. The whole thing does smack of the kind of subterfuge and demonization that was rampant during the Cold War….the old “Us against Them” presented and followed by those of us who turn on the TV every morning to find out just where “we” stand today. WHOM are we against?

    Remember those photos of the U.S. tanks pulling down the statue of Saddam Hussein? In view of a “crowd” of about maybe 20 people. These gatherings are engineered by the news media…look at any event and count the people that are actually involved actively….most of them are grinning from ear to ear and posing for the cameras.

    It looks like among the Trump haters and the Trump lovers is a third group of the “Trump Swingers” … occasionally even I think to myself “there’s a couple of points for Trump” although I almost always change my mind before he stops speaking.

    I just hope this doesn’t get the Russia-Trump-Investigation put on the back burner as we all “rally to the cause” and support the terrible government we have made here in the U.S.

    I think one of Trump’s advisors spotted a golden chance and said hey…go for it!

  3. Dear Gradmama2011,

    In the USA, what has happened is that President Trump has pulled so many stunts in the past like accusing our former president of having him wiretapped just to detract from the news of today, that he has lost credibility. Now, no matter what he does, people can’t help but speculate about what he could possibly be up to this time.

    This is an unhealthy situation for us to be experiencing which is a break down in trust.

    Hugs, Gronda

Comments are closed.