Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


Mattis Admitted in February, Pentagon Had No Evidence That Assad Used Chemical Weapons

April 8, 2018 (EIRNS)—A Feb. 8, 2018 Newsweek article by Ian Wilkie reports what should have been a stunning revelation by Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis on that date, but instead was much underplayed: There was no evidence that Syrian President Assad had used poison gas on his own people.

On April 10, 2017, after the U.S. cruise missile strike on Syria’s Shayrat airfield on April 7 in retaliation for Syria’s assault earlier that week on terrorist forces in Khan Sheikhoun, which the U.S. alleged was a chemical weapons attack on civilians, Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon, “The Syrian government would be ill-advised ever again to use chemical weapons.” But 10 months later, Feb. 2, 2018 at the Pentagon, Mattis said,

“The U.S. has no evidence to confirm reports from aid groups and others that the Syrian government has used the deadly chemical sarin on its citizens. We have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it’s been used,”

Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon. He emphasized, “We do not have evidence of it.”

Wilkie wrote,

“Now its own military boss has said on the record that we have no evidence to support that conclusion. In so doing, Mattis tacitly impugned the interventionists who were responsible for pushing the ‘Assad is guilty’ narrative twice without sufficient supporting evidence, at least in the eyes of the Pentagon,”

referring to both the Khan Sheikhoun attack last year and the 2013 Ghouta attack.

“Serious, experienced chemical weapons experts and investigators such as Hans Blix, Scott Ritter, Gareth Porter and Theodore Postol have all cast doubt on ‘official’ American narratives regarding President Assad employing sarin,”

he says.

The technical aspects of the two attacks (as of February) are not consistent with the use of nation-state quality sarin munitions. The 2013 Ghouta event employed home-made rockets of the sort the insurgents use, Wilkie asserts. Further, the White House Memorandum on Khan Sheikhoun seemed to rely heavily on testimony from the Syrian White Helmets, who were filmed at the scene having contact with supposed sarin-tainted casualties and not suffering any ill effects. The same actors, Wilkie writes, were filmed wearing chemical weapons training suits around the supposed “point of impact” in Khan Sheikhoun—a sign of fakery, because a training suit offers no protection at all, and they would be dead if military-grade sarin were used, he says. And, the fact that UN investigators were in Syria when the chemical weapons event occurred in April 2017 makes it very doubtful that Assad would have ordered the use sarin then, since it was a banned weapon he had agreed to never employ.

Wilkie ended,

“Secretary Mattis has added fuel to the WMD propaganda doubters’ fire by retroactively calling into questions the rationale for an American cruise missile strike. ... [I]t is time for America to stop shooting first, and asking questions later.”

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