MoA vs “sarin or a sarin-like substance”

Read this first:

Petri Krohn, MoA, Apr 20 2017

The Russian Ministry of Defence has changed their position on the “sarin gas attack” in Khan Sheikhoun. They now agree with what has been the ACLOS working hypothesis: the White Helmets staged the event and murdered the children.

Meanwhile, the number of unbiased experts, especially from western countries, asking these obvious questions increases every day. These specialists cannot explain how representatives of the White Helmets managed to work for such a long period of time and remain alive without gasmasks and special protection equipment. All doubts of professionals prove that the storm of accusations made by western politicians, who had ‘assigned the guilty’ without elementary inspection and objective investigation, is unsubstantiated.

This change may be the result of this section of Rossiya 1 News of the Week on Sunday. The Westerners interviewed are Theodore Postol, Rick Sterling, Peter Ford, Bernd Biedermann (German Air Defense Colonel) and Marcello Ferrada de Noli. A friend of mine was actually also interviewed over Skype, but he does not appear on the program. I was the first in 2013 to propose that only chlorine, not sarin was involved in the Ghouta chemical weapons incident. Soon afterward chlorine started to be used in most rebel gas attacks. I have been going through the alleged video evidence. It looks as if Khan Sheikhoun is like Ghouta. Hostages were gassed in some confined space. The evidence strongly indicates the “gas attack” or incident happened at the White Helmets compound. Victims are taken out but there is no evidence of anyone brought in for treatment. We also know that alleged chlorine victims from al-Lataminah were brought to the White Helmets cave the previous day, Apr 3. Video shows dead victims carried out of what appears to be the hazmat area inside the cave complex on the morning of Apr 4. Zombified victims are then taken on a tour of nearby towns and hospitals. There are some military or al-Nusra types in camo pants that may have overall control of the complex, but the White Helmets were clearly involved in the staging part of the operation.

Chlorine, Not Sarin, Was Used In The Khan Sheikhun Incident
Moon of Alabama, Apr 20 2017

Those who blame the Syrian government for the allegedly chemical incident in Khan Sheikhun on Apr 4 are now playing up the analysis of the OPCW. But the results of the OPCW tests are inconsistent with all observed and reported technical and medical facts of the incident. Yesterday the OPCW Director General Ambassador Üzümcü, a Turkish career diplomat and former NATO ambassador, released the first analytic results of the OPCW investigation into the Khan Sheikhun incident:

The biomedical samples collected from three victims during their autopsies were analysed at two OPCW-designated laboratories. The results of the analyses indicate that the victims were exposed to sarin or a sarin-like substance. Biomedical samples from seven individuals undergoing treatment at hospitals were also analysed in two other OPCW-designated laboratories. Similarly, the results of these analyses indicate exposure to sarin or a sarin-like substance. Dir-Gen Üzümcü stated clearly: “The results of these analyses from four OPCW-designated laboratories indicate exposure to sarin or a sarin-like substance.”

“Sarin or a sarin-like substance” is noted three times a row. Sarin is also mentioned in the headline. Someone is pushing that meme hard. But the OPCW did not conclude that a chemical attack occurred in Khan Sheikhun. It suggested nothing about the incident itself. It only talked about biomedical samples of several persons, nothing more, nothing less. It also did not give any hint of how much exposure the persons in question received. Was it a minimal traceable amount that had no effect, or did they die from it? The OPCW does not say. A “sarin-like substance” could be a different chemical weapon than sarin. Soman is a possible candidate which would be more consistent with the smell several witnesses described after the incident. Many general insecticides belong to the same class of chemicals as sarin and soman. They are organophosphates. Sarin was originally developed as an insecticide. All such compounds could be a source of the exposure found by the OPCW. These chemicals degrade within hours or days. A forensic analysis will not find the original substance, but only decomposition products of some organophosphate. That is the reason why the OPCW result is not fixed on sarin but also mentions “sarin-like substances.”

Another question is where those samples come from. Who “collected” them? And what is the chain of evidence that connects the samples to the incident? The OPCW has not send an investigation team to Khan Sheikhun. No samples were taken in Khan Sheikhun by its own inspectors. While Russia and Syria have asked for OPCW inspections on the ground, Tahrir al-Sham, which controls the Khan Sheikhun area, has not asked for inspectors. Without its agreement any investigation mission is simply too dangerous. None of the OPCW inspectors is interested in literally losing his head to those terrorists. AQ propaganda organizations in Khan Sheikhun were the first to claim that sarin was used on the ground. “Western” media and governments later repeated those claims before any further investigations could have been done. The very first claim I found was made by the former British doctor Shajul Islam, who works for the terrorists. This video of him of “doctors “and “patients” in an emergency room in Khan Sheikhun was pure theater, taken over a longer time period. The main presenter, Shajul Islam, is a well-known criminal Takfiri with links to the British secret service. He talks of sarin, even though the “patients” around him show no signs of sarin effects and the emergency personnel in the video are unprotected against potent chemical agents. A White House assessment later claimed that it had evidence that sarin was used. It used the claim to justify the bombing of the al-Shayrat Syrian military airfield. But the White House assessment contains no evidence. It includes a number of factually false statements. It claims, for example:

The WHO stated on Apr 5 that its analysis of victims of the attack in Syria showed the had been exposed to nerve agents.

The WHO report from Apr 5 stated no such thing. It only noted:

Serious reports of the use of highly toxic chemicals in an attack in Khan Shaykhun.

It made no analysis of its own. It only mentions reports. Immediately after the incident, bodies of dead and wounded were brought to Turkey, where they were taken into hospital. AQ or AQ-aligned personnel must have transported them. It is a three-hour car ride from Khan Sheikhun to the Turkish border. The incident happened on Apr 4. First reports by the Turkish government news agency Anadolu mentioned only chlorine:

At least 100 people were killed Tuesday when Assad regime warplanes carried out a chlorine gas attack in Syria’s north-western Idlib province, according to Syrian opposition Health Minister Firas Jundi. … A local civil defense official earlier told Anadolu Agency a regime aircraft carried out a chlorine gas attack on the town early Tuesday.

The first OPCW statement on Apr 4 referred to chlorine, not sarin or similar:

The OPCW is investigating the incident in southern Idlib under the ongoing mandate of the Fact-Finding Mission, which is “to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic.”

The first report of the Turkish government also said chlorine. The UNSC convened on Apr 6 to discuss the incident. Hurriyet reported:

Turkey sent a report to the UN just before a UNSC meeting to address accusations that the Syrian government staged a CW attack on Apr 4, stating that the gas used in the attack was chlorine gas. Turkey’s CBRN teams 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.

Thirty victims were brought to Turkey immediately after the incident. But the Turkish doctors and CBRN specialist did not consider sarin but chlorine gas to be involved. Chlorine is a much less potent chemical. Chlorine is not designated as CW under the CW regulations. This fact is often obfuscated for propaganda reasons. The symptoms of chlorine ingestion and the effects of sarin exposure are quite different. It is extremely unlikely that the emergency doctors and CW specialists misdiagnosed the issue when the patients arrived and were taken care of. The 30 casualties arriving in Turkey were not the casualties of a sarin incident. But then the Turkish Health Ministry started to tell a different story:

The poison used in the deadly chemical bomb attack in a rebel-held part of northern Syria this week was the banned nerve agent sarin, the Turkish Health Ministry said in a statement on Thursday. … “According to the results of preliminary tests,” the statement said, “patients were exposed to chemical material (Sarin).” … The Turkish statement did not elaborate on how the sarin had been identified in the assault on Tuesday, but it said some of the telling symptoms seen in the victims included “lung edema, increase in lung weight and bleeding in lungs.”

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Emergency Response Database:

At high exposure levels, irritation of the upper respiratory tract and accumulation of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) contribute to a sensation of choking.

But that is from the CDC entry for chlorine. The CDC entry for sarin mentions “fluid accumulation in the airways” as one symptom among many more conspicuous ones. It does not mention an edema in the lungs. Contradicting the first Turkish reports, the Turkish Health Ministry claimed “sarin” in parenthesis! But the symptom it described as proof was not of sarin, but of chlorine exposure. The Turkish Justice Minister also made a statement, but did not mention sarin at all:

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters that “Autopsies were carried out on three of the bodies after they were brought from Idlib. The results of the autopsy confirms that chemical weapons were used,” quoted by state-run Anadolu news agency.”This scientific investigation also confirms that Assad used chemical weapons,” Bozdag added, without giving further details. … Bozdag said autopsies were conducted with the “participation” of officials from the WHO in the southern province of Adana, together with officials from the OPCW. But WHO immediately countered Bozdag’s claims that it was involved in the postmortem, saying the organisation did not conduct autopsies as “it is not our mandate” (&) also stressed that no samples or swabs had been taken by WHO, despite claims by the Adana prosecutor that “examples” had been sent to the organisation and the OPCW.

The Justice Minister claimed that samples had been given to the WHO and OPCW from the very first autopsies. But the WHO clearly denies that. I find no OPCW statement on this. Did it receive any of those first samples, or only some that were later produced by Turkish authorities? In 2013, a Turkish court under Justice Minister Bozdag set one suspected Ahrar al-Sham member free after he was caught with sarin precursors. The person was later sentenced in absentia as he had fled back to Syria. Ahrar al-Sham, while not in charge, has a presence in Khan Sheikhun. The neuroscientist and neuropharmacologist Denis O’Brien, a PhD with a research and teaching career in that field, analyzed the symtoms of the casualties that were depicted in the various videos coming out of Khan Sheikhun. 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. Sarin exposure causes, according to the CDC database, “Nausea, vomiting (emesis), diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping.” Sarin effected patients would spontaneously shit, piss and vomit all over. But the casualties in the videos, even the “dead” ones, have clean undies. The “clinic” in the videos has clean floors. The patients show red skin color, not oxygen deprived blue. The patients in the videos were not effected by sarin.

Medical personal and rescue workers in the videos and pictures also show none of the typical sarin symptoms. Sarin degrades relatively fast. Half of the potency will be gone within five hours after release, depending on environmental factors. But these rescue workers and medical personal were immediately involved with the casualties. They do not wear any reasonable protection. They would have been dead or at least effected if sarin would have been involved in any relevant concentration. The Turkish doctors and chemical weapon specialists who received the first patients diagnosed chlorine exposure, not sarin. The first news and Turkish reports to the UN speak of chlorine, not sarin. It is only the Turkish Health Minister who mentions sarin, in parentheses, but then lists a symptom of severe chlorine exposure as one of sarin. Neither the casualties nor the unprotected medical personal involved in the incident show any effect of sarin exposure. The only one who claimed “sarin” early on was an AQ-aligned former doctor in a staged propaganda video. Fifteen days after the incident the OPCW say that samples (it was given?) “indicate exposure to sarin or a sarin-like substance.” Turkey has been the supply and support lifeline for Ahrar al-Sham as well as for AQ in Syria. The samples given to the OPCW were taken by Turkish personal in Turkey. The current head of the OPCW is a Turkish civil servant. It is in the interest of Turkey and its terrorist clients in Syria to blame the Syrian government for chemical weapon use. The medical and technical evidence is not consistent with a sarin attack by the Syrian government. All of the videos and pictures of the incident were taken in AQ-controlled territory. All witnesses were under AQ control. How much of the incident was staged for videos (see AQ doctor video above) or how many of the witnesses were told to lie is not testable under current circumstance. The Syrian government insist that it had given up all its CW and keeps no stocks. The Russian government also asserts that no CW attack took place. The OPCW analysis may well have found that samples it received indicated some organophosphate exposure. But the chain of evidence for these samples is very dubious. The amount of exposure was not defined. The observable facts of the incident do not support the conclusion that sarin was present in the Khan Sheikhun incident.

Note: Part of the above is based on the work and tweets of Ali Ornek.

Mattis says Syria dispersed warplanes, retains chemical weapons
Idris Ali, Reuters, Apr 21 2017

TEL AVIV – Sec Def Mad Dog Mattis said on Friday that Syria had dispersed its warplanes in recent days and that it retained chemical weapons, an issue he said would have to be taken up diplomatically. During a press conference alongside his Israeli counterpart, Mattis was asked whether the Syrian military had moved warplanes to a Russian base in Latakia. Mattis said:

They have dispersed their aircraft, no doubt. They have dispersed their aircraft in recent days. The bottom line is, I can say authoritatively they have retained some CW. It’s a violation of the UNSCRs, and it’s going to have to be taken up diplomatically.

Israel’s military said on Wednesday it believes Syrian forces still possess several tonnes of chemical weapons. A senior Israeli military officer told Israeli reporters that “a few tonnes of CW” remained in the hands of Assad’s forces, a military official told Reuters. Mattis later met Netanyahu in Jayloomia. Before they spoke, Netanyahu said he was optimistic. The two countries are working to set a more positive tone after eight years of friction under Obama.

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