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Lebanese journalist intependently investigates alleged Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack

After studying film and pictures of the aftermath of the Khan Sheikhoun attack, an independent Lebanese journalist claims they show the attack was faked.

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This article was submitted to The Duran by its author following the author’s own independent investigation into the Khan Sheikhoun incident.  The Duran can’t confirm or corroborate the author’s claims or conclusions.  However the author has informed us that he has contacts in the area.
Independent Investigative Report of Incident in Khan Sheikhoun
This report represents the independent investigation on the chemical attack allegedly carried out by the Syrian Air Forces in Khan Sheikhoun, in Syria’s Idlib. It provided a pretext for the U.S. Navy cruise missile attack at the Al-Shayrat airbase in Homs.
Introduction
April 7, 2017, between 3.42 a.m. and 3.56 a.m., a massive missile rocket attack was carried out by U.S.S. Ross and U.S.S. Porter from the Mediterranean Sea near Crete Island.  The destroyers launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian airbase Al-Shayrat in Homs province.
According to the U.S. statement that the Syrian Air Forces allegedly used this air base for carrying out an attack on Khan Sheikhoun, this has now become the official excuse for the aggression, resulting in at least 100 civilians being killed and more than 400 injured.
The town of Khan-Sheikhoun is located at about 50 kilometers to the South of Idlib province. This territory has been under the control of Jabhat al-Nusra since 2014.
Chronology

April 4, at 8 a.m., Abdullah al-Gani and Muaz al-Shami, freelance journalists who have links with radical groups located in Idlib, provided Orient News and Al-Jazeera with the video footage made by the White Helmets. The graphics show the consequences of the alleged chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun. According to Muazz al-Shami, sarin gas was used in the attack.

The White Helmets is an organization that has been repeatedly discredited. It has direct links with Jabhat al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda. The actual aim of the organization is to stage fake photos and videos in order to demonize the current Syrian government and the Syrian Army.
and the Syrian army

 At 10.00 a.m., the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces claimed that as a result of the chemical attack carried out by the Syrian government forces more than 54 civilians had been killed and at least 80 wounded. Most of the injured civilians were evacuated to the Turkish hospitals in Gaziantep.

Meantime the information about the use of chemical weapons has quickly started to spread overseas through mass media and social network.
At 09.25 a.m., Jobar News became one of the first media sources to share the information of the alleged chemical attack. The media source blamed the government forces for using sarin, and claimed that around 40 people were injured.
At 10.41 a.m., British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights spreadthe information that the Russian jets had used chemical weapons in Idlib. They also claimed that 58 people were killed.
At 11.08 a.m., Reuters posted the same information referring to the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights.
At 12.30 p.m., Al-Masdar reported that the Syrian Arab Army had destroyed the rebel’s chemical weapons depot in Khan Sheikhoun.
At 4.30 p.m., Al-Masdar News doubted the fact that sarin chemical attack was conducted. In order to prove this version, the agency presented some photos and videos with the White Helmets providing first aid to injured people without using any individual protective gear. In addition, the behavior of the White Helmets activists was too calm for such an emergency situation which also looked suspicious. It seemed that it looked like a not very well-staged performance.

Reaction of Mainstream media


The Western media sharply reacted to the alleged chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun.
April 4, 3.00 p.m., the French government urged an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the issue.

Later, UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, stated that he had already discussed this barbarous situation with Federica Mogherini. He also called on the UN Security Council to hold a session with the aim to find the guilty side.

The Foreign Ministries of Turkey, Germany, Canada, the U.S., France, the U.K. and also the NATO Secretary General strongly condemned the alleged chemical attack in Syria shortly after.
Meanwhile, Russia and China advocated an impartial and objective investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, blamed the Syrian government for the ‘chemical attack’ during the UN Security Council session.
Council Session
Debunking the Myths

What happened?
Our experts thoroughly analyzed the materials spread by the mainstream media used to justify the U.S. attack on Al-Shayrat airbase. We provide you with the arguments that there was no chemical attack. 
Arguments
First
 To accuse the Syrian Air Forces of using chemical bombs the mass media published photo below, demonstrating the fact of a chemical attack.
Fact of chemical attack
The type of ammunition presented in the photo does not apply to any airborne or chemical weapons. There are no tail fins or other identifications. Probably, this was a handcrafted mine or another kind of metal ware that didn’t belong to any weapon.

Hence the question arises: why did the government troops use handcraft chemical weapons? 
Besides, there is only one small crater that can’t be considered a consequence of an air strike.
Second
 The White Helmets activists were trying to demonstrate to us the primary symptoms of the organophosphorus poisonous substances effect, namely, miosis or corestenoma. However, this attempt was unsuccessful and we can see the opposite effect of the mydrias on the photos. Such an effect may be caused by narcotic or psychotropic drugs.

This version was confirmed by experts from the Swedish Doctors For Human Rights Organization, who pointed out that the children shown in the videos were unconscious and under the influence of psychotropic substances.
substances 1
substances 2
 Third
third
On these photos there are not any symptoms of mild and moderate degrees of severity, such as abundant salivation, lacrimation and nose discharge.
The filmmakers attempted to demonstrate nose discharges, but to such a weak degree does not have anything in common with sarin gas
Fourth
fourth
 
The video shows the White Helmets activists trying to demonstrate to us severe poisoning instead of medium and moderate poisoning, when people are able to stay in consciousness, sit independently, move and perform other actions. Besides, vomiting, urination, faecal discharge and severe convulsion poisoning are typical symptoms from severe poisoning. There are no such symptoms on the presented photos.
Fifth
Fifth
 
The vaporous sarin gas is easily absorbed by porous structures such as textile materials, wool, wood, brick and concrete. This toxic agent is also absorbed by painted surfaces and rubber products, which causes the danger to a person emerging from the contaminated environment, as well as people who can be near or contact them.

It should be mentioned, that the ‘activists’ help injured people without using such personal protective equipment as gloves and gas mask.

The presence of respirators on their faces proves the weak awareness in the sphere of military chemistry among the film-makers. The vapors of sarin gas are affective not only through the nasopharynx, but also through the mucous of eyes. Therefore, if any poisonous substance were actually used, a person without means of protection would definitely be contaminated if he or she came into contact with affected substances like cloth, wood, clothes. Instead, we see healthy, energetic and vigorous ‘rescuers’.

Moreover, the presence of a person in a gas mask who doesn’t take part in the action raises questions. He only points out the cameramen what to shoot. Who is he and why don’t other activists have such gas masks?
gas masks one
Sixth
sixth
At about 11:00 a.m., various pieces of video were published showing victims in a critical condition being taken to an unknown destination.  According to the elongated shadows, the video was made no later than 9. 30-10. 00 a.m., a few hours before the strike of the Syrian aviation.
Syrian aviation
 At 11.30 a.m.-12. 30 p.m. (judging by the almost complete absence of shadows) more video footage was filmed in the camp of the militants, located to the east of Khan-Sheikhoun, where we can see a consequence of strikes on the air base. There were no persons affected by the alleged chemical attack on the video. At the same time we can see a great number of dead bodies. But where were those who had suffered from the ‘chemical attack’?

Seventh

There were almost no women among the victims of the attack. Most of injured people were men and children, and all the women were dead. If the footage was fabricated, it can be assumed that there were no women in the pictures, because according to Muslim tradition, a man mustn’t touch women.
touch women

 The woman’s body. She is dressed, in spite of many other injured people being undressed. No one touches her.
touches her
Injured men. They are undressed, washed and turned over.

The actions of the White Helmets rescuers

We have to repeatedly point out that the White Helmets is an organization producing fake films with elements of fiction, and it has some links with terrorists.
It is a cheap falsification and there are some other facts.
some other facts
In the pictures, the actions of the ‘rescuers’ look extremely unprofessional: one of them was randomly washing the victims with water, allegedly washing away chemical substances, while others were given them artificial ventilation.

According to the video, one of the White Helmets members takes the injured child and runs with him towards the wasteland for some purpose. Also in the picture we can see how he slowed down after the scenes with his participation was taken.
was taken
was taken 2
 In addition, it is unclear, why the ‘rescuers’ are laying out the bodies of injured children and adults in front of the cameras, instead of providing them with medical assistance as soon as possible?
soon as possible
 When Did the U.S. Administration Take the Decision to Attack the
Al-Shayrat Air Base?
air base
The U.S.S. Porter had been on duty in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas since November 2016. The ship equipment can keep a lot of data on objectives to be destroyed within the area of its duty. It is also able to prepare flight missions for the Tomahawk cruise missiles directly on board.
The U.S.S. Ross has the same operational capabilities.
April 3, 2017, Ross left its permanent location in the Rota naval base, in the South of Spain, and in 72 hours accompanied by the Porter arrived at the designated missile launch area in the East of the Mediterranean Sea.
It is notable that the Ross was deployed in the mission area on April 3, 2017, before the Syrian aviation hit on the targets of terrorists in the settlement of Khan Sheikhoun.
Such a maneuver made by the U.S. ships proves the attack on the Syrian air base was a premeditated operation.

Before the alleged chemical attack the Western mass-media had been creating informational background repeatedly accusing the Syrian army of using chemical weapons against militants and civilians.  April 4, 2017, the staging of chemical attack of Syrian Air Forces against civilians in Khan Sheikhoun was conducted.

As far as the readiness for launching cruise missiles for the U.S. Navy destroyers is up to 8 hours, after conducting information campaign in Khan Sheikhoun the future of Al-Shayrat air base has already been predetermined.
Conclusion
All the facts prove that the decision to attack the Syrian military infrastructure was taken in Washington long before the fabricated events in Khan Sheikhoun. Besides, the film-shooting is a staged falsification aimed at creating an information cause for cruise missile attack and to justify the U.S. aggression against Syria.
The author is an independent Lebanese journalist who writes with a focus on Middle East issues. His articles appear in Beirut Observer.

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Saudis Admit Khashoggi Killed At Consulate “In Fist-Fight”, King Salman Fires 5 Top Officials

Saudi Arabia confirmed tonight that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at its consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

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Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff has weighed in on the Khashoggi murder admission from KSA claiming “the Saudi report of Khashoggi is not credible.”

The White House issue a statement…

Via Zerohedge


Saudi Arabia confirmed tonight that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at its consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

In a statement put out on Saudi state television, citing an initial investigation by Saudi prosecutors, SPA said that:

“an argument erupted between him [Khashoggi] and others whom he met in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul leading to a fistfight which led to his death.”

Prosecutors said the investigation was still ongoing and that 18 people, all Saudi nationals, had so far been arrested, SPA reported.

“The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public,” the statement said.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has removed a key royal adviser and a senior intelligence official..

King Salman issued an order to remove Saud al-Qahtani, an adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the state-run Ikhbariya television.

The monarch also relieved deputy intelligence chief Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri.

This follows the narrative reported by The New York Times on Thursday that Riyadh is looking to blame Assiri for the purported murder of Khashoggi in an effort to shield Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from the blame.

Saudi King Salman has also ordered the formation of ministerial committee led by crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to restructure the general intelligence agency.

As Ali Shihabi, Founder, The Arabia Foundation, tweets:

“The removal of two top officials, a cabinet ranking, very powerful and close advisor of MBS and the Deputy Head of Foreign intelligence + 4 other Generals in foreign intelligence (virtually its whole top leadership) cannot be written off as a cover up. This is unprecedented.”

This is not saying “rogue killers” but implicating virtually the whole top leadership of foreign intelligence. They carried out a mission that went sour very quickly and tried to cover it up initially. Bad news travels slowly to the top.”

We await President Trump’s “very severe consequences.”

 

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Pat Buchanan: Caravan Puts Trump Legacy on the Line

Unwanted mass migration is the issue of our time, as there is no foreseeable end to it before it alters America irremediably.

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:


Our mainstream media remain consumed with the grisly killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and how President Donald Trump will deal with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Understandably so, for this is the most riveting murder story since O.J. Simpson and has strategic implications across the Middle East.

Yet far more critical to the future of our civilization is the ongoing invasion of the West from the Third World.

Consider the impact of the decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015 to throw open Germany’s doors to 1 million refugees from Syria’s civil war.

Last weekend, in a crushing blow to Merkel, the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party of her CDU, won its smallest share of the vote in half a century, 37 percent. Her coalition party, the SPD, saw its share of the Bavarian vote fall to a historic low of less than 10 percent.

The right-wing Alternative for Deutchland saw its support rise to 10 percent and has become a force in German politics. Some conservatives are urging the CDU to adopt the AfD hardline on illegal immigration.

The message sent by the Bavarian electorate is the message voters across Europe have been sending to their own capitals for years: You are failing in your first duty — defense of the homeland from foreign invasion. Mass migration of unassimilable peoples and cultures from a global South represents an existential threat to our Europe.

As Merkel’s chancellorship approaches its end, French President Emmanuel Macron, her progressive EU partner, has seen his approval fall to below 30 percent.

The U.S.-led NATO alliance may guard the Baltic and Black Sea regions against a Russian invasion from the east. But in Central, Southern and Western Europe, the more feared invaders are the peoples of Africa and the Muslim world, whose numbers are expected to triple or quadruple by this century’s end.

And as their numbers grow, so, too, does their desperation to escape, even at risk of their lives, the poverty, wars and repression of their homelands to cross the Med and fill the empty spaces left by a depopulating Europe.

It also now appears that the U.S. elections, not three weeks away, may be affected by another immigration crisis on the U.S. border.

As of Thursday, a caravan of 4,000 refugees without visas had crossed from Honduras into Guatemala and was heading toward Mexico. By Election Day, it will either have been stopped, or it will be here. And this caravan is a portent of things to come.

According to The Washington Post, during FY 2018, which ended last month, 107,212 members of “family units” crossed over into the U.S., “obliterating the previous record of 77,857 set in 2016.”

Citing DHS figures, the Post adds, “Border patrol agents arrested 16,658 family members in September alone, the highest one-month total on record and an 80 percent increase from July.”

When Trump, under intense political fire, ended his “zero tolerance” policy of separating refugees from their children, this message went out to Mexico and Central America:

Bring your kids with you when you cross the border. They will have to stay with you, and they cannot be held for more than 20 days. Thus, when they are released, you will be released to await a hearing on your claim of asylum. The odds are excellent that you can vanish into the U.S. population and never be sent back.

Enraged, Trump has threatened to cut off aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala if they do not stop the caravans and has warned Mexico he will use the U.S. military to secure our border.

Unwanted mass migration is the issue of our time, as there is no foreseeable end to it before it alters America irremediably.

As these migrants are almost all poor, not highly skilled, and do not speak English, most will join that segment of our population that pays no income taxes but qualifies for social welfare benefits like food stamps, medical care and free education in our public schools.

They are thus a net drain upon the resources of a nation that is already, at full employment, running a deficit of $779 billion a year.

These migrants, however, are a present and future benefit to the Democratic Party that built and maintains our mammoth welfare state, and which, in presidential elections, routinely wins 70 to 90 percent of the votes of people whose trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Not without reason, Democrats believe that if they can change the composition of the American electorate, they can control America forever.

If Donald Trump was elected on any one issue, it was immigration and his promises to secure the border, build the wall and halt the invasion.

How he deals with the impending crisis of the migrant caravan may affect both the fate of his party in November and his presidency in 2020.

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‘Mohammad bin Salman Must Go’, but US-Saudi Ties Are Here to Stay

Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime?

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Mohammad bin Salman is fully aware of the Western elite’s understanding of its own values. While he may be given a pass to bomb Yemen and kill thousands of innocent civilians, he should know better than to dare touch a Washington Post columnist – “one of ours”, as one MSNBC host said. Did he not realize there would be consequences?

As more information came out, many analysts began to confront the most obvious question. Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime? How could MBS betray Trump this way, not anticipating that the Democrats and the mainstream media would jump all over Trump’s friendship with him? Could he be so foolish as to place in jeopardy foreign investments planned at the Davos in the Desert conference on October 23? The answer to that question is apparently: yes, he could.

The only rational explanation for this behavior is that MBS thought he could get away with it. Remember that we are talking about someone who had Saad Hariri, the prime minister of Lebanon, kidnapped and carried off to the Kingdom, with his whereabouts unknown for days but with very little reaction from the mainstream media or Western politicians. It is possible that in this instance, MBS simply misjudged the level of Khashoggi’s popularity amongst neoliberals of the Washington establishment, provoking an unexpected response. Furthermore, the thesis that the Saudis understood that they had some kind of green light from Trump is not to be totally dismissed. Such a backlash is what you get from having a big mouthpraise your friends too much, and tweet all the time.

The rapidity with which the US media, and especially dozens of Republican and Democratic senators, attacked Saudi Arabia, blaming it for the atrocious crime, is rather unusual. After all, the Saudi elites have been inclined to behave in such a manner over the last 40 years. But it also highlights the ongoing inconsistency and double standards: nothing is said about Yemen, but the Kingdom is currently under the strongest censure for allegedly offing a journalist.

As I had already pointed out in my previous article, Khashoggi was clearly part of a faction opposed to the current ruling royal family in Saudi Arabia, headed by MBS. To understand this Saudi golden boy of the US mainstream media as well as military-industrial-spying complex, we have to go back to Mohammed bin Nayef. Bin Nayef has been under house arrest for almost two years, immediately purged by MBS as soon as he assumed power as crown prince. Bin Nayef has for decades been the CIA’s go-to man in Riyadh, helping the CIA & Co. pretend to “fight” al Qaeda in the Kingdom while using al Qaeda as a tool to inflict damage on US geopolitical adversaries.

The removal of bin Nayef by MBS was greeted with anger by a part of the US establishment close to Washington think tanks and the CIA and was never fully digested. MBS and his father, King Salman, needed to consolidate power around the throne at the time, and bin Nayef was certainly part of the faction opposing MBS, as was Khashoggi.

Naturally, these antipathies were set aside by the CIA, think tanks and neoliberals in the media due to to the importance of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US, especially vis-a-vis the US Petrodollar. MBS even undertook a tour in the US to help smooth the relationship with the West, being hailed as a new reformer, if you can believe that.

Nowadays,the relationship between Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Washington is based on the strong friendship between Trump and MBS and Trump and Netanyahu. Furthermore, the strengthened link between Trump and MBS, facilitated by son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is close to Israel, served to create a new alliance, perhaps even hinting at the possibility of an Arab NATO. Israel is eager to see more Saudi and US engagement against Iran in the region, and the Saudis similarly praise Israel and the US for being engaged in a fight against Iranian influence in the region. In this way, Trump can please his Israeli friends and see Saudi money pour in as investments.

These agreements have led to a series of disasters in the Middle East that go against the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US. Israel’s recklessness has led to the deployment of a wide range of Russian state-of-the-art weapons to Syria, preventing Israel and the US from acting as freely as before. The disastrous Saudi war in Yemen, the almost diplomatic break with Canada, the kidnapping of the prime minister of Lebanon, and now the Khashoggi affair, have further weakened and isolated Saudi Arabia, MBS, and therefore Trump. The US is no longer able to influence events on the ground in Syria, and so the initial plans of Israel and Saudi Arabia have foundered, after having devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to arm and train terrorists to overthrow Assad.

The Khashoggi affair plays into this situation, exacerbating the war between elites in the US as their strategies in the Middle East continue to fail. The neoliberal mainstream media immediately used the Khashoggi story to pressure Trump into taking a firm stance against one of his last friends and financiers, trying to further isolate him as the midterms approach. Many in the US deep state are convinced – as they were convinced that Clinton would win the presidency – that the House and Senate will end up in Democratic hands in the November elections, paving the way for Trump’s impeachment and for Mike Pence to become president. Pence, a prominent figure of the evangelical right, would be the perfect president for Israel, placing Tel Aviv in the driving seat of US foreign policy as never before. In this scenario, it would certainly be preferable for certain parts of the elite to have a different figure at the helm in Saudi Arabia, seeing as MBS appears to be an unstable leader. Possibly they would prefer someone tied to the US secret services – someone like Mohammed bin Nayef. For these reasons, Democrats, some Republicans and the mainstream media have gone all out against MBS and Trump.

Turkey seems to be using the situation to further widen the fracture between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Since Doha is paying the bills for Erdogan these days, with the Turkish lira at a low, it is essentially the Al Thani family running the PR show in the Turkish media. It looks like the Qatari media are paying back with interests all the negative media they received from the Saudis over the past year. Despite this, neither Ankara nor Riyadh is intent on any kind escalation, both knowing that any suffering on their part is a boon for their enemies.

An interesting aspect related to the Khashoggi affair concerns the sources of the news about the investigation, all anonymous and coming from Turkish police or from people linked to the top echelons of the Turkish state. Knowing the odd state of relations between Ankara and Riyadh, and especially between Turkish ally Qatar and Saudi Arabia, all this news coming from one source should at least be taken with a grain of salt. What is certain is that the Turks had immediate knowledge of the matter regarding who, what, where, when and why. This means that they must have bugged the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, allowing the MIT, Turkey’s intelligence service, to know in real time what was happening to Khashoggi. The story concerning the Apple watch appears to be an attempt by the Turks to thrown off the scent Saudis who may be scratching their heads wondering how the Turks came to have such intimate knowledge of what transpired in their consulate.

For Turkey, the Khashoggi affair could be the occasion for a rapprochement with the US, following a deterioration in relations in the last two years. Turkey has few friends left, and after being cornered by Russia and Iran in Astana with regards to Syria,  it also has to deal with the tensions between Riyadh and Qatar as well as balance its relations with Iran and Israel. Erdogan would like to exploit this event as much as possible, and the release of Pastor Brunson seems to indicate Ankara’s willingness to extend an olive branch to Washington.

Russia, Syria and Iran have everything to benefit from this ongoing internal quarrel between elements within Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Qatar and the US. Whatever the outcome of the Khashoggi affair, Moscow, Tehran and Damascus can only benefit from any deterioration of relations between these countries.

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