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The US is brazenly declaring that they have proof that the Syrian government, under the direction of Bashar al-Assad, conducted a chemical attack on the town of Douma, ten kilometers out of Damascaus, and that they have a “very high confidence” in their “evidence”.
Moreover, Russia is “part of the problem” because of its “failure to stop them”, and their “continued distraction on this front” exacerbates the issue, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Additionally, the State Department’s spokesman Heather Nauert is issuing the declaration that “the Syrian government was behind the attack” at a press briefing. The Hill reports:
The U.S. has a “very high confidence” that the Syrian government was behind a deadly chemical weapons attack in a suburb of Damascus last weekend, the White House said Friday.
“We have a very high confidence that Syria was responsible and, once again, Russia’s failure to stop them and their continued disaction on this front has been part of the problem,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert also said Friday that the U.S. has proof that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack on Douma that left dozens of civilians dead.
“We can say that the Syrian government was behind the attack,” Nauert told reporters at a press briefing.
Using the same words that the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, used, Nauert asserts that this certainty that the Syrians did it boils down to their “very high level of confidence”, once again omitting to reference anything particular about the evidence that the State Department might possess on the matter.
Nauert insists that “we believe we know who was responsible for this”, where once again, indicating that this is the government making a claim that they “believe in”, while simultaneously insisting that they have proof, but, which “proof” still needs to be “assessed”.
Nauert also says that the State Department will wait on the OPCW to relate its findings on the matter, which findings they claim won’t show who is responsible for the attack, but merely the substance that was used in the attack. Which begs the question: if investigators on the ground at the site of the attack can’t tell you who done it, how are you so “confident” that you “know” who did it? CBS News reports:
The U.S. State Department said Friday that it has proof that Syria was behind the suspected gas attack that left more than 40 civilians dead in Douma last week. Heather Nauert, a department spokesperson, said officials are still trying to determine what kind of chemical was used in the attack.
She said there was a “very high-level of confidence” that Syria was behind the attack, but did not elaborate on what type of evidence the department has.
“We believe we know who was responsible for this. We will still wait — the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will still formulate its facts and its findings, but it does not determine the responsibility, they determine the substance,” Nauert said Friday.
Nauert also refuted Russia’s claim that the alleged gas attack had been staged by the U.K., calling the accusation “one of a long list of instances in which Russia takes information and they try to turn it upside down.”
“We’ve seen a long history of the Russian government sow discord, whether it’s in our own election process or other countries,” she said. “They try to change the story but the facts are exactly what they are. Russia has changed its story once again because the facts have become too inconvenient for them.”
Meanwhile, France’s President Emmanuel Macron is insisting that his government is in possession of “proof”, which is declared without providing any details relative to what the proof is or how it was acquired, that not only were chemical weapons employed in this attack, but that Bashar al-Assad’s regime was indeed behind it all. His government is poised to join the US in a campaign against Assad’s forces on the grounds of the alleged attack once they “have verified all the information.” CNBC reports:
“We have proof that last week, now 10 days ago, that chemical weapons were used, at least with chlorine, and that they were used by the regime of (President) Bashar al-Assad,” Macron said, without giving details on the evidence or how it was acquired.
The attack on the town of Douma on April 7 killed dozens of people, including children.
“Our teams have been working on this all week and we will need to take decisions in due course, when we judge it most useful and effective,” Macron told broadcaster TF1 when asked whether a red line had been crossed.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday morning: “Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!”
Macron said France wanted to remove the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capabilities. When asked whether those would be the targets of strikes he said: “When we decide it, and once we have verified all the information.”
The French army is preparing itself for a possible riposte as it waits for the political green light, military sources told Reuters, with several sources underscoring the difficulty of outlining the objectives of such an operation.
The sources said if France were to attack, the strikes would most likely come from warplanes rather than its naval frigate off the Lebanese coast, and that they would likely to take off from France rather than its Middle East bases.
The subject of chemical weapons’ use in Syria has been a thorny issue for Macron. He has warned that he would not accept the use of chemical weapons, which he said was a “red line” that would draw French action, even unilateral.
However, after persistent reports of chlorine attacks over the last year, his foreign minister and aides have been more nuanced saying a response would hinge on French intelligence proving both the use of chemicals and fatalities, and a riposte would most likely be in coordination with the United States.
“France will not allow any escalation that could harm the stability of the region as a whole, but we can’t let regimes that think they can do everything they want, including the worst things that violate international law, to act,” Macron said.
Interestingly enough, the US has been claiming since Thursday that they are in possession of blood and urine samples from the site of the alleged attack which provided conclusive proof that chlorine and some unidentified nerve agent were used in the attack.
The revelation was made while the OPCW was only just then announcing that their investigators were en route to the site in order to conduct an investigation to determine, what the “US officials” are claiming that they already know, beginning such operations on Saturday. The Hill reports:
Blood and urine samples from the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria have tested positive for chlorine gas and a nerve agent, according to U.S. officials.
MSNBC reported Thursday that the U.S. obtained samples from the attack site in Douma, a suburb of Damascus, and determined that they contained traces of chlorine gas and an unidentified nerve agent.
While officials did not identify the nerve agent as sarin, the Syrian government is believed to have used the deadly chemical weapon a number of times during the country’s seven-year civil war.
…The revelation comes hours after the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced that a fact-finding mission was en route to Syria and would begin investigating the suspected chemical attack on Saturday.
Apparently, since the terrorists have been driven from the site of the attack, likely backed by the US, and that site was secured by Russian backed Syrian forces, and the OPCW has not arrived at the site or begun its investigation, how does France and the US claim to have this “proof”, or these “samples” from the attack site if they didn’t have their guys on the ground in Douma at the attack site conducting an investigation and communicating those results back to their respective governments?
Who are these sources on the ground discovering all of this proof that is being referenced by Western powers in their rush to bomb Syria without a UNSC mandate and potentially starting WW3?
Furthermore, why aren’t these tested samples cited by the Presidents of the US or France and the PM of the UK, in addition to the press secretaries of their state departments in their claims to have all of this “proof” that they are so “confident” that they “believe in” and which still, admittedly, needs to be “assessed”?
Furthermore, if Assad really commanded such an attack, why would he leave damning evidence behind that would categorically prove that not only did the attack go down but that his forces did it? Apparently, if Western media and press secretaries, and leaders, are to be believed, Assad has to be so sadistic that he will conduct atrocious attacks that any fool could tell you that it would bring the West down on him with military operations like a ton of bricks.