On Thursday the 12th of December, the U.N. team investigating the persistent reports of alleged chemical weapons usage in Syria released their findings.
And while the report has been covered by most state-corporate media outlets, it hasn’t been given a great deal of prominence – surprisingly, in my view.
No-one has headlined it, as far as I know, or even sub-headlined it. At least when it comes to the front pages of their online news sites.
Compare that to the U.N. report on the attacks in Ghouta, which was treated as a major story.
Interestingly enough, the report finds that in three of the five alleged attacks documented, regime soldiers appear to have been the targets.
The alleged attacks which apparently targeted regime soldiers are:
Khan Al Asal, 19 March 2013
The report states that
‘The United Nations Mission collected credible information that corroborates the allegations that chemical weapons were used in Khan Al Asal on 19 March 2013 against soldiers and civilians’, although ‘the release of chemical weapons at the alleged site could not be independently verified’
Jobar, 24 August 2013
The report states that:
‘The United Nations Mission collected evidence consistent with the probable use of chemical weapons in Jobar on 24 August 2013 on a relatively small scale against soldiers’, although ‘in the absence of primary information on the delivery system(s) an environmental samples collected and analysed under the chain of custody, the United Nations Mission could not establish the link between the victims, the alleged event and the alleged site’.
Ashrafiah Sahnaya, 25 August 2013
The reports states that:
‘The United Nations Mission collected evidence that suggests that chemical weapons were used in Ashrafiah Sahnaya on 25 August 2013 on a small scale against soldiers’, although ‘in the absence of primary information on the delivery system(s) and environmental samples collected and analysed under the chain of custody, and the fact that the samples collected by the United Nations Mission one week and one month after the alleged incident tested negative, the United Nations Mission could not establish the link between the alleged event, the alleged site and the survivors’.
And I wonder if one of the reasons this report has been so low key is precisely because it found that there has possibly been at least three chemical weapons attacks in Syria which have targeted regime soldiers.
What is the conclusion most people would draw from that finding?
The most screamingly obvious one, of course, is that certain rebel factions in Syria do indeed have access to chemical weapons – pace Hersh and Del Ponte – and have been using them in battle.
The other possibilities are:
1. There were no chemical weapons attacks at all, and the U.N. have got it wrong, even with the caveats.
2. The attacks did happen, were carried out by regime forces, and ended up hitting other regime soldiers by mistake. So-called ‘friendly fire’ incidents are hardly unheard of, after all.
3. The attacks did happen, were carried out by regime forces, and were deliberately targeted at other regime soldiers to try and frame the rebels, and drain international support for them (you’d be surprised at just how much credence is given to False Flag/Inside Job theories among the Great and the Good – at least when the Official Bad Guys are the suspects).
I won’t pretend to have the competence or expertise to analyse this report properly, or come to definitive conclusions about the alleged attacks and who was responsible.
But what I will say is that, as a layman, it seems to me that the evidence of some sort of rebel chemical weapons capability is steadily mounting.