By Mike Scruggs – According to Wikipedia, which is by no means free of left-establishment influence, on April 7, a chemical attack on the Syrian city of Douma is reported to have killed more than 70 people. The attack was attributed to the Syrian Army by Jaysh al-Islam rebel forces that were retreating from the city.
The Syrian and Russian defense ministries claimed the attack did not happen, and the video evidence was staged and directed by rebel forces and British intelligence operatives. Jaysh al-Islam is a salafist (Islamic revivalist) affiliate of Al-Qaeda. Salafist Islam is a fundamentalist Sunni Muslim movement established in 1928 by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which has spun off a number of Jihadic terrorist organizations including Hamas, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS.
It is an ideological near-twin of Saudi based Wahhabi Islam. Contrary to initial hopes and propaganda during the “Arab Spring” of 2011, all the rebel forces in Syria are salafist Jihadists with the immediate goal of overthrowing the moderate Alawite Shia regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Muslim organization in the world, and because of huge Arab oil wealth, is highly influential politically, economically, and financially in the Western as well as Muslim world.
Twenty days before the alleged chemical warfare incident in Douma, Russian military authorities released an intelligence report gathered from Syrians fleeing the Jaysh al-Islam rebels that the Syrian Jihadists were planning a black flag chemical operation in hopes of provoking a U.S. attack on the Syrian Army.
On April 14, the U.S., UK, and France launched 103 missiles from seven different geographical positions. These were predominantly Tomahawk surface to air missiles launched from ships. The Russians claimed that Syrian S300, S400, and other anti-missile batteries shot down 71 of them, but there is no proof of this on land. If any of this is true, the U.S., UK, and French missiles must have been downed over water. The Russians monitored the process for intelligence collection purposes but did not participate from its own batteries. The U.S. has denied any significant losses.
The U.S. missile attack on a large Syrian chemical laboratory and two chemical weapons storage facilities was effective and extremely precise, avoiding civilian and Syrian and Russian military casualties in the target areas.
It has been reasonably assumed that both the Syrian Assad regime and the salafist rebels have access to chemical weapons. The salafist rebel stockpile is probably from old Iraqi Saddam Hussein era hidden storage, but it has been alleged that some might have come from U.S. sources, when the Obama Administration was supplying Al-Qaeda Iraq rebel forces in Syria with arms and munitions just before the Benghazi incidents in 2012. At this time, many Al-Qaeda Iraq units were morphing into ISIS. That Hillary Clinton and obviously President Obama approved and directed supplying arms and munitions to purely salafist Al-Qaeda and ISIS rebel forces in Syria has been proved by intelligence communications uncovered by Judicial Watch. The rebels are probably limited to mortars and demolition in using chemical warfare.
According to Wikipedia and former No-Trumper, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, the Assad regime has used chemical weapons more than 50 times. But there is something that does not pass the small test here, especially in regard to the April 8, 2018 incident and probably the 2013 and 2017 incidents as well.
Assad was winning the War against the rebels and, in fact, had it almost won except for cleaning out pockets of salafists like Jaysh al-Islam in Douma. This is according to both U.S military sources and British General Jonathan Shaw, the former commander of UK forces in Iraq. Why would Assad risk his victory by provoking the U.S., NATO, and the UN into intervening against him on a chemical weapons issue? There seems to be something more than meets the eye here.
The Trump Administration sometimes joins in demonizing Assad without much evidence, yet the precision of the U.S. missile strikes says something different. Ironically, some of the most vehement demonization of Assad comes from the most vehement anti-Trump Republicans, which to me raises the smell level higher. Trump obviously realizes that destabilizing Syria would result in a salafist Sunni regime that would threaten a major genocide for Alawite Shia Muslims and Christians.
But there is probably more to it. It is obviously important to show strong resolve to rid the world of chemical warfare potential. The real issue may be the growing fear in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States of a nuclear Iran, including the possibility of a powerful radical Shia crescent stretching from Iran to the Mediterranean. Israel probably has this fear as well. British and French outrage with Assad may have as much to do with trade and a growing Sunni voting base in their countries as with chemical weapons.
Cui Bono? Who benefits from the U.S. and NATO bombing of the Assad regime in Syria? The most obvious answer, although not the only answer, is the salafist Syrian rebels and the Muslim Brotherhood agenda for the Middle East. But it also benefits the Sunni enemies of Iran and Western nations that are dependent on Saudi and Arabian Gulf oil.
One America Network (OAN), also known popularly as One America News, is an American conservative television cable news network established on July 4, 2013. It is owned by Herring Networks, Inc. and broadcast nationwide. Its headquarters is in San Diego, California. OAN has a reputation for straight forward news without the sort of breathless opinion slant seen on most network news. In an April 16 broadcast, Pearson Sharp, an independent reporter associated with OAN, reported the results of his interviews with the residents of Douma, the site of the alleged chemical warfare attack. He was assisted by a Syrian translator.
He first interviewed ten residents who lived within two blocks of the alleged site of the attack, where some mortar shell fragments were found on the street. They were aware of the reports of the chemical weapons attack but had noticed nothing unusual themselves. They were glad the rebel Jaysh al-Islam forces had withdrawn, and the Syrian Army had taken Douma. Pearson was taken to a rebel headquarters and viewed a huge stockpile of mortar shells. He also interviewed doctors in the underground rebel hospital. Afterwards, he interviewed a randomly selected sample of 30 to 40 residents of about 1,000 lined up to receive food, water, and other living supplies from a Syrian Army relief line.
Of nearly 50 Douma residents interviewed, all were of the opinion that the chemical attack was a desperate hoax perpetrated by the Syrian rebels to save themselves and their cause by getting the Americans to destroy the Syrian Army. Every resident interviewed was also quick to point out that there was no such thing as a “moderate” rebel. They are all salafist (Islamic revivalist) radicals, who had treated them harshly.
The interviews with the doctors in the rebel hospital were probably the most interesting. According to Sharp, the day had been relatively quiet, when suddenly a group of white-helmeted SAMS (Syrian American Medical Society) personnel rushed into the underground hospital carrying alleged victims of the chemical attack and began hosing them down, while other SAMS personnel videotaped the whole process. After the videotaping was completed, the White Helmets left abruptly. According to British journalist Robert Fisk’s conversation with a surgeon there, the victims were suffering from hypoxia (lack of oxygen) due to dust and debris clouds rather than toxic gases. OAN’s Sharp reported that there were no known fatalities.
The White Helmet SAMS are generously funded by the U.S. and British but are closely associated with Al-Qaeda and related salafist groups including ISIS. Sharp’s summary of the events was that although there may have been a chemical warfare attack in Douma, his reporting team could find absolutely no evidence of it. The random selection of Douma residents in the neighborhood and the long relief-line were of the unanimous opinion that the Douma chemical attack was a deliberate tactic used by the salafist rebels to provoke the Americans into bombing the Syrian Army. All the residents interviewed were pro-Assad.
Truth is often an early casualty in hot wars and the diplomacy of cold wars, but it is the only reliable building block for peace and national security.
To be continued.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Mike Scruggs, Author and Columnist
a.k.a. Leonard M. Scruggs
Mike Scruggs is the author of two books: The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths; and Lessons from the Vietnam War: Truths the Media Never Told You, and over 600 articles on military history, national security, intelligent design, genealogical genetics, immigration, current political affairs, Islam, and the Middle East.
He holds a BS degree from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Stanford University. A former USAF intelligence officer and Air Commando, he is a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War, and holds the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and Air Medal. He is a retired First Vice President for a major national financial services firm and former Chairman of the Board of a classical Christian school.
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