The #SyriaStrikes: An Open Source Investigation- Corbett Reports

The #SyriaStrikes: An Open Source Investigation

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James Corbett

by James Corbett
April 8, 2017

As you know by now, President Trump ordered missile strikes on the Al Shayrat airfield in Syria Thursday night. Starting at 8:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time, the US guided-missile destroyers USS Ross and USS Porter launched a total of 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles. This being the age of the internet, you can watch the missiles being launched (at a cost of $1.41 million a pop) in a series of YouTube videos kindly supplied by the Pentagon.

For his part, the teleprompter-in-chief handled his ceremonial role perfectly, intoning all the usual poliltical blather that we have come to expect from the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama/Trump puppets. To wit: “Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike blah de blah de blah vital national security interest of the United States da dee doo dee dum no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons etc., etc., I call on all civilized nations to join us yadda yadda.” You get the gist. (But if you really must, you can watch the whole statement here.)

And, as a man is known by the company he keeps, look at the warmongers, neocons, terrorists and other loons who are lining up to sing Trump’s praises over this glorious action:

John McCain is bloviating about the “important message” these strikes send to Assad and Russia.
I-CIA-SIS and Al CIA-da are giving thanks to Trump (and taking advantage of the Syrian government’s disarray).
The state of Israel (including, of course, Trump’s good buddy Netanyahu) are “offering wall-to-wall praise” for the action.
Government Sachs Australia (aka Malcolm Turnbull) “strongly supports” the beginning of WWIII in Syria.
CFR swamp-king (and one of the few people Trump “really like[s] and respect[s]“) Richard Haass is over the moon at the prospect of a New World Order that Trump has afforded him.
Heck, it was Hillary herself who was calling for this strike. (I guess #TrumpIsWithHer.)

Although the full aftermath of the strikes is still unknown as of press time, early reports from the Syrian national news service indicate that the strike killed 9 civilians, including 4 children. Russian sources, meanwhile, claim that only 23 of the 50 Tomahawk missiles actually reached their target, the Al Shayrat airfield, destroying a material storage depot, a training facility, a canteen, six MiG-23 aircraft in repair hangars and a radar station.

Syrian armed forces command are confirming that six military personnel were killed in the attack. The Al Ekhbariya TV channel broadcast a statement from the Syrian Armed Forces detailing the six deaths and an unspecified number of injuries. “The US aggression is a violation of all international norms and an attempt to weaken the combat capability of the Syrian army in the fight against terrorist groups,” the Syrian armed forces command said. “Our response to this attack will be the determination to crush terrorists on Syrian soil wherever they are.”

But whatever damage the individual missiles may have inflicted in Syria, they have the potential to inflict even greater damage in the arena of global geopolitics. In this regard, Russia’s response has been of particular interest.

In an official statement, Moscow has labeled the attack “an act of aggression against a UN member state” and has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Other reports quote a Kremlin spokesman who says that Putin believes the attack was done under a “trumped-up pretext.”

Most worryingly, Russia has suspended the flight data sharing agreement with the US that coordinates the two powers’ activity over Syrian airspace and prevents missiles or sorties being shot down by accident. This was the same communication hotline that the Pentagon used to notify Russia about the strike before it happened. The scrapping of the agreement can only be read as Russia’s signal that future attempts by the US to breach Syrian airspace will be treated as a hostile action and dealt with militarily.

Now Russia is announcing new measures to bolster Syria’s air defense system and expand its own military presence in the country.

However frayed US/Russian relations have become in this age of “Cold War 2.0,” they just got a hell of a lot worse.

In fact, it was only one week ago that everything seemed to be going in the exact opposite direction. John McCain was furious with Rex Tillerson for daring to suggest that the Syrian people should decide what happens with Assad. ISIS was on the run and the “rebels” (read: terrorist insurgency) seemed all but broken. Peace talks were about to put the final nail in the coffin of the six year-long quest to topple the Syrian government…

…and now this. So what happened? Well, we have two stories to choose from.

The warmongers’ story is that Assad, being the most insane and suicidal leader in the history of the world, decided to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and gas some of his own citizens just as the world was contemplating leaving him alone.

The alternative story is that a Syrian government airstrike on Idlib hit a chemical weapons stockpile that the terrorists had stored there, thus releasing the material on their own population.

Points in favor of the alternative story are numerous. They include:

The fact that the previous chemical weapons “red line” incident turned out to be a rebel attack, not a Syrian government attack.
The fact that the Syrian government’s chemical weapons stockpile was confirmed destroyed in 2014.
The fact that Seymour Hersh has confirmed that Hillary Clinton had approved sending sarin gas to the Libyan “rebels.”
And the fact that all of the information about the latest attack has come from The White Helmets, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and other organizations that are funded by and in the interest of the US, UK and other belligerent governments.

So we arrive back at the key question about this series of events: cui bono?

Well, the warmongers get their Path to Persia.

The cabal that started the ball rolling in Syria and created I-CIA-SIS get to push their war through to its conclusion.

The oiligarchs get an oil boost just as an unexpected glut started to bite into their profits.

The neo-neocons are closer than ever to getting their lusted after war with Russia.

Raytheon and the other military-industrial parasites get a nice payday.

And all those #MAGA Trump train riders get a nice welcome dose of reality.

But it’s not all bad news. At least we can laugh at the sight of CNN anchors being shocked speechless by an unscripted moment of reality.

This is obviously an unfolding, ongoing news story. Please do help continue the investigation by contributing news stories and relevant links/analysis in the comment section below.
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YouTube video - "#SyriaStrikes Aftermath: What We Know So Far"

It's bad news! - Tillerson in Russia --- April 13

News Conference – Following the Tillerson & Lavrov talks in Russia (Russia Insider – April 13, 2017)
Tillerson still adamant that Assad did use chemical weapons on April 4th and on many previous occasions (despite no real investigation).
VIDEO (90 seconds)

Full Press Conference –

Statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry:
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Moscow, April 12, 2017
…As you know, we have repeatedly stated our assessments on this issue (April 4 chemical weapons). Today we said that it is vitally important to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident…
…We drew attention to the official letter of the Syrian government to the UN and (OPCW) Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons asking for an immediate dispatch of a group of inspectors to carry out an impartial and objective investigation at the sites of the incidents in Idlib Province and at the airfield which has been struck. We saw that our American colleagues are ready to support such an investigation. We expect that the powers of the UN and the OPCW will be exercised without delay…

…As you know, Russia has suspended the Memorandum (*). Today Russian President Putin reaffirmed our readiness to resume compliance with the Memorandum provided there is a clear understanding of the main aims pursued by the US-led coalition air forces and the Russian Aerospace Forces, namely, the fight against ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other associated terrorist groups…

Regarding the forewarning which the Russians received from the United States before the missile launch.

Retired Russian Lt. General Yevgeny Buzhinsky states…
…”Yes, the U.S. gave us one and a half hours, maybe two hours of advance warning of the attack. But how?”

“There are several lines of communication between us. There is a Chief of General Staff to Chief of General Staff line, which is very fast. This was not used. Instead they used a line of communications set up by the 2015 Deconfliction Memorandum of Understanding, at the regional level, between Americans in Jordan and Russians in Syria. The message on the impending attack was sent to the U.S. command in Jordan in the middle of the night and the duty officer was in no rush to forward it to his Russian counterpart in Syria. The duty officer there sent it to Moscow, to the Ministry of Defense, which also did not rush to respond or to pass the message to the Syrians. Net result: the two hours was barely enough for the Russians to take necessary precautionary measures. The Russian Ministry was furious.”

(This explains why the first Russian reaction to the whole affair was to suspend the Deconfliction Memorandum.)

Twitter for RUSSIA INSIDER news

Russia Insider News website

RUSSIA INSIDER news YouTube Channel

Twitter for Russia Foreign Minister
Russian Foreign Ministry

RT – April 13, 2017 (2 minutes)
UN Security Council tries to bully in a resolution that Syria was responsible for the chemical attacks. Russia vetoes and chides them for “no investigation” and violating international law.

More on the (*) Memorandum

Memorandum of Understanding on Deconfliction in Syria
Article at Consortium News -
In other words, the Russians knew that Tillerson came with empty hands and that he was the suitor, not the one being wooed. Tillerson came to discuss reinstatement of the Memorandum of Understanding on Deconfliction in Syria because on the U.S. side there was great concern over Russia’s refusal now to speak at the regional level to U.S. military counterparts and avert clashes on the ground and in the air that could lead to escalation of confrontation and possibly to all-out-war. The Russian withdrawal from the deconfliction arrangement following the U.S. missile strike on a Syrian airfield on April 6 put the continuation of U.S.-led military operations against Islamic State militants inside Syria in danger.

U.S. DEPT OF STATE - transcripts of Tillerson Moscow meeting April 12

Award-winning journalist Robert Parry & MIT Professor

Award-winning Iran-Contra journalist Robert Parry says the chemical weapons attack in Syria was launched from a joint Saudi-Israeli special operations base in Jordan, according to his intelligence sources.

Declassified U.S. Report on Chemical Weapons Attack

In a separate analysis of the four-page dossier, Theodore Postol, a national security specialist at the (MIT) Massachusetts Institute of Technology, concluded that the White House claims were clearly bogus
A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report Issued on April 11, 2017 About the Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria.

“Russia Insider” April 13
MIT Professor “What the country is now being told by the White House cannot be true, and the fact that this information has been provided in this format raises the most serious questions about the handling of our national security.”

MIT Professor gives examples of "bogus" intelligence

Interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - April 13, 2017

(EDIT - The following video may be restricted. Go to this TWITTER feed for the video )
(3 minute excerpt) - President Assad on American aggression, its pretexts, and Trump...

Full interview - Assad with AFP News

YouTube Channel for the Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic

AFP News website

Twitter for AFP News

YouTube Channel for AFP News

AFP News April 14 article – Syria’s Assad says chemical attack ‘100 percent fabrication’

(EDIT - The following video may be restricted. Go to this TWITTER feed for the video )
Video (30 seconds) Syria’s Assad says chemical attack is pure fabrication by the U.S. as a pretext for the missile strike with two stages, the TV propaganda and then the missile attack.

4 minutes - MUST SEE - The Syria Strikes: A Conspiracy Theory