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SIDEBAR: Syria, Sarin, the Rebels and the US: The Underreported News

By Gar Smith
Thursday September 05, 2013 - 10:15:00 PM

The following collection of underreported news stories concerning gas attacks in Syria were posted online over the past weeks on the Environmentalists Against War website ( Warning: Some of these reports feature video clips that contain disturbing images. Taken together, these reports suggest that officials in Washington may once more be trying to "mislead" the nation into war. 

Syria, Assad, and the History of Chemical Weapons 

(Jon Lee Anderson / The New Yorker) 

The images are gut-wrenching. In one video, a man tries to revive a child, a boy perhaps three or four years old, by pouring water over his face, rubbing him, attempting a futile resuscitation. The boy is pale and limp and appears to have died. Around him there are more bodies in similar states of death or near-death, prostrate on a floor. Oddly, there is no blood. It is as if everyone has drowned. 

No Proof on Chemical Attack but Obama Orders Preparations to Attack Syria 

(Jason Ditz / 

There's still no real proof, but Western officials say they have "little or no doubt" that Wednesday's Ghouta incident was a chemical weapons attack. Even though the UN investigators said the previous attack was almost certainly launched by the rebels, Western officials continue to present that as the Assad government is also culpable. Though President Obama insists there was "no rush" to attack Syria, he has privately ordered the military to draw up options for an attack. 

US, UK Won't Wait for UN Inspection; Plan to Attack Syria Within 2 Weeks

(Jason Ditz / 

Discussing the matter in a 40 minute phone call on Saturday night, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed in principle to start attacking Syria within the next two weeks. France is also reportedly in on the idea. The Syrian government has agreed to let UN inspectors into Jobar, the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack. The quick response has been condemned as "too late" by US officials. 

Evidence Indicates Syrian Government Did Not Launch a Chemical Weapon Attack Against Its People

(Washington's Blog / Global Research) 

The last time the US blamed the Syrian government for a chemical weapons attack, the claim was debunked. But is the claim that Syria used chemical weapons against its people true this time? It's not surprising that Syria's close ally, Russia, is expressing doubt. But Russia isn't the only doubter. 

Toxic Catch: Syria Rebels' Chemical Lab Uncovered Near Damascus 

(RT News) 

Syrian rebels have used chemical weapons against regime forces in the Damascus suburb of Jobar, where soldiers discovered stockpiles of toxic poisoning antidotes, state media reports. According to a SANA news report citing "an official source," the army unit pushed into the area, where soldiers were attacked before seizing a warehouse containing material labeled 'Made in KSA' as well as a large number of protective masks. 

Report: Syrian Soldiers Find Chemical Agents in Rebel Tunnels

(Global & Patrick Henningsen / Global Research) 

Syrian state TV reports troops found chemical agents in rebel tunnels in Damascus in what some called an attempt to strengthen the case against a suspect chemical weapons assault -- based on UK and US efforts to win public support for a "humanitarian intervention" (similar to that which was perpetrated in Libya in 2011). Meanwhile, no one is asking the most fundamentally important question: were real military-grade chemical weapons actually used at all? 

Rebels Behind Previous Syrian Chemical Weapons Attacks

(Russia Today News) 

UN human rights investigators have spoken to the victims of Syria's civil war and gathered medical testimonies that point to the Syrian rebels having used sarin nerve gas. Meanwhile, allegations of its use by the government remain unsubstantiated. Opposition fighters allegedly used unknown chemicals against residents in the town of Saraqib and in the northwestern province of Idlib to later put the blame on Assad forces. 

Hacked Emails Reveal 'US-Backed Plan' to Launch Chemical Weapon Attack on Syria, Blame It on Assad 

(ANI & The Truth Seeker & Louise Boyle / The Daily Mail) 

Leaked documents have suggested that the Obama administration gave the green light to stage a chemical weapons attack in Syria that could be blamed on President Bashar al Assad's regime and, in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country. The story, first reported in the mainstream press by the Daily Mail, was subsequently removed from the site. Read the original censored story below. 

Russia Suggests Syria 'Chemical Attack' Was 'Planned Provocation' by Rebels

(Russia Today) 

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network shows bodies of children wrapped in shrouds laid out on the ground as Syrian rebels claim they were killed in a toxic gas attack by pro-government forces in eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21, 2013. But other evidence suggests the rebels (who have used chemical weapons in the past) may have staged the attack to provoke the US into attacking the Syrian regime. 

Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack

(Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh / The Mint Press News) 

GHOUTA, Syria (August 29, 2013) -- As the machinery for a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria gathers pace following last week’s chemical weapons attack, the U.S. and its allies may be targeting the wrong culprit Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group. 

Report: Syrian Rebel Forces Trained by West are Moving Towards Damascus

(The Jerusalem Post) 

The French newspaper Le Figaro reports that guerrilla fighters trained by the West began moving towards Damascus in mid-August. The rebels were trained for several months in a camp on the Jordanian-Syrian border by CIA operatives, as well as Jordanian and Israeli commandos. The first group of 300 handpicked Free Syrian Army soldiers crossed the border on August 17 and a second group was deployed on August 19. 

US Training "Rebels" Since 2011. Wikileaks Revealed The Complete Grand Plan in March 2012 Leak

(Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge) 

For all those still shocked by the "developing events" in Syria, here is the full rundown as it was orchestrated back in 2011, and as it was released in March 2012 by Wikileaks. The goal of US-backed Special Operations Forces was to "commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within." In an air campaign, "The main base they would use is Cyprus, hands down." 

Transparent Hoax Could Lead to War 

(Justin Raimondo / 

There was the time they falsely claimed the Assad regime was killing babies in incubators. Then there was the "massacre" at Houla, which allegedly killed 32 children and over 60 adults. A photo "documenting" the slaughter turned our to have been a hoax. The story was withdrawn and the Syrian rebels went back to the drawing board. Western chemical warfare experts are skeptical that weapons-grade chemical substances were used. 

Syria, Iran Warn a US Attack Would Set the Middle East Ablaze

(RT News & Bassem Mroue and Albert Aji / The Associated Press) 

Iran has warned the US not to cross "the red line" on Syria threatening it would have "severe consequences" for the White House. This follows a statement from Syrian officials who said a strike would create "very serious fallout" for the whole region. The Syrian government accused rebels of using chemical weapons Saturday and warned the United States not to launch any military action against Damascus.