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Khan Sheikhoun, or How Seymour Hersh “Learned Just to Write What I Know, And Move On”

July 28, 2017

By Eliot Higgins

Translations: Русский

Following the July 4th, 2017 publication of the OPCW fact-finding mission (FFM) report on the April 4th, 2017 Khan Sheikhoun Sarin attack in Syria, questions were raised about claims made by the veteran journalist Seymour Hersh in his June 25th, 2017 article in Welt, “Trump‘s Red Line“.

The OPCW FFM report flatly contradicted claims made in Hersh’s article, namely how a Syrian SU-24 supposedly fired a precision-guided munition at a Jihadi command and control center in the north of Khan Sheikhoun, with the resulting explosion inadvertently releasing toxic gases from “medicines and chlorine-based decontaminants” stored in the basement of the building, along with unspecified weapons and munitions.

Hersh’s claim contradicted the OPCW FFM report, which stated that Sarin had been detected in environmental samples and in tests on the victims of the attack. Not only that, but Hersh’s reporting also contradicted claims made by the US, French, Syrian, and Russian governments.

Until July 26th, both Welt and Hersh have been quiet about the obvious contradictions between their claims and the OPCW FFM report. This changed when Charles Davis, editor at ATTN.com, emailed Hersh and asked him to comment on the fact the OPCW FFM report contradicted his claims published in Welt.

Hersh offered no defence of his work, stating that he had “learned just to write what I know, and move on”, and recommended that Davis contact two individuals: Ted Postol, and former UNSCOM inspector Scott Ritter.

With Hersh now offering up Postol and Ritter, it is worth reviewing their statements on the chemical attack, and seeing if they offer any information that supports the claims made by Hersh in Welt.

Ted Postol, professor emeritus of Science, Technology, and International Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has become rather notorious among those who follow the conflict in Syria after his work with the late Richard Lloyd on the August 21st, 2013 Sarin attacks. During his work on the attacks with Lloyd, he analysed the ranges of the rockets used in the attacks, and came to believe, based on maps published by the White House of areas of control in Damascus, that the range of the rockets would have required them to have been launched from rebel territory, the implication being that the attack was therefore a false flag carried out by the rebels to blame the Syrian government.

While open source evidence clearly showed government forces would in fact have been in recently captured territory within the 2-2.5km range Postol and Lloyd proposed for the rockets, Postol continued to promote his theories, and gained particularly notoriety when he sought expertise on chemical weapons not from the MIT chemical engineering department or experts in the field of chemical weapons, but Maram Susli, also known as Partisangirl or Syrian Partisan Girl, a chemistry student in Australia best known for her YouTube videos detailing conspiracy theories and her support of the Syrian government.

Following the April 4th, 2017 attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Postol released a series of reports about the chemical attack. These reports were widely cited by conspiracy websites and Russian news sites, such as Russia Today and Sputnik, and were even referenced by Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, in his attacks on the OPCW FFM report. However, despite publishing nearly a dozen reports on the subject, there was little interest in them from the mainstream media.

While many of Postol’s supporters claimed this lack of interest was just another sign of the mainstream media’s bias against Syria and Russia, it is more likely that the poor quality of his work — both with the August 21 Sarin attack and the Khan Sheikhouna ttack — was responsible for the lack of coverage.

Postol’s reports on Khan Sheikhoun are riddled with errors. For example, in his report “The Human Rights Watch report cites evidence that disaffirms its own conclusions about the alleged nerve agent attack at Khan Sheikhoun in Syria”, Postol makes multiple errors when describing munitions. Firstly, he misidentifies OFAB 250-270 bombs as FAB-250s:

He then describes a RBK-500 BetAB cluster bomb as either a FAB 250 or FAB 500:

These may seem like relatively minor issues, but it demonstrates the unreliability of his work for a supposed weapons expert to make elementary errors regarding these bombs, particularly when discussing the precise nature of the munition used in the Khan Sheikhoun attack. This would not be entirely damning if this was the only error in his reporting, but his other reports contain other basic errors.

In another report, The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur, April 19, Postol claims the wind direction, and the resultant spread of Sarin from the impact site, was inconsistent with the claimed casualty figures, and was evidence that the claims around the attacks were lies.

Shortly afterwards, Postol published his next report IMPORTANT CORRECTION TO The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur, April 21, where he admitted he had got the early wind direction completely wrong, but reassured his readers it still meant there was something fishy about the attack.

In fact, when the OPCW report was released, they stated the movement of the Sarin was influenced more by the terrain than wind:

“The descending nature of the terrain from the initiation point and the distribution of the casualties support the promulgation of a chemical denser than air, which followed the slightly descending nature of the hill towards lower areas towards the West and South West of the likely initiation location, and along a street descending from the hill in a southerly direction.”

Along with the above statement, they also published a map showing the locations of casualties, the location of which matched neither map based on wind direction presented by Postol:

As a final example, Postol’s report The French Intelligence Report of April 26, 2017 Contradicts the Allegations in the White House Intelligence Report of April 11, 2017 contained an error that totally undermines the credibility of Postol as a serious investigator.

In this report, Postol claims that a report published by the French government detailing their reasoning behind linking the Syrian government to the Khan Sheikhoun attack directly contradicts the US claims about the attack. Postol states that the French claimed the attack was not by jets dropping bombs in Khan Sheikhoun, as the Americans claimed, but by helicopters dropping grenades filled with Sarin over the town of Saraqib.

There is, however, one pretty big problem with Postol’s report. In his excitement to debunk another White House narrative, he had somehow not realised the French report was comparing the 2017 Khan Sheikhoun attack to a Sarin attack in April 2013 in the town of Saraqib. Despite it being stated very clearly in the French report that these were two different attacks, Postol had somehow failed to comprehend this, and written a five-page report with the conclusion:

It therefore seems that there are extremely serious discrepancies in multiple intelligence reports that, at a minimum, raise fundamental questions about the veracity of the White House Intelligence Report – and the French Intelligence Report as well. This in turn raises serious questions about how the White House produced an alleged intelligence report that has been shown to have inconsistencies that indicate it could not possibly have been produced and reviewed by the professional US intelligence community.

More than the French report, the thing that was really questioned in this report was whether or not Postol understood how time works.

But, for the moment, let’s ignore the fact Postol’s reports are filled with basic errors, and focus on Hersh. Does anything in Postol’s reports support the claims made by Seymour Hersh in his Welt article? The simple answer is no.

While Postol does seem very interested in fighting what he sees as the “White House narrative,” there’s actually nothing in his report that directly supports Hersh’s specific claims about a Syrian SU-24 dropping a precision munition on a Jihadi command and control center in the north of Khan Sheikhoun. Postol’s work, while rambling and littered with basic errors and misunderstandings, makes no reference to Jihadi command and control centres or precision munitions. In fact, in his first report, he claims Sarin was released from a metal tube filled with Sarin, placed in the crater identified by multiple sources as the release site for the Sarin, and blown up by local rebels. This is certainly not the scenario Hersh describes, which denies that any Sarin was present at the site.

It appears that to Hersh, the primary value of Postol’s reporting is providing another voice contradicting the “White House narrative” which in reality also contradicts the narratives of the OPCW, France, Russia, Syria, and local groups, as well as contradicting serious analysis of the open source evidence.

Hersh also refers to the work of Scott Ritter on the Khan Sheikhoun attack, so can we expect to find anything in his writing that supports Hersh’s version of events? Ritter has written two major pieces on Khan Sheikhoun, Trump’s Sarin Claims Built on ‘Lie’ in the American Conservative before the release of the OPCW FFM report, and Syria’s Alleged Sarin-Gas Attack: Questioning a Flawed Investigation, published after the release of the OPCW FFM report.

Ritter states in the first piece that “In the interests of full disclosure, I had assisted Mr. Hersh in fact-checking certain aspects of his article; I was not a source of any information used in his piece”, and the focus of this piece is comparing the narratives proposed by, as he puts it, “the governments of the United States, Great Britain, France, and supported by the likes of Bellingcat and the White Helmets” and the narrative “put forward by the governments of Russia and Syria, and sustained by the reporting of Seymour Hersh, is that the Syrian air force used conventional bombs to strike a military target, inadvertently releasing a toxic cloud from substances stored at that facility and killing or injuring civilians in Khan Sheikhun.”

It is this last quote that is particular relevant to Hersh, and his referral to Ritter’s work. Claiming the Russian and Syria narrative is “sustained by the reporting of Seymour Hersh” may, on the surface, appear to be correct. The Russian, Syrian, and Hersh narratives all claim that a building was bombed, releasing poisonous gas. However, the actual details of Hersh’s and the governments’ claims are mutually exclusive and contradict one another. The claims from the Russian and Syrian governments published in the aftermath of the attack described a chemical weapons warehouse in the east of town bombed around 11:30am local time. In Hersh’s version of events, a command and control centre in the north of town was bombed at 6:30am local time, thus a different location, time, and target type than the Syrian and Russian governments claimed.

As with Postol’s work, it seems Ritter’s main value to Hersh is another voice claiming the “White House narrative” is untrue, and, as with Postol’s work on Khan Sheikhoun, provides no new evidence that directly supports Hersh’s claims.

What seems clear is that Hersh has no way to defend his reporting. Rather than producing further evidence to support the claims he published in Welt, he is instead looking for anyone who he believes is credible enough to contradict the official “White House narrative” of events, even if, in reality, these sources have poor and mistake-filled reporting, and do not even directly support Hersh’s own claims.

Eliot Higgins

Eliot Higgins is the founder of Bellingcat and the Brown Moses Blog. Eliot focuses on the weapons used in the conflict in Syria, and open source investigation tools and techniques.

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44 Comments

  1. RobTn

    Has Postol published anything since the OPCW report? It used to be almost weekly as I recall.

    I looked, haven’t seen it if he has, but maybe I am looking in the wrong places?

    Reply
  2. Tettodoro

    Good review. I’ve always wondered about the uncritical reception of Lloyd & Postol’s work – and its distortion (like you I was able to easily identify locations within the range specified by L&P from which regime forces could have launched the attack). Moreover all scientific work is subject to “peer review” before its regarded as robust. But no one has ever done a peer review of L&P – which was, it should be emphasized, based on a *simulation* not a real world experiment. This is subject to many assumptions and estimated parameters and should not be taken as gospel when it comes from a single research team, no matter how eminent.

    Reply
    • Bubslug

      “….(like you I was able to easily identify locations within the range specified by L&P from which regime forces could have launched the attack).”

      I looked at the July 15, 2014 post by Higgins on that topic. The hard evidence is that the SAA was in control (but under attack at) the bypass highway cloverleaf underpass. There’s no hard evidence presented (only rebel claims) that the SAA was in control of any area south of the river or east of the bypass freeway on August 21.

      If that is the case, 2 of the 3 best documented sarin rocket impacts (by the UN inspectors), using the maximum range of about 2.1 km, it means that these 2 rockets were not launched from SAA controlled territory.

      Reply
  3. Louis Proyect

    I honestly think that Postol and Hersh have cognitive deficits as a result of aging, not that this in itself would explain their conspiracist gaffes. It is more that everybody involved with Assadist propaganda becomes irretrievably tainted and all the more so when you are prone to senior moments.

    Reply
  4. Bubslug

    Seymour Hersch may be wrong but there is no proof offered so far that the sarin release was the result of a SAA dropped munition. The evidence of a XXX lb. sarin bomb is conspicuous by it’s absence.

    In addition, the wind direction by the bomb plumes is mostly to the east so the OPCW claim the gas just drifted “downhill” by gravity to the southwest doesn’t seem credible, but that said someone should model the density difference of “sarin dispersed air”, which would be warmed slightly by the burst charge in the bomb, and ambient air at the humidity and temperature of Khan Shaykhun, pre-dawn.

    Reply
    • DDTea

      You’re still overstating the effect of a light, 2-4 mph wind at ground level. Yes, the cloud drifting downhill is absolutely credible. And it’s validated by the location of the casualties.

      What “should” have happened is irrelevant next to data that states what *did* happen.

      Reply
      • Marko

        I agree with you completely about the expected drift of a sarin gas cloud in what was likely nearly dead-calm conditions at ground level , and I’m someone that still firmly believes that this was a staged event.

        Reply
      • Bubslug

        ‘What “should” have happened is irrelevant next to data that states what *did* happen’

        Last I heard OPCW inspectors never visited Khan Shaykhun (and probably never will). So we’re left doing what they did: speculate. What independently gathered data can you point to which demonstrates that a sarin cloud released at a crater downwind of the alleged victim sites, drifted downslope against the prevailing wind direction.

        Reply
        • RobTn

          Well – if you believe Postol’s SECOND stab at which way the wind was blowing he shows it as blowing FROM the east to the west.

          Granted the wind was headed more NW than SW but that’s still not against the direction of the wind.

          Or maybe Postol got it wrong the second time too?

          Reply
          • Bubslug

            “Well – if you believe Postol’s SECOND stab at which way the wind was blowing he shows it as blowing FROM the east to the west.”

            Postol made the same mistake as the OPCW June report: he estimated the wind from the nearest weather station (Hama). The OPCW FFM estimated the wind was “was coming from somewhere between the South and the East, but could not be certain”. As you can see from Postol’s wind map above he estimated the same wind direction, from the southeast.

            However, both are wrong if you believe the “bomb cloud” videos of Khan Shaykhun were recorded on April 4. They clearly show the bomb clouds drifting to the east. You can argue no or low air movement below a temperature inversion, but it’s clearly incorrect that the wind at 6:40ish in the morning was blowing from the south east quadrant.

          • RobTn

            Assuming that the location and direction of those filmed images are correct.

            Has anyone verified them?

          • Bubslug

            @RobTN:

            “Assuming that the location and direction of those filmed images are correct.”

            BellingCat confirmed the camera locations and time is pretty clearly near sunrise, so time is known +/- 15 minutes or so. The date is only April 4 or earlier; it’s not possible to prove the videos were not shot earlier than April 4, despite there being multiple recording points.

    • trak

      Who is Hersh? This is bellingcat propaganda channel, and bellingcat always find someone or something who talks bullshit. Hersh is counter propaganda from USA and he amde a lot of good jobs with verified infos. Who cares about Hersh´s informants. Do you really think all these leaks from Washington D.C.establishment is right? LOL

      Reply
      • RobTn

        Hersh is the one who based his argument on an attack early in the morning in Khan Sheikhoun.

        If there was no attack then Hersh must be lying from your argument.

        Reply
  5. Louis Proyect

    “More importantly, where does Postol claim Ghouta was a false flag?”

    Here:

    Reply
    • Mark

      No, he doesn’t claim Ghouta was a false flag there. First, he says “Certainly it would be speculation, but there have been reports.” He is not claiming anything himself.

      Second, the interview is based on the cylinders found by the government in rebel-held Jobar after the Ghouta attack. This was announced in July 2014, only a couple months after Postol wrote his statement quoted above. Postol was likely commenting on the cylinders, not the Ghouta attack. It is necessary to hear the entire interview to find out what he was talking about. The presenter’s mention of Ghouta does not mean Postol was talking about it.

      BTW, these cylinders are not the only evidence of rebel Sarin use in Ghouta. The final UN report in 2013 found that there was a sarin attack on government troops in Jobar on August 25.

      I am not saying Ghouta was a false flag.

      Reply
      • Louis Proyect

        You need to take a remedial listening class. The RT “reporter” said that Moscow accused the Syrian rebels of using Sarin gas in Ghouta and then goes on to say that Postol agrees with Moscow but does not think that they were capable of making it, referring to Hersh’s stupid LRB articles about it being supplied by Turkey. Just hone into about 30 seconds into the Youtube clip where the “reporter” says exactly these words about Postol believing that “the rebels were behind the attacks”.

        I don’t mind you being an Assadist tool. Just try to do a better job so you won’t waste our time.

        Reply
        • Mark

          I’ve been called an Assadist tool by LP! I’m in the big leagues now!

          Maybe it’s a “senior moment”, but now you are relying on RT to accurately state Postol’s position. Yes, the presenter said that. But did Postol? No. In fact, here’s Postol the same month as the interview: https://cryptome.org/2014/08/postol-debunks-kaszeta.pdf

          “Based on the public information we now have, we cannot say for sure who executed the atrocity of August 21, 2013. But what we can say is that there is now substantial evidence that points to the possibility that the August atrocity in Damascus was a false flag attack by certain Sunni rebel forces that are now operating freely in Iraq as well as in Syria.”

          So he’s a possible false flagger. Call him names for that if you wish, but at least be truthful about what Postol has said.

          Reply
        • MH

          Louis,
          I would be wary of throwing around the word “tool” if I were you. People in glass houses, etc… Among the so-called pro-war left that has spread so much disinformation and confusion about Syria you are surely one of the least informed and therefore most objectionable.

          Reply
        • Louis Proyect

          If you were not satisfied with the RT.com clip above, here’s a later one in which Postol specifically asserts that Moscow was likely correct when it described Ghouta as a false flag incident.

          Reply
        • Mark

          He’s still a possible false flagger, not a full bore one. “This finding tends to suggest that the Russian point of view is more likely to be correct.” More likely as in relative, the found cylinders make it more likely than before that a false flag happened. His clear written statements still say he doesn’t know who carried out the attack. Since you have so much time to search through RT interviews, why can’t you find a better example where he says “the rebels did it”?

          Reply
      • RobTn

        I think you are overstating what the UN say about Jobar.

        What they actually said was

        “Jobar, 24 August 2013
        113. 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.
        19
        However, in the absence of primary information on the delivery system(s) and 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. “

        Reply
        • Bubslug

          “However, in the absence of primary information on the delivery system(s) and 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. “

          Every facet of the statement by the UN on their analysis of the Jobar attack is also true for OPCW Khan Shaykhun analysis.

          Reply
        • RobTn

          I’d add that I find myself intrigued by, withing a small number of posts, we have two posters both making claims that are demonstrably untrue. First by saying “the OPCW didn’t mention XXX’ when they did and then “the UN said YYY” when they didn’t.

          Reply
        • Bubslug

          @RobTn:

          “Apparently the OPCW would disagree with you.”

          What primary information did the OPCW present on delivery systems? The word “bomb” and “rocket” do not appear anywhere in their report.

          Did the OPCW analyze any samples collected under a verifiable “chain of custody”?

          Did the OPCW establish independently where the victims where affected, at what exact time, and the release point of the agent?

          Do you think the OPCW have evidence they didn’t present? In the June 29 report they are still hedging their analysis as “sarin or sarin-like substance” which could be Phosphine. The OPCW did not make a visit to Khan Shaykhun and sample the basement dust/window sills etc. to determine the true geographic extent of the alleged sarin affected area. They drew a green blob on a map based on witness statements alone. Only by sampling did the UN find out in West Ghouta (Moadamiyah) witness statements were likely false.

          Unfortunately the time for sampling is probably past as rain has no doubt fallen, and houses have been cleaned since the attack, plus the sarin would have degraded to IMPA and maybe further to MPA. The UN was not interested in re-sampling the Khan Al Assal attack site to corroborate the Syrian government claims of a rebel sarin attack in 2013 because they said too much time had passed and the sarin trace sampling would be inconclusive. I expect that excuse would be used by the OPCW should the SAA take Khan Shaykhun from Hayat Tahrir Al Sham.

          Reply
          • RobTn

            Umm – no – in the Jobar case which we were discussing it had been bulldozed.

            “At the alleged location of the incident the United Nations Mission concluded that the site had
            been corrupted by one or several bulldozers performing mine-clearing activities. Therefore the
            exact location of the impact of the alleged device could not be determined. Furthermore, the
            United Nations Mission did not find any fragments of munitions at the site.”

            Also no to this

            ” In the June 29 report they are still hedging their analysis as “sarin or sarin-like substance” which could be Phosphine. ”

            They specifically call out sarin.

            And what on earth makes you describe phosphine as ‘sarin like’?

            Phosphine isn’t an organophosphate (lacking organic groups as it does).

            Why say things that can be shown so easily to be untrue?

        • Bubslug

          @Robtn:

          “Phosphine isn’t an organophosphate (lacking organic groups as it does).”

          Wikipedia notes a group of phosphine compounds with this comment:

          “Phosphines are also a group of organophosphorus compounds with the formula R3P (R = organic derivative)”

          My mistake; I’ll revisit my research on organophosphates containing phosphine, which I think is how you are defining the word.

          In any case there other “sarin-like” phosphorous-containing compounds, which are nerve agents. And why would the OPCW continue to refer to “sarin-like compounds” if they are 100% sure the agent was sarin?

          As for the bulldozing of Jobar, what’s that got to do with my comment? I claimed that neither the UN at Jobar (and Khan Al Assal for that matter) and the OPCW at Khan Shaykhun could not independently verify the link between victims, the alleged event, and the alleged site. That doesn’t mean that the “non-verification” has to be for the same reasons for these different events.

          Reply
          • RobTn

            Congratulations for discovering Wikipedia!

            *Phosphine*is a specific compound – PH3.

            “I’ll revisit my research on organophosphates containing phosphine, which I think is how you are defining the word”

            I think you mean compounds containing *phosphorus*. They can’t contain – *phosphine* as that has a particular definition. (PH3)

            ” And why would the OPCW continue to refer to “sarin-like compounds” if they are 100% sure the agent was sarin?”

            That would be where the full OPCW report calls out SARIN, not “Sarin like” compounds. Heck even the Syrian government labs declared SARIN.

            “re-sampling the Khan Al Assal attack site to corroborate the Syrian government claims of a rebel sarin attack in 2013 because they said too much time had passed and the sarin trace sampling would be inconclusive”

            Well we WERE discussing Jobal, now you are pulling in another events as trying to spin Jobal failed?

        • Bubslug

          @RobTN:

          You mean “Jobar” not “Jobal” don’t you?

          As for this comment: “That would be where the full OPCW report calls out SARIN, not “Sarin like” compounds.”, the OPCW report uses the word “sarin-like” 48 times in their report, including in the description of laboratory results presented in Table 2 and 3.

          I assume they use this phrase where they cannot definitively distinguish between sarin and other organophosphate compounds. Anyway, my point is the OPCW is not 100% sure the biomedical samples were sarin or they would be definitive it was sarin and nothing else. They do clearly state the samples near the crater were positive for sarin, not “a sarin-like substance”, so where they can be, they are definitive.

          The most likely interpretation is that is was sarin, and I agree with that, but it goes to show other scenarios are possible, namely that it is possible some victims were poisoned by other organophosphate compounds. This would be evidence of a false flag scenario where the HTS rebels didn’t have enough sarin to simulate an SAA attack, and so used pesticides with similar symptoms and lab results.

          However, I don’t actually think that is the scenario. I think this is a false flag where HST used impure sarin to simulate a government attack. The point is the evidence is such that you can’t rule that scenario out.

          Reply
          • RobTn

            Check out the full OPCW report.

            Table 7, Page 45, 46. Sarin. Not “sarin or sarin like”.

            Also

            “Table 8 below shows the results of analyses as performed by the SSRC in Barzah and
            by the OPCW Laboratory on the samples provided by the Government of the Syrian
            Arab Republic.
            TABLE 8: ANALYSIS OF SAMPLES PROVIDED BY THE SYRIAN ARAB
            REPUBLIC ”

            Page 47.

            Which also records SARIN (not “sarin or Sarin like”)

            Also see that Russia also accepts it was sarin

            “”Now when the use of sarin may be considered as an established fact, and we do not challenge it, there is the need to focus on how this toxic agent had been used and how it had been delivered to the scene,” he said. “Only in this case we can hope to establish the truth and those guilty of the crime.”” (Mikhail Ulyanov)

            More:
            http://tass.com/politics/955033

          • RobTn

            So

            “. I think this is a false flag where HST used impure sarin to simulate a government attack. The point is the evidence is such that you can’t rule that scenario out.”

            We are going with shifting the burden of proof. Are you familiar with Russel’ls teapot?

        • Bubslug

          @RobTN:

          ‘Table 7, Page 45, 46. Sarin. Not “sarin or sarin like”.’

          I know that hence my previous statement: ‘They do clearly state the samples near the crater were positive for sarin, not “a sarin-like substance”, so where they can be, they are definitive.’ The samples from the crater were in Table 7 and I did have a sentence on Table 7 in the post but it seemed repetitive given the sentence above so I deleted it.

          However, the use of sarin to “salt” the crater with false flag evidence does not mean the victims were all killed with it. If the jihadists had a limited supply of sarin they could have resorted to other compounds with the same symptoms to create the story of a government chemical attack by air.

          Reply
          • RobTn

            So you’ve now entered the realms of any evidence that fits the use of Sarin must have been fabricated….
            Well it’s A theory.

  6. RobTn

    Just following up on that

    “At approximately 06:30, alerts were issued via hand-held radios reporting that
    military jets had departed an airfield and were heading in the general direction of
    Khan Shaykhun, amongst other areas. At that time, many residents were at home,
    either in bed or preparing to go to work. The weather was sunny, with a clear sky and no discernible wind”

    Section 5.12 on page 19 of the full report.

    And 5.15 (page 20)

    “Whilst providing assistance to the boy, the witness was warned of an
    attack by a jet, via a radio, and took cover. ”

    Your statement appears to be untrue.

    Reply
    • Bubslug

      “Whilst providing assistance to the boy, the witness was warned of an
      attack by a jet, via a radio, and took cover. ”

      That’s the best evidence you have for an air dropped chemical munition? “I heard there was a jet attack on my radio”? I’ve looked at much reporting and video surrounding this event, including witness interviews and while some witnesses describe a “bomb” as the attack munition, others refer to “rockets”.

      Which is it? The metal fragment in the crater looks more like a fragment of a 122 mm rocket than a bomb. If the conventional portion of the attack was rockets, it could have been executed by the rebels. That’s not true of a bomb attack, which can only be dropped from aircraft.

      The OPCW report refers to neither and so they at least are not clear on what munition was used. Despite much speculation to date on this important detail, the proponents of the “Assad did it” theory have presented no hard evidence this attack was done by an air dropped munition. Mostly the reasoning on this is that it was a bomb but most of the fragments are yet to be found.

      Reply
      • RobTn

        Nope – I have not presented it as

        ” the best evidence you have for an air dropped chemical munition? ”

        It just gives the lie to the statement that

        “OMG, the OPCW reports clearly states there are no evidences that there was an air attack in the morning. Early warning systems and witnesses asked by OPCW: No air attack, noone saw a plane, no air attack alarm, no air supplied bombs.”

        The OPCW did not “clearly states there are no evidence” and specifically talks about warnings.

        That poster is making a false statement.

        Reply
        • trak

          No you are biasing facts, mix up 2 different informations. Start using your brain to understand what is written (by OSCE and me) and not only to understand your own fantasy conclusions.

          Reply
    • trak

      Yes that´s right but this alarm was not sent in Khan Sheikoun, maybe you forgot to read rest of the text. In Khan Sheikoun btw. was no alarm (verified by OSCE) because these planes never flew to Khan Sheykoun.

      Are you just stupid or a propaganda troll?

      Reply
      • RobTn

        Wring again.

        The section of the rpoert

        “5.10 The narrative in this section relates to Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017. I”

        and that described the alarms in Khan Shaykhun

        “5.12 At approximately 06:30, alerts were issued via hand-held radios”

        etc.

        If you are going to lie at least make an effort to be credible.

        Proving that what you said about the report is a lie ridiculously easy.

        Reply
        • trak

          You are trolling hard! Read the rest of the text! But why I ask? You already read thesentence but always forget quote rest of the sentence:
          5.12 At approximately 06:30, alerts were issued via hand-held radios reporting >>that
          military jets had departed an airfield and were heading in the general direction of
          Khan Shaykhun, amongst other areas.

          These planes never flew to Khan Sheykoun they just started into that direction! But they never flew there! That´s why there was no air alarm in Khan Sheykoun! And noone in Khan Sheykoun witnessed an air attack just because there was none!

          Reply
          • RobTn

            But maybe you’re suggesting that they’d only issue warnings after the planes arrived?

            Do you understand the concept of a warning? It happens BEFORE an event ….

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