A picture taken on April 4, 2017 shows destruction at a hospital in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, following a suspected toxic gas attack. © AFP 2017/ Omar haj kadour

Syria: The Toxic Meltdown

“These heinous acts by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated.” Thus spoke the President of the United States.

Instant translation; Donald Trump – and/or the alphabet soup of US intelligence agencies, with no detailed investigation – are convinced that the Russian Ministry of Defense is simply lying.

That’s a pretty serious charge. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov, stressing “fully objective and verified” information, identified a Syrian Air Force strike launched against a “moderate rebel” warehouse east of the town of Khan Sheikhoun used to both produce and store shells containing toxic gas.

Konashenkov added the same chemicals had been used by “rebels” in Aleppo late last year, according to samples collected by Russian military experts.

Still, Trump felt compelled to telegraph what is now his own red line in Syria; “Militarily, I don’t like to say when I’m going and what I’m doing. I’m not saying I won’t do anything one way or another, but I certainly won’t be telling you [the media].”

By his side at the White House lawn, the pathetic King Playstation of Jordan praised Trump’s “realistic approach to the challenges in the region.”

This might pass as a Monty Python sketch. Unfortunately, it’s reality.

What’s at stake in Idlib

Hysteria unleashed – once again —, Western public opinion conveniently forgot that declared chemical weapons held by Damascus had been destroyed way back in 2014 on board of a US maritime vessel, no less, under UN supervision.

And Western public opinion conveniently forgot that before Barack Obama’s theoretically trespassed red line on chemical weapons, a secret US intelligence report had made it clear that Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria, had mastered the sarin gas-making cycle and was capable of producing it in quantity.

Not to mention that the Obama administration and its allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar had made a secret pact in 2012 to set up a sarin gas attack and blame Damascus, setting the scene for a Shock and Awe replay. Funding for the project came from the NATO-GCC connection coupled with a CIA-MI6 connection, a.k.a. rat line, of transferring all manner of weapons from Libya to Salafi-jihadis in Syria.

So those toxic weapons that “disappeared” – en masse — from Gaddafi’s arsenals in 2011 ended up upgrading al-Qaeda in Syria (not the Islamic Stare/Daesh), re-baptized Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and widely described across the Beltway as “moderate rebels”.

Cornered in Idlib province, these “rebels” are now the top target of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Russian Air Force. Damascus and Moscow, unlike Washington, are bent on smashing the whole Salafi-jihadi galaxy, not only Daesh. If the SAA continues to advance, and if these “rebels” lose Idlib, it’s game over.

So the offensive by Damascus had to be smeared, no holds barred, in full view of global public opinion.

Yet it does not make any sense whatsoever that only two days before another international conference on Syria, and immediately after the White House was forced to admit that “the Syrian people should choose their destiny” and “Assad must go” is over and done with, Damascus should launch a counterproductive gas attack antagonizing the whole NATO universe.

This walks – and talks — more like the tsunami of lies that predated Shock and Awe on Iraq in 2003, and certainly walks and talks like the renewed turbo-charging of an “al-CIAda” campaign. Jabhat al-Nusra never ceased to be the CIA’s babies in the preferred Syrian regime change scenario.

Your kids are not toxic enough

Trump’s ambassador to the UN, Heritage Foundation asset Nikki Haley, predictably went ballistic, monopolizing the whole Western news cycle. Lost in oblivion, also predictably, was Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Vladimir Safronkov shattering to bits the West’s “obsession with regime change” in Syria, which is “what hinders this Security Council.”

Safronkov stressed the chemical attack in Idlib was based on “falsified reports from the White Helmets”, an organization that has been “discredited long ago”. Indeed; but now the Helmets are Oscar winners, and this pop culture badge of honor renders them unassailable – not to mention immune to the effects of sarin gas.

Whatever Trump and the Pentagon may eventually come up with,an independent US intel analyst, averse to groupthink, is adamant; “Any air attack on Syria would require coordination with Russia, and Russia will not allow any air attack against Assad to take place. Russia has the defensive missiles there that can block the attack. This will be negotiated out. There will be no attack as an attack can precipitate a nuclear war.”

The dead “children of Syria” are now pawns in a much larger, perverse game. The US government may have killed a million men, women and children in Iraq – and there was no serious outcry among the “elites” across the NATO spectrum. A war criminal still at large admitted, on the record, that the snuffing out, directly and indirectly, of 500,000 Iraqi children was “justified.”

For his part, Nobel Peace Prize Barack Obama instrumentalized the House of Saud to fund – and weaponize — some 40 outfits “vetted” by the CIA in Syria. Several of these outfits had in fact already merged with, or were absorbed by, Jabhat al-Nusra, now Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. And they all engaged in their own massacres of civilians.

Meanwhile, the UK keeps merrily weaponizing the House of Saud in its quest to reduce Yemen to a vast famine wasteland pinpointed by “collateral damage” graveyards. The NATO spectrum is certainly not crying for those dead Yemeni children. They are not toxic enough.

By Pepe Escobar
Source: Sputnik News

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