President Donald Trump and his administration have stated that Syria “will pay a heavy price” for preparing another chemical weapons assault against innocent civilians in their country. The announcement caught military officials off guard, according to the New York Times.
In April, Trump shocked the world when he launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles while having dinner at Mar-a-Lago with Chinese President Xi Jinping in an apparent attempt to show how powerful he was as president. Now he’s stepping up his rhetoric against the country and talking about going to war.
But – there’s explosive new information that there were no chemical weapons at all, and Trump is simply lying about it on the world stage.
According to well-respected journalist Seymour Hersh, recipient of the 1970 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting and known for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up in the Vietnam War, U.S. military officials tried to tell Trump that a chemical weapons attack never occurred in Syria at all:
On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.
The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives. Details of the attack, including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha, whose mission is to coordinate all U.S., allied, Syrian and Russian Air Force operations in the region.
Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president’s determination to ignore the evidence. “None of this makes any sense,” one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. “We KNOW that there was no chemical attack … the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth … I guess it didn’t matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.“
Meanwhile, Syria and Russia are vehemently denying the accusations. They stated that the Trump administration was merely using it as an excuse to attack them. Pentagon officials even admit that it only looked like active preparations for a chemical attack and have to this day provided no evidence that a chemical attack even occurred on account of the Assad regime when Trump launched his first attack.
I am not aware of any information about a threat that chemical weapons could be used,” Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said on Tuesday.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran, Mr. Assad’s only regional ally, also rejected the Trump administration’s warning, describing it as a ploy.
“Another dangerous U.S. escalation in Syria on fake pretext will only serve ISIS, precisely when it’s being wiped out by Iraqi & Syrian people,” Mr. Zarif tweeted.
Here’s more from Seymour Hersh:
“This was not a chemical weapons strike,” the adviser said. “That’s a fairy tale. If so, everyone involved in transferring, loading and arming the weapon – you’ve got to make it appear like a regular 500-pound conventional bomb – would be wearing Hazmat protective clothing in case of a leak. There would be very little chance of survival without such gear. Military grade sarin includes additives designed to increase toxicity and lethality. Every batch that comes out is maximized for death. That is why it is made. It is odorless and invisible and death can come within a minute. No cloud. Why produce a weapon that people can run away from?”
The adviser said … “Did the Syrians plan the attack on Khan Sheikhoun? Absolutely. Do we have intercepts to prove it? Absolutely. Did they plan to use sarin? No. But the president did not say: ‘We have a problem and let’s look into it.’ He wanted to bomb the shit out of Syria.”
“What doesn’t occur to most Americans” the adviser said, “is if there had been a Syrian nerve gas attack authorized by Bashar, the Russians would be 10 times as upset as anyone in the West. Russia’s strategy against ISIS, which involves getting American cooperation, would have been destroyed and Bashar would be responsible for pissing off Russia, with unknown consequences for him. Bashar would do that? When he’s on the verge of winning the war? Are you kidding me?”
Within hours of viewing the photos, the adviser said, Trump instructed the national defense apparatus to plan for retaliation against Syria. “He did this before he talked to anybody about it. The planners then asked the CIA and DIA if there was any evidence that Syria had sarin stored at a nearby airport or somewhere in the area. Their military had to have it somewhere in the area in order to bomb with it.” “The answer was, ‘We have no evidence that Syria had sarin or used it,’” the adviser said. “The CIA also told them that there was no residual delivery for sarin at Sheyrat [the airfield from which the Syrian SU-24 bombers had taken off on April 4] and Assad had no motive to commit political suicide.” Everyone involved, except perhaps the president, also understood that a highly skilled United Nations team had spent more than a year in the aftermath of an alleged sarin attack in 2013 by Syria, removing what was said to be all chemical weapons from a dozen Syrian chemical weapons depots.
At this point, the adviser said, the president’s national security planners were more than a little rattled: “No one knew the provenance of the photographs. We didn’t know who the children were or how they got hurt. Sarin actually is very easy to detect because it penetrates paint, and all one would have to do is get a paint sample. We knew there was a cloud and we knew it hurt people. But you cannot jump from there to certainty that Assad had hidden sarin from the UN because he wanted to use it in Khan Sheikhoun.” The intelligence made clear that a Syrian Air Force SU-24 fighter bomber had used a conventional weapon to hit its target: There had been no chemical warhead.”