Germany sold Syria chemicals with military potential

September 18, 2013
(Germany exported 111 tons of chemicals to Syria between 2002 and 2006 that could be used in the production of sarin gas, according to a government document published on Wednesday. )

Hostage Released From Syrian Prison Says he Overheard Rebel Captors Admitting Insurgents Used The Chemical Weapons (Video)

September 10, 2013
A Belgian writer who was held hostage with an Italian reporter for five months in Syria says that he heard their rebel captors deny that President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the Ghouta massacre. The two were kidnapped while working in the war torn country back in April and were released over the weekend.

Pierre Piccinin said that he and fellow hostage Domenico Quirico, an Italian war reporter, heard their jailers talking about the chemical weapon attack and saying that Assad was not to blame.

Quirico confirmed to La Stampa newspaper that they had eavesdropped such a conversation through a closed door but added that he had no evidence to substantiate what he heard.
Piccinin said the captives became desperate when they heard that the US was planning to launch a punitive attack against the regime over the gas attack in the Damascus suburb.
“It wasn’t the government of Bashar al-Assad that used sarin gas or any other gas in Ghouta,” Piccinin told Belgian RTL radio after he was released.
“We are sure about this because we overheard a conversation between rebels. It pains me to say it because I’ve been a fierce supporter of the Free Syrian Army in its rightful fight for democracy since 2012,” Piccinin added.
Here is an interview Pierre Piccinin had with RTL TV:
Watch with the captions. The translation is very poor, but it is clear that he doesn’t think that Assad released the chemical weapons.
Piccinin’s fellow prisoner said it would be “madness” to say that he knew for sure that Assad was not culpable.
“I do not know if this is true but nothing tells me it is,” he said.
Quirico said he listened to a Skype conversation between three individuals, whose names he could not confirm. One identified himself as a Free Syrian Army general.
The three contended that insurgents had used gas in Ghouta to trigger Western intervention.
“I have no evidence to confirm this theory and I do not know who these people were or if they are reliable,” Quirico said.
“It is impossible for me to say if this conversation was based on real events or on rumours and hearsay. It is not my habit to hold true conversations overheard through a door.”
Kidnapped in April, Piccinin and Quirico were freed by their captors and flown to Rome.
Quirico said he was treated badly. The Syrian revolution had turned into something “very dangerous” since he began covering it, he added.
Just one more hole in Obama’s “slam dunk” case.

Iranians Warned U.S. That Syrian Rebels Had Chemical Weapons Over a Year Ago…

According to leaked diplomatic correspondence obtained by the Christian Science Monitor, ‘Iran has been warning Washington since July 2012 that Sunni rebel fighters have acquired chemical weapons, and called on the US to send “an immediate and serious warning” to rebel groups not to use them.’ In one letter Iran stated that as a “supporter” of the rebels,  the US would be held responsible for any use of the chemical weapons.
Iran amplified those year-old warnings over the weekend in its strongest public comments to date linking the rebels with a chemical weapons, echoing Russia‘s dismissal of American assurances that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces were to blame. The comments come as the US Congress prepares to vote on military strikes.
“There is ample intelligence that takfiri  [extremist] groups are in possession of chemical arms,” Iran’sForeign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday during a visit to Iraq, according to state-run PressTV. “Extremists and takfiris are a threat to the whole region.” Semi-official Fars News Agency headlined its story: “Iranian FM refutes US claims on Syria’s use of chemical weapons.”
Multiple warnings
Iran says that it warned the United States directly, in mid- and late- 2012, and at least once after that, about the risks of chemical weapons among the rebels. The letter acquired by the Monitor references messages from July 18 and Dec. 1, 2012.
According to the English translation that accompanies the one-page Persian document, the letter reads: “Alerting [worrying] news has been published about the preparations of insurgent forces in Syria for using chemical weapons/elements.”
Iran “holds responsible, in addition to the elements of violent forces, their supporter countries including the American government, for any resort to chemical weapons/elements by those insurgent forces,” it states.
The letter makes no reference to the possibility of chemical weapons use by Syria itself – holder of the world’s third-largest chemical arsenal. Nor does it acknowledge that if the same argument was applied to the regime, then Iran and Russia, Syria’s closest supporters, would likewise be held responsible for any regime use of chemical weapons.
The Iranian letter is undated and was produced by the previous government under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to informed sources in Iran who provided a copy to the Monitor on the condition that they not be further identified.
Reuters reported back in May that the UN had collected testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas.
U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.
The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.
“Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.
“This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” she added, speaking in Italian.
Hostages who were recently released from a Syrian prison say they overheard a Skype conversation between three rebels, one who identified himself as a Free Syrian Army general. The three contended that insurgents had used gas in Ghouta to trigger Western intervention.
On CBS’ Face the Nation, Sunday, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said  that the Obama Regime “embellished” its public statements on the situation in Syria.  Amash said that the evidence presented to Congress during briefings is “not as strong” as what the Obama administration has been telling the public.
Democrat Alan Grayson D-FL is also saying that the Obama administration manipulated intelligence in order to push its case for U.S. involvement in the country’s two-year civil war.
The Daily Caller reported that according to former military officers who had access to the original intelligence reports, a Syrian military communication intercepted by Israel’s famed Unit 8200 electronic intelligence outfit was doctored so to lead the reader to just the opposite conclusion reached by the original report.
The doctored report was leaked to a private Internet-based newsletter that boasts of close ties to the Israeli intelligence community, and led to news reports that the United States now had firm evidence showing that the Syrian government had ordered the chemical weapons attack on August 21 against a rebel-controlled suburb of Damascus.
The doctored report was picked up on Israel’s Channel 2 TV  on Aug. 24, then by Focus magazine in Germany, the Times of Israel, and eventually by The Cable  in Washington, DC.
According to the doctored report, the chemical attack was carried out by the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division of the Syrian Army, an elite unit commanded by Maher al-Assad, the president’s brother.
However, the original communication intercepted by Unit 8200 between a major in command of the rocket troops assigned to the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division, and the general staff, shows just the opposite.
The general staff officer asked the major if he was responsible for the chemical weapons attack. From the tone of the conversation, it was clear that “the Syrian general staff were out of their minds with panic that an unauthorized strike had been launched by the 155th Brigade in express defiance of their instructions,” the former officers say.
According to the transcript of the original Unit 8200 report, the major “hotly denied firing any of his missiles” and invited the general staff to come and verify that all his weapons were present.
The report contains a note at the end that the major was interrogated by Syrian intelligence for three days, then returned to command of his unit. “All of his weapons were accounted for,” the report stated.
This ties in with what Walid Shoebat has been reporting – Evidence: Syrian Rebels used Chemical Weapons (not Assad) and Yossef Bodansky’s blockbuster piece: Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?
This morning Secretary of State John Kerry said the US is awaiting a proposal from the Russians about how Syria could agree to give up its chemical weapons, but will not wait for long.
Kerry told a House panel on Tuesday that the Obama administration will give any proposal a hard look, but that it must not be used as a delaying tactic and that it has to be verifiable, real, and include tangible conditions for Syrian President Bashar Assad to forfeit his chemical weapons.
Kerry is testifying in the House to persuade members of the Armed Services Committee to back Obama’s request for military action against Syria — a strike that could be avoided if Syria gives up its weapons.
Meanwhile, @AP: BREAKING: Senate Republican leader McConnell announces his opposition to military strikes against Syria.

Did Mandela’s friend supply chemical weapons to Syrian rebels?

September 8, 2013
Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Nelson Mandela
REPORTS from Syria by Jordanian journalists allege that it was Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia who distributed those chemical weapons to the Syrian rebels.
If true, it indicates the chemical attack in Damascus to have been a false-flag operation by the American war business.
This would be entirely in keeping with Prince Bandar’s history of organising the Afghan mujahideen in the 1980s, the Iran-Contra weapons exchanges, Libya in 2011, the suppression of the Shia uprising in Bahrain, Saudi support for the coup d’etat in Egypt and support for Syrian rebels.
Other reports confirm that Prince Bandar also went to see Russian President Vladimir Putin last month and offered to buy $15bn worth of Russian weapons provided Mr Putin abandoned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Mr Putin gave him short shrift.
Prince Bandar was not only the Saudi ambassador in Washington for 22 years and friends of Ronald Reagan and the Bush family, but he also negotiated the 1985 £43bn Al-Yamamah weapons deal with Margaret Thatcher, which Tony Blair renewed in 2007 with the Al-Salaam weapons deal.
When the British Serious Fraud Office investigated the bribes which BAE Systems paid him, Prince Bandar allegedly threatened blood in the streets of London.
Mr Blair squelched the investigation citing “national security.” The Guardian newspaper revealed a couple of months later how BAE with collusion of the British government had laundered bribes to Prince Bandar of over £1bn through Riggs Bank in Washington DC and other US banks.
Most importantly, Prince Bandar and Ms Thatcher negotiated the Al-Yamamah deal under the British Official Secrets Act, meaning that it cannot be investigated in Britain.
Saudi Arabia ships thousands of barrels per day of oil consigned to the Bank of England, which is then distributed to Shell and BP.
Over the years a surplus has developed, which is guesstimated to be worth over $150bn. Its purpose is a) to guarantee British and US support for the Saudi royal family against domestic insurrection and b) to fund covert destabilisation of resource-rich countries in Asia and Africa under the guise of the war on terror.
Having targeted Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and other countries over the years, Syria and Egypt are Prince Bandar’s current targets. When will SA be targeted by the American and British “war business” given our country’s mineral wealth?
Saudi Arabia made lavish donations to the African National Congress. Prince Bandar was also the only foreigner present at Nelson Mandela’s secret wedding to Graca Machel, and was a frequent visitor to SA when the arms deal was being negotiated.

Obama’s Smoking Gun Proof That Assad Was Behind Chemical Weapons Attack Was Doctored?

September 6, 2013
Alan Grayson
(Nice Deb) What?
The Daily Caller reported this a week ago – and somehow I missed it???
Alan Grayson (D-Bag) had to bring it to my attention after asking about it at the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday.
Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who is aggressively lobbying against a military strike on Syria, says the Obama administration has manipulated intelligence to push its case for U.S. involvement in the country’s two-year civil war.
Grayson made the accusation in an interview published Wednesday by The Atlantic and offered more detail in a Thursday discussion with U.S. News. He says members of Congress are being given intelligence briefings without any evidence to support administration claims that Syrian leader Bashar Assad ordered the use of chemical weapons.
Grayson said he cannot discuss the classified briefings, but noted details in the administration’s public, non-classified report are being contested.
The White House released its four-page public report Aug. 30, arguing that Assad’s government killed 1,429 people on Aug. 21 with a planned chemical weapon attack. Evidence cited in that report included “intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used.”
Grayson, however, says “the claim has been made that that information was completely mischaracterized.”
He points to an article published by The Daily Caller that alleges the communications actually showed Syrian officers were surprised by the alleged chemical weapon attack. The communications, according to unnamed sources paraphrased in article, were intercepted by Israeli intelligence and “doctored so that it leads a reader to just the opposite conclusion.”
What’s Alan Grayson doing reading the Daily Caller?
Never mind that… What Kenneth Timmerman reported in the Caller last Thursday is quite stunning. He charges that the Obama administration has selectively used intelligence to justify the military strikes on Syria, basing his assessment on the testimony of former military officers with access to the original intelligence reports.
According to these officers, who served in top positions in the United States, Britain, France, Israel, and Jordan, a Syrian military communication intercepted by Israel’s famed Unit 8200 electronic intelligence outfit has been doctored so that it leads a reader to just the opposite conclusion reached by the original report.
The doctored report was leaked to a private Internet-based newsletter that boasts of close ties to the Israeli intelligence community, and led to news reports that the United States now had firm evidence showing that the Syrian government had ordered the chemical weapons attack on August 21 against a rebel-controlled suburb of Damascus.
The doctored report was picked up on Israel’s Channel 2 TV on Aug. 24, then by Focus magazine in Germany, the Times of Israel, and eventually by The Cable in Washington, DC.
According to the doctored report, the chemical attack was carried out by the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division of the Syrian Army, an elite unit commanded by Maher al-Assad, the president’s brother.
However, the original communication intercepted by Unit 8200 between a major in command of the rocket troops assigned to the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division, and the general staff, shows just the opposite.
The general staff officer asked the major if he was responsible for the chemical weapons attack. From the tone of the conversation, it was clear that “the Syrian general staff were out of their minds with panic that an unauthorized strike had been launched by the 155th Brigade in express defiance of their instructions,” the former officers say.
According to the transcript of the original Unit 8200 report, the major “hotly denied firing any of his missiles” and invited the general staff to come and verify that all his weapons were present.
The report contains a note at the end that the major was interrogated by Syrian intelligence for three days, then returned to command of his unit. “All of his weapons were accounted for,” the report stated.
This ties in with what Walid Shoebat has been reporting – Evidence: Syrian Rebels used Chemical Weapons (not Assad) and Yossef Bodansky’s blockbuster piece: Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?
Just wow…….

Egypt used chemical weapons in the 1960s; no one did anything then either:

August 25, 2013
Arabs, allied with Russia, kill hundreds of other Arabs with chemical weapons. A cover-up of chemical weapons use and angry denials, allowing Western nations stand by and do nothing for political reasons.

In 1967.

FromChemical and Biological Warfare: A Reference Handbook,by Albert J. Mauroni (2007):

The Yemeni Civil War (1962-1970) pitted the Yemeni royalists of the deposed imam against the Yemen republican forces in North Yemen, with Saudi Arabia and Jordan supporting the royalists and Egypt supporting the republican forces. This war was fought for five years until the two forces reached a stalemate in 1967. Although there had been occasional mentions of Egyptian military employment of mustard agent—filled bombs between 1963 and 1966, in 1967 these attacks became more frequent. International journalists began reporting that Ilyushin heavy bombers were dropping mustard-filled and phosgene-filled bombs on cities and rebel bases.

In January 1967, a gas attack near Sada killed more than 125 people. In May, two villages suffered 75 casualties from phosgene-filled bombs. Between 1967 and 1968, it is estimated that more than 1,000 Yemeni were killed as a result of exposure to CW agents. An International Red Cross mission sent doctors to assist the wounded, and the doctors testified to what they saw. Al-though they were careful to clarify that they did not see any evidence of actual attacks taking place, the signs and symptoms of the victims included burning eyes and trachea, pulmonary edema, internal thorax pain, extreme fatigue, and anorexia. Their findings were that in all probability these victims had inhaled toxic gases (Cookson and Nottingham 1969).The doctors were reluctant to identify the specific chemical warfare agents used, in part because they wanted to retain their neutrality and access to war victims. Although it appeared conclusive that mustard and phosgene had been used, a few cases suggested the use of nerve agent—filled bombs as well. The problem was how to prove the use of chemical warfare agents and who was responsible for using them. Because there were no arms control experts assigned to monitor or investigate these attacks, there was very little evidence other than eyewitness accounts from civilians and what could have been propaganda from the royalists. Although bodies and samples were sent to Saudi Arabia for more study, again, it was difficult to accuse any specific nation. Egypt claimed it had not used chemical weapons in Yemen, and, according to some sources, this may be true if Soviet air crews were manning the Egyptian-marked bombers that attacked those cities.

When Saudi Arabia and the royalists tried to get the United Nations to investigate, the UN’s secretary general, U Thant, declined. On March 1, 1967, he stated that he was “powerless” to investigate the issue, and that the facts were in sharp dispute. Although he almost certainly knew exactly what was going on in Yemen, he had made a political decision to stay out of the affair. The U.S. government, occupied with answering criticisms about the use of Agent Orange and riot control agents in Vietnam,chose not to get involved. The U.S. military decided that the chemical warfare attacks were an aberration and not reflective of any requirement to worry about future chemical warfare attacks (and in 1972, chose to disestablish the Chemical Corps). The United Kingdom was attempting to reestablish relations with Egypt at that time, so it chose not to say anything publicly against Egypt or Soviet affairs in the Middle East (Seagrave 1981, 124-125). The incident became a political nonevent, fodder for the arms control community but not much else.
This incident teaches several interesting lessons. The first is the failure of the world’s nations to react against the use of chemical weapons against civilians and military forces that were not similarly armed. This was not a clear violation of the Geneva Protocol of 1925, since Egypt was not then (and still is not) a signatory of the Geneva Protocol, unless it could be proven that Soviet crews were in those bombers. The reason that some military analysts believe there were Soviet crews in the bombers was twofold: First, they do not believe that the Soviet Union would have allowed Egypt to own or employ chemical weapons in 1967, Egypt having just started its interest in an offensive CW program. Second, the bombers dropped their munitions upwind of their targets for maximum effect, and in some cases, MiG fighter planes came back to drop high explosives or napalm on and near the targets to reduce or eliminate the evidence. These same tactics were seen years later when the Soviet air force attacked Afghani villages with chemical weapons. Because the attacks occurred in such remote locations and because post-mortem examinations took place days or weeks later, it was very difficult to directly attribute the cause of death to the bombing attacks.
This was the first instance of Arabs attacking Arabs with chemical weapons.

The second was the Iran-Iraq War, where some 45,000 are believed to have been killed by chemical weapons.

Al-Qaeda Members Arrested With Chemical WMD’s in Iraq for Attacks on America and Europe

June 2, 2013
From BBC: The authorities in Iraq say they have uncovered an al-Qaeda plot to use chemical weapons, as well as to smuggle them to Europe and North America. Defence ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said five men had been arrested after military intelligence monitored their activities for three months. Three workshops for manufacturing the chemical agents, including sarin and mustard gas, were uncovered, he added. Remote-controlled toy planes were also seized at the workshops. Mr Askari said they were to have been used to release the chemical agents over the target from a “safe” distance of 1.5km (0.9 miles), reports the BBC’s Rami Ruhayem in Baghdad. All of the arrested men had confessed to the plot, and said they had received instruction from another al-Qaeda offshoot, he added. As the defence ministry spokesman spoke on Iraqi TV, footage was shown of four men with black hoods on their heads, our correspondent adds. Three of them were wearing bright yellow jumpsuits and a fourth was in a brown jumpsuit. Soldiers wearing gas masks hold bottles containing chemicals.

Israeli jets buzz Assad palace, bomb chem weapons site outside Damascus

April 28, 2013

I have not seen this reported anywhere else in Israel yet, but UPI is reporting from Maariv (one of our Hebrew papers) that Israeli jets buzzed the Damascus palace of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday, and then went on to bomb a chemical weapons facility outside Damascus.

The Free Syrian Army says Israeli air force jets flew over President Bashar Assad’s palace and bombed a chemical weapons site near Damascus, Maariv reported.

The report said the Israeli jets entered Syria’s airspace close to 6 a.m Saturday and flew over Assad’s palace in Damascus and other security facilities before striking a chemical weapons compound near the city.

The Hebrew language daily said a Syrian army air defense battery positioned in the city fired at the Israeli jets that left Syria’s airspace unscathed. FSA rebels posted a video showing smoke rising up from the headquarters for chemical weapons. There were no reports of the extent of damage or casualties.

Neither Damascus or Jerusalem responded to the report.

In January, the IAF allegedly attacked a convoy moving Syrian weapons of mass destruction to Hezbullah in Lebanon. In 2006, the IAF buzzed Assad’s summer palace on its way to Lebanon.