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Saturday, October 28, 2017

A "Confident" Final Failure of the UN-OPCW Joint Mechanism?

October 28, 2017
(rough, incomplete (as usual))
edits 10/29, 11/3

A "Confident" Finale
The UN-OPCW "joint investigative mechanism" into Syria chemical weapons allegations is now at either a turning point or at its end. It may just be the sharpness of the turn that caused it, but the sword they've fallen on here suggests anything they say now will be among their last words. But only time will tell.

The Joint Investigative Mechanism (I've used JIM, they're now calling themselves "the Mechanism") was first formed in August 2015 to re-investigate Syrian CW incidents and this time ascribe blame. I sent them some important information and suggestion at the time (per formal submission guidelines and just ahead of deadline, so it should have been considered - see here). They apparently ignored it all. Through two years and six question-riddled and inconsistent reports, the Western-controlled panel again and again heaped blame on the Syrian government at every chance. They accept some evidence with no skepticism, dismiss some on dubious grounds, and ignore other key pieces of evidence altogether, in whatever combination best makes the case for blaming Syria.  From that, it's only logical to wonder if the blame was decided first and the supposed reasoning constructed later.

The Russians have had enough of their politicized distortions and voted against extending the Mechanism's mandate on October 24 (AP via Business Insider). The idea may not be to end it, but to rein it in an approve a modified and more balanced formula, which the West can then be framed as blocking, which they would.  For the time being, as its mandate expires shortly, the panel won't exist any more. Many in the West lament the loss of an "independent" panel, and the only one investigating chemical weapons allegations in Syria, allowing the Syrian government to get away with more murder. (see UK criticism of Russia's move).(note: of 15 security council members, 11 voted to extend the mandate, and 4 nation refused to vote yes. China and Kazakhstan abstained. Russia and Bolivia voted against.)

But on their way out, someone leaked an unfinished copy of their last report again accusing Syria of the alleged sarin airstrike of April 4 that was blamed for nearly 100 civilian deaths in the Islamist-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. An unofficial copy was made available (primary source and details and possible final version TBA).
<add 11/3>Final version is released. .doc file available for reading and download here. If that doesn't work, or for reference, the document is S/2017/904 Seventh report of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism. Distr.: General. 26 October 2017. Original: English. On quick review, the main points at least seem unchanged from draft used for this review.<end 11/3>

The version I'm reviewing is dated October xx, has formatting issues, no formal document ID number (it's #xx in the sequence), but otherwise seems legitimate and in line with their previous poor-quality work. Eliot Higgins at Bellingcat provides this PDF link in his fawning review. As Higgins puts it, the mechanism's report  "shows that, despite Russian and Syrian protests, there’s now clear evidence that Syria was responsible for the Khan Sheikhoun Sarin attack, and alternative versions of events presented by Russia and Syria are fabrications." Now clear evidence? There wasn't any before, and there's none added here, so what the hell is he talking about?

As this made the news, I noted a BBC report emphasizing - as most do -the "confidence" expressed by the investigators. This seems to be the main news; they're now extremely confident in their Syria-blame. Citing that BBC report, I tweeted:
"The panel is confident" #Syria dropped #sarin and killed people April 4. That's central for confidence artists. 
I put that out with visual reminder of problems they won't and can't have good answers for, which I'll show again below.

On findings already found ...
The rebuttals here aren't full and complete - the same I've recycled now several times, put best in my September Indicter article. The citations are copied at random, with no paragraph numbers yet to cite. They're from the document (subject to change in final). Most citations are not from the report main body but from the more detailed "Annex II: Khan Shaykhun."

Note 10/29: this was a quick review, looking for their take on my main questions. There are a lot of other issues, strange claims, and revealed clues I didn't cover here. Others bring some up in comments here and in other places.

Victim Questions
All questions about the victims and how and where they really died are as ignored as ever. the wounds to many victims suggesting they were executed, and perhaps hostages, and the lack of evidence for field rescues or in-situ poisoning. These gaps in the evidence leave open the possibility - which has emerged in most other alleged chemical attacks - that the victims were hostages held by local terrorists, and were gassed deliberately in some confined space before being loaded onto truck and finally shown during token visits to a supposed hospital. All we can see is they appear there suddenly, after being loaded in trucks somewhere they don't show us. 

There's no mention in this report or any preceding it of claims that some 250 civilians were kidnapped by Islamist rebels in overrun villages in Hama in late March, taken to Khan Sheikhoun, and killed and shown off as victims of the attack. Their Joint Investigative Mechanism's answer to this possibility doesn't exist. They've accepted the handed-in story with no apparent questions. There might be evidence that puts this and other hostage possibilities to bed, bit simply ignoring the question does nothing to help in that, and in fact underlines how maybe there was no good answer, and these might be those captives, or if not, then perhaps others who were kidnapped under less public circumstances. 

The Jet Attack   
"Forensic analysis of the videos found that, at a certain point in each video, the sound of an aircraft could be heard in the background along with an explosion."
I always thought so. We don't get to see it drop any bombs, and in fact the evidence suggests it didn't. But there may have been a jet or even two flying by at the same time.

The mechanism was shown copies of flight logs from Shayrat airbase, and saw originals when finally visiting there. The log showed no missions at the time specifying Khan Sheikhoun as a target. However:
"Two entries in the log book provide details of the “time of execution” of missions that correspond with the time frame that sarin was released at Khan Shaykhun. The operations relating to those particular flights are logged as aerial attacks using conventional munitions targeting non-State armed groups in the vicinity of Kafr Zita and Tal Hawash, situated approximately 8 km southwest and 18 km west of Khan Shaykhun, respectively."
So Syria's first attack of the day at 11:30 claim meant first attack in the Khan Sheikhoun area. This was a dawn attack flight, not reconnaissance as I had suspected until now. But the records say its attacks were elsewhere. The lead pilot with call sign Quds1 was interviewed and said the same. Exact locations were given for two bomb drops. The mechanism confirmed one site at least was damaged, though they didn't find out if it was damaged on April 4. The other isn't mentioned further. It might be these two attacks would use up all the bombs he had (?), leaving none or too little for Khan Sheikhoun. (Did he ("Quds1") drop the explosive bombs, or the sarin? That's still confused.) Perhaps carefully, the investigators' lack of findings here leaves open the option that he used zero of his weapons before going towards KS.

"The Governments of France and the United States publicly provided information that [two] SAAF Su-22 took off from Al-Shayrat airbase on 4 April 2017, were “over” Khan Shaykhun at 0637 and 0646 hours, and launched up to six attacks “around” Khan Shaykhun."
Note the use of quotes. There are problems with this the Mechanism is trying to dance around.
On 7 April 2017, United States authorities publicly released a statement and a map depicting a flight path of an aircraft originating from Al-Shayrat airbase that “was over Khan Shaykhun” at approximately 0637 and 0646 hours.The flight is depicted as conducting a circular loop in the vicinity of Kafr Zita and the north-east of Khan Shaykhun. The map indicated that the closest point that the aircraft was to Khan Shaykhun was approximately 5 km away.
I think it's closer than that, but still too far away to have dropped any of the alleged gravity bombs on any of the alleged spots. As shown below, the red line I drew is probably fudged a bit north (to be overly fair to the opposition story) By that, it's only about 1 km south of the edge of town, 1.5 from blast plume 3, and about 3km south of even the sarin crater. The true position is surely further out, maybe 3.5km or more, but I doubt it's a full 5 as they say, but maybe. And this is the closest pass that appears, out of two needed for the opposition story line (one jet dropped 3 explosive bombs, the other dropped the sarin bomb - but neither pass was recorded on this radar system.

One of the pilots they interviewed said he "was within 7 to 9 km of Khan Shaykhun at the relevant time." 7-9 km might mean the nearest dropped bomb (said to be ~8km), not the nearest flight pass, and not necessarily at the exact bombing time. But everyone agrees, the jets never flew directly over any of the bomb sites. Well, everyone except maybe the people who swore they witnessed both jets right above...

The flight track is not in error, and has confirmation:
"Additional information provided to the Mechanism referred to two aircraft having taken off from Al-Shayrat airbase at around the same time as indicated above, ten minutes apart, following the same flight path."
I thought so. The confirmed path illustrated, to them, "that air activity had taken place around Khan Shaykhun at about the time of the sarin incident." Put that the other way around and you'll see why that's the whole point - the incident was made to happen as jets were nearby. It's harder to blame your false-flag attack on jets if you don't time it with an overflight, on near-pass. 

To be fair, they usually don't bother. Activists claim jets/helicopter/etc., show no proof, and get no radar tracks shown as support. And still the accusation universally passes. But in this case, the stakes are higher than usual and, as it happens, they took the extra effort to have their events and claims timed with an actual jet pass. Now they can match it to radar records ... which was actually a bad idea, as the tracks were shown, and they prove the jets could not have launched the attack. While bombs fell on those dark blue dots, one jet was perhaps on that red line, or was somewhere else on its path, depending. The other one was even further away at all times. So the jets have an unusually specific alibi here.

Everything about the wording here shows the panel is aware that the jets were never in fact "over" Khan Sheikhoun.

"The Mechanism compared the flight times of SAAF aircraft taking off from Al-Shayrat airbase as provided by the Syrian Government with other flight information received. Both the Syrian and other accounts are consistent that SAAF aircraft were in the air at the relevant time. Where the accounts diverge is with respect to whether or not the aircraft flew over or in the immediate vicinity of Khan Shaykhun."
The original source for the claim it was over the bomb sites is from terrorist groups and their sympathizers. One of the "accounts" diverging from that is a radar track. Compared to witnesses, this is hard to ignore, and in fact the Mechanism cites it as sort-of support for their decision to blame Syria, proving a single Syrian jet did pass kind of nearby.

"To date the Mechanism has not found specific information confirming whether or not an SAAF Su-22 operating from Al-Shayrat airbase launched an aerial attack against Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017."

Lack of confirmation means the pieces of the story didn't come together right. To a reasonable investigator, that would mean the story didn't pan out. Here... they decided there was "sufficient credible and reliable evidence" for findings including:
  • "Aircraft dropped munitions over Khan Shaykhun between 0630 and 0700 hours..."
  • "Aircraft of the Syrian Arab Republic was in the immediate vicinity" at the same time.
Whose jet was actually over the bomb sites at attack time .. is the same. Vicinity = over, or close enough, or at least it might possibly be. They have at least one possible new twist they seem to think might save the claims. Do they now claim missiles fired over a distance were used, as a few sources have claimed? No. They still cite gravity-driven bombs, and just pulled this trick:
The Mechanism consulted with a weapons expert to ascertain the confluence of distance and altitude from which it may be possible to hit Khan Shaykhun with an aerial bomb. The expert concluded that, depending on a number of variables such as altitude, speed and flight path taken, it would be possible for such an aerial bomb to be deployed on the town from the aforementioned distances.
Bombs could be dropped on the town, perhaps, but it would be the south edge - perhaps to blast plume 3, but not to blast plumes 1 and 2 or the pivotal sarin crater in the north of town. For a straight down bomb to do that, the jet would have to be almost in outer space, or lower, depending on winds at the altitudes it would fall through.... and you wouldn't hear its engine then, not to mention targeting problems from so high.

Also, why is this "depending on ... flight path" Why not explain to the expert that this is an east-west flight path and we need a drift about 3-5 km to the north? Probably because that's how you get a "no" answer, and they didn't want that. So they settled for this extremely weak "possibly."

<add 10-29>Explaining: If the target were on the same line as the flight path, and out ahead, the jet's trajectory would add to the bomb's drift towards the target. But in this case the flight path is east-west, and the drift needed to hit the target is north, so this helps none. On that axis, only wind can alter this direction from straight down. By how much? That's debatable and I don't know how to get a best answer. But can anyone really disagree with this?

I'm not a weaponry expert, but this source explains traditional SU-22 maximum bomb drop altitude is 2 km, up to 5km with modernization. It seems likely Syria flies the non-modernized version, but let's consider both. And let's be fair and put the bakery crater 3.5 km, not 5 km, from beneath the jet. From each altitiude, I draw a gray line (arbitrary) to represent what seems like a realistic drop angle, if we had optimal winds (to the north prevailing strongly) Optimal winds could exist; I've established the wind near ground was to the northeast, at a moderate speed. At higher altitude it would be higher speed, and likely the same direction prevailing. If parachutes were used (hasn't been mentioned), this angle might be even shallower with more drift, but otherwise, the real lines might be steeper yet. 

From 5km, we could have bombs landing around the 1km mark by this. What we'd need to fit the crater with a bomb from this closest jet pass is marked in red for each altitude. It's bad enough 5km up, but at the more likely 2km ... this is more how a fluttering phone book would fall than a streamlined 250-500 kg bomb. This is what I mean, and if there is a realistic way for this to line up, it will take some illustration. The Mechanism's simple "it could happen... depending" doesn't suffice. We know what it depends on, so we should have a clear answer based on that.<end 10-29>

Side-note: "The Mechanism did not interview the pilot associated with the second entry" in the Shayrat log book (is this the accompanying jet marked Quds 6?) "The Syrian Arab Republic informed the Mechanism that the pilot was later shot down and is currently missing in action." As the linked source above explains, the point of getting the 5km modernization is it helps you stay above enemy defensive fire while engaging in bombing runs. Sounds like he wasn't.

Sarin Bomb
The alleged sarin bomb is not one of my core issues, but the report manages to say some stupid things about it I had to respond to.
"According to information obtained by the Mechanism, the filler cap, with two closure plugs, is uniquely consistent with Syrian chemical aerial bombs."

This claim isn't explained with reference to any models or images, and seems very dubious. It's inconsistent with the soviet-made WWII-era CW bomb cited by Human Rights Watch, who were looking at the scrap inside-out (as I explained at the Indicter). It seems consistent with several larger bombs using standard explosives - a filler hole cap (or perhaps “charge well plug”?) on something like the Russian-made OFZAB-500. Several similar kinds use these two little holes for the opening tool.

Here, the scrap with this cap that could be from many non-CW weapons happens to be almost the only surviving piece anyone can show. That's the case now in two alleged sarin attacks - this, and one a week earlier, on March 30, near Latamnah to the south. In both cases, this scrap also happens to land right in the crater, and happens to have one opening hole covered with dirt and one visible. (see Bellingcat) These strange coincidences don't seem to raise any red flags for the Mechanism. They think this is some special Syrian design that, along with the special Syrian hexamine method of making sarin, serve as a double-fingerprint ID of the regime culprits. It's preposterous, transparent, and just embarrassing to watch.
"The Mechanism was provided with an assessment of the filler cap and with chemical analysis showing sarin and a reaction product of sarin with hexamine that can only be formed under very high heat."
Very high heat also tends to destroy sarin, so it's not clear what they're getting at here. Perhaps heat = impact, meaning it must be a dropped bomb?
"Information was also received that additional metal fragments collected from the crater may possibly correspond to parts of Syrian aerial chemical munitions."
 But no one sent any proof to help clarify if these extra claims have any validity.

Sarin Spread: SW Wind, not Topography
As my research so far suggests, sarin nerve agent was legitimately in some of the biomedical and environmental samples tested by various parties (including he Syrian government). How exactly it got in each sample and what that says about the overall events is not so clear and really can't be known.

Everyone on and sympathizing with the opposition side, from first reports to this latest, agree sarin was released from one bomb only, dropped in the road near the central bakery. From there, the JIM explain:
Sarin of an undefined purity was disseminated from the crater in a direction that was defined by local air movements. The Mechanism noted that the wind speed in the area that day was <0.5 m/s, which would normally result in a considerable variation in the direction of the air movement. The Mechanism also noted that the location of victims, as described in the report of the Fact-Finding Mission, serves as an indicator of prevailing air movements west to south-west of the location of the crater during the early morning of 4 April 2017. 
Huh. Of course where people were actually poisoned should tell you what the wind was. But here, we don't really know where anyone was poisoned. There are many, and elaborate claims about where, all agreeing on a basic area. But they're just claims.

And the same video record the Mechanism otherwise cites tells a different story. A careful estimation using several videos from different angles is clear that smoke plumes drift to the northeast. The exact direction and speed are debatable, but not the basic northeast direction. Wind speeds at higher altitudes are estimated around 6mph, lower at ground level. There, two fields of fog are also seen (seeming to be man-made and attack related, at least for a visual effect. But neither is from the claimed area). Both  fields of this fog also seem to spread in the same direction - northeast. (see as needed the detailed wind direction explainer)

That's what the video says. Other sources (chattering Islamists) think the released sarin cloud must have drifted - no, pushed, violently - against the wind in this case, just about exactly the opposite of the true direction.

The "mechanism" chose their southwest wind based only where activists said it spread. And they do have it carefully mapped. Different sources have given the same area, in an unusually confident show of specificity. Several alleged survivors take camera crews back to the scene, always in that same area when location can be determined. But that could all be done by an agreed script, with an attached script map, and - if so - it seems like someone did that mapping backwards. This actually can happen quite easily; someone reports the wind properly (direction it blows from) as southwest, even giving a correct compass heading. Without clarifying or double-checking, someone then might decide that meant blowing to the southwest, and would place the alleged victim homes along this flipped path. Everyone else would have to follow that basic error without correcting it along the way. That could happen, and might be just what happened. Even if they caught the mistake early on, it might be too far in to be altered without appearing to change their story, which would also look bad. So, it seems, they stuck to the first version and hoped no one noticed the true wind.

But however it happened, they imply a wind opposite of the real one. The Mechanism chose to accept their implied wind. This then forms an important plank in their "confident" decision that a sarin bomb dropped there did in fact poison and kill people over here. Well, physical reality disagrees. 

How they decided the wind speed was low is unexplained, but they probably are citing the OPCW's earlier report. This did conclude very low wind speeds, explaining that activists told them about it. They did no video analysis either. They decided the supposed lack of wind (not one to the southwest) left local topography as the mover, and there was a down-slope to the southwest that killed everybody. However, they placed the crater wrong in the graphic showing this; the bakery area is indicated instead, helping that explanation look plausible. If it were placed right, we can see the down slope from there is to the northwest - another wrong direction. (See OPCW's No Wind Theory)

The mechanism does not repeat this argument, saying "air movement" (aka wind) was the main driver. They must have some good reason to reject the finding of the OPCW in this regard, when normally their readings on such CW-related things are seen as superior to all else. 

Note: The area in question, where sarin was allegedly released, is not seen on immediate post-attack videos. But as noted, two other areas of fog are seen and appear to spread northeast. By topographic maps, that spread is mainly uphill. By these precedents, any plume of gas or vapor released at this crater should also drift northeast and uphill on the same surface-level wind, but perhaps more slowly, as the grade is steeper in this area.

So, considering both observed wind and topography, the activist-supplied narrative still clashes 180 degrees with reality. If they claimed sarin was released in either of the areas that fog is seen pouring from, they might have a case. But they and all subordinate investigators, like the Mechanism here, continue to ignore all of that and insist on this stupid bakery crater lone-release point story that was ruined from the start.

"The irregularities described in this annex are not of such a nature as to call into question the aforementioned findings" that Syria was probably pretty much to blame for this thing. Well, the best irregularities, of course, aren't presented in "this annex." Based on the crap in there, "the Leadership Panel is confident that the Syrian Arab Republic is responsible for the release of sarin at Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017." No doubt a lot of people are taken in by and share that confidence, but they really shouldn't be. 

Recall those children seen dying on video inhabited the physical world you and I do, not any made-up place on paper or transmitted digital files or in any propaganda-laced myth narrated by lightly-bearded jihadists. 

In the made-up world of neck-tied hand-shakes UN "international community" consensus, it's verging on scientific fact worth shaming anyone who disagrees. It might be worth bombing them to death, if they're Syrian and disagree militarily, or live in the wrong house under the wrong bomb ... never forget the disastrous Iraq and Libya scenarios, and the slim-to-no basis in truth each one's moral pretexts wound up having. Would it really be a shock that Syria could be the same?
But in the reality those children physically passed through... it's where we live too, though far away in space and well-insulated. Are we really that confident these UN and OPCW people have been feeding us the truth? Isn't it at least worth another look from a different viewpoint to see if the picture remains this clear or turns out to be an illusion? We need to be extra careful in issues of war and peace, right and wrong, and on proper ways forward towards a just peace in line with the needs and rights of people inhabiting this physical world? Yes, we do. 

Not such a Great Call-to-Action but hey, here's one
Now this is no complex case - the opposition story is especially shoddy - it's almost as if they wanted a worst case to put their foot down over, to emphasize the effect of their Owellian demands: these lies are truth, the proposed unjust punishments are justice, and all decent people must stand behind this basic truth or become traitors to justice for the innocent people of Syria. Dissenters will be flagged as part of the global bad-guy axis, Russian agents and so on.

The fact is, this case presents a great chance to bring truth to power, to show the extra-important claims are unusually well-illustrated as being false. This would be a big step towards unlocking the mystery of why all our help has only made things worse. It could be this same kind of deception is behind all the other accepted crimes providing the running precedent to keep accepting more. Wrong diagnosis, over and over.
For "the Russians," for everyone, and especially the actual Syrian people, and for the victims of the next planned and ongoing wars based on similar systemic lies ... this idiotic story being on such a grand stage is a golden opportunity. Maybe with the right pressure, placed on the right questions, a new probe capable of reaching the actual truth could be muscled into existence. It may not be at the UN, but it could have a lot of real credibility and influence if it were set up right. It might use lots of volunteers all over the world mainly working "open source intelligence." I'd volunteer to be one of those, of course. Someone, please, get on this task.


  1. Not to mention hundreds of kilos of bomb (most of it sarin) lobbed many kilometres sideways only to have the skin and tailfin evaporate on impact.

    I have to say the Syrian Government theory of a small container and small bursting charge is pretty plausible. 'Under 10kg' explosive does not mean it was 10kg. To disperse say a 20 litre container you need maybe 50-100 grams of HE.

    Given the only fragments found were a filler cap and a length seamed tube sprayed with green sealant, how about that was all that was used? 100 mm diameter by 2 metres length is 15 litres. Good enough to hurt a fair few people. Pop it into a pre-excavated hole and burst it with a small charge. If it's done right, blast at one end generates hydraulic shock to blow the end cap off and split the seam. Really a tiny amount of explosive needed. And filler cap? Yet more war scrap chucked in to add authenticity - much like the decades old spent rocket body planted at Moadimiyah to add authenticity.

    One theory is that the KS bombs were simply IEDs of varying strength detonated to simulate an air attack, and one of them was a tube of sarin used as a provocation. No need for magic sideways bombs cased in disappearium.

    1. Possible. The excavation looks pretty realistic to me, down to scattered rocks, etc. Could be faked, but looks real. The Mechanism says satellite views show it wasn't there on April 3. I actually believe that claim.

      My own hunch is still that this is as similar to a jet attack as they could do (almost), Rockets were fired from well off camera, and one hit here, splashing impure sarin or some blackish fluid on the road.

      They could have gotten a better drop effect by firing almost straight up from about the impact site, but that might have been seen by the wrong people or even filmed maybe. Best to keep the loud firing well off stage. And the possible direction of firing hasn't been called out here (it looks variably from the northeast, northwest, or just unclear), so the drop effect has worked well enough so far.

      Of course there was never a need for any bomb weirdness, except that they "had to" get a jet involved in the picture so "Assad" could be blamed. From their PoV, that's a pretty serious need. Nut this "disappearium" stuff - I might have seen it used before. Will look into it. :)

  2. Re. the cap, maybe worth using Micha Kob's photos here? Illustrates the point well I think:


    Still wondering who their info came from.

    To repeat my older comment but in the right place: post JIM conclusion and still no answers to exactly what time the plane is meant to have dropped the bomb, what happened to the remnants of the bomb, whether the remnants in the crater were actually part of the bomb, the exact type of bomb used, how and where the sarin spread to, why exactly anyone would fake victims in a real sarin event, which investigation Adham al-Hussein is waiting for before he'll hand over the video of "white smoke" he showed to HRW etc. etc.

    Pretty disappointing for anyone who spent time looking into it and wanted to know what actually happened - rather than just a report that backed up their opinion on the internet (too many seem on a mindless crusade).. or so long as it concluded 'Assad regime' guilty feel the end justifies the means.

    Perhaps the proper report will have some answers but presumably will just be the same.

    1. Re. Higgins - he doesn't seem to read anything properly. I remember seeing his tweets arguing with Porter that the Omar house wasn't "completely destroyed".


      Bizarrely Higgins tried to use the JFL report to back that up but obviously hasn't read it as the report describes it as a "demolished building" and owner Ali Omar's wife in that report when talking about the house says "the aircraft demolished it completely". I'm not sure he knows better than the owner which part of the rubble used to be her house!

      I'm not sure why he is convinced government agents are operating in Khan Sheikhoun either - able to collect samples to incriminate their own government at will but not plant anything to support the gov version of events.

      Perhaps you just need to believe absolutely everyone on the government side is crazy?

    2. Here you can watch the buildings better :
      A visit to ghost town of Khan Shaykhun - Ramadan in Turkey With Ghulam Murtaza 13 June 2017 [guided by a Pakistan looking dr from the cave]


      In Reyhanli, a town on the Turkish side of the border, I met a Syrian doctor named Ahmed, who had established a network of paramedics and a field hospital in Syria for wounded rebel fighters and civilians. With him were two brawny young men, with long, jihadi-style beards, whom he was smuggling over the border. They looked Pakistani but spoke English with a British accent, and said that they were from the United Kingdom
      a video to The Syria Campaign's Timeline. March 25 ·
      Dr Shajul Islam Official 11 mins · URGENT!
      We are getting so many patients with gas poisoning. This attack is from Al Lataminah in Northern Hama. This seems very toxic and has killed a doctor ( Ali Darwish) who was treating the patients. We have seen chlorine gas attacks, but this is not the same. The patients are dying very fast. We now strongly suspect its Sarin Gas. CAN YOU HELP US
      Today another hospital was bombed 5 times and taken out of action in Kafeanbel (video soon). How long will you just watch this?
      PLEASE HELP US Share
      Najul Islam was charged with a variety of offenses, including funding his brother’s travel to Syria,funding Jubayer Chowdhury’s return from Syria, and sending them money to support their activities.[18] Additionally, police believe he traveled by vehicle from the United Kingdom through Turkey to Syria to provide equipment including night vision goggles, air rifle optic mounts, and medical supplies.[19] Likely to come to trial next year, more information will then be released about the men and how they reached Syria.
      In 2012, John Cantlie filmed exclusive video footage for The Telegraph while he was reporting from Saraqeb in Syria.

      The Dawood Brigade, which used to be called Jaysh al-Mujahedin (Mujahedin Army), but changed its name in late 2012, was originally under the direction of Abu Mohammed al-Shami al-Absi. The group was rumored to have been responsible for the kidnapping of John Cantlie and Jeroen Oerlemans, who went missing in Syria in 2012, according to the Syrian sources. The two journalists were rescued by another rebel faction, and escaped.


      Mr. Foley and Mr. Cantlie were moved at least three times before being transferred to a prison underneath the Children’s Hospital of Aleppo.

      Ghassan Al-Abed was a military trainer for the Islamic Sawfa Brigade, and worked in the Shariah Council in the occupied state Eye Hospital, under the control of ISIS for a time until 2014, and al-Nusra for all of the time that al-Abed was there.

    3. Good to see al-Rahma with a staff to patient ratio of about 26:1 there. That one woman really has the pick of staff, beds and boxes of supplies. Certainly silences anyone who was a cynic.

      Unless the guy in the wheelchair at 6:42 counts as a miracle patient (who can walk again at 12:17 and looks a lot like "Abu Khaled" the hospital security guard).

      I wonder if the massively ineffective nonsensical series of CW attacks will continue now the 'regime' have been found officially guilty of dropping made-with-previously-declared-precursors-so-traceable-back-to-them GB (with signature filler cap) on edge of town areas popular with locals on early mornings?

    4. Anon, thanks for that stuff. Shajul being more explicit on sarin claims is interesting, needs added. The rest seems to vary in clarity of relevance, but yeah that could be Shajul being smuggled in in 2012, AFAIK.

    5. Andrew, yeah, it's a strange world. And to the extent precedent sets conditions for future beliefs, it could just get weirder and weirder from here. How each poison kills is, like, depends on the country or what? Gravity can be slanted when that's needed to prove some villainy. Maybe the same person is both a doctor treating sarin patients and one of the patients in different clothes at the same time, and sometimes he's a rebel fighter seen executing captured soldiers. (for example)

    6. More on the curious use of the apprently-not-busy-in-the-afternoons-but-constantly-under-attack al-Rahma:


      UOSSM and SNHR report a second attack on al-Rahma that day, UOSSM even says "One of the medical staff was killed and several others were injured"



      ... but from SNHR's photo we can see that the "Civil Defense Center" is still apparently at al-Rahma


      A nicely placed cameraman captures what must be the later attack, video seems to combine the two


      Nearly a year on and after all those bombings (I've lost count) they are claiming to still use the exact same place?

  3. #World News April 4, 2017 / 2:06 AM
    Conference on Syria overshadowed by chemical attack
    Liveblog: Stories we followed, April 4, 2017
    April 4, 2017 7:36 am
    #France calls for emergency UN Security Council meeting following suspected regime gas attack in Syria's #Idlib
    — إعلام قوى الثورة (@RFS_mediaoffice) April 4, 2017

    4:22 AM while we are in the khan sheikun hospital the hospital was targeted by six air raids by Russian aviation
    we v-sign while the buses are burning in Rashideen
    man behind the sunglasses man : pic below
    blue shirt standing on the left
    man in black in the middle : looks like the al Quds nurse

    Abd Habak friend sitting in a car with Mohammad al-Yusef

    “Turki Aluosef” mit Brille {with glasses}:



    khalil apr 3
    April 3 10.36 PM

    April 3 cave blue shirt boy

    April 3 blue shirt boy, small boy blue jeans truck,lila clothes girl

    lila clothes,girl red clothes truck
    boy grey shirt


    khalil logo changed:

  4. Although Muslim and Arab countries represent the largest bloc in its General Assembly with 57 members,
    and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are the biggest donors and supporters of its humanitarian programs,
    the United Nations plays a suspicious role in Arab and Islamic issues.

    To protect its tiny ally, Washington is threatening to cut billions in US funding to the world body, plunging it into crisis and jeopardising peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.
    Abuzayd-Pinheiro claimed that 20 of 25 chemical weapons attacks in 2017 'were perpetrated by government forces', referring to incidents at Khan Sheikhoun, al Latamneh and East Ghouta (HRC 2017b: 1, 14). Yet critical, independent evidence from US Professor Ted Postol had disproved the notion that the Khan Sheikhoun incident came from an air strike (Postol 2017).

    196. ‘Amaq Reports Weaponized UAV Attack Near Tiyas Airbase, East Homs
    On February 10, 2017, the Islamic State’s (IS) ‘Amaq News Agency reported strikes from an IS-operated weaponized UAV northeast of Tiyas Airbase in east Homs. The attack allegedly left seven Syrian ...
    Oct 21- Massive NATO Weapons Cache Captured From ISIS By SAA After Battle For Deir Ezzor Reveals German Drones-Ammo-Body Armor

    — Levant War (@Levant_War) 30 November 2016
    Syrian HTS freedom fighters use a quadcopter to locate a gang of shiite mercenaries in West Aleppo
    On August 2, 2016 at 19 hours 05 minutes militants from the Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki group, considered by Washington as ‘moderate opposition’, launched poisonous materials from the Sukkari district towards the eastern part of Aleppo.

  5. In 2013 it was also reported that as Assad had lost control of Aleppo, and bio-pharmaceutical infrastructure was destroyed, looting of these laboratories was witnessed and the suspected looters were al-Nusra.
    This information was released via a report produced by bio warfare and terrorism experts Jill Bellamy van Aalst and Olivier Guitta.  In the report, they state:
    “The fact that this looting took place in the Aleppo area where the rebellion—and in particular Al Nusrah—is very strong tends to confirm that AQ may potentially be in possession of biological agents.”

    Russian state TV reporter Anastasia Popova. Video here and embedded below.while she had information about the use of chemical weapons in Al-Asal, the UN panel headed by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro had declined to look at it.
    Inner City Press asked a second question, about the the alleged use of chemical weapons at Khan al Asal. Popova said she was there. Inner City Press asked, on what basis are you saying it was an opposition attack? Eyewitnesses, she said. Would Ban Ki-moon's prober Sellstrom consider this?

    The Abuzayd-Pinheiro's first report, on the May 2012 Houla massacre, set a standard for low grade but well timed war propaganda. As I document in chapter eight of my book The Dirty War on Syria (Anderson 2016), 15 independent witnesses gave great detail about the massacre of over 100 villagers in rural Homs by members of the Farouq Brigade (FSA) and several named local collaborators. The jihadists, expelled from Homs city by the Syrian Army, took revenge on families in Houla who had participated in recent elections, violating the jihadists' call for a boycott.
    After 2015, the remnants of the Farouq Brigades only operated around the town of Binnish, in the Idlib District of the Idlib Governorate. On 1 February 2017, they joined Ahrar al-Sham. Other remnants formed the Farouq Army, which joined Tahrir al-Sham on 20 March 2017.

  6. Oct 2017
    For the first time, the U.S. government admits the Syrian "rebels" possess, and use, chemical weapons https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/syria-travel-warning.html …

    The Hawks of Damascus Brigade

    This brigade belongs to the Souqour Dimashq (Hawks of Damascus) Battalion of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)

    June 15,2012These are the explosive devices, they are all made locally," Captain Daoud Hassan Mahmoud explains, crouching down and pointing to the metal cylinders, perhaps just 20cm in diameter -- dozens of them are lined up next to each other.
    The cylinders are packed with a deadly concoction of fertilizer, explosives and other chemicals bought from the local market.
    Outgunned by Assad's forces, the captain's team -- the Daoud brigade -- is resorting to Iraq-style guerilla warfare, turning to roadside bombs and, in at least one case, a suicide bombing.
    Clips said to be of the brigade's operations are often posted to YouTube, starting off with a Quranic verse, followed by stylized graphics of the brigade's name, and its division -- the Damascus Hawks.

    7 nov. 2012Two other groups that were key to the rebels’ taking of Maaret al Numan fall outside the Free Syrian Army – the Syrian Martyrs Brigade and The Hawks of Damascus Brigade – and coordination with them can be spotty.

  7. 2011 On 19 December, the FSA suffered its largest loss of life when new defectors tried to abandon their positions and bases between the villages of Kansafra and Kafr Oweid in Idlib province. Opposition activist groups, specifically the Syrian Observatory for Human rights, reported that 72 defectors were killed as they were gunned down during their attempted escape. The Syrian Army lost three soldiers during the clashes.[3] The next day, SOHR stated that in all 100 defectors were killed or wounded.[4] Also, the same day, the SOHR updated its number of civilians killed by government security forces in the province for the previous day from 37 to 111. It had been called a "massacre".[5]
    Alaa El Din Al Youssef, a Syrian opposition member in Idlib, described the government's attack on the area of Idlib and Jabal al-Zawiya as a massacre.
    (Xinhua) 13:31, December 21, 2011 DAMASCUS, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- A Syrian military source on Tuesday categorically denied media reports that Syrian authorities would execute 21 army officers recently arrested.

    1. The Daoud Battalion, operating in the Jabal-al-Zawiya area, has reportedly used captured soldiers in proxy bombings.



  8. JIM report released


    Russia also says physically impossible for Su-22 to have dropped a bomb, missing bomb parts etc. (compelling argument imo)

    Not so sure about their theory the crater made by pipe IED and then sarin added later


  9. Looking at footage of Anas Diab by ambulance again, can't be 100% but I think the SIFJ collection video was filmed on the morning of the 5th.

    This is the best 'proof' I can find that the brown carpet/rug thing was only hanging there on the 4th and, by extension, the Diab video is from the morning of the 4th



    Also maybe someone in the know can determine if Hasna has anything that would help decrypting comms here:


    1. Position of the small rock marked in green seems to match AFP Dr Hazem video on the 5th


      So collection order would be:
      White Helmets monitoring the ambient air (though never actually seen in crater)

      Dr Hazem

      IHD including Dr Mohammed Firas al-Jundi opp. minister of health and whose hospital a lot of the victims were filmed inside

      Seems a mistake for Russia to use the collection from the 6th to try and make their point.

  10. Tyrkia Raslan -Nadeema Alyousef - Mustafa Raslan
    Tyrkia’s own family had fled to Lebanon several months before, after shelling destroyed their home.

    Jan. 16, 2013JABAL AL ZAWIA Mustafa Raslan holds his newborn daughter, Yasmeen, shortly after her birth in Frkir, Syria, under the most difficult conditions imaginable. There was no power, heat, running water or medical assistance as Yasmeen was born in a freezing stone cottage as missiles fell neirby.   (Tracey Shelton / Global Post)  
    “It was dark and so cold,” said Yasmeen’s 60-year-old grandmother, Nadeema Alyousef, still in tears as she described the scene shortly after the birth.

    April 4 2017 Raslan, the Syria Civil Defense member, said that the attacks with explosive weapons killed his neighbor, the neighbor’s son, and the 15-year-old boy he had tried to help.54

    Faisal Abdel-Razek Al-Raslan April 4 2017

  11. August 21 2013 Wednesday 21st August 2013 2:40 AM
    Bdour Raslan Civilian Adult - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Bdour Al-Wazeer Civilian Adult - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Haitham Wazeer Civilian Adult - Male Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Fareed Raslan Civilian Adult - Male Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Mustafa Fared Raslan Civilian Child - Male Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Rahaf Raslan Civilian Adult - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Ragad Raslan Civilian Child - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Mohammad Reslan Klthum Civilian Adult - Male Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Rawa'a Kaltam Civilian Adult - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Marah Mohammed Wafeq Raslan Civilian Adult - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Ranem Mohammed Wafeeq Raslan Civilian Adult - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Rama Raslan "al-Wazeer" Civilian Child - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Rami Raslan "al-Wazeer" Civilian Child - Male Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Tagreed Raslan Civilian Adult - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Taghreed Sami Raslan Civilian Adult - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Adnan Sami Raslan "al-Wazeer" Civilian Adult - Male Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Sami Raslan " al-Wazeer" Civilian Adult - Male Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Daughter of Sami Raslan " al-Wazeer" 1 Civilian Adult - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Daughter of Sami Raslan " al-Wazeer" 2 Civilian Adult - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Daughter of Sami Raslan " al-Wazeer" 3 Civilian Adult - Female Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Walid Raslan"al-Wazeer" Civilian Adult - Male Damascus Suburbs Zamalka
    Al Wazeer Co - Syria - Partial Equipment Supply of Spray Drying Plant 10TPH Special Equipment end Spare Parts

  12. 5th April 2017 Partners of a Cornwall-based charity say they fear more trouble in Syria after the suspected chemical attack.
    Hand in Hand for Syria is the London-based charity that has worked for years with ShelterBox taking aid to families displaced by Syria's civil war.
    On Tuesday their team in Khan Sheikhoun were at the centre of the chemical weapon incident that has caused international outrage.
    In recent weeks aid workers from Hand in Hand for Syria have worked across Idlib Governorate distributing shelter aid and equipment from Truro-based ShelterBox.
    But they found themselves caught up in a chemical weapons incident that has killed at least 70 people in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, including 20 children, and horrified the watching world.
    As well as acting as an in-country distributor of ShelterBox aid, Hand in Hand for Syria also runs six hospitals, health centres, mobile clinics, ambulances and other emergency vehicles.
    Their Country Director Fadi Al-Dairi said: "One of our offices is in Khan Sheikhoun and we have two hospitals in the vicinity.
    Kafranbel 1 2 2013 Faddy Sahloul

    It was Faddy Saghloul who accompanied a BBC film team to the Hand in Hand hospital at Atareb , near Aleppo ,in September 2013 While they were there a school was hit by a 'napalm-like' incendiary bomb, and the TV team captured the scene [ How Foreign Aid became a Casualty of War Peter Gill ]
    p 58 Razan Sahloul, Faddy Sahloul, Fadi al-Dairi from Leicester
    Zaher Saghloul with Bana Alabed

    Mohamed al-Saloum Al Abed
    Mohamed al-Saloum Al Abed[11], the activist who videotaped the moments immediately after the attack, stated he woke up that morning when he heard military aircraft hovering over the north-east side of Khan Sheikhoun. He saw it fly over the north-west part of the area, back again to the north, and then pass over to the south. As it passed, the aircraft fired four successive bombs; three of them fell on the north side while the fourth one fell on the west part in the city center.

  13. https://charlierose.com/videos/30354
    Friday 04/07/2017
    Dr. Rola Hallam and Dr. Annie Sparrow--physicians who have been on the front lines delivering medical aid to the embattled nation of Syria.
    The humanitarian conflict in Syria took another disastrous turn this week. On Tuesday, the Assad regime mounted a chemical weapons attack on civilians that has left at least 86 dead, including dozens of children. Tensions escalated further last night after the Trump administration retaliated, firing a barrage of cruise missiles at a Syrian government air base. Joining me now are two physicians who have been on the front line delivering medical aid to the embattled nation.
    Dr. Rola Hallam is the CEO and founder of CanDo. She recently led an effort to rebuild a children's hospital in Aleppo. Dr. Annie Sparrow is a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine. She visits the region frequently to train Syrian health care workers. They both participated in this week's women in the world summit here in New York

    Friday 04/07/2017
    Dr. Rola Hallam and Dr. Annie Sparrow

    there has been another chemical weapon attack outside of Damascus that happened today.
    01:00 Annie Sparrow: Today.



  14. Sep 6, 2017, United Nations war crimes investigators on Wednesday (Sept 6) said they had evidence that Syrian government forces were behind the chemical attack that killed dozens of people in Khan Sheikhoun in April.
    The commission identified three of the bombs as likely OFAB-100-120 and one as a chemical bomb," the report said, adding that "photographs of weapon remnants depict a chemical aerial bomb of a type manufactured in the former Soviet Union".
    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:
    In Saraqeb and in an earlier attack on April 13 where white powder was dispersed in a Kurdish suburb of Aleppo, the civilian victims were displaying similar symptoms: dizziness, vomiting, headaches and breathing problems.
    May 05, 2013 Doctors in Turkey say initial tests of blood samples from victims of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria last month are negative for sarin gas.
    Medics tested the blood samples — which were taken from some 13 victims of an attack that included white powder in the northern village of Saraqeb on April 29 — at the Reyhanli hospital on the same day, but did not find anything unusual, they said.
    They tested the blood specifically for sarin gas — a nerve agent — and also ran regular bloodwork.
    The samples from the victims, who suffered from dizziness, vomiting and respiratory difficulties, have since been sent to the Turkish capital, Ankara, for further testing.

  15. In the case of the April 4 chemical-weapons incident in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, which reportedly killed scores of people including young children, I was told that initially the U.S. analysts couldn’t see any warplanes over the area in Idlib province at the suspected time of the poison gas attack but later they detected a drone that they thought might have delivered the bomb.
    A Drone Mystery
    According to a source, the analysts struggled to identify whose drone it was and where it originated. Despite some technical difficulties in tracing its flight path, analysts eventually came to believe that the flight was launched in Jordan from a Saudi-Israeli special operations base for supporting Syrian rebels, the source said, adding that the suspected reason for the poison gas was to create an incident that would reverse the Trump administration’s announcement in late March that it was no longer seeking the removal of President Bashar al-Assad.
    According to the earlier accounts, the Syrian government either was trying to terrorize the population in a remote rebel-controlled area or was celebrating its impunity after the Trump administration had announced that it was no longer seeking Assad’s removal.
    But the dossier said, “We assess that Damascus launched this chemical attack in response to an opposition offensive in northern Hamah Province that threatened key infrastructure.” Although Khan Sheikhoun was not near the fighting, the dossier presented the town as an area of support for the offensive.
    Cyclosarin (GF) Miosis (pinpoint pupils)
    On pages 28-29 it is reported that
    “Certain irregularities were observed in elements of information analyzed. For example, several hospitals appeared to start admitting casualties of the attack between 0640 and 0645 hours…. in 57 cases patients were admitted in five hospitals before the incident in Khan Shaykhun….in 10 such cases, patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 125 km away from Khan Shaykhun at 0700 hours while another 42 patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 30 km away at 0700 hours.”

    8/11/2017 The Mechanism had carefully put together pieces of a complex puzzle, of which some parts were still missing.  It could not establish with certainty that the aircraft which had delivered the chemical bomb had taken off from Al‑Shayrat air base, or the type of plane involved. It had interviewed over 30 witnesses and reviewed 2,247 photographs, 1,284 video files, 120 audio files and 639 documents.  However, the report had also noted that the analysis would warrant further study.  https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc13060.doc.htm
    26 Nov, 2016 Militants used mustard gas against civilians in Syria
    October 20-2016 Warplanes belonging to the Turkish Air Force conducted airstrikes on 18 Kurdish positions and killed “160 – 200” fighters on Wednesday night in northwestern Syria, Turkish media claimed.

  16. Before the Assad regime’s April 4 chemical weapons attack, Turkey had exhausted most of its useful policy options and burned many of its key relationships. But now, that attack may have disrupted the international political forces that had aligned against Turkey—and Turkey may have a window to pursue its own ends.
    People attempt to identify bodies after airstrikes in the rebel held besieged Douma neighbourhood of Damascus, Syria April 3, 2017. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

    2017-10-17 Shifting the management of the strategic crossing to the opposition two weeks ago comes as Turkey seeks to expel hardline rebels from northern Syria along the border after the collapse of the Islamic State.
    Abu Hatab also said that the ongoing infighting between Al-Shamiya Front and Sultan Murad alliance over near the Turkish border to be solved soon due to a Turkish mediation and fevered efforts by the Syrian Islamic Council."

    Abu Hatab, an Islamist close to Turkey
    June 27, 2017 In April, Ayman Haroush, a known cleric aligned with Turkey-aligned Ahrar Al Sham, revealed that the head of the interim government, Jawad Abu Hatab, presented the group with an offer for it and aligned factions to control the police and the courts in exchange for allowing his government to operate from Idlib.

    The Prime Minister of the interim government Jawad Abu Hatab
    It should be noted that Prime Minister Jawad Abu Hatab was elected in 2016 , replacing Ahmed Tohma, after winning 54 votes out of 89.

    2014-04-20 vice-President of the Supreme Council of the local administration Dr. Jawad Abu Hatab:

    Abu Hatab talks about disputes between opposition and local councils of Eastern Ghouta

    New batch of HTS EliteForces Mujahedeen in Eastern #Ghouta.
    why the fanboy of Samira Khalil now has a HTS logo?

    Daoud Brigade Damascus Hawks

    By late 2011, it joined Suqour al-Sham, or Sham Falcons brigade,

    The Daoud Battalion, operating in the Jabal-al-Zawiya area, has reportedly used captured soldiers in proxy

    Faylaq u Rahman has turned this place into graveyard of ASSadists bulldozers and tanks. Good job and keep up with good work.

  17. The research team met a lady next to a demolished building as a result of April 4, 2017 attacks, she said: “I am Ali Omar’s wife, a detainee at the regime prisons for four years.

    Ahrar al-Sham Commander-in-Chief Ali Abu Ammar al-Omar

    Al-Umar does not express any objection to merging with JFS in principle—to the contrary.

    January 14, 2017 Al-Umar’s faction of Ahrar, close to its external backers, notably Turkey, and especially the Ahrar political office, think that being cut off from foreign support—military, financial, and political—is suicide.

    Ahrar al-Sham, a conservative Islamist group, is widely believed to be backed by Turkey. In a voice message posted on YouTube

    Fateh al-Sham While it has often fought in close proximity to FSA rebels against Assad, it also has a record of crushing foreign-backed FSA groups.

    January 25, 2017 (..)on Wednesday, Ahrar al-Sham leader Abu Ammar al-Omar said:
    “If the fighting continues and if one party continues to do an injustice to another, then we will not allow this to pass, regardless of the cost, even if we become victims of this.”
    40 Ahrar al-Sham Militants Killed In Double-Tap Suicide Bombing In Idlib
    21.05.2017 It is believed that Ali al-Omar “Abu Ammar,” the leader of Ahrar al-Sham was attending the meeting, but he was not killed or this has at least not been announced so far.

    1. So Ali Omar and Ali Omar. Maybe a made-up name in homage. Not the same guy, if he's a prisoner for 4 years. You can't run a fighting faction and attend meetings very well that way. Or likely, it' just two guys named Ali Omar. But with made-up story likely involved, the made up in honor option is good. Bu we can never know for sure, so eh...

    2. Page 63 The Syrian authorities provided the remnants of two IEDs allegedly used to disperse the chemical agent during the incident in Jobar on 24 August 2013, which were collected from the site of the incident by one Syrian officer.
      Based on interviews conducted by the United Nations Mission with military commanders, soldiers, clinicians and nurses, it can be ascertained that, on 24 August 2013, a group of soldiers were tasked to clear some buildings near the river in Jobar under the control of opposition forces (see figures 7.1 and 7.2). At around 1100 hours, the intensity of the shooting from the opposition
      subsided and the soldiers were under the impression that the other side was retreating.
      Approximately 10 meters away from some soldiers, an improvised explosive device (IED) reportedly detonated with a low noise, releasing a badly smelling gas.
      Sarin nerve agent exploded near a U.S. military convoy“The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found,” said Kimmitt, the chief military spokesman in Iraq. “The round had been rigged as an IED
      which was discovered by a U.S. force convoy.11
      This means that sarin gas can be activated after an explosion.
      "According to the Russian means of objective airspace control, yesterday from 11.30 to 12.30 local time, Syrian aviation struck a blow in the area of ​​the eastern outskirts of the village of Khan Sheikhun on a large depot of ammunition of terrorists and the accumulation of military equipment.On the territory of this warehouse there were shops for the production of landmines , from which ammunition with chemical weapons was delivered by militants to Iraqi territory, and their use by terrorists has been repeatedly proven to Both international organizations and official authorities of this country, "the Ministry of Defense informed.
      Konashenkov noted that these ammunition were used by militants in the Syrian Aleppo, their use was recorded late last year by Russian military specialists.
      MousaAlomar based in London probably posted as first the vid with the 4 plumes

      Khaled Omar Mousa
      Ghouta Massacre Victims: Medical and Media Staffs Decimated?
      When Jolani's errand boys, Hadi Abdallah & Mousa Al-Omar, met in #Idlib in 2015
      A Alomar SAMS
      Yusef al Omar – Jolani Feb 2017 ,screenshot from Jean Moussa vid

  18. The Ahrar al Sham Movement:

    Its founders were prisoners released in the second half of 2011 from a wing of Seydnaya prison that held many Islamists. In November 2016, the Shura Council elected Ali al Omar, alias Aby Ammar, as the fourth leader of the group.
    The Ahrar al Sham Movement: Syria's Local Salafists | Wilson Center

    Another group in Syria (3) whose trajectory in the western media is worth analysing is Ahrar al-Sham. It is known that it began forming brigades well before the official start of the Syrian “Revolution” in 2011, and this seriously undercuts the theory that the Syrian uprising was entirely secular and progressive from the start, only to be hijacked by jihadists, or forced in that direction by the government response, later on.
    The issue of suicide bombings is more delicate. During the first four months following its official emergence in January 2012, Kata’ib Ahrar al-Sham did not take responsibility for any such attack; of late, however, the situation has become more confused. On 7 June, it conducted a truck bombing on a regime checkpoint near the town of Khan Sheikhoon, in Idlib province; the group announced the attack on Facebook and YouTube the following day, asserting that the vehicle had been remotely piloted.85
    That version was contradicted by the leader of a Kata’ib Ahrar al-Sham battalion in Khan Sheikhoon, who contended that his group had carried out an attack on a checkpoint that same day using a nineteen-year-old suicide bomber. He added that, although it was his battalion’s first suicide attack, other Ahrar al-Sham battalions separately had resorted to this tactic.86
    July 26, 2012 On the night TIME spoke to him, several members of the Jabhat were in a remote field, in the final stages of testing a homemade rocket devised with the help of Syrian veterans of the Iraq war.
    The device was a copper-lined shaped charge that can penetrate armor. When the device ignites, the copper element superheats enough to pierce a tank. “It’s a very simple idea, but it works,” Ibrahim said, adding that the device was the work of the Jabhat’s engineering branch.
     “There’s a killing branch. I’m in the killing and chemical branch,” he said, explaining that the chemical branch was responsible for obtaining fertilizers and other components of the IEDS.
    The Ahrar started working on forming brigades “after the Egyptian revolution,” Abu Zayd said, well before March 15, 2011, when the Syrian revolution kicked off with protests in the southern agricultural city of Dara’a
    The indictment said that Qassab, claimed to have links with Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, and the Turkish defendants were seeking thionyl chloride [SOC12], potassium fluoride [KF], methanol [CH3OH], isopropanol [C3H8O], isopropanolamine [C3H9NO], white phosphorus [P4], medical glucose, and buoxite. They were also accused of trying to procure fuses and chrome piping to build mortar tubes.


  19. Initial reports to media had indicated that the Jihadists had been in possession of 2.2 kg Sarin gas when arrested.

    Total supplies to terrorists through Turkey were as follows in 2015: 2,500 tons of ammonium nitrate (worth approximately US$ 788,700); 456 tons of potassium nitrate ($468,700); 75 tons of aluminium powder ($496,500); sodium nitrate ($19,400); glycerine ($102,500); and nitric acid ($34,000).

    As soon as the controversy received press attention, border administration couldn’t help but to halt the truck’s passage, apprehend the driver, and seize the cargo, a million meters of detonating cords, an ample amount of explosives. 210,000 dollar worth cargo weighing 24 tons was meant to be delivered to a firm based in Amman, Jordan, ASR Trading Company, yet it never left Turkey.


  20. A common theme seems to be pointing to the JIM report and dismissing any questioning of the findings as 'conspiracy theory'. Worth considering some of the country responses to the JIM report:

    Kazakhstan: "the conclusions about the Syrian Arab Airforce involvement in the discharge of the air bomb with sarin in Khan Sheikhoun territory are not thoroughly convincing"

    Ethiopia: "the information secured [at Shayrat] did not seem to confirm the conclusion the Mechanism subsequently made"

    Very edited summary here: https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc13060.doc.htm

  21. I know this is late to the party, and apologies if this have already been noted, but I've just been re-reading the JIM and it's not actually clear that they ever received the bomb fragments. Has this actually ever been confirmed?

    Everywhere they are mentioned, the 'analysis' could simply be of the images alone.

    It's all very strangely worded, but at no point do they actually confirm receiving the physical remnants. The fragments are only 'recovered' as far as 'unidentified individuals' - never explicitly to the JIM.

    "55. As described in paragraph 46 above, two objects of interest that were visible in
    photographs and videos of the crater were analysed by the Mechanism. These were
    the filler cap from a chemical munition and a deformed piece of metal protruding
    from deep within the crater.
    56. According to information obtained by the Mechanism, the filler cap, with two
    closure plugs, is uniquely consistent with Syrian chemical aerial bombs. The
    Mechanism was provided with an assessment of the filler cap and with chemical
    analysis showing sarin and a reaction product of sarin with hexamine that can be
    formed only under very high heat. Information was also received that addit ional
    metal fragments collected from the crater might correspond to parts of Syrian aerial
    chemical munitions.
    57. The two energetic-materials experts engaged by the Mechanism reported that
    the size and thickness of the metal piece protruding from the crater indicated that it
    had been the casing of an aerial bomb measuring between 300 and 500 mm in
    58. The munition remnants recovered from the crater by unidentified individuals
    are assessed as being associated with an air-delivered chemical bomb. Specific
    munition remnants, particularly the tailfin, could not be recovered. The absence of a
    chain of custody relating to the munition remnants diminishes their probative value."

    1. They don't seem to have - I haven't seen any test results and in the 1 year anniversary videos the end of the 'pipe' can be seen still stuck in the road


      By the way, if anyone else listened to it, I've tried sending questions to the ALYOM podcast makers re. reports etc. They haven't responded. Take from that what you will I suppose.

      Just for the record, like Warda, Ahmad Barakat's parents seem to be alive and well:


      so not a Syria Charity orphan but appears with them in videos (like Warda).

    2. This is Abboud Albakri mentioned in the podcast as saving Warda, haven't looked to see if he appears in the early videos yet


    3. Also Alaa al-Yousef house, might be interesting to find and then compare to his story


  22. Maybe useful, Warda's father is Fouad al-Sayed (a few of that family name in the list of victims)

    Also see Mazen al-Sayed (White Helmet) story here and his slightly different story on page 25 of the JFL report

    What actually happened and why Abboud Albakri didn't drop dead like Molham al-Yousef when running around in the yellow cloud is a mystery. Or why he didn't go to his friend Fouad's house first, who all the children lying around in the road were etc.

    1. Warda al-Sayed's rescuer "ex-soldier" Abboud 2nd from right in Abdelhamid al-Yousef fighters photo?


    2. https://imgur.com/yG8K2Il

      Abboud Albakri is also in the White Helmets?

  23. Kusai al-Yousef


    Not sure if something is being lost in (Google) translation here but Kusai says "[Molham] did not have gas inhalation and was blown away by the explosion"..!

    Again saying Molham is his *only* brother, also names Kusai's children so the triplets shown here -


    are Kusais. Rawda al-Yousef in the CGTN video is the mother of Molham and Kusai. Jalal and Rawda are presented as being the same family so she must be the aunt next door he drove to hospital.

    When Kusai gets home, he finds out about his mother and Molham's wife which sort of suggests they all lived/went to hosptial together. 4 hours to get back makes at least some sense considering Mohammed al-Yousef's story -


    "Witnesses in Khan Sheikhoun said that a Syrian air force Sukkoi22 dropped four bombs, three of which exploded conventionally and a fourth that made little impact but released a large cloud of white smoke. Mohammed Youssef heard no screaming when the gas fell, because no one could speak, shout or escape. "For the first 20 seconds after the airstrike, I did not feel like anything was wrong. After that I remember looking back at my family and seeing them drop to the ground one by one," he said.
    "Four hours later I woke up in hospital, my first thought was my family," he said. One brother was killed and two others and still missing"

    So Kusai maybe waited for Mohammed to wake up before going home. The flaw here is that ALYOM has Molham running to the same place to help and Mohammed's family seem to have gone missing in the time it takes Kusai to get there in his car. Kusai bizarrely doesn't see Molham (but then everyone seems to witness different victims in isolated stories) or mention Molham's son Yusuf being affected, just Molham's wife. And the chemical cloud is impossibly fast of course. Still, I think ALYOM won some kind of award so I'm sure they won't be bothered.

    1. While Molham al-Yousef's mother Rawda al-Yousef went to hospital in Turkey


      Alaa al-Yousef was with his parents in Khan Sheikhoun on the 5th


      Alaa is definitely not Molham's brother

      4 hours for Kusai is entirely my own excuse for him, he told AJ he "dropped them" at the hospital in another city in the akhbaralaan.net interview he took them to the "nearest medical point in the city" (Google translated) so not entirely sure what he did for those 4 hours

    2. Great work, Andrew! I'm not following ATM but I will later, and others can see and consider these points. So thanks.

  24. wow this saintly however ,I love your enter plus nice pics might be part personss negative love being defrent mind total poeple , data logger temperature


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