Warning: This site contains images and graphic descriptions of extreme violence and/or its effects. It's not as bad as it could be, but is meant to be shocking. Readers should be 18+ or a mature 17 or so. There is also some foul language occasionally, and potential for general upsetting of comforting conventional wisdom. Please view with discretion.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Early 2012 CW Allegations in Syria

July 29, 2019
(rough, incomplete)

February predictions
I was recently alerted to an interesting report (props to Qoppa 999):
Walls Have Ears: An Analysis of Classified Syrian Security Sector Documents" a report by Syria Justice and Accountability Centre, Published April 2019 in Washington, DC. A critical review post is pending, but one cited file ignited some old tinder I've been sitting on. The fire couldn't be contained, and had to be penned into this new post.

Said file is rather old, dated 2 February, 2012 - from Director of the National Security Office to "Comrade Director of the Air Force Intelligence Division." Approved, stamped, and circulated over the following days (Feb. 4-8), the memo is shown below and says (per the provided translation):

"We received information stating that the Libyan terrorists have acquired chemical weapons from the Libyan chemical arsenal. The weapons will be shipped to Turkish territories to be used later in some Syrian governorates, especially the ones that are facing unrest. This will be done in order to accuse the regime, in coordination with biased television channels, of using the chemical weapons, in order to escalate the Syrian crisis and internationalize it after all the failed attempts to move the Syrian crisis dossier to the Security Council.
Please review and do the necessary *
And long live our message

* Elsewhere, SJAC takes this phrase as likely meaning assassinate someone. In this case, probably not. Maybe it carries that secret meaning in no case. 

The SJAC report poses this as a probably fabricated claim, sown in these documents as a top-secret cover-story for their own planned CW usage. (Considering how "the rhetoric of the Syrian government following chemical weapons attacks suggest that this could have been an additional shield from culpability – documentary evidence to protect the government from accountability and to point the finger at rebel groups, either for internal consumption or for external actors who might review the documents in the future.")

But as far as most people know, there were no regime chemical attacks alleged at this time, nor in the following months, either to match a prediction or to prove some basis for planning a cover-story. Behind the scenes, it's worried they'll be used "later" and even at this blog, I tend to start noting CW allegations much later - only in November and December of 2012.

And so far I haven't tended to consider Libya's stockpiles. The sarin used in many incidents was more likely custom-made by or for Jabhat al-Nusra and their select allies. But that's not some firm law of nature, and even if its mainly true most of the time, this early on, different sources might be called on.

But whatever the source, there was some unexplained concern about the issue from probably the same week as this memo, but well outside the official channels producing it. Paul Wood noted in The Guardian, February 11, 2012 following on a recent visit to Baba Amr district of Homs. Then under siege but weeks from full military reconquest, Baba Amr was the opposition's top issue and prime focus for employing propaganda claims of this sort - the natural place for "Assad" to unleash any strange chemical nonsense:
"Baba Amr had been under siege for months. Jedi snapped on the third day after hundreds of shells, mortars and rockets had fallen. He walked back and forth shouting: "The army is about to use chemical weapons. They're already sending in ground troops." Neither was true. Under the constant shelling, people were becoming hysterical." (emphasis mine)
Wood considered this to be "hysteria," not a reflection anyone's real plans or concerns. But the article also noted how "State television denied there was a bombardment. It told the inventive lie that residents were setting fire to rubbish on their roofs to give the impression of an attack. The official media also said that most of the violence was caused by the rebel fighters of the Free Syrian Army – "terrorists", "criminal gangs" or "agents of Israel" in the language of official spokesmen.

This could refer exactly to Danny Abdul Dayem, who worked with the armed fighters, coordinated fake videos with them, and called for foreign, specifically Israeli, military intervention, notably over the government offensive in Baba Amr in February. He was famously caught out on this, though to be fair, I'm not sure of the date of the incidents or their revelation; less than a month after this Guardian article the story was out, with Dayem even challenged on-air by a peeved Anderson Cooper at CNN. Likely the Syrian authorities referred to him, as well as less-famous others engaged in the same kind of activities. That's some "lie" to invent its way to being true like that.

So Mr. Wood didn't know everything, including whether there was or wasn't reason to expect chemical weapons usage, in Baba Amr, in the first half of February, 2012. And as it happens...

February chemical attack(s)?
… there was an allegation around this time, or a string of them - sooner than the memo suggests and perhaps unrelated, but perhaps not. I've sort of glossed this over as too vague and isolated to consider, but I had seen it listed in a 2013 report assembled by professor Julian Perry Robinson - an excellent resource, with this early incident I didn't know about

ALLEGED USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN SYRIA, a Harvard Sussex Program Occasional Paper by Julian Perry Robinson, June, 2013
Incident [L2] February 2012, Homs (Bab Amr): Use by the regime . On 21 February 2012, Istanbul Hürriyet Daily News reports having just been told by Lt Abdulselam Abdulrezzak, “who used to work in the chemical weapons department in the Syrian army and defected to Turkey last week”, that “chemical weapons were used against civilians during the military offensive of the Syrian security forces in Bab Amr [a neighbourhood in Homs]”. … The newspaper also reports him as saying that “Syrian soldiers were given gas masks recently in order to protect themselves from the chemical weapons that would be used against the protestors in Syria”.

Alleged chemical weapons expert defector Lt. (or captain?) Abdulrazaq is a character we'd keep hearing from … yammering about the regime's regular use of mustard gas and odorless sarin by December 7, 2012 (Times of Israel), would later join and be spokesman for Nour al-Din al-Zenki, child beheaders and likely CW users in 2016 (Zaman al-Wasl) as they likely used CWs to deadly effect in Aleppo. He would again help deny an Aleppo rebel chemical attack in November 2018, as "military commander of the National Liberation Front (FNL)" (Al-Arabiya)

The cited Hürriyet article is still available but adds little to Robinson's citation. The date of any incident seems unclear - just then, the 21st? Abdulrazaq was interviewed on 19 February (per Robinson), after defecting shortly before that. Is it something he learned of before or after this? It should be before if he ran away in disgust over the event and another one planned; besides CW use in Homs, "They wanted to also use it in Zabadani [on the Lebanese border] but they made an agreement with the Free Syrian Army forces at the last minute and they backtracked. I couldn’t stand all these and ran away."

An earlier Jerusalem World News article cites al-Arabiya interview on or before Feb. 14 (image source), where he claims a nerve agent, likely sarin, has already been used somewhere in Homs, was threatened or planned in Zabadani too, so he seemingly refers to the same incident(s) in Homs, which happened prior to Feb. 14, at a time the Guardian's Paul Wood felt the claims were not true.

Military actions in Baba Amr (Baba, Amro, etc. - in red on district map below) were alleged and actually happened all during February, with Government control announced at month's end. A sizeable and maybe final militant retreat south to Abel to discover a sizable massacre there (just before their arrival, they say) on Feb. 27.  (just off the bottom edge of the map)

The agent(s) and effects
On the 14th, Abdulrazaq was cited as claiming deadly nerve agent like sarin was used in Homs. It's Israeli experts who decided he meant sarin, but he did say "“A little amount of this is enough to carry out a mass extermination."
Cited interview, also says "nerve agent," also planned for Jabal Zawiya and Zabadani - sounds like the same story about CWs in Homs. Initially, a very deadly nerve agent was used. But no mention of deaths... also no specifics on dates of use, symptoms suffered by how many, etc. Terrible, but vague.

But on the 21st he told Hürriyet Daily News the toxin employed in Baba Amr was, rather, “BZ-CS, Chlorine Benzilate, which damages people’s nerves and makes them fade away." The reference is a little confusing, but Julian Perry Robinson adds: "Chemically, BZ is 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate and CS is o -chlorobenzalmalononitrile, so it is not obvious why ‘BZ-CS’ should have been glossed as ‘Chlorine Benzilate’.  Nor is it obvious that either agent would have brought about the signs and symptoms described." He also notes it's the first time BZ has been mentioned as part of Syria's CW capabilities. Is it something the Libyans had?

This "BZ-CS" apparently refers to two agents in combination: the incapacitating agent BZ and the common irritant tear gas CS, and shouldn't have a combined singular name like he gave. These symptoms combined might be similar to that described, but as Robinson notes, not an "obvious" match, especially for the strangely delayed onset of signs.

Effects: the following may occur from inhibition of central muscarinic receptors: disorientation, agitation, tremor, ataxia, stupor, coma, hallucinations and seizures. Other effects on the nervous system inhibit glandular secretions and sweating, causing hyperthermia, flushing, dry mouth. Vision problems, tachypnea, nausea and vomiting, paralytic ileus (intestinal), and urinary retention may also occur.

Effects: "The chemical reacts with moisture on the skin and in the eyes, causing a burning sensation and the immediate forceful and uncontrollable shutting of the eyes. Effects usually include tears streaming from the eyes, profuse coughing, exceptional nasal discharge that is full of mucus, burning in the eyes, eyelids, nose and throat areas, disorientation, dizziness and restricted breathing."

later sources add to the picture, but complicate the timeline.

Documentation of injuries possibly caused by the use of chemical weapons on civilians during the attack and siege of Baba Amr, Homs. March 29, 2012 · by rosealhomsi
During the last 2 weeks, the hospitals in northern Lebanon have received and analysed several injuries, injuries on those who fled the neighborhood of “Baba Amr” in the city of Homs. The injuries were caused during the brutal crackdown and siege led by the Assad regime prior to the regime forces storming on land. The injuries and illnesses only deteriorated..."
This describes symptoms including: "neuropathy, arthralgia, joint pains, amnesia, skin rashes, hair loss and abdominal pain" - "a raise in temperature and night sweats" - irritation, boils on the face, mouth ulcers and, strangely, hair loss from the head and body, besides constipation and urinary retention. The signs had a slow onset, only noted "3 or 4 days" after leaving Baba Amr, perhaps longer since alleged exposure. 

As noted militants left and attacks should have ended before March 1 - chemical incidents blamed were "prior to the regime forces storming on land," so more likely back in mid-February. But these cases of alleged poisoning linked to that campaign were reported only from mid to late March and into April.

 A video said to have been filmed at a hospital in Homs on 6 April 2012 and distributed by networks supporting the Syrian opposition shows a doctor displaying a video of a patient and denouncing “the use of chemical or biological weapons against the civilian population of Baba Amro, a neighbourhood which has remained for months in rebel hands, and so was heavily bombed by the Syrian army”.
"tiredness and fatigue accompanied with muscle pains across the body. The patient felt weak especially in the lower part of the body, as well as joint pain, pain around the joints and pain in the lower back."

"the symptoms began to appear at the same time as the Assad regime attack on the named neighborhood, Baba Amr." So presumably the mean during February.  from Facebook, content unavailable - a 2-page Arabic document is shared here, presumably relating the same details as below. It's from "Syrian Refuggees Coordination" and also dated March 29. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.414955381863454.118487.241475429211451&type=1

also shown - chapped, bandaged, yellow hands with dark patches - a man with pixelated face, oddly yellow skin visible at the forehead and ears, very thin hair fallig out over his pillow - a woman with sporadic red irritation of the cheek, burned and peeling lips. Still, any clear pattern of correlation is far from obvious.

Robinson: "The doctor refers to twelve cases, including two people who died..." prior to April 6.

No clearly reported deaths at VDC, but... Thamer Mohammed al-Saud, from Guerran Hasakeh killed somewhere by "other" (no toxic gas category at this point) with the notes: "He was suffocated by tear gas "

Maybe coincidence with Mr. Saud, but a Saudi - Ayman Hweti - died 3 days later. A non-civilian, he was tasked with whatever by his group, Al-Qaeda franchise Jabhat al-Nusra (well prior to its future ISIS members peeling away), until he unusually died from "other" on the 23rd, with no explanation.

- Salman Abdul Qader Othman, age 27, from Turkman Bareh, Aleppo, killed 2012-02-25 by other: "He died in hospital affected by the gas which he suffered two weeks before during his participation in a demonstration in Salahidin district." That would be around Feb. 11, but up in Aleppo, not in Homs, where folks like Jedi were fearing such use in those same days. And they heard it literally took two weeks before Mr. Othman died instead of recovering. That can happen, depending on circumstances, but it seems strange.

I looked into dates through March and April, but nothing more compelling than these three emerged by way of deaths recorded.

In context (Somewhat disorganized patterns and speculation)

Again, this event or cluster of events and vague allegations seem disconnected from the mainstream of them starting late in 2012 and running up to the Ghouta massacre in August, 2013. Julian Perry Robisnon 's report agrees, has the one entry only for early 2012, as [L2] - following [L1] about CW allegations against Hafez Assad way back in 1982, and events resume only with [L3] in Homs, December 23.

My further research has prior events, all in the Damascus-Ghouta region, on Dec. 22 and Dec. 6, following on three quieter events in November, and claims - from defector Abdulrazaq - that CWs "were tested in eastern Aleppo with the assistance of Iranians" in late October or early November. This was preceded by propaganda activity including the founding, in Turkey, of an "office for documenting the chemical file in Syria" in October (now CDCVS), warnings from pre-White Helmets "civil defense" in Douma of impending CW use (mid-Sept. - 2 months before first reported use right by Douma) - some expressed concerns over Syria's CW arsenal sparking president Obama's Red Line threat/offer, first stated on August 20, and again on December 3. Further, "on August 29, a Syrian channel stated that it learned of a plot involving Saudi Arabia, the Al-Arabiya media outlet, the U.S. and (then-government of) Yemen that involved rebels using mortars to carry out a chemical attack." (Clarion Project)

But from August-December was a time of build-up, but from here back to around March is a bag gap of little to no alleged chemical usage by the Syrian government. This was the span of marketing the sectarian mega-massacre narrative - broadly Houla to Haswiyeh (Homs), massacres from March up to in January, 2013 described an arc from horrified acceptance to growing skepticism and concerns that maybe it was actually Sunni terrorists hacking up Syria's families.

So who was it putting a pause on their chemical weapons narrative in order to focus on this other big project? They resumed from December to March, 2013 as the massacres narrative stopped bearing fruit. They were on to things "only the regime" could pull off. There was a scud missiles phase in there too.

When attacks resume, mixed-unclear methods, then BZ or similar would be one theory for one set of symptoms reported in December, again in Homs city - 7 men reportedly died. My analysis here explains how both BZ-type symptoms were cited, as well as sarin signs. Reports clashed: pupils were both dilated and constricted, patients responded well or adversely to atropine. Similar confusion to Capt. Abdulrazaq above claiming one or the other or noth were used earlier in Homs. In December, it sounds like the effects were immediate, as they should be for an incapacitant, an irritant used to disperse crowds now, or clearly for a nerve agent that operates in micro-seconds. Unlike the earlier BZ-CS-GB incident(s), the signs werenot delayed by 3-4 days or a few weeks. smoke grenades were blamed - no images, but possibly the same modified tear gas grenades used by Jabhat al-Nusra for sarin attacks in April, 2013.

Also note: in between, back in Libya where the seized chemicals may have originated, in October, 2012: reported chemical attacks by "revolutionaries" against holdouts in Bani Walid - a doctor who was soon reported killed first helped break this story, reporting symptoms including: difficulty breathing, secretions from the mouth, muscle spasms, and blurred vision.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Douma's Mask of Death, part 1 original

Douma Chemical Massacre, April 7, 2018
Douma's Mask of Death, part 1
2018 original article
Re-posted July 1, 2019

Note July 10, 2019: As this post, I guess by being "new" keeps getting a lot of views, I should clarify: the original link is the place to go for the actually new, clarified analysis that's now online. Also for those inclined, I started a Twitter thread to discuss some issues that I think is making good progress.

Note July 1, 2019: This original draft has been moved from the original posting here, to make room for a much belated improved version. To learn the subject, please see that link. The following is just for reference, to the extent the old version was cited, etc.

Note June 26, 2019: As this post gets more attention, it becomes more unfortunate how long I've left it in this sloppy state. The core idea is extremely important, and deserves a clearer, updated explanation I'm drafting now. In the meantime, a recent and shorter re-explanation can be found in the first half of Douma's mask of death part 2.
Douma's Mask of Death, part one
April 28, 2018
(rough, incomplete)
updates May 8, 14...

There's still much sorting to do with regards to the clinical signs of the Douma massacre victims, rigor mortis, livor mortis and different body positions, cyanosis and other visible symptoms - much says they died in different positions if not different places before they were piled as we see on video - the copious foam might be fake/added/exaggerated or possibly genuine - I'm being cautious 
diff kinds: sooty hands and not, foaming and not, ... people killed in small groups under different circumstances, piled together here.

Phillip Somerville - @unitambo on Twitter - (credentials... lost that tweet) has offered some useful thoughts, as have others. But to keep it easy, I'll cite only his and mine here.
I like this tweet
"The icing on the cake? We may be tipping into morbid parody here... one comment if I may? While our (Western) governments sow doubts about Russian interference in WMD crime scenes, we unflinchingly launched reprisals based on on images and reports of possibly repurposed cadavers."

moving bodies ...I noted this early on. The baby in purple is perhaps the star victim, and plays into the analysis below. Not the rescuer guy in the dark leaves her there, probably at his feet (the right-hand position). He wears no gloves at all, holding an alleged chlorine-and-nerve-agent victim. She's rescued out onto the street the next morning, close to noon.

Summary; Reposed-repurposed group of asphyxiation victims from likely building fire/collapse.

And it might be far worse than he thought, and not some coincidental suffocation victims. One should ask if these people had been accidentally trapped somewhere to suffocate with no escape, how did someone else get them out of that place so soon after death and all re-arranged somewhere else? They don't appear to have been directly under rubble - maybe one heavy piece of concrete blocked the only exit to a shelter that dozens had crammed themselves into, but a few guys with tools moved it swiftly afterwards? Many have smoke-stained hands, and one baby is coated in soot, but most people are smoke free, including as far as i can see inside their nostrils. Or maybe it was a locked door, the people with the key came back after the people were dead? And maybe that was not just smoke, and it was not accidental ... 

I have some evidence to propose a horrible true story for the original position and manner of death of at least some of the victims. It may not be the true story, and I kind of hope not. But if it is, and I kind of hope it is, we may have the big crack in the case that allows us to see the real events, if we're willing and able to see.

Background: Islamists, Hotsages, Worsened Faces 
I'll start with an abortive sign for possible captivity - what I thought were "raccoon eyes" - those rings around the eyes suggesting skull fracture were seen clearly with the "Baytounji family," on 4 of the 5 victims seen from a 6-member family said killed by a chlorine bomb in Aleppo, during the government offensive of late 2016. Several signs suggest they were hostages, not very well-cared for, perhaps of a historically Christian family (possible misreading there, however). But captivity could be why someone was able to whack each one in the head, maybe just to knock them out to tie them up easier - about 2-3 days before they were finally given the bizarre and unexplained treatment that left their faces looking baked as if by an oven's heat. Their eyes aren't burned red, nor do they show any other sign of chlorine exposure. This is something else no one has explained accurately.

That was up in Aleppo, but this heat aspect might also play into Douma, where some signs point to them suffocating in a fire and smoke situation. But the dark rings thing apparently doesn't translate over directly.

Anyone who's followed my work knows this is my usual opinion, having seen recurrent signs of it since 2013. Where else do you get x-number of red-line-crossing bodies at just the right time? Some of the people they've stolen, expendable infidels with zero so-called "human rights" in the captors' minds - gassed in a basement and then shown on video, either at a controlled hospital, or possibly put in a house, as here, but never shown at the original place of death, the top-secret gas chambers.

Many know this refrain by now, but few seem willing to follow "that far." I don't see where they get these arbitrary stopping points. Are we not dealing with hardcore, genocidal Salafists on a grand jihad?

Let's start here to see wht we shouldn't stop so short. The area was run since sometime in 2012 by the Saudi-backed "Army of Islam" (Jaish al-Islam, and formerly Liwa al-Islam). Syria analyst Joshua Landis wrote in December 2013, as Liwa al-Islam was re-naming itself and expanding, as well as founding a broader "Islamic Front."
This is an anti-Shiite tirade and “bring-back-the-Umayyad-Empire” propaganda piece. It shows how sectarian Alloush is.
Nusayris (Alwaites) into the Rafidi (Shi'ite) grouping, all also referred to as “Majous”, or crypto-Iranians... they are not Arabs." They don't belong.

"Zahran calls for cleansing Damascus of all Shiites and Nusayris. ... ridding Damascus and Greater Syria of the evil works and impure deeds of the Nusayris."

From his now-deleted exhortation video:
The mujahediin of Sham will wash the filth (رجس) of the Rafida and the Rafidia from Sham, they will wash it forever, if Allah wills it, until they cleanse Bilad al-Sham from the filth of the Majous who have fought the religion of Allah. ...  I invite all the mujahidin to join their mujahidin brothers in Sham (Damascus and Greater Syria)

Landis notes "Such language makes Assad’s effort to demonize the revolutionaries and rebels easy." It makes it necessary, in the one case at least. That's self-demonized. Alloush later "walked-back" these comments, before Syrian forces killed in an aistrike anyway. Look at what he walked back! That's shit he said! And he says okay, I'm not really that genocidal, I was having a bad day, freedom is neat up to a point, no mass exterminations, maybe we can trim our bears a little shorter ... and so until now they remain non-ISIS "moderate" rebels who had every right to rule over East Ghouta and all Damascus, if possible.

On its founding in December 2013, as Landis was writing, Jaish al-Islam teamed up with Al-Qaeda franchise Jabhat al-Nusra to raid the nearby Adra district, killing dozens of defending soldiers, massacring many non-Sunnis and abducting hundreds of others, mostly women and children (ACLOS, Adra Massacre). Many more than anyone knows were abducted from other areas JaI and allies controlled before then and since (see part 2). They impose strict Islamic law in their areas, and those seen as needing it were put in a "repentance prison" until they got their religion right - religious minorities disappear, by fleeing early enough or otherwise. Adra captives and other supposed sub-humans owned by Jaish al-Islam were used for slave labor to dig the vast tunnel system underneath East Ghouta, we now learn (see here). In the meantime, Zahran's brother Mohammed Alloush lives on, is or has been the political leader of Jaish al-Islam and also, as a respected "moderate rebel" leader, was alowed to take the slot of top "negotiator" in the Saudi-backed "peace talks" in Geneva (Alloush mainly refused to talk with a genocidal dictator, and Damascus largely refused to negotiate with the leader of a genocidal terrorist group. Good choice if you don't want peace...).

The Ghouta massacre of August 2013 involved hundreds of likely hostages gassed at once across JaI-diminated East Ghouta ... the first two recorded CW alleged deaths were to "displaced" children in areas Liwa al-Islam was then conquering, in November, 2012. Some things in between are far too deep to explain here but make this all seem possibly relevant to these people gassed to death in JaI's last days, at their last chance to possibly gas hostages and blame a government CW attack for it. That will be part 2. But it's partly discussed in other posts here. See also:

First we look at the current victims, but even firster than that ... Back to the late Zahran's walked-back comments: ... this part is a bit odd:
And I bid you, o unclean (أنجاس) Rafida, that as the Banu Umayya destroyed your skulls in the past, the people of the Ghouta and the people of Sham will destroy your skulls in the future. And they will make you taste the worst torture in life (الدنيا), before Allah makes you taste the worst torture on judgment day. O unclean Rafida, you will find what you never expected, from the force of the Mujahediin of Islam in Bilad al-Sham until they make you taste the worst torture. O unclean Rafida, you’ll find what will worsen your faces [image, يسوء وجوهكم] in life (الدنيا), what will harm you in life and shame you on judgement day. 

Diagnosing the Mask
There's clearly a danger of reading that last part about "worsening your face" too literally here. It's a figure of speech only possibly meant literally as well. And if he meant real facial harm was intended, it might take different forms...

But this could be one of those. Here's a basic extraction of the "mask of death" seen, usually in yellow-brown like this, on some but not all Douma massacre victims. (used: GIMP2, layers, color sampling, cleanup, artistic liberty with invisible parts - reference photo is faintly in backdrop, and see image 1 below).

what it could be - I though two victims alone displaying periorbital ecchymosis, or "raccoon eyes," which suggests violent head trauma in the recent past, but prior to the alleged chemical attack (appearance and fading of the swollen, bruised eye effect is on the scale of days). That would have been interesting, but after seeing some of these better and later views, I changed my mind, at about the same time Somerville weighed in with this alert:

"[these] aren't raccoon eyes in my estimation. The bruising-burning is superficial and patchy-linear. Raccoon eyes comes from bleeding into eye socket. Livid, deep, distinctive." He repeated this along with possible exceptions a few times, like here: "Cannot exclude possibility of ecchymosis from blast trauma or paroxysmal squinting... Unlikely to be 'racoon eyes' assoc w/#base-skull as no eyelid bruising or periorbital oedema." I totally agree, with less background knowledge (but still enough to matter). 

Yes, I've vacillated  over that too. Flash burn, coughing-squint ecchymosis, raised ICP ecchymosis from paroxysmal asphyxiation, blast injury ecchymosis. Can't rule out asphyxiation from chlorine agent either...

A welder's flash burn came up, but this looks more like a sunburn when it's on skin, not like the cases we see. That is a sort of mask shape, of the upper face except the eyes kind like in old-fashioned masquerade balls. But just ugly yellow-brown, for the most part. All around but especially under the eyes, fading down the upper cheeks, often strong across bridge of nose, and fainter or sporadic across the brow an, lower forehead. But each case looks different - like surface staining, sub-surface bruising, chemical burn/blisters, or allergic rash.

There are a few victims with similar signs I considered, but didn't include in this list of six images for six victims that clearly display some version of this strange pattern. So there may be more than this, but no less. These are cropped from various photos and video stills, mostly Anadolu/Getty ones, with various enhancements. Source links later, and I consider this fair use as usual, in the public interests of pursuing truth and justice.

May 14: adding vitim references as laid out in the floor plan infographics here.

Mask 1, woman: sorry for the unneeded ickiness - the woman in black with massive foam seen atop the pile. From the usual side-view with face covered, only part of this dark yellow-brown pattern was visible, and I thought had "raccoon eyes" in the advanced brown-bruise stage of healing - but seen from the front like this, it's clearly something else horrible and mysterious. Source for illustration above.
No color-specific enhancements here, just a global saturation increase - note darker brown all around the eyes, fading to yellow down the cheeks, but with a clear-skin dividing line up each cheek. The shielded eyes could be from some protection like swimmer's goggles, or perhaps from tight squinting. But the odd line of clear skin down her nose and these cheek lines at least follow no normal folds of the skin - something almost had to be added to her face to cause these differences.
Cyanosis: slightly purple forehead, pale/yellowish chin and cheeks

May 14: this is victim W7 on the ground floor, in front of the shower. It's noteworthy that she, with the clearest and strangest manifestation of the mystery mask, is among those NOT put on display in the tunnels morgue scene later on the 8th.

Mask 2, boy (victim B6): seen in other views on his back, alone in a side-room, with thick white foam and smoke-stained hands ... seen outside the house around 11 am with foam still present, and seen again at the tunnels morgue with foam dissolved (after a furious hosing with what I suspect is highly chlorinated water). 

Here, yellow blistering under the eyes? Distinct bands, with a swollen look, seeming to cast shadows in this low-angled light. Maybe not ... faint sharper rings all around the uoter half of the eyes ... all about the same color as the yellowish stuff that's trickled out of his moth (is that fresh fluid, or a stain? If it's a stain, how many different yellow-brain staining fluids can his face have been exposed to? It must be the same all around.
cyanosis: purple forehead, slightly purple cheeks, very purple ears, pale chin

Add May 8: A higher resolution view suggests the yellow area is burnt/irritated, possibly blistered, with surrounding skin reddened as if by a strong irritant. It's not external material, or it would be washed away by now. This view also suggest less cyanosis in the forehead than the other view, but it still seems to be there, especially in the ears. All throughout but clearest here: some dinginess of the ckeeks to slightly match his hands - looks like smoke stains.
May 14 add: this is victim B6, #31 out of 35 as I numbered them. note the mouth corner leaks - which came after the first washing of the material across his cheeks - has also left a brown stain along the drying edge especially, that remains after the second washing outside in the morning (seen here later in the morgue array somewhere in the tunnels). So what else would cause yellow brown stains all up his face, all around but not in his eyes? It must be the staining fluid he coughed up, and his head at least must have been upside-down.

Mask 3, boy (victim ref B3): I had thought this was "raccoon eyes" case #2 of 2, with an extra blood exit (skull fracture) across the bridge of the nose. Now seeing it's in the same kind of mask pattern ... see below. Here the usual brown-yellow appears only around the edges (behind right eye, faded), with the usual pattern over the upper cheeks and under the eyes all filled in with what seems a blood-colored stain, or even clotted blood with some volume to it.
Cyanosis: deep purple lips, fairly purple face, but little notable difference across the face, and no sign in the ears.

Add May 8: Close-up on the right side around his right eye - black areas appear dry, with spots of white crust. Some blood in the eyes, not bloodshot eyes.

Mask 4, man (M2): no cyanosis or sign of fluids, but smoke-stained - similar dark cheek pattern to the woman in image 1 (including clear strip angling across, or so it appears) - a better view would help.
May 14, the other side, once I clarified this is the same guy, victim M2 on the first floor:

Mask 5, older girl (G6): Not sure which victim this is and if there's a better view than this side-view. Here the mask manifests as what looks like a sunken orange rash-burn. But maybe it's just level, and stained? As with others, some random dots of it up to about the mid-forehead.
May 14: this is victim G6, on the second floor. From video:

Mask 6, baby girl (I4 - I guess should be G9): invisible at first, hours later this girl's face seems to have broken out in a rash, but it appears in the same pattern. No cyanosis notable: rash is red (livid). Some hints of yellow on her left cheek, and a strangely stained earlobe behind that - it's bright yellow. Was she washed off better than the others, maybe just to be photogenic? But some yellow staining and the later rash from skin irritation in those areas remained to suggest she has the same and unknown story as these others, if with some variations.

Add May 8: a morgue view later on shows deeper lividity, same basic pattern. But as with the others, no sign of reddened eyes as will happen with even moderate exposure to chlorine.

Others may show the same signs - I and others will keep an eye out. It may be hard to say sometimes, as the baby and boy in images 6 and 2 show it often has a delayed appearance.

Yellow 'bruising' or 'flash burns' around eyes more likely to be glazed-stained tears from heat/smoke.

I suppose the presumption of tears coms from the fact that it happens around the eyes, but oddly, all around and not in the eyes, notable skipping the tear duct area in most or all cases.

Upside-Down With Goggles?
Also note images 1 and 2, the woman and boy have purple foreheads, lower part a more drained, pale yellowish color. This is basically livor mortis (with cyanosis, so purple) vs. pallor mortis....
small swimmer's goggles? squinting eyes will wind up protected in a fairly similar - but I think a different - manner.  And other clues suggest physical goggles were in place: straps one might use to secure them (usually in an abnormal way, however)  and (image 1, across the cheeks, perhaps up the nose and then dividinf across her forehead?), injury to the bridge of the boy's nose (image 2) - and possible material accumulation.

Boy victim #2 upside-down, with standard swimmer's goggles added.

This mostly explains just the shape of yellow we see, top and bottom.  Again, it's the same color and probably the same stuff he coughed up, likely mucous, which is produced after exposure to caustic agents like chlorine. The color is usually kind of yellow, but this may be tinted by the gas they were exposed to, also said to be yellow (chlorine does not impart a color like that). There may have been a lot, rolling down one cheek or another (you'd tilt your head to keep it out of your nose if possible, and be blowing it out your nose too, struggling to breathe, turning purple, upside down. A fucking kid. I hope I'm wrong about this.

Anyway, it would build up on top of his googles, secured perhaps somehow that involves injuring the bridge of his nose, because it was injured. Possible strap line on one side is thin, and about where the face creases, likely coincidence. The goo would roll down the curve of the goggles, around the sides, and  largely down from there, with some following the opposite curve down to the center, but not back up. Mid-eye would be the drip point if one were upside-down, the end of that thin line at the top of the eye. It is, in this and every case. Ulp. If one were cyanotic and left hanging like this for a time after death, that's more time for half-charged but heavy red-blood cells, blue and red, to settle to lower parts of the body. All blood in his face would start separating, redder towards the forehead (or here, purpler), and paler in the lower face. Ulp.

Also note everything we see in that image is after some time and a good hosing down. It should not be original goo, but stains left behind to cause this yellow mask. If that makes sense... it might be somehow corrosive/irritating and also strongly staining.

And it could be that boy victim #3 here got a stronger dose of the caustic chemical and mainly coughed up lots of blood, doing the same pooling around the lenses, and here more down the middle, up the bridge of his nose. some of which stained, and some of which might have coagulated in the corner of his right eye, remaining even after a hosing down.(possible illusion). Such a victim would often die quicker, before the mass production of mucous begins. On the other hand, deep cyanosis like his sets in more often with a fairly lingering death.  

And let's flip victim #1, the woman. Straps across the cheeks, not along any natural creases that could be shielded by holding a certain face. Straps would run over he forehead, maybe crossing off-center up her nose along the way, there securing the goggles. The straps and the goggles all cause fluid slow-down, leading to increasing stains, yellow to deep brown, again pouring down the sides and down to the center of the lower curve, the drip point if one were upside-down. more rolled genrally down to her forehead, angled and moved in such a way that these fainter spots were final lowest-possible drip points from her whole head at different times. Also, less clearly than vcitm #2 but clearly enough, the increased, if purple, lividity of her upper head suggests she was upside down to at least some degree for the longest time after death. (enhancement: color-faded backdrop with mask colors popped out on their own layer)

As for the baby - they make baby-sized swimmer's goggles, which these guys might have on hand if they want to toss some more "beautiful babies" across Obama's red line for Trump to deal with. Her stained cheek and earlobe suggest she was on her back, not upside down. So her whole face will be the pallor side, and her backside should be red/purple. The irritation rash is also off the forehead almost totally, across the cheek and around the eyes, coughing corrosive goo, this baby ... and on he chin as well, irritating a prior injury, probably from rough handling during her short life probably born into captivity by foreign-enabled Islamists.

Add later 4-28: Another possible case: what must almost be Fatmeh Qarouq/Qarout, the pregnant alleged wife of alleged survivor Khaled Nuseir. Finally a victim we can put a tentative name on. (few seriously pregnant young women should be expected in a pool of about 40 - probably just one if any). 

If this is the same thing, she was treated more like the baby in purple: face irritation more on the cheeks than forehead and under eyes, and no evident cyanosis or livor/pallor mortis difference on this side, so likewise, the pregnant woman they gassed must have been left face-up. She may have had goggles like the others, but aside from a black dot (a fly?), there's no sign around her eyes. Her eyes seem white like the rest, not red like someone exposed to chlorine. The main yellow fluid pooling point was under her left cheek. Prior fluids washed off, like the baby, but apparent rash or stains remain. After washing, she was placed here, and had fresh fluid of a faintly yellow-brown color roll out the other corner of her mouth, and now seems rolled back into more of her original position. Later views will be interesting: does she have new stains or burns at that corner of her mouth now? Any later-developing signs to clarify the picture? 

Summary and Conclusion
Summary (needed?)

It's alleged these people were killed by a combined nerve agent and chlorine vapor, with witnesses describing the chlorine smell and eye irritation as the most evident thing. But most victims, including these, don't show any redness to the eyes, despite a fatal dose of allegedly the same caustic stuff. I don't know if it was chlorine or not, alone or in combination, that was used. It seems possible. But whatever it was, they may have decided to shield peoples' eyes with goggles, and their eyes aren't damaged.

Why? Not sure ... possibly just to give us a white-eyes debunk for the prevalent chlorine claims, by way of a false lead? I imagine there's a better reason than that, maybe a few reasons working together. You must have a reason for such an odd decision that might leave the strongest clues of your criminal operation...

Ok, so we might note a woman, a man, two boys, an older girl and a baby girl sounds like a possible complete family, who shared this horrible fate the others didn't quite. But the ttwo boys don't look much like brothers, to similar in age and different in appearance. But for what it's worth, only one family pops out among the few identified by the Douma-based opposition VDC's database: al-Sheikh/Shaikh family lost 2 men, 2 boys, 3 girls, and a wife or two with presumably different family name (none are noted, but likely among the same identified, usually by family). Otherwise, they could well be among the many no one has provided the VDC with an ID story for.)

In Part 2 I'll go into what I've seen before that might shed light on this - some similarities. In fact, Jaish al-Islam prisoners gassed purple and coughing up yellow goo and/or blood while hanging upside-down is something I've seen before, on a large scale in fact, and in this basic area...

Add May 14: three clear additions, and some others worth considering at least to come....

Mask 7 (G9):...lacking in good views - note: this huge later outporing of foam may appear fake, and may be, but such things can naturally happen is a body with foam-filled lungs is moved (this girls' body was I fact moved before we see this foam emerge. Cyanosis: deep purple, advancing up the face - yellow chin and tip of nose - dark ring under eye, skin of the eyes apparently lighter in hue (possibly protected)

Mask 8 (G3): ...

Mask 9 (G5): ...little to no goggle signs, and eyes always closed (untested rawness). But strange symmetrical pattern on the upper face suggests perhaps the same we've seen, forehead/bridge of nose shielded, perhaps around the nose and mouth somehow, but not the nose itself (??). A build-up and burn point or poss. a prior scar or other on her nose...

Mask 10: an infant not seen at location 2, but appearing with the rest later at the medical point - yellow mucous, staining, protected eyes...

Mask 11, G4: protected eyes with matching stains beneath, rash-like irritation, cyanosis (purple lips),



Right next to that boy is Victim #11 or W3 - dark under and around the eyes, which are quite white (protected) - position unclear, recent fluid up, but limited staining to the face - yellow stains appear at the ear and back of the neck, however.