-Olivier Douliery / Getty Images
What happened? Why?
What are the consequences?
Compiled from news sources
by William Thomas
On April 4, while Trump was scarfing a dinner of steak and carrots in his Florida beach resort, at least 18 people - including nine civilians - were killed in the US missile strike. The majority of victims were local villagers around the targeted airfield, as well as in the nearby villages of al-Hamrat and al-Manzul.
The White House described its missile attack as “a huge humanitarian component” to its military operation in Syria.
Trump said the missile strike was of “vital national security interest” to the USA, without elaborating.
U.S. ambassador, Nikki Haley shows “chemical attack” photos to the UN
Colin Powell displays fake Iraqi “anthrax" to the UN
The U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley called Washington’s action “fully justified,” claiming that
the U.S. strike “destroyed the airfield from which this week’s chemical strike took place.”
Haley also said Iran and Russia are “guilty parties” and that Washington was “prepared to do more.”
Aftermath of the US missile attack on the Syrian military airbase. -Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Sputnik’
The strike on Shayrat airfield wasn't effective. Only 23 out of 59 Tomahawk missiles reached their intended target.
Syria’s official SANA news agency earlier on Friday reported that "an American missile also hit the village of al-Hamrat, which killed four civilians including a child. Another seven civilians were wounded when a missile hit homes in al-Manzul, four kilometers (2.5 miles) away from the Shayrat air base."
If intended to prevent further Syrian Air Force sorties, the cruise missile strike on the airfield failed. It destroyed a material storage depot, a training facility, a canteen, six MiG-23 aircraft in repair hangars and a radar station. The runway, taxiways and the Syrian aircraft on the parking apron remain undamaged.
TRUMP’S ALLEGATIONS MAKE NO SENSE
Trump is known around the wolrd as a serial liar.
“I think that needs to be evidence based. I don’t think that the Russian government as well, as the Syrian government, has anything to gain by using chemical weapons at a time when they are already gaining headway,” says China specialist, Andrew K.P. Leung.
“Various people in Washington have been saying off the record that this was a one-off attack; that it was done because Trump did want to show that he does have some power in the middle of the chaos, that he is doing something; that he can make things happen,” states Gwenyth Todd, former political adviser to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet and former US National Security Council Middle East adviser to the Clinton and George W. Bush administration. “But to jump to the assumption that it was Assad is really a leap, especially given the fact that Assad did have no motive to use chemical weapons and every motive not to.”
“The chemical attack occurred just as peace talks were beginning in Geneva, and with the Syrian army in a dominant position in the sixth year of a war fueled by outside powers,” expand Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton.
“The attacks threaten to reverse the political gains made by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad… Given its dominant position, why would the Syrian government authorize a chemical attack that was likely to trigger renewed calls for regime change?”
DOES THE SYRIAN MILITARY EVEN HAVE CHEMICAL WEAPONS?
“The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons got a Nobel Price for managing the complete elimination of prohibited chemical weapons by Syria in 2014. It was an amazing achievement. The chemical weapons were all destroyed on a U.S. vessel, and they were carefully inspecting those chemicals to see if they could identify sarin that matched up with the sarin that was used in Damascus thinking that they could find the proof that way, and of course they did not,” explains Rick Sterling.
The Russian Foreign Ministry firmly dismissed any allegations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian military, saying Syria’s government does not possess any such weapons. The OPCW has “inspected virtually all the objects in Syria which were connected, or could be connected, to the country’s chemical warfare program.”
“There is no evidence that the chemical attack was led by [Syrian aircraft] from this spot,” Qusai Nasr Nasr said, adding that neither the U.S. nor rebels “show evidence of an aerial strike, the aerial deployment of the chemical weapon. If it was the case thousands of people might have been killed in a town that has a lot of people inside but the number that they said, and I think, they are exaggerating, are very, very little.”
Hassan Youssef, 40, victim of chemical weapons exposure. -Omar Haj Kadour/Agence France-Presse, Getty Images
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?
The lethal chemical exposure ‘incident’ in Idlib was a result of an air raid by Syrian forces, which hit a facility where terrorists produced chemical filled shells for usage in Syria and Iraq.
It wouldn’t be the first time. At the end of Desert Storm, the demolition of a massive Iraqi chemical weapons dump at al-Kamisayah exposed a quarter-million U.S. and allied soldiers to chemical and nerve agents fallout. [Bringing The War Home by William Thomas]
Syrian vctims of widely reported chemical weapons demolition fallout
Colonel W. Patrick Lang, a highly decorated retired senior officer and Mideast specialist for U.S. Military Intelligence and the Green Berets, reveals what grnts call, 'the ground truth':
"The United States was fully briefed on the… target in Idlib that the Russians believed was a weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels.
"The Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion…. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site.
"There was a strong wind blowing that day and the cloud
[of] organic phosphates and chlorine… was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties. We know it was not sarin… The so-called "first responders" handled the victims without gloves… Sarin on the skin will kill you.
There are "members of the U.S. military who were aware this strike would occur and it was recorded. There is a film record.
"The Russians and Syrians were informed, or at least were aware, that the attack was coming. They were able to remove a large number of their assets. The base the United States hit was something of a backwater. Donald Trump gets to pretend that he is a tough guy. He is not. He is a fool.
Defense and energy stocks moved higher Friday, with Tomahawk missile-maker Raytheon Corp. a key gainer. The replacement cost of the Tomahawks used against Syria will total about $89 million.
“Trump saw Thursday night’s missile assault as a way to change the conversation in Washington, where his administration has been under fierce attack,” Robert Parry writes. “Even if the ouster of Assad” leads to “a victory by Islamic extremists associated with Al Qaeda and/or the Islamic State.”
Trump seems to be “shooting the wrong side,” observes Beirut-based journalist and Middle East expert, Martin Jay. “The problem with hitting Assad is that you immediately give the benefit to those who are fighting him. On the ground, we shouldn’t forget that in the last few months Assad has started to hit extremists in Northern Syria once again. So for Trump to go ahead and bomb military installations of the Assad forces – you’re giving the upper hand to the extremists who are fighting them.”
“First of all, the U.S. and its European allies, if you recall, gave Saddam Hussein chemical weapons to use with impunity against the Iranians and his own people. No one complained back then. The BBC and Western media outlets were completely silent... This is utter hypocrisy,” declares Prof. Seyed Mohammad Marandi from the University of Tehran.
“In the UN Security Council, the U.S. did not want an investigation. It is obvious. They and the Western media, which is cheerleading, basically are out to hurt the Syrian government, and they will justify it in any way possible, and the Western media will be completely obedient.
“Possibly one reason why Trump carried out this atrocity and this war crime was because of the pressure he was facing in the U.S. He wanted the mainstream media, which has been attacking him for months now, to support him. Just like President Clinton, when he was under pressure because of Monica Lewinsky, he carried out an airstrike on a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan, claiming that they made chemical weapons. He was trying to distract attention away from his own problems. In the same way, I think Trump is trying to gain popularity.”
A rebel fighter walks toward Syrian Army soldiers whiie evacuating the besieged central Syrian city of Homs, after a local agreement reached between rebels and Syria's army, Sept 22, 2016. -Omar Sanadiki / Reuters
ISIS & AL QAEDA ‘HEARTEND’ BY TRUMP’S RESCUE
The US attack “actually helps the terrorists, and helps ISIL and Al-Nusra,” Nasr said. “ISIL and Al-Nusra are actually put on the terrorism list by the US. It is really strange that the United States would attack an airbase that is heavily involved in a campaign against ISIL.”
“U.S. intervention would be the last hope for Syrian rebels, and a shot in the arm to al-Qaeda, which has grown to record size thanks to America's military meddling across the Middle East,” write Blumenthal and Norton.
The U.S. missile strike in Syria “only facilitated the strengthening of terrorism,” Russia’s deputy acting envoy to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov, told the UN Security Council. The US has “attacked those who combatted terrorism.”
Calling Washington’s attack an “illegitimate act of aggression” on a “sovereign country,” the Russian diplomat said that the strike had “raised the spirits of terrorists” in the region.
The Russian Defense Ministry points to a large-scale offensive against the Syrian Army carried out by Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front terrorists after strikes, adding, “We hope that this offensive was in no way coordinated with the US.”
"The attack that was carried out today will help the terrorists,” concurs investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, Rick Sterling. “This was an attack on a Syrian air force base. What it will do is it will make it more difficult for the Syrian air force to attack terrorists in the area around Homs, which has been under threat.
"… we [were] beginning to cooperate with the Russians in planning the offensive against ISIS in Raqqa, hitting Al-Qaeda in Idlib. Now we in effect have delivered a military strike against the people that are fighting against ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
People in the streets of the Syrian capital of Damascus have harshly criticized a U.S.attack on a Syrian airfield, advocating a response for what they called an “aggression” against the entire nation.
“As Syrians… we know that we are targeted and there is a conspiracy against us. Every time we move forward for stability and for victory they attack us or send terrorists to us… But we won’t fear anyone because we are the owners of this land,” another Syrian said, adding that the people of Syria “condemn this criminal act, carried by a country which claims to protect human rights.”
“If you want the truth, it is just an argument to enter the country, like with what they did in Iraq,” said another Damascus resident.
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban
“The United States felt that they have to save the terrorists and lift their morale,” accuses Bouthaina Shaaban. But President Assad’s political and media adviser believes Trump’s ill-considered attack will backfire, as it exposes the relationship between the West and terrorism.
“For the last few weeks, we’ve been fighting terrorists both in the suburbs of Damascus and near Damascus and particularly in Hama and Homs where the American attack took place,” Bouthaina Shaaban explained. “And we achieved great achievements against ISIS and Al-Nusra and therefore the attack of the Americans on our airbase only played in hands of terrorists and lifted their morale and in fact came to support them.”
She added: “The missile strike on the airfield is a “desperate attempt by the United States to change the balance of power in favor of terrorists… They have been trying for the last seven years, secretly or publicly, to help terrorists and they will not be able to achieve that, because this land is ours and we will defend this land to the last drop of our blood.”
UK Independent Party leader Paul Nuttall condemned the Syria attack as “rash, trigger happy, nonsensical and will achieve nothing.”
The British MP added, “The U.S. attack on the Assad regime does nothing to lower tensions, nor will it hasten peace in that country… firing off missiles in an enraged response shows weakness not strength in the face of horror. I hoped for better from this administration.”
At emergency UN Security Council meeting, Bolivia reminds everyone of the disastrous chemical weapons lie peddled by the U.S. to invade Iraq.
Speaking at the emergency UN meeting to discuss the United States’ missile strikes against Syria, Bolivian Ambassador to the United Nations, Sacha Llorenti, criticized Trump’s unilateral action against Syria, calling it “an extremely serious violation of international law.”
Llorenti reminded the council of what transpired on Wednesday February 5, 2003, when then-US secretary of state Colin Powell “came to this room to present to us, according to his own words, convincing proof that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”
“After this invasion, there was 1 million deaths, and it launched a series of atrocities in that region. Could we talk about ISIS if that invasion had not taken place? Could we be talking about the series of horrendous attacks in various parts in the world had that invasion, this illegal invasion not taken place?”
On CNN, FOX News and other Stateside networks, news announcers - women as well as men - appeared to be experiencing intense orgasms as official USN vidoes aired repeatedly showing cruise missile launches from USS Porter in the Med. Their gushing delivery omitted pictures of the civiian children and adults killed and maimed by this “retaliation”.
On air, MSNBC anchor Brian Williams called the Tomahawk missiles launches aimed at killing people in Syria “beautiful” three-times in 30-seconds.
Without exception, complicit US media uncritically parroted the pary line that "Assad did it” - without offering any evidence. But photos of victims maimed by the alleged “ chemical attacks” which led to this sudden U.S. security “crisis” were widely displayed.
Former Congressional Representative Ron Paul said that there is no proof of Damascus’ guilt that could trigger such a rash and violent response from the US.
“I don't think the evidence is there, at least it hasn’t been presented, and they need a so-called excuse,” he said. “I don’t know why they couldn’t wait and take a look at it. In 2013, there were similar stories that didn’t go anywhere… They thought that it was a fraud and nothing like that was happening, and right now, I just can’t think of how it could conceivably be what they claim, because it’s helping ISIS, because it’s helping Al-Qaeda.”
Paul added, “There was no need to rush. There was no threat to national security. Maybe he [Trump] just didn’t want to hear the debate, because the last time they debated it, they lost. And this time, it was necessary for them to jump onto this, before people came to know what was really going on.”
“I don’t believe that our people or the American government should be the policemen of the world, it makes no sense, it causes us more trouble and more grief, it causes us more financial problems, and it’s hardly a way that we could defend our constitutional liberty.”
“The peace talks have ended now. They’re terrified that peace was going to break out! Al-Qaeda was on the run, peace talks were happening… I don’t expect peace talks anytime soon or in the distant future.”
New York City, April 7, 2017 -Stephanie Keith / Reuters
“Emergency” protests, held Friday in at least a dozen US cities, were largely organized on social media by the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition, which called the US assertion that the Syrian government carried out attacks on its own people “unsubstantiated” and demanded an independent investigation.
In downtown Manhattan, protesters gathered at Trump Tower. There were multiple unconfirmed reports of multiple arrests.
Dmitry Peskov -RT
Russia’s Foreign Ministry condemned the attack as an example of the “reckless attitude” that has only worsened “existing world issues” and created a “threat to international security.”
“Without bothering to investigate anything, the US went forward with a demonstration of force, a military confrontation with a country that is fighting international terrorism,” read the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement.
President Putin “regards the strikes as aggression against a sovereign nation,” his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, noting that the president believes the strikes were carried out “in violation of international law, and also under an invented pretext.”
The US has been ignoring the use of chemical weapons by terrorists and this is dramatically aggravating the situation, in Putin’s opinion, his spokesman said.
Russia's deputy UN ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov during Security Council meeting on Syria, April 7, 2017. -Jewel Samad / AFP
Russia’s acting envoy to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov told the Security Council that the U.S. is ‘afraid’ of a real, genuine investigation into the incident, which might have proven them wrong in blaming president Assad for the alleged use of chemical weapons.”
The alleged use of chemical weapons tactics would have been counter-productive for the Syrian government, the Russian diplomat added.
Safronkov also criticized Washington and its supporters for having put aside the UN’s “golden standard” of the presumption of innocence, saying, “The strikes on Syria are also an attempt to sidetrack attention from numerous casualties among the civilian population in Iraq and Syria, caused by [America’s] unilateral actions.” said.
He added that such a policy undermines the UN's efforts to achieve a peaceful solution to the crisis.
Murderous ISIS militants execute a boy -Daily Mai
WHAT HAPPENS TO SYRIAN PEOPLE IF THE US-BACKED ISLAMIC STATE REGAINS MOMENTUM?
Idlib is called the "heartland of al-Nusra" terrorism.
“Idlib is substantially controlled by al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, which has gone through a series of rebranding schemes but remains the same jihadist group it always was: Jabhat al-Nusra,” write Blumenthal and Norton.
“Extremist Syrian rebels have imposed harsh Sharia law in the areas they control.”
Employers of women have been told to replace them with men.
“In the province it rules, al-Nusra has imposed what a leading scholar has described as a Taliban-like regime that has ethnically cleansed religious and ethnic minorities, banned music and established a brutal theocracy in which it publicly executes women accused of adultery.
“Schools have been segregated, women forced to wear veils, and posters of Osama bin Laden hung on the walls. Government offices were looted, and a more effective government has yet to take shape. With the Talibanization of Idlib, the 100-plus Christian families of the city fled. The few Druze villages that remained have been forced to denounce their religion and embrace Islam; some of their shrines have been blown up. No religious minorities remain in rebel-held Syria, in Idlib, or elsewhere.”
People living under rebel rule in Idlib know what’s at stake in their government’s war against this terrorist coalition that includes the United states.
"This place is hell; we don't want to live under this Islamist rule, under all this oppression," says one for many.
In 2016, Amnesty International documented "serious violations of international humanitarian law" committed by militant groups in Idlib and elsewhere – including summary killings, torture, abductions, and sectarian attacks.
In Yemen, U.S. and Saudi intervention has driven the growth of al-Qaeda.
As the International Crisis Group reported in February 2017, thanks to "state collapse" brought on by war, the “Yemeni branch of al-Qaeda (AQ) is stronger than it has ever been."
Syrians bury the bodies of victims of a toxic as exposure in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun near an al Qaeda chemical weapons dump hit by Syrian jets.
CARNAGE TO COME?
Since being handed the trigger to a bloated, for-corporate-profit war machine ravenous for targets, Trump has notched up more than 1,000 civilian deaths in his first 100 days. His latest atrocities place every guest in his worldwide hotel chain at immediate risk.
The US said it had proof of WMDs inn Iraq, Blovia’s envoy told the UN Security Council. One million people died.
“Think of the consequences of what you’ve produced in the Middle East and how it affects the political process,” Vladimir Safronkov, told the U.S. and the representatives of the nations which expressed support for the missile strike. “You must remember the tragedies for the countries, the whole regions and the people caused by your choice of action.”
New terrorist attacks “with weapons of mass destruction” are now to be expected, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned member nations of the UN.
“The U.S. pretends it doesn’t get obvious things. It turned a blind eye on terrorist usage of chemical weapons in Iraq, which Baghdad officially reported. It dismissed documented cases of terrorist chemical warfare usage in Aleppo. All this does is abet international terrorism and bolster it,” the official statement reads.
“Which brings us back to the thought that al-Nusra Front is regarded by the West as an organization that should be preserved,” the Russian diplomat stressed.
Russia’s Pantsir S2 Air Defense missiles now on high alert in Syria
BLOWBACK THREATENS EVERYONE
Placing its Syrian anti-aircraft missile defenses on full alert, Moscow also suspended its memorandum of understanding on flight safety between Russian and US warplanes over Syria, calling the attack “a demonstration of force.”
Trump’s latest outrage narrowly averted peace in Syria. “It is an act of aggression that ends any prospect of détente between Washington and Moscow in the foreseeable future, considerably increasing tensions between Russia and the U.S. not only in the Middle East but also in Eastern Europe, where NATO troops have been conducting military exercises for some time in striking distance of Russian territory,” writes Wight.
“No one knows with any certainty what happened in Idlib,” Wight reminds us. “This U.S. attack… was carried out with regime change in mind, setting a precedent that can only have serious ramifications for the entire region.”
At “a time when pro-government forces in Syria were in the ascendancy on the ground, and when the Syrian government was making significant progress on the diplomatic front, it would have constituted an act of ineffable self-harm to launch a chemical weapons attack of any kind, much less one of this magnitude. It would have conformed to the actions of a government that was intent on bringing about its own demise.”
“The horrific images and eyewitness testimony that have emanated from Idlib in the wake of the attack have come from pro-opposition sources.
“Trump has proved with this unilateral military intervention that he can easily be dragged into conflict.
“Just a few days after his administration confirmed that regime change in Syria was off the table, that its focus was on defeating terrorism, he unleashes an airstrike that will only have emboldened the very forces of terrorism whose defeat he had stressed was the focus of his foreign policy previously.
“Since joining the conflict in Syria at the end of September 2015, at the behest of the country’s government, Moscow had been working tirelessly to bring about a negotiated settlement, one involving opposition forces and parties deemed moderate relative to the Salafi-jihadi fanatics of ISIS and Nusra, etc. It is a diplomatic process that has just been dealt a shattering blow, with the opposition now undoubtedly convinced that regime change is in the offing via Washington and therefore encouraged to work towards this end.
“Neocons have reasserted their dominance over the White House after a short and intense power struggle.
“The lack of short-term memory in Washington is staggering to behold. Fourteen years after the disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq, which only succeeded in opening the gates of hell out of which ISIS and other Salfi-jihadi groups emerged, and six years after turning Libya into a failed state, in the process sparking a refugees crisis of biblical proportions, here we have yet another act of aggression against a sovereign state in the Middle East by the US,” John Wite observes.
“As history reveals, every empire carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction. Donald Trump is now on course to end up going down in history as a leader who rather than save the U.S. from itself, may only have helped speed it down the path to its ultimate demise.”