Alleged Chemical Attack, May 19, 2019
On the morning of May 19, 2018, another chemical weapons attack was called in, connected to ongoing battles in Idlib province, said to sicken 4 HTS fighters, and to kill no one. Some claim to expect more attacks, which might prove deadlier, increasing the chances of a foreign military response which so far seem unlikely.
Location: Kabanah / Kebanî on Wikimapia (see map with Al-Masdar report.)
About six weeks later than the usual time frame for the yearly F-UK-US missile strikes over CW allegations (April 2017, April 2018, not yet 2019,) and a week after news of OPCW abuses of science was revealed, threatening the official narrative on CW incidents; see Alleged Chemical Attack, April 7, 2018#Suppressed OPCW Engineering Report.
- Josie Ensor on Twitter May 22 "Why there and why now? HTS rebels were hit by suspected chlorine gas in Kabana - strategic mountainous area overlooking Assad heartland Latakia which has been frustrating regime advances in Idlib. Fighters use hills as launchpad for rocket & drone attacks on the Hmeimim air base" That had gone on for a long time. There is an ongoing offensive at the moment. But as to why use chemicals there, right now a week into the growing scandal regarding the opposition's important allies at the OPCW, she didn't offer much for another reason.
The event was presaged on the 17th in two parts, both stumbled on in Arabic-language tweets, auto-translated (as well as by ourselves, based on 16/17 May Russian reconciliation center report Ru/Eng):
- 8:09 AM - 17 May 2019 "Nebenzia: ISIL terrorist organization in Idlib prepares for new chemical provocation to accuse Syrian Army"
- 12:15 PM - 17 May 2019 "Ambassador Jonathan Cohen, in a session on #????_????? the situation on #???? Friday, stressed that the determination #????????_??????? will not trivialize the Assad regime's responsibility for the use of more chemical weapons. "We remind the regime and its allies that any use of the chemical weapon, including chlorine gas, will face a strong and sweeping response.""
The statement seems to have not been scary enough, or actually provoked Assad into defiance, because two days later sources linked to Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (not "ISIL") lodged their report of a chemical attack by the Syrian military.
- US State Dep't statement 1...
- Stated Dep't 2, May 21
- Syrian doctor describes latest alleged chemical attack as US mulls response By Hollie McKay, Fox News
- “We immediately got our emergency staff – who are trained for chemical weapon attack – ready for any inquiry or support,” concurred Nidal Shikhani, External Relations Manager at the Chemical Violations Documentation Centre of Syria (CVDCS), which has worked closely with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to document alleged chemical weapons use. … A specialized team is said to have collected blood, urine, saliva and clothing samples from the injured to be tested, with the hope of starting a thorough investigation by OPCW. The U.N-backed body did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.
- US investigating possible Assad chemical attack in Syria Bethan McKernan and agencies, The Guardian, Wed 22 May 2019 10.34 EDT
- U.S. Yet to Find Evidence of New Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria Edward Wong, New York Times, May 22, 2019
- Russian Defense Ministry: State Department fiction about chemical attacks in Idlib is a cover for terrorists -TASS, May 24, 2019
- On May 18, the Syrian government forces were the first to unilaterally completely cease fire, and did not respond to numerous provocations for several days. “Therefore, there were no“ attacks ”on May 19 in the de-escalation zone of“ Idlib ”in principle,” said Konashenkov.
- Syrian Observatory for Human Rights 23/05/2019 "4 fighters of the Turkestani Islamic Party “to the support of the people of al-Sham” are the source of shelling loaded with chlorine gas in Kabani area in the northeastern countryside of Latakia"
- Noting most news seems to have come via "the Media platform of Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham ... which then denied any injuries," raising questions, the SOHR "learned from several reliable sources" the chlorine claims originated with the Turkestani Islamic Party “to the support of the people of al-Sham.” As they heard, it was four of their fighters, not HTS, who were affected and taken north to a hospital. Reportedly, "the injuries were light" except one case with asthma, and weren't clearly caused by chlorine ("they suffocated in the intense and violent shelling"). Videos were sent to "the Turkish government and active organizations in Turkey supported by the US Foreign Ministry and Western countries, where the Turkestani party is the source and basis of the news adopted by the United States of America about the shelling by the regime forces using chlorine gas." (noted by Vanessa Beeley on Facebook)
- Report on HTS's Ebba platform May 19, (Robo translation of report cited by SMMS above)
- The militant regime militia and the invading Russia bombed the region with toxic chlorine gas after the legendary resistance of the Muqidic rebels in the northern Latakia on the mount of Ekrad and the Maguchu. IBA News correspondent, after the attempt to progress to the region of the criminal regime failed again, this morning, the points of the murabıts on the top of the Qibat was targeted by three rockets loaded with toxic chlorine gas. Because of this bomb, which is banned internationally, the reporter explained that there was no loss in the ranks of the Maguchu Mujids, and the Nusayri Army and supporters ...
- US Accuses Syria Of More Chemical Attacks Just As Chemical Weapons Narrative Crumbles - Caitlin Johnstone, May 22, 2019
- Was There Or Wasn't There a Chlorine Attack in Syria Last Week? The OPCW controversy continues in a new shape. - Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, May 25, 2019