Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013

From A Closer Look On Syria
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This is a talk page for discussing Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013. For sources, claims and narratives see the main page. (To see what is hot, see recent changes)
National Coalition Of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces propaganda poster claiming President Assad is responsible for a Chemical Massacre in Syria
(main image discussed here.)
"Chemical Massacre" symbol used in activist propaganda


The amount of things to discuss just doesn't fit on one talk page so we created a couple of subpages (content shouldn't be but can be redundant) All related material can be found in Category:Ghouta CW attack.

Material on on previous instances of alleged chemical weapons use can be found in Category:Chemical Weapons.

Alleged Proofs of Government Guilt

Moved to /Proof of government guilt

Analysis and opinion supportive of Western narrative

Debunking the Western narrative?

I will collect here references that try to debunk the the US / HRW / activist narrative of the events. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 16:10, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Not a lengthy article but quick agency report: Russia: CW attack staged Baldur (talk) 03:44, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Assorted links

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Have published a read-worthy letter to the President yesterday where they first remind him that the first open letter the organization wrote was to Bush on the day after Powell's UN show, ripping it to shreds. They point out that "the most salient fact" the available evidence shows is that there was some kind of chemical incident, but not one carried out by professionals with professional chemical weapons, and that the Brits and the US intelligence community understand that, while Obama is taken for a ride. Later in the letter:

There is a growing body of evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its supporters — providing a strong circumstantial case that the August 21 chemical incident was a pre-planned provocation by the Syrian opposition and its Saudi and Turkish supporters. The aim is reported to have been to create the kind of incident that would bring the United States into the war.

Goes on with some examples I hadn't heard of. A couple of days ago they wrote a letter to Dempsey asking him to resign if Obama goes ahead without asking Congress. Hopefully people are finally listening. --CE (talk) 14:36, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Yossef Bodansky

Yossef Bodansky has published a third article, accusing the rebels and Saudi Prince Bandar of the attack. The people at Moon of Alabama have been trying to attack his persona; right-wing Zionist Iran / Saudi hater. Maybe, but his word carries a lot of weight in the right wing. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 10:06, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Never heard of the guy but that was a fascinating read. Ties a lot together. --CE (talk) 10:39, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree he's a bit suspect, arguably, but he seems to have good info sometimes that proves really interesting. Some was useful in tracking down the back story of the Lockerbie bomber (not Megrahi, now lives in Virginia). Will see about this article, in time. Petri, awesome work lately.--Caustic Logic (talk) 13:31, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Slightly mysterious sourcing - had to check a bit if it's even credible. Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack? By Yossef Bodansky. 1 September 2013 — Defense and Foreign Affairs and as cited in

(links just go to Rush Limbaugh picked it up. Glenn Beck's The Blaze helped sort it out - YB is murky now, doesn't do interviews, but works at a place linked to that site, along with smart people who call this his work and stand by it. Main point is massive preparations for a US-backed offensive, triggered by something. All major rebels, Rob Ford, Turkish and Saudi intel involved in biggest ever weapon transfers. Lines up with everything, I think good info was leaked to him. A solid source. --Caustic Logic (talk) 16:14, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

Bodansky's description of the Antakya meeting on 13-14 August is repeated almost verbatim in the VIPS letter of 6 September. It's not clear whether Bodansky was VIPS's source. As Urs has noted, the Antakya meeting is corroborated by a Facebook posting on 13 August showing Zahran Alloush with other rebel leaders in Turkey stating that "preparations are in final stages for a new surprise for the regime".

With hindsight, the most convincing evidence that VIPS had access to real intelligence sources is their statement that the attack was not military grade CW and that "British intelligence officials know this". From a careful comparison of official versions, it's now clear that Porton Down had environmental samples from the Ghouta attack and from at least one earlier attack, and that they somehow managed to get their findings to US defense intelligence officials (but not to the UK Parliament) in time to stop Obama from going ahead with the attack . See comments by David Habbakuk on this thread Pmr9 (talk) 23:14, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

Mother Agnes

Hostages in Latakia
See also /Latakia connection?

Thanks for posting this. This is a major contribution that requires a very careful review. Mother Agnes makes a number of points that have been made on this site, presumably her points have been made independently of yours, which just makes them stronger. But she has missed a number of points and has some errors, but overall this 50 page report is worthy of major consideration. I am only at a low-to-intermediate knowledge-level on this whole topic, but there is one point she is pushing that I was not aware of. She is pushing it in her interview from Geneva as well. That is the abduction of dozens of women and children from Lattakiah by the insurgents on Aug04.2013. Are these the ones being shown as victims of the Ghoutah attack? Is this angle discussed on this site? If only one child that was kidnapped is identified in any of those Ghoutah vids, particularly in the Feinstein Package, it will be incontrovertible evidence of a false flag and will bring down a mountain of shit on Saudi, USG, GoI and anyone else supporting the insurgency. --Pierpont (talk) 22:44, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I see now you are all over the Lattakiah kidnap story. When I word-searched the site, I used the spelling for Lattakiah used in the Mother Agnes study and missed your posts. Good on ya'. --Pierpont (talk) 23:06, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
We have an article on the Latakia Massacres with a bit on kidnapping, but we haven't yet analysed the Mother Agnes report, although your link isn't the first to it. I skimmed it but was kind of waiting for a better PDF as this "beta" version is not only huge, but also has no clickable links or even quotable text, so that hinders checking it in detail a bit. Another work that tries to match possible Latakia hostages with the dead (and more), is this one which you might find interesting to watch, and needs deeper analysis. The Farouk Brigade is an old "friend" of this wiki. --CE (talk) 23:25, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
This is how Mother Agnes explains the lack of evidence for the Latakia identification: First of all, there are family members who say they have recognized their children. They pointed to specific videos from Kfar Batna and Jobar. The "rebels" could easily disprove the argument by providing "proof of life" that the hostages are alive. I do not think such proof will be coming.
At the moment the discussion on the hostages should go to /Latakia connection? There was also this discussion on the Latakia Massacres talk page. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 13:01, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Good questions. I find the report a great resource at least, firmer opinion later (still behind). The whole no women argument bothers me. How did they decide the gender of those under blankets? There's also a video making this case with victim prisoner matches, but no Latakia victims I've seen. One video with lots of visible prisoners wasn't considered though. All in all, the theory makes sense, allegedly confirmed, but details are not public, perhaps to protect families, and nothing to show yet to strengthen it. The video does seem to show some male "Shabiha"who were first captured by rebels and then gassed dead. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:28, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

I came to identify in many videos real staging, real screen playing and today after having redacted a study concerning my first impression, I called it a better version.
Good sign, hopefully it's enough. I haven't tallied all the good points made, but there were IMO too many mistakes in the beta version. I alerted her to some of these, and hopefully others did the same. I hope this version of the report kicks ass like I know it could, but it might not. She says to RT "If [the dead children] are not from North Lattakia," a possibility suggesting even she still hasn't seen proof, "we also have the proof that they have no families," which is based on faulty reasoning, absence of proof as proof of absence, that their parents aren't nearby just because they're not in this or that emotive body display. I mentioned that, but it persists as a core "proof." She says she met the U.N. inquiry and plans to send all the videos once she's even more sure. That will be our representative opposition view, and it might just fail, letting them easily dismiss the whole swathe of such questions. Doesn't sound like the report is out just yet, and I hope it's not too rushed. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:05, 1 October 2013 (UTC) (plus 10:03 edits)

GRTV & BBC &c.

Attacks and debunk attempts


German blogger Urs1798 has been covering the Douma massacre manager gang for over a year. She has identified the group at the center of the CW "attack", planting bodies in what we call the Zamalka ghost house.

Sounds promising. Some translating and detail double-checking would be ideal. We shall see, --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:10, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Mein Parteibuch

Associated blogger makes a good attempt at a case for Zahran Alloush's lead role in the attacks, based in part of information Urs has found out, in addition to almost all information known to us from elsewhere. Usually he writes in German but this is English. --CE (talk) 16:42, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Russian diplomatic circles

“Based on data from a number of sources a picture can be pieced together. The criminal provocation in Eastern Ghouta was done by a black op team that the Saudi’s sent through Jordan and which acted with support of the Liwa Al-Islam group,” a source in the diplomatic circles told Interfax.
“Syrians of various political views, including some opposition fighters, are seeking to inform diplomats and members of international organizations working in Syria what they know about the crime and the forces which inspired it,” he told the agency.

sasa wawa

Interesting, of course. I didn't have time yet to really read it, but I get mixed feelings from it. I see Charles commenting at least, raising questions.--Caustic Logic (talk) 00:06, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Seymour Hersh

Main article: /Proof of government guilt#Seymour Hersh Counter-Assessment
  • Whose Sarin?, Seymour Hersh, London Review of Books, December 8, 2013

Reactions to Hersh

NATO’s War on Syria Just Got Dirtier by Tony Cartalucci has an extremely robust criticism of the Eliot Higgins / Brown Moses response --Charles Wood (talk) 00:09, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Charles, I would hardly call Higgins rejoinder to Hersch "extremely robust." It is complete idiocy. He recycles the vids made by the insurgents' PR team showing twisted rockets as evidence of . . . well, not sure. Just evidence. At one point he shows a clip of a rocket going off and says it "appears" to be a Volcano rocket. No way in hell anyone could tell what kind of rocket it is. The UN and NYT laid down a bunch of BS about the trajectories of these things being from the west. Hersh blew that to pieces and so EH now says, no the rockets came from Qaboun, which is north of the so-called impact sites and within range. Absolutely no evidence to support this idiocy. Higgins' personal story has long fascinated me. He has strong family connections to Turkey -- i.e. the insurgents. He is able to live in London on the part-time wages of his wife, who is a postal clerk or something. I don't think so. My best guess is that he is a plant for the insurgents' PR operation. He has really gone over the edge pushing their agenda in this FP piece. Pierpont (talk) 15:28, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Pierpont - the Higgins piece is as you could say, more flim than flam. The term 'robust' refers to the The Global research piece on Higgins, not the Higgins piece on Hersh --Charles Wood (talk) 21:55, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Nope, the Land Destroyer piece is robust (I mean to read them sometime). Higgins - can idiocy be robust? Charles, interesting tidbits about Higgins I didn't know, thx. And Pierpont, As far as north trajectories, we do have the implied trajectory clues (including the apparent fireball scorching!) pointing back NNW, last I remember anyway. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:23, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Charles -- pardon me if I mis-took your point.
CL -- My point is that EH puts up a sub-heading in his FP article about the trajectories and then ignores Hersh's very valid point that the NYT and UN trajectory stuff was bunk. This is the most inflammatory stuff of all. Any trajectory analysis is bunk IMO. The insurgents planted those rockets in the dirt pointing any way they wanted them to point. But if the UN says they came from the west, who is EH to say otherwise without at least discussing the UN conclusions? I hope you are taking into consideration in your trajectory analysis the heights of buildings around the impact sites. That second site -- the one with the dead bird -- is open only to the N. Looks like the westerly approach asserted by Selstrom would have had to be nearly vertical at impact to get over the buildings on the w. side. Pierpont (talk) 00:45, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

April 2014

Investigation in Turkey

Here's one of Turkey's largest newspapers reporting about MPs of Turkey's largest opposition party holding a press conference directly accusing the Erdogan regime of covering up Turkey's involvement in the attacks. Apparently there has been an investigation echoing Hersh's allegations.

Taking the floor first, [CHP deputy Eren] Erdem stated that the Adana Chief Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into allegations that sarin was sent to Syria from Turkey via several businessmen. An indictment followed regarding the accusations targeting the government.
"The MKE [Turkish Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation] is also an actor that is mentioned in the investigation file. Here is the indictment. All the details about how sarin was procured in Turkey and delivered to the terrorists, along with audio recordings, are inside the file," Erdem said while waving the file.
Erdem also noted that the prosecutor's office conducted detailed technical surveillance and found that an al-Qaeda militant, Hayyam Kasap, acquired sarin, adding: "Wiretapped phone conversations reveal the process of procuring the gas at specific addresses as well as the process of procuring the rockets that would fire the capsules containing the toxic gas. However, despite such solid evidence there has been no arrest in the case. Thirteen individuals were arrested during the first stage of the investigation but were later released, refuting government claims that it is fighting terrorism," Erdem noted.

--CE (talk) 23:59, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

sasa wawa's assessment of the MP allegations --CE (talk) 13:40, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

US comparison of chemical profile of Syrian military sarin precursor compared with the Ghouta sarin

In Hersh's latest interview he says that a US forensic team analysed samples of sarin (as the binary precursor DF) from Syrian military stocks that were destroyed on the US ship Cape Ray, and that their lab tests showed unequivocally that the Ghouta sarin didn't match these stocks. He says "I now know it. I'm going to write a lot about it". This is consistent with what we already know: the OPCW finding of hexafluorophosphate in the Ghouta sarin is consistent with a primitive process starting with PCl_3 or elemental P (as on the JaN team's shopping list) but not with the Syrian military procurement of trimethyl phosphite. Pmr9 (talk) 13:23, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

More details in Hersh's latest interview: the UK general who briefed Dempsey that Porton Down had established that the Ghouta sarin wasn't from Syrian military stocks was Peter Wall, chief of the defence staff. This couldn't have been any later than 30 August (when Obama decided to call off the attack), but evidently Wall hadn't been able to brief the UK Prime Minister before the debate on 29 August. Dempsey told Obama that he would testify to Congress (and make sure they asked the question) to this effect. The US had known "four months" before Ghouta that the opposition had sarin - this would fit with the likely time of Lamani's report to the UNSG that Nusra was bringing nerve agents through Azaz from Turkey. Pmr9 (talk) 18:07, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Matthew VanDyke leaks

If all legitimate, this is pretty fascinating stuff. I only skimmed the First part so far, between Van Dyke and Higgins in May. Not sure how damning the conversation is, but it raises some questions about his later coverage, and perhaps gives insight into his feverish need to make sure the Sarin remained linked to the rockets and those to the regime, to side-track a possibility he knew better than most was ... well, on first pass, it seemed the guy didn't give much info on just what to look for. The mutual "benefactor" is interesting. Sounds like a financial one in "von Braun's" case.--Caustic Logic (talk) 13:31, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Brown Moses' answer to those leaks (on Facebook):
The CW claim was like many vague, low information, claims I've been told in the past. I did what I could to investigate them based off what he told me but came up with nothing. It's worth noting the Syrian government has never claimed the Syrian opposition captured chemical weapons in Aleppo, even after August 21st when it looks like the US was about to attack, and when that information would be key. As of yet, the OPCW has not reported that it has been informed of any chemical weapons captured by the Syrian opposition in Aleppo.
I was offered a job by Allen Vanguard earlier this year, but instead I ran an Indiegogo fundraiser for my blog, which raised enough money for me to continue blogging until the end of the year. I spoke about this in my recent interview with the New Yorker, so it's not exactly a secret. I've also work on a couple of short term consultancies with HRW, which is also mentioned in the New Yorker piece.
The "mutual benefactor" was someone who donated £250 to my Indiegogo fundraiser, "Diamond tier" is the £250 donation tier he donated at.
Note that he did confirm the authenticity of the leaks by this whereas Van Dyke was denying it first. Baldur (talk) 03:09, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

SEA site Blocked in Australia

Moved to Category talk:Investigation#Accessing sources



It would have been nice if they acknowledged they got the basic idea of their report from whoghouta in September. The way their timeline reads they came up with the idea in early December and floated it with 'various blogs' at that time. Incidentally Moses von Brown is spitting chips at the new reduced 2km range and is looking for ways to discredit it. --Charles Wood (talk) 02:17, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I just saw this, what a cool turn. They aired it on blogs, eh? --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:08, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
This reports a number of converging attacks on the Western narrative that have gotten attention and forced defensive responses. Some experts questioned why Syria didn't declare this weapon in its chemical arsenal, which as noted has too many decent answers to say much. But also "A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated."
This seems to be related to the Lloyd-Postol report, but being a meeting is its own thing. So that's three things - a fourth if you count this article tying them all together and apparently gathering the defensive responses. One could sense coordination, someone's hidden hand in getting this all together with some punch. If so, whoever it was, cool. --Caustic Logic (talk)
I'm afraid my cynicism comes to the fore here. It wasn't cool coordination. It was journalists being given some crumbs by Lloyd that they certainly didn't understand. They extemporised on the theme and created "A team of security and arms experts" referring to the lecture. The coordination if any was orchestrated by Lloyd in his relentless publicity for this series.
There is a day two due about now on the Sarin. I'm preparing to blow a gasket if he plagiarises my gas modelling exercises here and on whoghouta. --Charles Wood (talk) 13:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that's probably about it. I just left a comment there mentioning the FAE clues, making it perhaps harder to plagiarise --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
The other thing Postol and LLoyd are likely to raise is the chemical pollutants found in the Sarin, somthing originally noted on whoghouta, and in particular the ethyl vs methyl variants. Some anonymous but very clued-up contributor on whoghouta spotted this as an indication the Sarin was made with commercial grade rather than military grade precursors. --Charles Wood (talk) 14:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Some BS from the McClatchy story: “That failure to declare can mean different things,” said Ralf Trapp, an original member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and a former secretary of the group’s scientific advisory board. “It can mean the Syrian government doesn’t have them, or that they are hiding them.”
Most likely it just means Syria has them, but they have no relation whatsoever with chemical weapons. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 14:08, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Semi-B.S. It's not clarified hiding and not having are the only two options. Petri covers the other main option. What would be cool - and in the circumstance strange not to do - is for someone to actually ask after those alleged sarin rockets - and see if they can get an explanation from Damascus why they aren't included as Obama et al. strongly suggested they should be. I suspect no one has been motivated to actually do that. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Syrian Perspective

Ziad Fadel of Syrian Perspective claims to possess secret signals intelligence information originally from some Chinese wiretap.

If the story is accurate, then it again raises Bandar bin Sultan to the position of prime suspect. Motive? Initiate a US areal attack on Syria. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 03:27, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

NATO's modus operandi: false-flag attacks

Main article: Talk:March 2014 false flag plan

Denis O'Brien "Sun Morgue" Investigation

Main article: /Locations/Kafr Batna

Our fellow wiki member Denis O'Brien just came up with an extensive report dealing with the video evidence of the victims in Kafr Batna. He stays with his earlier conviction that no Sarin was used to kill these people and says his case is bullet-proof from a professional PoV. He sticks it to Kerry and the other liars in his trademark style so I think it is best placed here. The other parts of the report contain the detailed analysis. --CE (talk) 12:58, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Challenging the Death Toll Estimate

A while back I assembled Ghouta Chemical Massacres: Death Toll and Estimates at the Monitor blog. In review, US officials declared an estimated 1,429 people had died, but were vague as to how they decided that. It was ridiculously high. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights challenged that, finding evidence for only around 500 killed (we've since established a visual minimum of about 420, so a true toll around 500 remains well-illustrated. I have a hunch it's higher, but it's not a clear case). SOHR's Abdulrahman said "I don't know where this number came from," but then suggested he did know; "The U.S. took this high number from one part of the Syrian opposition that is supported by the U.S. government ...We don't trust them."

A good guess is the Unified Revolutionary Medical Office, who quickly tallied 1,302 killed, by totaling clearly rounded-off (up?) sub-totals, reported in a variety of ways. It's as if US intel liked their method and number, and had this group go back and come up with an even bigger list, and they scrounged up another 127 entries to make the beefed-up count they provided secretly (sources and methods).

I noted at the time that the US estimate was almost exactly the URMO figure plus 10% - well some insurgent figure at least - I recall 1300 was waved around and 1430 popped up from the US as 'official' (1300 + 130 = 1430) --Charles Wood (talk) 12:47, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
I stilld didn't notice it's 10% more, and fudged a bit to not look that way. That might be it. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:15, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

Seymour Hersh speaking with Tariq Ali (video, TeleSur) at 18:10 he explains what he's heard about how this "1400" estimate was arrived at. Investigators took images/video of people that "seemed to be dead," that "we all assumed were actually from that incident, and we know there's a lot of faking going on..." (It seems most or all are from that incident or cluster of incidents in the Ghouta area, at that time)

"But nonetheless, they took 6 or 7 pictures of the groups of dead people, and they computed the area, and they computed how many people were in that area. And they extrapolated how big the whole area was, and that's how they got the 1,400 (estimate)."

That's vague, but sounds likely enough. This many people in Kafr Batna, this many in Jobar, this many over here - maybe 6-7 primary localities, rather than videos. If this many died in each area, since the wind blows every way at once and sarin never settles or gets too dispersed to stop killing (?) - it must have killed the same percentage forever in every direction, causing the demise of the human race. Rounded down a bit, 1,429 sounds almost borderline plausible.

But nothing in what US sources said so far clearly lines up; they explained there was a study of 100 videos representing about 12 locales, not 6-7 videos or locales. An official said that the process "involved analyzing video pictures of victims, then eliminating from the fatality total any live person, any dead body with visible injuries and shrouded bodies showing blood spots. Classified intelligence tools then were used to confirm the provenance of the videos and to ensure that bodies were not counted twice, the official said." (Reuters) But it almost seems like this classified tool made sure every body was counted twice.

Anyway, I'm guessing Hersh's source just had that guess, and really they got the tally from an opposition group, and it's based on the real number, but exaggerated through sub-group shell-games and double-counting, perhaps massively. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:30, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Rebels in Ghouta admit responsibility?

Multiple attempts have been made to discredit the article and its authors. These are discussed on the talk page Talk:Dale Gavlak.

Breaking: AP journalist publishes story claiming al-Qaeda and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan were responsible for carrying out the Ghouta gas attack! (See Tubes in tunnels? below)

Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group.

How can one believe the story when they say "rebels were responsible" and not believe it when it says "it was an accident". There is no contradiction here. The Mint Press article does not tell us what really happened – that we will have to find out by our self by investigations. It only tells us what the locals and rebels believe has happened. They also happen to be the only journalists reporting from Ghouta. What they tell us is that the rebel and locals are ready to admit to anyone who asks (except the UN investigators *) that it was their chemical weapons that were used. They are unwilling to admit or even believe that they were used intentionally, thus the psychological defense of "it was an accident". Openly admitting that their party is guily of genocide would amount to switching sides in the war.

(* No witness will tell the truth to UN investigators, as the UN team is always accompanied by armed al-Nusra or rebel minders.) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 15:31, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Apologist theories

A number of apologist theories have been put froward admitting rebel participation but somehow avoiding guilt. At the moment I consider all of these BS by al-Qaeda apologist, a modern form of holocaust denial. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 19:32, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

  • Only acting, children were not killed. (See Talk:MacDonald email leak)
  • "Accident"
  • CW in tunnels released by SAA artillery or thermobaric bunker buster rockets. [1]
  • It was al-Qaeda, not the Syrian rebels!
  • Liwa al-Islam accidentally gassed Eastern Ghouta when they intended to hit Assad's forces in Quboun and Jobar.[1]

Quirico and Piccinin

Alert: I just learned from the rebel-connected VDC the Pierre Piccinin Da Prata has disappeared in Syria, presumably (?) detained by regime forces with serious chances of execution unless FSA can save him... (might be dated) VDC Missing entry citing a news report.

Belgian teacher Pierre Piccinin da Prata has gone missing in Syria. His last message goes back to 17th April. On Wednesday 17 April at 16:32, Pierre Piccinin da Prata used his Skype account for the last time and wrote to his Syrian contact in Turkey. He told him that everything was fine, that he was at Yabrud which is in the North of Damascus and not too far from the Lebanese border and that he was waiting for a car coming from the North which would pick him up and take him back to Turkey. If you have any information, please contact his relatives at the following email address:

As of 2016, found date still says 0000-00-00. But as it turns out ... --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:18, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

If I understand the auto-translation correctly, the La Stampa correspondent Domenico Quirico had been imprisoned by some FSA "rebels" and while he was in prison, he once witnessed through the half-open door a Skype conversation in English two people in the room, one of them had introduced himself as a FSA "general", the other unknown, had with a third unknown person, and part of the talk was that the gassings in "two districts" were a "rebel" provocation and the death toll exaggerated. The title of the article seems to quote the correspondent saying that he didn't say Assad hasn't done it, just reporting what he witnessed. --CE (talk) 16:49, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
This seems to be quite a big deal in Italy or at least at La Stampa, and I just saw that they have an English translation of the article. My summary was correct but I overlooked that there is a second witness to this, the Belgian teacher Pierre Piccinin who was also imprisoned there, and he apparently made statements going further than what Quirico is willing to sign, hence the headline. Interesting. --CE (talk) 17:00, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Here is an article including video interview with the Belgian. Having been an FSA-"embedded" pro-rebel reporter with eight visits to Syria, he was "betrayed" by FSA who handed him over to Islamist kidnappers in Al-Qusair. He's been in custody of various groups for five months and suffered two "mock executions" and other abuse. He says it's very hard for him as a "rebel" supporter to do but he feels a "moral duty" to tell the world that it wasn't Assad who used chemical weapons in the Ghouta. Both were released Sunday evening. --CE (talk) 17:17, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it's "madness" to presume the rebel guys believing this was their own provocations know what they're talking about. That's better than most sources by far, more useful insights. It would be sloppy to presume it is true, but reasonable to consider it the best illustrated possibility by far. IF he/they actually heard that. And it could well be. Will look at this a bit more later. Interesting. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:08, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Seems like the Belgian guy is independent and free to say what he wants, while the Italian is a senior war correspondent of likely the most important conservative Italian newspaper, whose every politically incorrect fart is analyzed, hence the "defense". --CE (talk) 01:15, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Agree. Already commented on this on Pepe Escobar's Facebook page: The fear of Empire causes the La Stampa journalist Domenico Quirico to say "I heard it, but I never meant to hear it and I never said I heard it." Well, it is out now, and Quirico will never write for the MSM again. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:58, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
  • French language RTL interview with Piccinin, September 9 or 10, 2013, English subtitles by Eretz Zen. Here he gets confronted with Quirico's backpedaling and thinks for a moment he has denied the event, but then understands that he only was too spineless to stand by the conclusion. --CE (talk) 23:59, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Pierre Piccinin on Russia Today, May 9, 2012 - Interview with Piccinin after his second visit to Syria (while he was kidnapped on his eighth). Very sober analysis. Interestingly enough he even mentions his future kidnappers the Farouk Brigade as "dangerous influence" forcing the "Islamization" of the "Revolution". Seems he got more sympathetic to the "moderate" insurgency while spending time on the ground (not that this is a new phenomenon). --CE (talk) 22:12, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Aftenposten interview

  • Frigitt gissel mener opprørere sto bak gassangrepet i Syria, Aftenposten, September 29, 2013 - a renowned Norwegian correspondent in Brussels interviews Piccinin. He gives more details about what they heard than he did in the sources we so far have. Key points:
    • We heard two men, a general from the FSA, and one officer from Al-Farouk in a room next door - talking to a third person via Skype. This man had an Oxford-accent, says Piccinin.
    • They first talked about the situation in Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt. Then they started talking about Ghouta. Domenico and myself had no idea there had even been a gas attack.
    • The FSA-general was angry and said there were too many dead. Hundreds. The Skype-voice answered that gas had been involved, and the situation had spun out of control.
    • The Al-Farouk officer said: You said there would be only fifty dead. The Skype-man said: It was necessary. It will change a lot in this war.
--CE (talk) 22:12, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Holy Shit!!!! I have now updated the article page to reflect my new number 1 suspect: Western powers and their intelligence services.

Previously I has assumed that the "attack" was the work of hard core Islamist in the familiar pattern of collusion short of actual conspiracy – where Islamist would make massacres and Western powers would look the other way and blame the "authoritative" governments. The Piccinin interview turns the tables on this and exposes the Westerners as instigators.

This interpretation helps explain the recent political developments in the armed opposition with Islamist cutting ties to Western puppet proxies of the Syrian National Coalition and joining forces as the Army of Islam. Previously I thought this was because the rebels were simply disappointed with the West's failure to deliver the promised air war. The split is however so dramatic that it is hard so see the the rebel brigades abandoning their financiers and armory just because of this blunder. There must be more fundamental reasons to the monumental shift. Piccinin explains it: the rebels are accusing the west for BOTH murdering 2000 innocent Syrian civilians AND failing to deliver the promised air strikes. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:46, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

2019 Piccinin interview

Published yesterday on 21stCenturyWire. Not much new about the event itself, but he confirms what we suspected, or at least suspects the same: That his collegue Quirico was told by La Stampa to shut up/deny, while he Piccinin was independent and willing to talk, but when it was clear what he was going to tell, everyone chickened out of scheduled interviews. Says his career was damaged, but he was back in Syria several times covering the Kurds' war against ISIS, and he thinks it's time for the "Western" media to finally come clean about their misreporting over the years - but doesn't think it will happen. --CE (talk) 16:38, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Rebel possession of chemical weapons

See also Talk:Rebel possession of chemical weapons
The indictment rejected the legitimacy of the suspects’ claim that they were unaware the chemicals they tried to obtain could be used to produce sarin gas.
The indictment also contained Qassap’s testimony where he confessed his links with the Ahrar al-Sham Brigades and moved to the city of Antakya following the instructions of its leader, Abu Walid. “After I arrived in Antakya, other rebel groups had come into contact with me. While some had asked me for medicine and other humanitarian aid supplies, others wanted to obtain military equipment,” he told prosecutors.

Also discussed by sasa wawa on the Who Attacked Ghouta? blog:

July 2014

Laboratory tests performed in the middle of June, 2014, showed that the cylinders seized by Syrian government troops in August 2013 in an area controlled by anti-Assad rebels had contained sarin, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in his letter to the Security Council, the ITAR-TASS news agency reports.

Meanwhile in Western media:

(Sarin destroyed by US at sea.)

Murder investigation, part 2

Dead pigeons in Erbin on August 24. This photo by Ammar Dar is one of very few that indicate that toxic chemicals were released into the atmosphere – as opposed to closed spaces. (Discuss)

At this point we need to revert back to the core Assadist hypothesis. Hostages from Latakia, from Tal Abyad in Kurdistan, or from wherever were gassed in some confined space, then left dead or dying at the hospital. Some teargas was released here and there to cause panic. Drops of sarin were left somewhere for the UN team to find. The task now is to negate this hypothesis. We need to find real witness testimony and in situ footage.

  1. Video of dead family killed in their home.
  2. Video of family member or neighbor, in situ, describing how the whole family was killed.
  3. Video of dead animals in situ.
  4. Video of the attack site, empty houses, without fresh bomb damage, abandoned in panic or cleared of dead bodies.
  5. Lists of victims with addresses.
  6. Any sign that the claimed victims ever lived in the affected areas.

So far I have seen none of this, except for the one fly-in-your-face fraud. I have not looked for new material after day #1, will start looking now.

It is interesting, that in the al-Bayda and Baniyas massacres in government controlled areas the "activists" were able to act as flies in the roof and film the massacred families in situ in their homes, even before the Assadist dumped their bodies on the streets. Yet, in this rebel controlled area activist are not able to provide any in situ footage.

Now, find the footage and prove me wrong! -- Petri Krohn (talk) 14:40, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

See also #Video analysis

400 Zamalka victims missing?

See also /Locations#Zamalka

The published lists of victims (see /Victims Analysis) say that largest number of deaths happened in Zamalka. however, no photos or video of the Zamalka victims, the attack site nor the mass graves has been identified. A video of the supposed Zamalka mass grave only shows 8 bodies. An abandoned house with another 8 victims was presented to reporters a day after the attack. These bodies were however planted at the site in an evident hoax. (see /Zamalka ghost house) It may however be that this house is at the center of the purported attack site and indicative of the type of "victims" that were found by the rescue workers.

The focus of the investigation should now be in finding and identifying footage and other evidence from the Zamalka area. If nothing can be found, there is a possibility that the claimed Zamalka victims never existed. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:30, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

The open letter our new member Pierpont posted contains links to a couple of videos apparently distributed in a "Feinstein Package" (talk about massacre porn). They are listed with sites - nothing from Zamalka. --CE (talk) 02:56, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
The "Feinstein Package" is here on --CE (talk) 03:23, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Fucking orgasm! Is there no way of watching this, but in full screen mode? I need to blow my load of Tomahawks now or my balls will explode! -- Petri Krohn (talk) 04:37, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

You guys are weird. I get it, but kind of creepy. On the 400 true, there isn't too much clearly claimed for visuals in Zamalka, with over 1/4 of the total alleged there. As far as I can tell, that's a pretty genius observation. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:40, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Mass Graves and Lack Thereof

Normally after an alleged regime massacre, local rebel forces and their activist allies are in possession of all the bodies, shown at different stages, in situ (as killed and found, at the crime scene), right after recovery from there, in a pickup, and in the morgue. We see morgue videos for Ghouta, but (as discussed elsewhere) hardly any in situ views, leaving fair room for suspicion over the true conditions of these deaths. In most cases, a prime visual moment activists never spare us is the rows of wrapped bodies getting their proper burial. In fact it's always a bit suspicious that so few are claimed by family, and buried for them, as if unclaimed, by rebel brigades in a mass grave. In East Ghouta, an alleged 1,400 were killed, and we see nary a mass grave. For those of us suspecting the usual shady signs, that further lack became its own; it could be the visual location that can often be pinned down from graveside videos (open areas in daylight) is something we're not to see. Nor maybe the burning of the Alawite corpses in a recognizable spot in the north, to hide the evidence, would be strenuously not recorded (except by the Saudi King's own personal emissary). For a few imaginative examples. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:15, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Grave sites tallied

Some are verified, some just reported. Most I don't have the details on. Let's fill this in.--Caustic Logic (talk) 10:15, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

  1. Zamalka/Irbin borderlands: located on the map. It's a large pit, as if expecting hundreds of bodies. Only ahandful of adult males are shown being buried at the bottom.
    update: Petri just found a video of more bodies, including children, being interred here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:18, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
    There are some children wrapped in white cloth that are evidently buried. I am not at all sure the two babies posed by agitators are dead, could as well have been drugged. Other that that, the video shows another batch of about 8 bodies buried in the grave. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:06, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  2. Same area, smaller grave apparently, harder or impossible to place, presumably near the "Ghost House", which is near the above site. A reported nine massacre victims from before the alleged gas attack were "found" in that unfinished building, passed of as victims of the gas attack, and buried here.

I hear there are other sites with visuals, one in Douma, might be forgetting others. (sorry, just getting this up)--Caustic Logic (talk) 10:15, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Otherwise, I'll start by questioning the issue and seeing if it can argue its way back into the spotlight. One possibility for the lack of mass graves is that families claimed a majority of the victims and buried them individually in private. We hear from both sides how many (unclear) victims were unclaimed/unidentified, but I'm not sure how true that is. Allegedly there are enough families living here that thousands were affected and thousands others not; with only so many dead, many would be left to claim bodies. That could be so, depending. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:15, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

As for remote locations, some large arrays of victims in Kafr Batna, Saqba, etc. have been pinned down to locales in Ghouta (mostly by Petri, and kudos to him), so the general location should be no problem in at least a good portion of the cases, even if they were in a mass grave. There would be ways to explain that away (whole family killed, remaining family members just now fled, etc.) As for the possible thousand or so alleged victims past the few hundred we can see in videos and photos, obviously much less can be said for sure either way. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:15, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Reuters heard from Zamalka by skype, one of who offered an explanation why many were unidentified:

Most of the dead were identified by a relative, a friend or a neighbour. But many were newcomers, Syrians who had been displaced from elsewhere. "We found entire families dead in their homes, and no one in our community knew who they were," said an army defector and media activist who used the nom de guerre Mohammad Salahedinne. One family had scribbled the name of their town, Jarba, on the wall of their living room, and that was how local people figured out their place of origin. [2]

Video analysis

For a full list of the original CW attack videos see Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013/Sources/Video

Centralized video production?

The most striking feature of all the 100+ videos posted to YouTube in the early hours of August 21 is their similarity. All video productions follow the same pattern of hardcore massacre porn – showing closeups of dying victims. The videos are totally lacking in context. This level of uniformity would not be possible without centralized control and coordination; it cannot happen by accident. It is as if the cameramen had been given prior orders to be at a certain location at a certain time and to produce predefined type of video footage.

Also interesting is the speed of the production. The victims are recovered from their homes (not shown), brought to the field hospitals (not shown), shown alive receiving treatment, shown dead in the morgue, in some cases with grieving relatives (alleged). Videos then are edited, watermarked with Coordinating Committee logos, and uploaded to YouTube – all in the span of two hours from the initial attack! -- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:33, 3 October 2013 (UTC)


See also /Locations/Kafr Batna

The second and first videos in the Kafar Batna video set may be the only ones giving these events any context. They show civilians outside the hospital screaming and panicking. Some of them are wearing protection against gas. (The scarfs would be effective against tear gas but not nerve agents.)

Zanders, however, is much more sceptical and urges caution until the UN weapons inspectors on the ground in Damascus report back to the Security Council. "I do not doubt the Ghouta incident was a major event," he said, before adding: "If you look at all the YouTube images, you do not know where they were taken, you do not know when they were taken or even by whom they were taken. Or, whether they [are from] the same incident or from different incidents."
He continued: "It doesn't tell me who would be responsible for it. It doesn't tell me where the films were taken. It just tells me that something has happened, somewhere, at some point."

On site video

By now we should see video of bodies in situ where they have died. Also we should see video of the attack sites; empty houses where people left in panic. All we see is bodies at the morgue. This leaves open the possibility that the victims where al-Nusra hostages, killed with teargas in some confined space, and brought to the morgue to die. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 19:52, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

I haven't noticed any yet that seem to be from the crime scenes. Like video silence almost. Well, I haven't watched enough to say, but you're ahead and there seem to be few if any? That is suspicious. Various things can be said about the victims, the killers, and their methods, from seeing the types of homes they were killed, where and how, etc. As I mention above (maybe could move here), there are some clues I half-expect to see that the victims were herded into rebel run prison houses (for their protection) prior to dying there. I took it to the SOHR Facebook page, first linking to the ANNA CW cache video, then "The reports that many died in their basements is fishy too. Rebels often put their captives in basements before some die there (ex: Daraya massacre). Best way to get masses gassed is to control them and gas all these basements directly. The big clue is gender separation. Any videos of the bodies as found? If the women and men are split up, they did not hide themselves there." And then a follow-up "Any videos of the bodies as found?" And if not, why not? I'm only seeing bodies at the morgue so far, or in trucks arriving out of what seems like a cloud of video silence that leaves me wondering." --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:18, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Related, something I saw, can't relocate now: one sign of CW poisoning was children unable to recognize, specifically, their parents. This is supposedly a classic symptom. Maybe so, but there are other interpretations of a kid on activist video screaming "this isn't my father!" (for example, don't know what they're citing offhand - but at least living kids get to speak for themselves, at whatever risk) --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:28, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Amer mosa video

Moved to /Rocket attack#Amer mosa video

BREAKING: Rescue team finds whole family dead in their house!

See also: /Rescue work?
The dead do not seem to have any surviving relatives. These two in Erbin are the exception.

I would expect the activist cameramen to follow the rescue teams in the early daylight hours of August 21 as they move into effected areas in the recover bodies and search for survivors. (I mean, man, this is real hardcore massacre porn that could bring in the NATO invasion!) As far as I know no such video has been presented. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 18:04, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

The subpage Zamalka ghost house covers the only known in situ body recovery, but it is a fly-in-your-face hoax by the known massacre managers from Douma.

Planted bodies?

Moved to Zamalka ghost house

Do Syrians sleep in winter overcoats?

Moved to /Victims Analysis#Do Syrians sleep in winter overcoats?

The Role of Basements

Moved to /Rescue work#The Role of Basements

It never happened?

Three weeks old discussion highlighted after recent developments. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 08:36, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

The government has been sticking to the story "it never happened". (Maybe it did, they just never heard about it.) I would say the evidence is yet inconclusive. There is a huge number of videos, coming from seemingly independent rebel YouTube channels. Most, if not all of the videos are however hospital footage, with nothing that shows the victims or the attack in situ. I do not think the dead people are staged, but for all we know the victims could be (Kurd) hostages gassed to death in some "confined space".

The New York Times reports:

While the veracity of the visual evidence uploaded to YouTube could not be independently established, chemical weapons experts told The Times that the injuries seen in footage from the region did not appear to be consistent with the effects of a conventional chemical weapon like sarin or mustard gas and that the deaths might have been caused by the use of a weaker chemical agent in a confined space.

Russia Today says they cannot confirm the attacks happened:

A correspondent for the Russian TV channel RT Arabic succeeded in contacting local residents in the area of the alleged chemical weapons attack. RT reports, that the locals replied to the correspondent, that they have not witnessed any “poisonous attack” in the area, but that they could hear gunfire.

AINA TV says they were at or near the scene filming with their nine cameras, and saw no sign of the use of chemical weapons:

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:03, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

(Cut part on Swedish expatriates analysis, moved here) --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:04, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

It never happened? It very damn well could not have happened, in the slightest bit. But I do suspect it damn well did, at least a bit. And I'm damn friggin' mad about it, and behind on the alleged details. I suspect a poison gas was deployed somewhere, and also a large number of people, including kids, were murdered in the rebel-infested parts of Reef Dimashq. Locals "have not witnessed any “poisonous attack” in the area, but that they could hear gunfire," RT heard. I wonder if the kind of shells used were the same ones used on Alawite Aqrab in December, per opposition sources causing all the deaths that occurred there? Those two were sometimes snipers, and sometimes hacked open kids' skulls. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:39, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Didn't think it through, but the comparison might be better than I thought. The result of the alleged Akrab shelling was rebels in control of the area, 500 Alawite civilians in custody, 300 released, 200 unknown. Confined into a single house, they were denied food and water and had their air poisoned with the smoke of burning tires. Smoke, chlorine, sarin, what have you, and recalling that crossing the "red line" is a bonus... If civilians at gunpoint could be abducted and confined (yes) and if people rebels dislike enough or consider expendable still exist in Syria (yes, in abundance) then "the deaths might have been caused by the use of a weaker chemical agent in a confined space. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:25, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

It never happened? Big picture, above stands, but it seems at least something on the scale of the Houla massacre but with toxic gas happened, perhaps with some battles and dead rebels thrown in, and some creative bookkeeping allowing reports of 1,000 + gassed to panic everyone into "urgent" action. Syria will need to have a look and more carefully say what did and didn't happen. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:25, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Clay Claiborne comment of the government's non-admission of the attack occurring: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:26, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

I was about to comment but the closest thing to open comments he has is "OpenID". I'll check that out later. Answer is of course that they have very few intel on "rebel" hold territory and absolutely suck at propaganda. (No offense Clay, you are very welcome to add stuff that supports your position to this wiki, in fact we have been a bit late to refer the HRW report as we all basically share the same bias, if you allow me to use that rather useless word, and that makes us less useful for the audience we want to reach.)
Saw another post on his blog: Syria Doc "Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution" Released. Just released. That looks like we should watch it as just the cover and the description posted by Clay strongly reminds me of Kony astroturf. You remember Kony, don't you? --CE (talk) 22:19, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Matthew VanDyke was active in Libya, I and CL have been following his whereabouts for two years. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:35, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Latakia hostages?

See /Latakia connection?

Arabi Souri is now claiming that some of the child victims shown on video are in fact kidnapped Latakia massacre victims:

Some pictures of the children killed by 'Sarin chemical gas' in Ghouta (#Damascus Countryside) are for children kidnapped from #Latakia countryside and their families recognized them.

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 04:48, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Looks like the Souri twitter account has been suspended. --Pierpont (talk) 01:45, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
#Syria Mother Agnes raises critical questions re death of children in 'rebel' held area Where did kids come from?

Images fabricated?

What is the chemical agent?

Moved to /Chemical agent
See also: Talk:Alleged chemical attack, March 19, 2013#The Alleged Agent(s)

Delivery system?


Moved to /Rocket attack

Mortar rounds?

The cheapest and most effective way (for Assad) would be to just pack the CW in mortar rounds. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 14:44, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Artillery shells

Here are some facts: The sarin nerve gas atrocity of Wednesday, Aug. 21, alleged to have claimed more than 1,000 lives, was the work of the 155th Brigade of the Syrian army’s 4th Division, headed by President Bashar Asad’s younger brother Gen. Maher Assad. The poison gas shells were fired from the big Mount Kalmun army base south of Damascus, one of the three repositories of Syria’s chemical weapons.

Tubes in tunnels?

See also Rebels in Ghouta admit responsibility? above

I am starting to suspect the toxic agents were released locally by rebels. No rocket of artillery was thus used. This article seems to confirm that view.

(Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group.)
However, from numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack.
“My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta.
Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”
Ghouta townspeople said the rebels were using mosques and private houses to sleep while storing their weapons in tunnels.

The question remains, were the toxins released deliberately, or was this some freak accident where "Assad's" bunker busters caused tunnels to collapse on the gas bottles releasing the gas – in all the places at once? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:00, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

It can be speculated, that the gas bottles described here are the same as the ones recovered in Jobar – possibly containing chlorine gas. The tubes can be the type of cylinders discovered in rebel possession in Turkey in May – claimed to contain sarin. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 14:02, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Child-homing system?

Evil Assad has devised a delivery system that specifically targets small children hidden in bedrooms.

According to the remarks made by Sec. Kerry, the assault last week caused the deaths of at least 1,429 Syrians, including no fewer than 426 children. (See US assessment)

Released in confined spaces

Wind speed and direction at the Damascus International Airport on August 21

There is an increasing amount of evidence, that chemical agents were never released into the atmosphere, but instead the attacks happened in confined spaces. The likely victims would be hostages and other prisoners.


Weather in Damascus on August 21st: steady wind from the west. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 04:28, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Archived sections


Here is my first draft on the motives of the parties to commit the act. The section should be moved to article space after, maybe some minor editing. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:26, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Moved to Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013#Motives? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:00, 29 August 2013 (UTC)


Moved to /Sources
See also: /Activist reports


Discussion moved to /Sources/Video


Moved to /Locations


Moved to /Victims Analysis

U.N. Investigator Response

Moved to U.N. Investigator Response

Qaboun rocket lauches

Moved to Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013/Rocket attack#Qaboun rocket lauches

What's Up With Jobar?

Moved to /Locations/Jobar

Activist debunk attempts

Pro-Syrian activist sources have attempted to debunk the YouTube evidence. Some of these counterclaims have proven to be without merit. They are collected into this section. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 08:32, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Videos a Day Early?

According to several Assadist sources the attack could not have happened because "Al Jazzera, Reuter published the news of massacre in East Ghouta, Damascus one day before the massacre happened." Yeah, pro-Assad Syrians are not very computer savvy. :-( Petri Krohn (talk) 14:15, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, I read - skimmed - that yesterday as well. ;o) What is official Youtube-Time? --CE (talk) 14:29, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Maybe only indirectly related: If you wanna play a chemical attack victim, better not be ticklish... ;oD --CE (talk) 14:51, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

RT is sticking to the "wrong timeline" story:

Despite the 7-hour time difference between Syria and the US, where the YouTube server is located, the mismatch of the dates in the videos raised concerns among some experts about the exact time of the upload.

Even the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich is falling for this.“The materials of the incident and accusations against government troops had been posted for several hours before the so-called attack. Thus, it was a pre-planned action.” Doesn't Russia have a fucking intelligence service!

Agreed, big fail. It says right there it's U.S. eastern time, which I think is actually 8 hours earlier. 4 am Syria = 8 pm "the previous day" on Youtube. 4 hours of it followed. The actual news story should have been "Despite the 7-hour time difference between Syria and the US, where the YouTube server is located, the mismatch of the dates in the videos raised concerns among some experts about the exact time of the upload," and thus not run! When they say pre-planned, I hope they don't mean this, but just that you don't do this without planning. Or based on some other evidence they can share. --Caustic Logic (talk) 15:10, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Is this possibly a subtle joke, or a "soft power" trick that they too can push transparent propaganda, or something? For a nation with 11 time zones, you think they'd get this issue better than most. --Caustic Logic (talk) 15:10, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Looking at YouTube Gdata, I get timestamps 2013-08-21T03:37:12.000Z 2013-08-21T02:51:02.000Z and 2013-08-21T01:00:54.000Z for the three videos embedded on the RT page. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 20:39, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

This is a trick I will need to learn (later). Specifics, understood, see? Z = GMT. The last one is almost, maybe, problematic. It's said the attacks stared around 4 am local (I'm hazy). That last one is posted 4:01 local time (GMT +3). That's just barely too early, depending. Probably not. But anyway, that's how you would go about finding things that were up too early, suggesting pre-planning/foreknowledge on the rebel side. It's worth watching for, for sure. Not just with videos, but anywhere. And for foreknowledge on the other side too, for that matter. Nothing credibly reported yet. I suspect anything found will be vague and unprovable, but surely interesting and likely true. * --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:51, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
* if it blames the rebels. What can I say? They have all the motive and that's the #1 thing. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:53, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

The Lede says actually Youtube's time zone is set to California, Pacific time. That's my own time zone, but it says it's 10 hours behind Syria, not 11. I might be wrong but I thought PST was -8 from GMT. Anyway, this means there were at least six hours of Aug. 21 that would appear on Youtube as Aug. 20, 6 Pm to midnight Caifornia, = the first six hours of the attack, or about all of it. Only things filmed after about 10 am in Syria can even hope to be shown as posted on Aug 21. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:09, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Maybe the activist did not know when the massacre was supposed to have started. Whatever time is given in the press is only deduced from the earliest timestamps on the videos. Has any local eyewitness ever stated when the massacre happened. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 03:52, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
People have given times, earlier than I thought even. For example, NYT: "It began just after 2 a.m. Those who heard the explosions and lived to tell about them were surprised at the sound, saying it was “like a water tank bursting” or “like opening a Pepsi bottle.” Then came the smell, which burned eyes and throats, like onions or chlorine.[3]

Voltaire Network has a follow-up on this. Apparently they started the thing in the first place. Now they say the uploader in question has contacted them and said to have uploaded the videos at 7am local time. Voltaire's response: "However, the shade of the fourth video, recorded outdoors, shows a sun almost at it’s peak. It is impossible for this video to have been shot in the early morning. We therefore maintain that these videos have been shot before the massacre that they represent." With "fourth video" they mean the one with the Sheikh character talking inside and then going outside where the truck with the "rebel" logo still contains a camera-fit child. You guys are better at sun-spotting than I am, but when I watched it after Petri asked for the logo, I asked myself about the time and found that the sun obviously stands very low and very early morning is absolutely plausible. Which means - surprise surprise - VN is full of it. --CE (talk) 13:06, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm not even going to look. It's stupid. The guy might misremember when he posted this video, don't get hung up on 7 am. Could be 9:30, posted within 30 minutes, would still say Aug. 20. That's not super high, especially in DST, so they could have a point. Okay, watching. I don't even see sun on the ground much. A wall, orange light, reflection down to camera from a window (1:06), sun the same angle higher than the perpendicular, so low like you say. This is, like, 7-8 am DST, 6-7 otherwise, aka sunrise. Dummies. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:02, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
The video was published at 2013-08-21T04:47:14.000Z (7:47 am Syria time) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 15:02, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Our favorite nun Agnes-Mariam has taken a look at the videos and is about to send her report to the UN. She makes a specific claim about a set of videos that "was made public by Reuters at 6:05 in the morning". She asks "How is it even possible to collect a dozen different pieces of footage, get more than 200 kids and 300 young people together in one place, give them first aid and interview them on camera, and all that in less than three hours?" Do we know the set of footage released by Reuters she talks about? Some details about the Latakia massacres where she visited in the interview. (edit: oh, and "Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called on the international community to pay attention to revelations made by Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib.", says RT) --CE (talk) 11:24, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

I do not doubt the Syrian rebel activist could produce all the hundred or so videos from a number of sites in the few hours after the "attack" – or after the bodies started being dumped at the hospital gates. What I find disturbing is that there he been an almost total news silence since then. The context is still totally missing. I am starting to believe that the "attacks" never happened and all that was real was the dumping of bodies at the hospitals. The question is, where did this happen? Unless we (or somebody else) can point a location to a video we can as well assume the victims were massacred in Latakia. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 13:12, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Video two days too late:

There is some blood here, but I still wonder how these people died. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:40, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Chemicals injected after death?

A syringe with blood inside sits on top of the boy in the center.

The morgue video from Kafr Batna shows victims being injected with syringes, as noted here. Assad supporters have picked on this an are now claiming the victims were injected after death, apparently to plant false evidence for the UN investigators to find. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 10:40, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

One way or another, they got samples running barricades to the U.N. people, should be there by now with a few km involved. I'm guessing it's samples of human blood they got chemicals into. As that's the whole idea, this sounds plausible. As for doing it right there on video, sure, I could see that audacity, given what I've seen. Otherwise, I don't know. Kind of seems they were killed by gassing, so ideally just that exposure is what would be most realistic.--Caustic Logic (talk) 15:10, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
I do not believe there is anything fake in any of the videos. I think all the people in the videos genuinely believe they were gassed by "Assad". How would they know if it was al-Qaeda that launched the rockets? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 18:38, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Two things make me wonder if the videos were staged after all: 1) I do not really think that there is anything to the MacDonald email leak‎, but makes you wonder. Maybe the the wives of US military really believe this claim. 2) This CW attack video from Douma, posted August 9. Some of the footage in the report has been claimed to be a hoax. Maybe all. To stage a CW hoax video, you would need to practice it multiple times on a smaller scale. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 16:35, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

To note, I hear, injecting stuff after death is impossible, or improbable. I suspect they're dead. Could be they're extracting? Taking blood samples? Is the answer that simple? I haven't looked at the scenes in question. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:45, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

In this photo you see a syringe with blood inside. Looks like blood samples were taken from the victims. Have any of these samples been tested? If so, why have we never heard of the result? Most likely, because sarin was not found. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:31, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Drama one year later

As it turns out, Dan Kaszeta has written to Syriangirl's university alerting them that she was producing Sarin in her basement (close to that). Syriangirl, who turns out to have a degree in chemistry, now sues Kaszeta for libel and/or faking accusations of terrorism. And MIT professor Ted Postol just went on the Radio with Ryan Dawson backing Syriangirl and exposing Kaszeta as a fraud. The discussion doesn't go into detail on that, but Brown Noses is implied in this as well and Postol includes him in his astonishment about "nobodies" getting jazzed-up as experts without the media doing due diligence. This on the day where Brown Noses gets renewed publicity for Kindergarten geolocating of a "secret" ISIS training camp in Mosul, even in prominent German media, while also putting out absurd stuff about geolocating where "Jihad Johnny" (who is in reality Danny the Syrian btw ;o)) was standing in the Fishy Foley video. --CE (talk) 00:22, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Text of Kaszeta defamatory letter to University of Western Australia

From: Dan Kaszeta
Subject: I need to report a possible Security and/or Safety issue at your University
Date: 19 June 2014 12:19 am
To 􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛,􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛, 􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛, 􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛􀁛

Dear University of Western Australia officials:

I apologise for bothering you, but as a professional in the security industry with a background in law enforcement, I feel it is my ethical duty to report possible safety, legal, and security concerns to you.

I believe that one Maram Susli, who may be associated with your university in some capacity, evidently as an MSc student, might be engaging in potentially dangerous research involving chemical warfare agents, particularly the deadly nerve agent Sarin.


As this is a relatively complex matter, I will explain how and why I have come about this information:

* I am a career long specialist in chemical warfare and defence against chemical weapons, and I work as a consultant in this area. I am a published author and established authority in the field. Feel free to make independent queries about my career and credentials.

* My views have been sought after because of chemical warfare events in Syria and I am a public figure in the debate over the details of what may have happened.

* In the last week I was engaged in a lengthy technical debate, by email, with Dr. Ted Postol of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He and I are having various disagreements about how the Sarin that was used on 21 August last year in Syria may have been made.

* Without my permission, Dr. Postol started copying a person known by the alias "Syrian Sister" into the conversation, stating that she was an organic chemist who could add to this debate.

* I ceased communications once I discovered that a third party was being added to technical discussions about how illegal nerve agents could be made and refined.

* This "Syrian Sister" person, now having my personal email address, sent me an email, a PDF of which is attached. She makes reference to being a chemist, having access to chemical reagents through a university, and claims a high degree of knowledge about nerve agents.

* In her email to me, she identified herself as "PartisanGirl", who is infamous online and in media as an extremist who strongly identifies with the Assad regime in Syria and who advocates violence against Jewish people. A search of social media will indicate such. 

Given the various public statements of an extremist nature and advocating violence, the combination of access to reagents, specific chemical warfare knowledge, and extremist ideological makes me very nervous.

A very quick and elementary search of the internet and social media identifies that "PartisanGirl" is very likely one Ms. Maram Susli, who appears to be at the University of Western Australia.

Specific Safety and Security Concerns:

* Is this person conducting laboratory research into chemical warfare materials, in particular the nerve agent Sarin?
The email claims that she has access to reagents through her university. In the context of the discussions in which she was copied into by Dr. Postol, the only meaningful interpretation would be that she has access

* Is Dr. Postol from MIT engaged in unauthorised tasking of one of your students, particularly in this dangerous area of chemical warfare

* Is Ms. Susli using university property or materials or computer systems for unauthorised and potentially illegal or unsafe acts? This could, of course, be invective and hyperbole. Or there could be something deeply dangerous happening. This is why I have made the decision to flag this disturbing email to all of the appropriate university officials. As you can understand, my own professional ethics compel me to report this to someone. I hope that one of you addressed on this email is the appropriate official or can at least forward this to someone for an investigation.

I thank for taking your time to review this issue. I would not make these allegations if I did not have a reasonable fear that something potentially illegal or unsafe was going on. If I have mis-identified Ms. Susli as the person responsible for this, I deeply apologise and hope that perhaps the correct person can be identified. My contact details are below. If it is necessary for full context, I can send the entire email chain between myself and Dr Postol, but my first inclination is not to do so unless it is specifically requested.


Daniel J. Kaszeta
Managing Director, Strongpoint Security Ltd.
London UK
+xx xxxx xxxxxx
Skype: dan.kaszeta

--Charles Wood (talk) 05:26, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Upon request, we have removed some personal information previously posted here and we have had to remove the ability to view any revisions that previously contained this information. Please take extra care in posting content which make contain personal details in future. --Lewis Cawte (talk) ShoutWiki Staff 19:30, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Delayed response, apologies: Point taken, and thanks. Having asked into it, I can say only (for the curious) that there was no real value having that particular bit here anyway - it was incidental. If it causes any waves, happily surrendered. The rest of it is intact. And we'll keep "wave control" in mind, as we can. And thanks again, Charles, for bringing this interesting twist. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:34, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Maybe we should split this material away into a subpage /Hexamine, but my understanding is that this is all a storm in a hoax test tube. Maybe we should just file it in Category:Humor. Anyway, here is Ted Postol's response to Kaszeta. (Nice to see he reads our pages.) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:22, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Syriangirl praised by Prof Dr. Ted Postal.jpg

More drama five years later

See also Integrity Initiative

August 6 CW Attack?

Did we know about this? Two weeks before, same basic area. No deaths

...the Media Centre (said) the Syrian regular forces on Monday targeted area in the city of Adra Rural Damascus (with) poison gas. The center said that more than 30 people were injured as a result of the bombing in Adra, where they were taken immediately to the nearest field hospital, and they are suffering respiratory problems. In Douma Rural Damascus, activists said dozens were injured after being targeted by the bombing of the regular forces of the toxic gases, leading to the occurrence of severe suffocation among the wounded evacuated and taken to a field hospital for treatment. The Syrian opposition has repeatedly accused the regular forces using chemical weapons in the countryside of Damascus, Homs and Aleppo, while Damascus has accused opponents of using those weapons in Khan honey Aleppo last spring.

SNC statement, Aug. 6

The medical office of Eastern Gouta, in rural Damascus, affirmed that a cloud of gas from bombs dropped by Assad’s forces on Adra, has spread to areas as far as the city of Douma. Fatalities are reported and 437 people suffer from symptoms like suffocation and exhaustion in the area.
The Syrian Coalition renews its call to the UN chemical weapons investigation team to inspect the use of internationally prohibited toxic chemical gases in Douma and Adra, in rural Damascus.
  • August 9 same point re-iterated, happy with Ake Sellstrom and planned Damascus visit, etc.

VDC record on fatalities: none. Checking all CW deaths, there are none on August 6. Closest is this Damascus Suburbs resident killed Aug 12, but clearly it means 21 like 90% of the others. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:50, 30 October 2015 (UTC)


  1. Kurdish Sources Deny Any Knowledge Of Videos Showing Liwa al-Islam Launching The August 21st Sarin Attack – Brown Moses, 3 October 2013
  2. Ghouta Residents Cope With Aftermath Of Syria Chemical Attack By Loveday Morris and Taylor Luck, Reuters, September 30, 2013
  3. Blasts in the Night, a Smell, and a Flood of Syrian Victims By BEN HUBBARD, MARK MAZZETTI and MARK LANDLER, New York Times, August 26, 2013