Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, March 16, 2015

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This is a talk page for discussing Alleged Chemical Attack, March 16, 2015. For sources, claims and narratives see the main page. (To see what is hot, see recent changes)
This has also become a general page for discussing similar alleged chlorine attacks, and investigations into them.

White Helmets

"White Helmets" pro-intervention, pro-aggression propaganda poster
Moved to Talk:White Helmets

General Discussion

(somewhat jumbled first impressions and some further probing. Main points to be organized below, but this is where the important thought appeared with supporting commentary and discussion - important reading) --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:27, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

My impression is, as I suspected when I raised the topic, the story is semi-manufactured and includes obvious propaganda elements.
- The use of chlorine is clearly not supported
- The deaths of the Talebs are by other causes
- The dissemination to international agencies of a false narrative was intended to change the public perception of Syria.

--Charles Wood (talk) 11:53, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

I've been reviewing this old material. You and Pmr9 were really on the ball from the start, as well as Pierpont, of course. I caught on. So, kudos. Those are the main points, your three, pretty much, in the stuff I've been re-assembling lately. The latest goes beyond Sarmin to the recent Aleppo family of 6 and the whole chlorine record, and has been sent to to the same Swedish doctors group that's been reviving this recently. I mean, I highlight overdose, but it's not certain, and the main point stands it's also not chlorine, so ... And the last point I partly leave to the audience. I might ask for your input, but too late, it's already written (can be seen here). --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:43, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Something I think we overlooked before is the role of Hamish de Bretton-Gordon in this incident, which is now relevant for obvious reasons. I see that HBG replied to CL's tweet to say that he had tested samples. From what we now know, it seems likely that he was a key source for OPCW reports and specifically for the absurd permanganate barrel bomb design. I'll keep looking into this. Pmr9 (talk) 15:42, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Before and up to and including now. But I'm working on a quick patch. Sent you and Charles both e-mails with a draft of the shorter version I'm working on. Any input might be of use. I have another 2 days or so, maybe longer if needed. Cheers! --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:28, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon writes for al Jazeera and The Guardian. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:29, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Swedish Assessment

The Indictor Report - Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, SWEDHR

"Swedish Doctors for Human Rights (SWEDHR) Denounce White Helmets Video, Macabre Manipulation of Dead Children and Staged Chemical Weapons Attack to Facilitate a No-Fly Zone in Syria"

Macabre manipulation of dead children--Charles Wood (talk) 11:03, 7 March 2017 (UTC)


New report from Sermin Idlib ( ادلب:سرمين )

"Civil Defense Idlib: Srmin: a very important three children and their parents and their grandmother chemical gas victims"

Family of Five

Some water (alkalai?) decontamination and gas masks but several don't wear gloves and the woman's clothing seems original. -- ‎Charles Wood

Incredibly sad. It seems the one toddler, red-haired FWIW, dies right there and no one really cares. You get the common feeling "Assad" targeted people the rebels don't really like. Though they didn't specifically blame anyone there. I don't suppose there's much more info available at the moment (checked VDC martyrs database, nothing relevant yet). --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:32, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
The couch that talks has already determined it was conclusively 'Assad Gas'. But he would say that, wouldn't he? -- ‎Charles Wood
Urs is on the case and has collected videos since they started uploading. The brown-nosed one isn't the only known propagandist involved with this. One Hadi Al Abdallah with a long history of "rebel" propaganda is even trolling John Kerry on twitter. She thinks that reveals the motive, and is convinced that the "rebels" did it for propaganda reasons - pointing out the usual treatment of the dead "like meat". But she would say that, wouldn't she? ;o) --CE (talk) 14:25, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

More details, names, symptoms etc. 'Warplanes attacked'. One mention of Chlorine but symptoms don't match at all. Scene looks like standard Sarin treatment Facebook Page --Charles Wood (talk) 10:55, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

This video needs the sort of detailed analysis that someone like Denis would be able to do. From a quick look, I agree with Urs that these aren't real medics/paramedics. These children, if they were still breathing or had only just stopped breathing, needed immediate respiratory support via an endotracheal tube or just mouth-to-mouth. The red-haired boy is left on the trolley until he stops breathing, then someone makes a desultory effort at suction which is pointless without respiratory support. The other two children are placed on top of the woman on the trolley in positions where they can't be resuscitated - better to put them on the floor. One child is held up by the lower jaw for no obvious reason, with a grip that appears to compress both carotid arteries. All three children appear cyanosed - these aren't like the children in the Kafr Batna sun morgue who were pink. My impression is that these children have been given an overdose of some powerful respiratory / central nervous system depressant like morphine. Pmr9 (talk) 16:33, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I think we can rule out not just chlorine but any agent that is not a central nervous system depressant - otherwise the red-haired boy would be struggling to breathe. Opiate poisoning is the most likely diagnosis because most other sedative drugs don't cause this degree of respiratory depression without causing coma. On a frame-by-frame view, it looks as if this child has dilated pupils. Most opiates including morphine cause pinpoint pupils in overdose. The only one that causes dilated pupils is meperidine (Demerol), still widely used as a painkiller. Pmr9 (talk) 17:48, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your expertise here. If it can be narrowed down like that, we can get somewhere. Some unit might be asking for more Demerol soon, or they had a huge supply to begin with. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:57, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Meperidine was a standard battlefield analgesic for the US military at least until the 1970s, but is now rarely used in the US and Europe because of its central nervous system toxicity. From a scan of recent publications, it's still widely used in Turkish military hospitals and is manufactured in Turkey under the brand name Aldolan. Pmr9 (talk) 13:00, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a chemical weapons expert adviser in Syria who carried out the tests, said he was certain that regime forces were behind Times, 14.4.15; chloride and cyanide claimed. (He is a former commander of British Chemical and Biological counter terrorism forces... Uncertain what exactly makes him "certain") . --Resup (talk) 15:38, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Bummer you have to subscribe to read the rest. Cyanide causes breathing problems similar to what we see with the kids, but it also causes redness they don't show, and does not cause cyanosis, which they do seem to have a bit of. The snippet specifies only chlorine at their home, cyanide in another bomb. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:27, 14 April 2015 (UTC)


(header by Adam) --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:13, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Denis O'Brien here. Perhaps I could add some observations/thoughts to this Sarmin attack . . .

A. The videos I have studied are vids 1/2/4/6/8 in Pmr9’s playlist – these are the ones showing clinic shots. I use his numbers here. Vids 1 & 2 show a distinct clinic – or clinic rooms – from the clinic in vids 4/6/8. The main reason I say this is that the floors are different – terra cotta in vids 1 & 2 and tile pattern in vids 4/6/8.
Note: Petri's playlist. See #Video --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:11, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
B. The two clinics are connected by at least one person common to both – that is an older gentleman with a knit cap and glasses. He is seen at 1:02 in vid O1 and a number of times in vid 06. I refer to him as “P2.” I haven’t taken the time for side-by-side comparisons of the vids, but this guy is the only one that stands out as being in both of the clinics.
C. Vids 1&2 show a woman medic, whom I call “P1.” She seems to be in charge. She is wearing full scrubs and a sweater w/ grey/black horizontal stripes. She is not wearing a hijab. I don’t see any women in vids 4/6/8 – victims or personnel.
D. The Sarmin videos strike me as being quite different from the Ghouta vids b/c in the Sarmin vids the workers’ faces are featured and some of the workers are interviewed with their faces uncovered. In the Ghouta vids, seeing the workers’ faces was very rare. (Vids 1&2 are more like the Ghouta vids in this respect -- no faces -- than vids 4/6/8.) Also, there were no naked children in the Ghouta vids – or if there were, they weren’t featured – but vids 1&2 focus on the three naked kids, which may suggest the Sarmin vids were not staged whereas the Ghouta vids were.
E. Here are some observations on the 4 victims seen in vids 1&2. I identify these victims as follows – vid times w/ respect to Vid 01. Infant boy (N1) seen at 0:01. Infant girl (N2) seen at 0:30. Infant girl ? (N3) in diapers, seen at 1:16. Adult woman (A1).
  • Infant N1 is alive at the beginning of vid 01 but appears to be dead by the end of vid 02, establishing the sequence of the two vids. N1 is the only one of the four kids that is unequivocally alive. His respiration is grossly depressed, but can be confirmed by closely watching the nasal mucus in vid 02. His color is poor; his lips are mildly cyanotic. He is clearly not struggling for air. Like all three infants, his muscles are flaccid. His skin is clear and without trauma or burns w/ the exception of a small brownish lesion on his R elbow. If N1 was dying as a result of chlorine in his lungs, one would expect him to be very distressed, in pain, gasping for air, and – if the chlorine contacted his skin – showing skin redness or burns.
  • I don’t know why the guy is jabbing the needle into N1's chest and twisting it around – vid 02 at 1:07. A very rough intracardiac injection,I guess. Looks like a clear fluid in the syringe – epinephrine? Didn't work.
  • All 3 kids have clear skin. The color is fairly good, but lips are mildly cyanotic. No blisters or lesions. From the little of the eyes that can be seen, they are rheumy, not irritated – chlorine would make the eyes irritated, bloodshot. Pupils can’t be read. There is no clear indication of vomiting or defecation, although N3's diapers look like they’re full. N1 (and only N1) is producing a small amount of nasal mucus.
  • What little can be seen of the woman, A1, is noteworthy. In vid 01 she is grimacing and her eyes are slightly open and rheumy. In vid 02 she is expressionless and her eyes are closed. Her color looks pretty good in vid 02 – 1:25.
  • At 0:15 in vid 01 you can see her R hand behind the head of N1. The hand has a brownish stain on the palm. Splotches of the same color are seen on the sheet behind N3 – vid 02 at 1:30. Also, at the end of vid 02, there is a brown stain the same color over the L eye of N1.
  • There is no rigor in any of the kids. The skin color is not yet developing palor mortis or livor mortis. A view of the 3 children in their funeral wraps is here:
Impressions of the clinics.
  • Well funded and well equipped.
  • Clean sheets/blankets. The yellow/black blankets look like they were custom made with the logo.
  • De-fibrillator in vid 01 is turned on. Looks like quite a bit of gear.
  • Lots of O2 bottles, but O2 is not administered to N1.
  • Most of the people are milling around not doing anything helpful, as in Kafr Batna. There are a lot of people taking photos/vids, and you can easily see their faces, unlike Kafr Batna.
  • Unlike KB, no guns & no military uniforms.
I can’t see enough to take a stab at the cause of death, if there is, in fact, a single, common cause. It was not chlorine, almost certainly not sarin. Not carbon monoxide or cyanide, as in Kafr Batna. No trauma.
Pmr9 suggest Demerol (pithidine or meperidine) – could be. These opiates depress respiration by acting in the brain – i.e., suffocation w/out struggling. Most opiates constrict the pupils, but not Demerol. At the moment it’s as good as guess as any I can come up with. What does it mean if these kids died of Demerol? It would almost have to be injected.
I am on the road as I write this and 3000 miles from my shelf of pharmacology books, so without more research I’m not comfortable making a guess at what killed them. Jabhat al-Nusra, perhaps, if Kafr Batna is any indication, but it’s way to early to say.

Pierpont (talk) 22:38, 21 March 2015 (UTC)Pierpont

This is so much more awesome than we should expect, for on the road and short notice. You mention brown stains on the woman's hand - similar color (truama/bruise? too new to be brown? so stains?) on baby 1's right elbow as well as left brow. This is a clue of some kind. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:13, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
March 16 dilated pupil.png

"Pupils can’t be read." This is important, so I went to the second video, close-up on (that must be Mohammed) at 0:18. Managed to adjust gamma and contrast. left eye wasn't so helpful, so this is just the right. Iris seems gray, barely there. Still not super clear but maybe the best it gets. What do you think now? (or when you get a chance?) --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:48, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Section with multi-images now. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:27, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

CL, thanks for coming up with the names of the victims. Out of respect, I much prefer to use names instead of ID numbers. My post above can be modified as follows: N1 = Mohammad; N2 = Sara; N3 = Aysha. Mohammad is easy. As for the girls, I believe the child in diapers is the oldest, judging from her size.

(moved from below)

I’ve done some pupillary pondering and brushed up a bit on opiates since CL’s query. Until I can flip the pages of my Goodman & Gilman’s Pharmacology to verify what I read online, I’m never totally confident in my conclusions, so I won’t make any. But I don’t see anything here or in online sources I’m relying on that strikes me as being flat wrong, and there are some issues here that could be worth tossing around. The opiate hypothesis is currently the best one going from what I see, and I think it would be very telling for reasons noted below.

As already noted, the vid of Mohammad’s very slight respirations w/ no distress, no struggling, no gasping is consistent with opiate-induced sedation and depression of the CNS respiratory centers. If we had a clear view of his pupils and they were constricted, the diagnosis of opiate poisoning would be very strong. As it is, the kid’s dark, barely open eyes and the dim clinic make it impossible for me to say for sure whether his pupils are constricted or dilated, even with the digital enhancements.

Pmr9 raises the opiate agonist meperidine/pithedine – I’ll go with the trade name “Demerol” as it’s easier to spell. It’s a dirty opiate in that a metabolite of the drug acts on receptor systems other than the opiate system. So the pharmacology is squirrelly. Not only does Demerol not produce miosis like other opiates, but it produces mydriasis. But, like the others, a Demerol o’dose generally shuts down respirations, inhibits coughing, and causes intense constipation. But then again . . . large doses can, in sensitive patients, cause tremors, sweating, diarrhea, and seizures. Dirty drug. Also confounding the pharmacology is the fact that these are all symptoms in adults – kids may be different b/c they metabolize Demerol differently than adults. For instance one source says that kids may be more sensitive to the respiratory depression effect of Demerol.

This means that depressed respiration together with either pinpoint OR dilated pupils would be consistent with opiate overdose.

Would love to get an ER clinician in on this discussion. I think they would agree that opiate poisoning is a pretty good guess. I would be shocked if any clinician could look at these kids and conjecture chlorine poisoning. IOW, chlorine allegations => RED HERRING => false flag => insurgents responsible. Somebody needs to go back to the “Observatory” and check where this allegation came from.

Going with the opiate working hypothesis for the moment, it points to a couple of troubling questions:

  1. How would these kids have been exposed to a fatal dose of Demerol?
    I mean, this opiate is not going to be “administered” via 155 artillery shells or barrel bombs. It would require some creep holding a kid down and stuffing a handful of pills down her throat or jamming a needle into her butt. A firm diagnosis of opiate poisoning by itself would virtually demand the conclusion that the insurgents were responsible, just as the diagnosis that CO/cyanide was used in Ghouta virtually demands the same conclusion for that massacre.
  2. Why didn’t the medics reverse the opiate poisoning?
    The effects of all opiates, including Demerol, are immediately reversed by administration of an opiate antagonist, namely naloxone (Narcan). The opiate depression of CNS respiratory centers is particularly sensitive to naloxone. Given that the clinic we are seeing seems very well equipped and funded, one might expect that they would be stocked with naloxone and at least Mohammad, who is alive in vid 01, could have been saved. But then again this is Syria in the middle of a civil war/insurgent attack so who knows what to expect. Maybe the closest dose of naloxone is in Istanbul.

Pierpont (talk) 17:05, 23 March 2015 (UTC)Pierpont

Amnesty International

Amnesty "International" jumping on the band wagon in their usual style. --CE (talk) 23:08, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

The injured included a small number of fighters from the Free Syrian Army armed group, but the vast majority were civilians. In the middle of jabhat al-Nusra territory - yeah right!
ANOTHER VIDEO from the clinic is linked here. Note the different video identification which has now switched to Nusra. There is some curious medical treatment in the video. ricksterling
Welcome, Rick. Indeed, a Nusra flag on this one. No switch in anything really implied of course, just a different cameraman with his affiliation. The chest compressions here seem comically overdone, besides being useless. Seems they want to be seen as really trying to help, in case reality let slip any signs of the opposite. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:57, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
The release of the two videos doesn't seem to have been coordinated: viewed separately the lack of effective treatment might just be explained by a lack of training, but taken together they make it obvious that the resuscitation is staged: in video 1 there is a minimal attempt at rescuscitating the red-haired boy which is then abandoned. In video 2, they start resuscitation all over again on all three children. We really should point this out to Amnesty and get them to retract their earlier statement Pmr9 (talk) 13:00, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
The video linked by Rick shows the dilated pupils more clearly though at this stage (at least 2 minutes after respiratory arrest) it's not a specific sign. This video appears to start immediately after the end of the first one. It looks as if having left the children to be filmed lying on the trolley, they thought they'd better make a show of trying to resuscitate them. The cardiac massage and intracardiac injection are pointless without artificial ventilation. I think these videos are worth a detailed study along with others from the same source. Linking them may give more clues to the identities of the perpetrators. Pmr9 (talk) 10:34, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

A doctor and a civil defence worker told Amnesty International those affected by the attack had no injuries associated with explosive weapons, but showed symptoms characteristic of a chemical weapons attack, including reddened eyes, shortness of breath, continuous coughing, respiratory distress, vomiting, and drooling from the mouth. Except the videos of the children only showed drooling on one of them and none of the other symptoms on any. --Charles Wood (talk) 00:50, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I will point out that at least one of the infants has signs of trauma on one side of their head. This is not consistent with the Amnesty statement of no injuries associated with explosive weapons --Charles Wood (talk) 11:45, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
That's the mystery brown liquid, I think. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:27, 4 April 2015 (UTC)


A chlorine attack in the north west of Syria on 16th March has killed six people and poisoned a further 70 people, according to reports by Syrian doctors working in the region who were contacted by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
Helicopters were seen dropping barrels, which released a suffocating gas on impact with the ground.
“We saw people arriving at the hospital from a neighbouring village”, said Dr T, the director of Sarmin hospital. “Amongst them, there was a family, three young children with their parents. They were in a very serious condition, dying.
“Their parents were able to speak but they were having a lot of difficulty breathing.”

The entire family died in the hospital, whilst the grandmother of the children had died of asphyxiation before reaching medical assistance.

The events and symptoms described by the medical staff of the hospital leave no doubt as to the presence of chlorine poisoning. There were no symptoms consistent with any other toxic products.
“It was dark so we couldn’t see any particular colour in the sky”, stated the hospital director. “But the air smelt of cleaning products and their clothes had the distinctive smell of chlorine.”
“There were 20 patients in serious condition, agitated, foaming blood at the mouth and showing skin rashes,” said another hospital doctor.
The hospital team treated 70 victims: the inhabitants of a neighbouring village which had come under attack by the first barrel bombs, the inhabitants of Sarmin town which was attacked later during the night, and voluntary first aid workers of the Syrian Civil Defence affected when they arrived to give assistance.
For all that, add "said anti-government activists, talking to like-minded foreigners." They can say the right symptoms and say people showed them, and tie in these dead people with implications that they must have had the same. All regime chlorine, no signs of "any other toxic products." That's good, because something like Aldolan in a rebel clinic might've been paid for by the credulous reporting agency here;
The hospital in Sarmin is one of a number of medical structures in the inaccessible conflict-affected areas of Syria supported by MSF. The organisation provides donations of drugs and medical supplies to functioning health structures.

I'm not sure the clinic in the videos is the same as this Sarmin hospital, or if these are two different places the victims allegedly died. But it does not seem to be a well-managed place, in line with modern norms of human decency. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:20, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

AP report, Times of Israel mentions "Videos posted online showed people struggling to breathe, and the international humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders said symptoms described by medics in contact with the group clearly indicate the presence of chlorine poisoning." Really, how strong is "symptoms described?" Is MSF an expert group at sniffing out false claims and improving the credibility of the rest? No. Their exercise in feigning this succeeds at nothing real. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:20, 29 March 2015 (UTC)


"Evidence strongly suggests that Syrian government forces used toxic chemicals". Main points:-

14 chemical barrel bombs were used in 7 attacks in 4 locations but the only fatalities were the six members of the Taleb family. If Assad wants to kill people with barrel bombs, explosives would be more effective

HRW's expert was Keith Ward, who has no medical qualification but said that the clinical signs in the videos were consistent with exposure to a choking agent. Evidently his expertise doesn't run to assessing the level of consciousness.

Dr T of Sarmin field hospital is Mohamed Ghaleb Tirani. Dr Mohamed Tamer also treated victims, but it's not clear if this was in Sarmin or in Saraqeb. We last met him in his airy office in Saraqeb describing the sarin attack on 29 April 2013 which killed Mariam al-Khatib: "We sent them to Turkey to be tested". The OPCW investigation later reported that Mariam was sent to Turkey even though she was in coma, being ventilated, and passage at the border had not been arranged. She died on the way. The journalist who interviewed him then was Hannah Lucinda Smith, who wrote the Times article linked above by Resup. Maybe she can identify Dr Tamer in the Sarmin videos.

The grandmother Aioush died before arriving at the hospital. So why was her body placed on one of only two trolleys in the emergency room, leaving no space for her granddaughters to be resuscitated?

Red liquid was seen at the attack sites, and bottles containing a red liquid were found at the Taleb family home. Pmr9 (talk) 21:19, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, didn't read this yet but Dr. T's name is new at least. Ayosh - good question. HRW too heard she was already dead. Why lay her out in the middle of a life-saving ER? NMo answer. Why in a display of death? That fits. I saw the bottle of red fluid. It says:
Witness accounts, photos, and videos also indicate that barrel bombs in at least five attacks contained bottles with a red liquid, which Human Rights Watch has not been able to identify. It is unknown what role, if any, this red liquid may have played in the attacks or their medical consequences.
They don't know either. Why is there red fluid? Assad wanted to make it known he drops red fluid, so now each one might look like a rebel attack. Or so rebels won't even have to clean up the blood at their massacre sites in order to call it a chlorine attack? This would explain why the cameraman is not worried about the telltale blood, because he knows its tale matches with the bomb tale. I guess they had run into it before and already knew? What kind of mechanism allows it to transport through walls and land across the hallway floor, and out the patio door, from the impact in the kitchen. (?) Maybe a site map will be worth making... --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:33, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

"barrel bombs, which can only be delivered by aircraft..." wrong. Can be built on site by rebels (Nimrud) rolled assembled off trucks, rolled off elevated walkways above basement/cliff-bottom apartments, etc. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:54, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Dr. Tamer:' "Mohamed al-Tamer, a doctor in Saraqeb, a neighboring town, told Human Rights Watch that he treated patients from the attacks and that he also smelled chlorine on their clothes." As Pmr9 noticed, this guy has come up before, relating to the Alleged Chemical Attack, April 29, 2013 - interviewed by Hannah Lucinda Smith 23 May "in his airy office on the second floor of an unremarkable building on the city’s main street," where "Dr Mohammed Walid Tamer opens his laptop and pulls up a video file" of a dramatic barrel bombing. It seems this guy fused a two-week prior alleged barrel bombing with the allege Sarin attack of the 29th, delivered by two al-Nusra gas genades stuffed into a glowing cinderblock dropped from a helicopter (??) --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:23, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Leith Fares: the 9-minute fisheye video from the night of the attack was posted March 17, with a civil defense stamp, by user laith fares. Around 4:00 in the video is where it seems news of another attack comes in, and he leaves the hospital, 4:25. At 5:15 they arrive at apartment door after a motorcycle drive and a run down the stairs. Edits make true time span unclear. The cameraman with three other man (two rescue workers in full gear, and a guy in a leather jacket). The cameraman (Leith?) is wearing blue gloves at least, and all 3 others wear gas masks, so he probably does too. No people are found, alive or dead, just red fluid all over. Choking, the men turn around and leave hurriedly. Inside the apartment 5:25-5:40, just 15 seconds. In contrast, "Leith Fares, a rescue worker with Syrian Civil Defence, told Human Rights Watch" some details. He said he went to this site "immediately." “The destruction was only from the impact of the barrel. There had been no explosion at this site either.” He says "We arrived there seven minutes after the strike. We had no protective equipment. Still, we went down to the basement three by three. I felt short of breath, coughed and became dizzy. I couldn’t even take two breaths. I could not bear more than 40 seconds downstairs." HRW adds "Syrian Civil Defence rescue workers found six members of the Talib family in the basement, including three children ages 1, 2, and 3." It's not clear if Fares himself claims he found them, but only 7 minutes after the attack one would presume so. The only way this is very consistent is if that's someone else's video Fares posted, or if this was a second trip down, for no clear reason but with protective gear. Otherwise, Fares' story seems to clash with his video. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:23, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Update: I'm not so sure now the video was made by Fares - I later noticed he's a high-level media activist with the White Helmets, who issued a video statement I saw but can't easily find now. Mainly works in Saraqeb, he says but on standby for Sarmin. He'd be in a position to upload other peoples' videos besides his own. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:26, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

UN Security Council

The video of the three children has been presented to an informal closed meeting of the UN Security Council (organized by the US) by Dr Tennari. Dr Tennari appears to be the same person as Dr Tirani, as he's the director of the Sarmin field hospital. Another presenter was Qusai Zakarya, a well-known opposition activist who in 2013 had a remarkable story of his experiences in the alleged sarin attack in Moadamiya (note that the WhoGhouta investigation concluded that there was no sarin attack in Moadamiya, and the rocket found by the OPCW team had been moved there).

News agency reports (UNSC members were moved to tears) appear to be based on briefings by Samantha Power or other sources close to the Syrian opposition. There's at least one photo of the three presenters, so maybe it's possible to identify Dr Tennari/Tirani on the videos. From the photo of three presenters attached to Samantha Power's tweet], I think we can identify Dr Zahloul on left and Zakarya on right, so Dr Tennari/Tirani must be the one in the middle. Could he be M1, minus the taqiya?. Pmr9 (talk) 08:40, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

There's no meeting record on the UNSC website yet, and maybe there won't be as this was an informal closed meeting Pmr9 (talk) 08:26, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

There will almost surely be no record, aside from media quotes, which would b up already, if it weren't a closed-doors lock-the-Russians-in-and-make-them-cry session. Is that M1? Possible, faintly, but not very. M1 seems older and leaner, and probably a much more terse speaker than this chubby bastard. He should be in the videos somewhere though if he was on-site like he suggests. Doesn't look familiar to me, but might be worth a better look. But he's at the UNSC with that drug OD snuff film. A solid word on this becomes more and more relevant. People are finding this page Bio Secure slideshow, if legit, there's a link I can't post. But the report needs to happen (it's in the works, well along but not close to done). Is it too early to make sure people know it's in the works? Like I did withthis tweet to S.Power? If so, too late, sry. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:13, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Inner City Press has a piece on the nature of that briefing. No documentation indeed. He also asked some (irrelevant to the event) questions to Zakarya, who is indeed the guy on the right as Lee's photo shows. --CE (talk) 10:30, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
more detail in the NYT report which is presumably based on the closed UNCA briefing that Matthew Lee complains about. New information:
  • Dr Tennari (age 35) raced to the hospital and tried to save the three children. "Even treating the patients was harmful. Dr. Tennari said his eyes itched, and he felt nauseated" So why wasn't he there in the room?
  • Their father was a friend of his and ran an electronics repair shop. Maybe this can be checked?
Tennari states that the electronics repair shop was "in town" and that Waref Taleb had recently repaired his mobile phone. doesn't list any businesses in Sarmin classified under electronics-maintenance or phones-maintenance, or with Taleb in the business name Pmr9 (talk) 15:32, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The family lived in a basement apartment which became “a gas chamber” when toxic gas seeped in through a vent, presumably along with the bottles of red liquid.
Pmr9 (talk) 11:24, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

More photos via the Syrian American Medical Society @sams_usa on Twitter: Powers, UNCA, SAMS, SAMS

Have we been mixed-up? Sahloul tweet shows he's the "chubby (faced) bastard" in the middle, and Tennari/Tirani is the younger guy on the left. Not so sure if he does or doesn't appear in the videos. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:09, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

See also Chlorine attack in Syrian town of Sarmin by BBC World Service Radio on SoundCloud. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:21, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

...other UN Security Council members may need more evidence -TASS; checking on "extremist groups" suggested by FM spokesman Alexander Lukashevich... --Resup (talk) 02:43, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

May 6, AP story: "US leading effort to assign blame for Syria chlorine attacks." You'd think helicopters makes it easy enough, but some people... Various postings around. I'll link whichever one(s) with staff that approve my comment(s). --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:45, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

June 18, Reuters via First Post Russia talking with US on assigning blame --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:44, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

ACLOS-CIWCL Investigation

See above and below. And also now see here: What Killed the Talebs? Initial Summary of Findings Regarding the Alleged Chlorine Attack of March 16. By Adam Larson (me) April 23, 2015. Full report will be a little while. I'm hoping this helps stir up some peer review and chance to improve things before I/we wrap that up. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:53, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

- Notes as I read your report. In general pretty good and well structured.
- No mention of the children being heaped on the presumed body of grandmother, both dead and alive. Either that's traditional or there is something very odd going on.
- Speculation on fate of mother is perhaps dramatic speculation and detracts from narrative.
- Section 4 JaN needs lots of proof-reading.
- SMART is pretty big on videos from there. Lots of French language reports featuring White Helmets / JaN. Plus other topics that on the face are very dubious.
Having read all the report, it's internally consistent and suitable for release (for criticism). The medical symptoms especially are well argued. However, expert external medical opinion would be very helpful - but I doubt there are half a dozen specialists in the world who would off-hand know all the chlorine symptoms.
I remember finding a step-by-step medical guide to diagnosis and treatment of suspected organophosphate poisoning including Sarin. It would be good to find one of those for chlorine.

--Charles Wood (talk) 10:27, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, some errors under point 4 I spotted are fixed. Hope that was all. There are some things not mentioned -hopefully okay for now, and there'll be room in the actual final report. As for the mother, I put it off and tried not to put much weight on it, but I can't leave it un-noted. It's a valid recurring maybe-clue with Islamist crimes like this could be - they mostly attack non-Sunnis, and there are fatwas allowing the women to be taken as sex slaves, for yourself or someone who's going to pay you. So when they don't show up, it's fair to wonder if that's just modesty to hide the women (body and face) or if someone cashed in on those edicts.--Caustic Logic (talk) 11:30, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I just found a treatment for Chlorine exposure. They don't seem to be full bottle. They say mixing household ammonia and bleach makes chlorine. In fact it makes chloramine and potentially Hydrazine. The rest seems consistent with WW-I reports
I found the article as it was linked by differential diagnosis for Cyanide Poisoning so perhaps the other rumours about Assad using Cyanide may be related?--Charles Wood (talk) 10:49, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Would be curious to know what unaffiliated trained medical doctor would make of it. Seems to me, if somebody was out there to stage this for visuals, there would be many possibilities, including dosing/overdosing with any of many general anaesthetics -should be quite easily available. Low dosage of cyanide also seems not totally out; --and this is not a full list of possibilities. --Resup (talk) 13:56, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

For the effects of chlorine, see the old discussion here: Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, August_21, 2013/Chemical agent#Chlorine? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 11:53, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Testimony before US Congress

Dr Tennari and the Syrian-American Medical Society will testify before Congress on 17 June. The article has a video of the Sarmin clinic that may contain new material, though I can't see little Mohamed Taleb. We should check if there's any sign of Dr Tennari in this one. The logo on the video is one I don't recognize. Pmr9 (talk) 17:43, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

“I have absolutely no doubt, it was chlorine,” he said. “It smelt like chlorine, it looked like chlorine and three different tests said it was chlorine.” Why is he talking about doubt? Is there any? The new video doesn't seem to show him, but the main thing is he's not in the ER when the kids are dying like he says. So he can only go by video, like us, and it does not look like chlorine. Maybe he can get a better smell through the video than we can, I don't know. I don't recognize the logo, but may be able to track it down. Similar to other scenes but probably unique. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:05, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Noting, that was Hamish DBG, not Dr. Tennari I quoted, FWIW. And some grat balance of comments there. Mine are getting voted up, the drones are getting voted down. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:35, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Sarmin FH Logo preview.png

The logo - I dug around in image searches, found it on a photo of a dead guy with the same stamp, image didn't actually come up, and I can't re-locate the preview. The second find actually says in English what it is: the logo just for Dr. Tennari's four-year-old field clinic that's been blown up so many times. I was willing to read it out in Arabic, but it was impossible at that resolution. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:42, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Searching for this high-res image leads to a Facebook account for the clinic, with first posts on 22 June 2013. Dr Tennari is mentioned as one of the founders. A post in September 2014 appears to deny allegations of financial irregularity. There was evidently generous Saudi funding, allowing construction of a new building in 2014. There are many photos and a few videos - may be possible to identify some of the medics/paramedics in the 16 March videos if they were really the regular clinic staff. Of interest is a video from 3 April showing a doctor who might be M1 in the 16 March videos attempting to resuscitate a child of about 10 (this time he (correctly) intubates and ventilates with bag and mask before attempting cardiac massage). I thought at first he was speaking French, now don't think so. Pmr9 (talk) 18:17, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Naomi Wolf on Facebook "Get ready for a theatre of entirely unverifiable claims that will result in stepped-up US military intervention in Syria, a lapdog press asking no questions and giant sounds of cash registers clanging for War Inc…of course neutral Syrian DOCTORS' first priority is to speak to the UNITED STATES CONGRESS...."

Someone wants to promote this appearance and add poignancy to it - just hours before the planned testimony, Dr. Annie Sparrow tweets: "Testifying in few hours @HouseForeign Affairs Committee w/ @SyriaCivilDef Syrian kids need protection, US can provideTwo minutes later, the White Helmets alerted her: "@annie_sparrow @HouseForeign Chlorine strike in Aleppo city last night. Regime launches ++ rockets against the city." Syricide asks: "How stupid do they think we are? 1st #chlorine attack in 3 weeks coincides with @HouseForeign testimony today." --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:35, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

US lawmakers call for Syria no fly zone after chlorine gas presentation Dr. Annie Sparrow was there too and called the deaths "obscene." Former ambassador Ford was there and used the word impunity. All 3 called for a "no fly zone," ("no bomb zone" per Sparrow) which a State Department spokesman says still is not planned. It doesn't say if any lawmakers called for it, but the title says so and I'm sure it's true. Over here "Rep. Ted Yoho, R-FL, told the witnesses the committee was introducing a resolution condemning the chlorine attacks that included a “strong recommendation” to the international community requesting no-fly zones to be implemented. However, he said military fly zones shouldn’t be seen as a solution,' but a military operation. “I just want to remind everyone that a no fly zone is an act of war,” Yoho said. “We're attacking a sovereign nation that has not attacked us. They are not a direct threat to the United States.” "Sure," Sparrow might've said, "just get that protective solution in place so the death can stop." --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:19, 17 June 2015 (UTC)and missing part added Caustic Logic (talk) 08:37, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

A new detail is that the chlorine gas bomb apparently fell down a ventilation shaft into the Talebs' apartment - it must have been a very small barrel or a very large ventilation shaft. Something that has puzzled me in this story is the involvement of the Syrian-American Medical Society, which unlike other obvious PR fronts has been in existence since 1998, with a website since 2002. It looks as if they suddenly received a large injection of funding around 2011-12, allowing them to start a journal and hold annual conferences. They were reportedly involved in providing the US government with blood samples from the Khan-al-Assal sarin attack in March 2013, but kept a low profile until recently. Pmr9 (talk) 00:11, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Interesting how seeped in through the vent became crashed down through the vent shaft; makes it sound like that's what he always meant. It does sound closer to what we see - the line up (if indeed it came down) is through a part of the home (explained below), but probably not the vent shaft - that was probably added to make it sound like that's what he always meant. As for SAMS, it probably deserves a page. So probably does a lot else on this page - White Helmets, all chlorine attacks since. I see they did hold a press conference at least after the Ghouta attack. I saw a quote today, can't re-locate it, some politics person saying something like "when Sams speaks, people listen." --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:37, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Tennari testimony, transcript - PDF Includes slightly new details,a photo of the kids not seen before, no stamp, captioned "A picture I took of deceased Aisha, Sara, and Mohammad Taleb on March 16" and a high-res view of the apartment damage. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:04, 19 June 2015 (UTC)


Searching one Arabic long title brings up some unseen results. Should be added and analyzed. Rough translated titles. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:56, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

second half shows the Taleb children - same camera as video 1 but different editing so there are some extra clips not seen before. At 2.28, when someone is examining Sara with a stethoscope, she appears to take one last breath (I'm not sure of this, needs an expert to exclude extraneous movement or lighting changes). The video then cuts immediately to a view from the other side of the trolley, in which she is lying apparently lifeless on top of her grandmother. Pmr9 (talk) 12:56, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Doesn't seem to be any new footage, just different effects. I do see a bit of movement in the belly at that one spot. My guess is one of the compressions shook the table a bit, or maybe it's internal - a last breath, or gas bubble, escaping. I don't think it's the camera. (oh and that should be Aysha) --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:02, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Translated at 3:05 of this video --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:07, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Photos: May not be worth a photos section, but I looked around (hoping for a clearer view of Mohammed's or anyone's irises) and found one Nusra-front-stamped photo of the children laid out dead. Sara's eyes are open and visible, but not very. Aisha's are clearly visible, and very dark and beat-up looking all around. This might be another symptom clue. (found some video stills too, but these don't count) --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:19, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Reuters site photo: shows barrel bomb display, building across the street - may help geo-locate. Atthis tweet
    • Mohammed (I think) pre-treatment photo, al-Nusra stamp
    • Mohammed (I think) pre-treatment photo, tun by MSF: cropped version with report here (direct image link?) and non-cropped version here (Bing image search back-door): it shows he's getting hooked up for IV. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:13, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

  • CLaims to show a barrel bomb attack, posted March 17, filmed in full daylight. Looks legit. Helicopter, right-shaped bomb, large blast. Might well be a recycled video, apparently too late to matter directly to the attack on the night of the 16th. I was tempted to try and geo-locate it in Sarmin, but only if it seems worthwhile (partly because I may only be able to rule it out, after lots of looking) --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:34, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
The video is titled "Throw explosive barrels on the city of Daraa Angel 17 32 015". Uploader LCCMedia seems to show videos from all over Syria --Charles Wood (talk) 20:00, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Okay, will leave that to illustrate the dangers of taking suggested videos without proper scrutiny. :) --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:38, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
There are plenty of structures there to cue on, so if it's Sarmin, geo-locating might be easy. A couple of points--
1. Is that a barrel? Maybe the term has a broader definition in Syria.
2. It's falling through a slate-grey sky, but the ground shots show a complex sky w/ cumulus clouds against bright blue.
3. The camera is very steady but begins jerking around at 0:21 but the bomb doesn't land until 0:26. I don't have ear buds w/ me at the moment -- maybe the audio explains why all the pre-impact jerking.
4. There have been so many airbases over-run or almost over-run in the last 3 years. Does anybody have an inventory or guess as to what type aircraft and how many the insurgents (incl IS) are flying now? Pierpont (talk) 20:06, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Just to reiterate the video is completely unrelated to the alleged attack in Idlib. The video is from Daraa. Given that I think it's two spliced videos that may not be related.
The currents state of play with the insurgent 'airforce' is they have got two L-39 trainers to the point of being able to taxi on a runway, but there is no evidence they have ever flown. I've not seen any helicopters that have been repaired enough to fly. As I recall, the two L-39s have now been captured from moderates by either DAESH or Jabhat al-Nusra. I forget which. Expect perhaps a suicide bombing at some stage --Charles Wood (talk) 01:20, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
"if it's Sarmin, geo-locating might be easy." That's what I was thinking, and I've been on a roll. But just to be clear, Daraa is hundreds of miles away. Is it fake? I wouldn't think so, but maybe, not a priority to even check. And it is valid to wonder about rebel air force. My impression is Syria's air defenses are good enough they know not to even bother. A low-flying helicopter inside rebel territory is the most plausible craft they'd have. Charles' assessment sounds way more informed. I defer. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:41, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I got quite excited a couple of years back when I saw a video of insurgents loading a large transport helicopter with wounded. It turns out it was a prisoner swap. Other than that I have no information whatsoever of insurgent operated helicopters. However I'd bet good money that Turkish helicopters are making low level visits into deeply held insurgent territory. I never did find out how McCain got into and out of Northern Syria. Perhaps...???--Charles Wood (talk) 12:00, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Of all the possible helicopters to NOT shoot down...--Caustic Logic (talk) 22:56, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Yet more new, relevant videos:

  • bomb remnants in the same display, as kid talks (minimal value)
  • The man seen explaining at the barrel display, seen at the blasted home, explaining (almost no panning around, limited visual value)
  • head-mounted fish-eye clinic and rescue video, 9-minutes, 65 views - one like, now - numerous scenes from inside (patients treated, crowding, arguments) and outside (night-time, people rushing around and washing down others), in what seems like one fairly small area. Some footage was used for "Sarmin Choked" - at 8:15, a naked, limp baby is washed down and carried off quickly, then a second such baby. Odds seemed to be those being two Taleb kids. Is the second one wearing a diaper? Unclear. But looking again, the first carrier has a leather jacket and gas mask, the second one a green hoodie and blue pants, with paper surgical mask. This makes them M5 and M6 above, seen carrying Sara and Aysha into the clinic. So they were at least out in that night getting doused like the other victims, and were already pale and limp, before they appeared in the clinic. Mohammed, not so clear. --Caustic Logic (talk) 03:13, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh, this is the video. In the middle the drive at night to a site similar to (same as>) with the barrel bomb (is it there?), down some stairs to the same alleged basement home we've seen, blood everywhere it appeared and more. Even with gas masks they're choking, and the bodies are already gone/were never there, whatever, so they run back up. Then later the girls being washed down. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:15, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Clinic Video Analysis

Victims Before

I think we can see all four of the central clinic victims before these two videos. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:40, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Ayosh: 1:37 night-time hospital vide shows a yellow-and-black civil defense blanket. This almost has to be grandma Ayosh, dead before arrival by reports, and laid out taking up space in the ER anyway, wrapped in such a blanket. Three adult fatalities reported: Father Waref is also seen but wrapped differently, when seen. This could be him, or the mother Alaa, but I suspect she's really unseen altogether, because only that can be shady like these things usually are. Besides, Dr. Tennari is quite clear the parents both arrived alive and talked with him before they croaked, so ... he's not to be trusted, so it still could be either of them. But probably Ayosh.

SACA V Aysha Carried.png
SACA V Sara Carried.png

Aysha and Sara:

Right, top: Aysha, carried in by M5. Outside views from Leith Fares video, little-seen long version. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:10, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

(also in widely-seen short video, link not handy) --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:17, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Right, bottom: Sara, carried in by M4. Outside view, same. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:10, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Mohammed: (conversation moved from above)

is that Mohammed breathing better with a mask? His arms are moving, grabbing, and he seems to be nreathing, if uncomfortable. And what is likely to be in the little jabber with a yellow tab? --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:07, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
intravenous cannula with injection port - but in the end they don't use it either because they can't find a vein or they decide it's not needed. Doesn't look like Taleb child.
I'm coming back to this point. Forgot who said that, but I think it likely is Mohammed. The same person can look different in different videos/states. And this is a child of maybe one, with fuzzy red hair. How many of those can there be in an effected pool, reportedly, about 75 people deep? In Syria? I think we can see Aysha and Sara getting washed down out in the dark, already totally limp, before appearing at the clinic carried by the same two guys seen rushing them off the street. Mohammed isn't seen arriving that way, so it's open that he somehow arrived conscious and then had something happen. I doubt this is that something, even if that's him, but ... who knows? --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:28, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
SACA V Mohammed comp.png

Is that eerily similar hair pattern, invisible eyebrows, and even the same trauma/stain already above the left eye? And is the nurse with the iodine-speckled gloved grabbing his right arm repeatedly where he got the spot on his right arm? --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:40, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Pursuing: not sure how unique ear layouts are, but these kids seem to have the same - big and square, straight edge on inner edge of upper rim, etc. The mystery baby has a clearly light spot in his hair, just above the right ear. Mohammed in the clinic may have the same, but in both videos there's no very clear view (shows up best out of direct light). The dot on his right eyelid apparently isn't there, but that can appear. My feeling remains, stronger if still not 100% certain - this is Mohammed. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:33, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

See also: a clearer view, maybe a photo, where it looks like the doc is finally injecting the kid, in the back of the right wrist. This area I don't think is eve seen on Mohammed, just flopped back lifeless. The photo is run with the MSF report, proud as they are to supply this very clinic with life-saving drugs. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:40, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

quick comments on the msf photo and the video of the child in whom they are trying to insert an intravenous cannula. I'm travelling and don't have access to tools for a frame-by-frame analysis. I think the MSF photo is of the scene at the start of the video where the doc/paramedic is trying to insert an intravenous cannula, possibly a still from the same camera. The nurse is holding the child's right forearm, and the medic (likely to be a doctor) is flexing the wrist to try to find a vein at what is usually the preferred site, where the dorsal hand veins join the cephalic vein. Probably he's already tried to find the same site on the left arm, which would be easier for him to reach from his position at the child's left. He then appears to give up on the right arm and instead looks for a vein in the left cubital fossa, which is not the preferred site for a cannula (because you have to splint the elbow) but can sometimes be easier to find. Venous access in a small child is difficult unless you are a pediatric resident or anesthetist who does it every day. These two look like a real doctor and nurse: they are working as a team, they are attempting a relevant procedure (intravenous cannula would allow administration of drugs such as naloxone), and they have some idea how to proceed. This is completely unlike the video of Mohammed in the emergency room, where the staff don't appear to have a clue how to deal with a respiratory arrest. If the child breathing through a mask is Mohammed, the question we should ask is why was he transferred from this receiving area with trained staff, just before he stopped breathing? Pmr9 (talk) 23:45, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Great notes, thanks. And good to hear from you/learn that you're travelling. Did you even see the e-mails where I'm trying to rush you to meet my new hopeful report deadline? 5-6 days more, I was hoping. If you can still contribute, drop me a line to know if it's within that time or if we need to push the deadline back. - On the subject: that's the same doctor with the kufi that takes his blood later. If this is more professional behavior, then he gets less professional later, with the same baby. (Or maybe just as professional, just switching professions from doctor to jihadist, after some decision was made that he agreed to, or initiated.) The photo, I discovered, has two versions, as mentioned under videos (photos) above. Just in case you didn't see it and it matters,one view shows the actual jab, or very close to it, and one version has that cropped off. I don't know if there's any reason for that. It suggests the photo is after the video. I say photo since it's got the edge distortion of (wide-angle lens?) and looks clearer than the video, if still dark and grainy. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:43, 9 April 2015 (UTC)


From a friend of a friend, video 1 (cleanup/refinements later):--Caustic Logic (talk) 22:47, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

A man is saying: Sarmin town 16/3/2013 and this is one of the infants who has been hit by a poisoned gas that Al.ASSAD launched at Sarmin town. the number of victims are one infant in the age of few months old in addition to a women.
a huge number of young babies and women who were attacked by poison gas that was hit onto Sarmin town. he is praying and saying (ALLAH AKBAR).
a man is standing on front of the camera man and he is saying take this dead women away come on take her then the camera man says (ALLAH AKBAR) and more dead children are being picked and brought (ALLAH AKBAR) and then he mentions the date and says 16/3/2015. the camera man and some people around him start to say (ALLAH AKBAR and they pray for God).
the camera man says a huge number of infants who were attacked by some poison gases that were launched onto Sarmin town. he says hundreds of victims. another man says that this girl is brathing come here doctor he is asking for the doctors help. then he calls the guys and says oh come on guys there is this girl

Video 2:

The camera man: Sarmin town 16/3/2015 a huge number of babies that were hit by poisoned gases that were attacked onto Sarmin town in addition to tens and hundreds of women and young men. he prays for God and mentions the date of 16/3/2015. he shows us a young baby then he asks someone : are they dead??? then the camera man prays for his God and says this is the death of three babies because of the poisone gases that were launched onto Sarmin town. a women points at the dead baby and says an unclear words then she continues to say the eye of this baby is dry now and after that she says I have the children are upon their mother.
the camera man says its the death of a women and three children. And at the end of the video, a man appears and having a white cover in his hands and he mentions unclear words about the father of the dead children because he says; yes of course the father of the children.

Notes: this is about what the subtitles said - not the most useful set of words. These people are dead/will be, Assad killed them, it's on camera, where's our air force, basically. Having video 2, some added. They specify his eyes are dry, so the one stays open after she pulls the lid up. That means he's not blinking but then, he wasn't hardly breathing and yet alive at first. Opiate overdose might inhibit blinking? Anyway, I suspect he is dead by then, but maybe it's a relevant question. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:22, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Medical Personnel

For reference, Pierpont offered a list above of medical personnel, code-named P1, etc. But I think that had some errors, and With respect, I started this one with Medic 1/M1 being the most interesting one, instead of P2. Sorry for any toe-stepping. Seven folks that seem medically relevant (there are some other rescue types with gas masks, other onlookers, the cameramen, obviously...) In app. order of appearance across both videos, as I see it:--Caustic Logic (talk) 10:25, 4 April 2015 (UTC) and Caustic Logic (talk) 12:49, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Medic 1 (or M1): The man with the cap: older, glasses, dark jacket. Seen suctioning Mohammed's mouth, checks heartbeats with a stethoscope, draws Mohammed's blood, injects him. Seems as in charge as anyone but a bit aloof. The cap is called kufi or (more properly) taqiyah - worn for prayers, or all day to say that god is everywhere - "When worn in general, kufis help distinguish you from others and serve as a reminder to exhibit exemplary behavior in every situation," according to this source. It makes me think religious scholar of the highly-revered kind, but checking that is a certain super-white and rigid taqiyah. But still it suggests a religious man, and the glasses say scholar - he may have a clerical role declaring people religiously dead.

(my nickname came out: "Taleb" - student/scholar. But it makes it seem he named the family after himself)--Caustic Logic (talk) 10:25, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

M2: Female nurse, covered head-to-toe in a burqa, liberal eyebrows-visible style, plus surgical mask.

M3: Nurse (? male) in blue scrubs, street shoes, gloves, mask. Stands around Mohammed with the female nurse at first, seems to do little.

M4: rescue worker, denim jacket, gas mask Vid 1 1:05

M5: rescue workers, green hoodie, surgical mask Vid 1 1:05

M6: doctor, stripes: enters the room finally at 1:34 in the first video.

M7: black jacket (vid 2 0:07, right side: trying plausible resuscitation on Sara)

Dr. Tennari?


None of the seven people listed above - by virtue of being there and seeming relevant to the medical process - seems likely to be the self-described hospital administrator Dr. T (Amnesty), later called Dr. Mohammed Ghassan Tirani (HRW), then Dr. Mohammed Tennari (all since). In the videos I've seen, I haven't seen a guy looking like this pop up anywhere at the hospital that night. The Emergency Room, a controlled space where we see most people, over the 5-6 minutes the two videos run (my estimate) we see the apparent real doctor, M6, appear late in the process - we can tell there vs. not there for the main doctor. By this criteria, Dr. Tennari is not there. He should be wearing a face mask like most, but still be recognizable. He hasn't got the hair and healthy energy to be M6. Is he M4 or M5 posing as a rescue worker and hiding under a green hood or a gas mask?

It's basically impossible to prove a negative like that Dr. Tennari was not in the emergency room during the time the kids were treated with "everything" but died anyway. But it should be more than possible - more like easy - to point to him there, doing anything like he claims he did. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:37, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Overall, some of the material is about 'over-marketed' things, with presumed implications not supported or properly investigated; some sort of 'under-marketed' (Odessa)--it really happened, we have a grasp on what and how, and believe there is not sufficient attention here. Good naming is difficult, I know (I guess more like 'Massacres and Us' , or something, -what do those massacres mean to the rest of us)--Resup (talk) 17:07, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Written statement by Dr Tennari on various social media sites including this one - useful as a definitive source from which to identify the inconsistencies in his account Pmr9 (talk) 12:54, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Some notes on Tennari's statement. He doesn't seem to have made any effort to match his statement to what we see in the videos. He states clearly that all the Talebs except the grandmother were alive when admitted - so why was the grandmother placed on one of only two trolleys in the ER? He appears to lack basic knowledge of medicine: for instance he says that pale skin is a sign of lack of oxygen, and that they had to treat the most serious cases of chlorine exposure with atropine. He says that all casualties were washed down and clothes removed, but doesn't seem to realize that his later description of being affected by the chlorine is inconsistent with this. Pmr9 (talk) 19:40, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

The good doc has now turned up in the latest purpose media campaign Medics Under Fire

The website bears all the signs of the usual workover --Charles Wood (talk) 07:32, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Website whois name a James Sadri of "The Voices Project" as the registrant
Registrant Name: James Sadri
Registrant Organisation: The Voices Project
Registrant Address: 40 Bowling Green Lane London EC1R 0NE GB

--Charles Wood (talk) 07:37, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

No idea what is, but it is at the same address, just by pure coincidence
Could be this James Sadri at this Syria Campaign. FWIW-not sure it takes anything anywhere --Resup (talk) 07:48, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
I think we can presume that's the same guy. Another reflector for the fake voices echo chamber. I don't feel like watching it right now so no further comment. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:31, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
I was actually looking at this Imperial Trolling activity on Saker blog and wondering do they share an office...--Resup (talk) 14:15, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Too many Ts: T, Tirani, Tenari (and VDC report once says Antari, app. typo). This reminds me of the shady Dr. from nearby Saraqeb who treated victims of the April 2013 supposed Sarin attack there. He was given alternately as named Tamer and Tawil. It's enough to make one wonder if perchance both too-many-T doctors are one and the same joker. I'm not aware of any images of the Saraqeb one to compare. But against that is HRW's report that makes it sound like they talked to both of them for the same report, and they were different guys. It's an outside thought anyway, just barely worth mentioning. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:37, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Intracardiac Non-Injection

We discussed this above, like, years ago - the needle is jabbed into little Mohammed's chest. I don't think we noticed it, I didn't, but afterwards, the same amount of fluid seems to be in the syringe after the doc, M1, pulls it out. I actually thought the later shot might show a blood sample in there instead. But this new video by Vanessa Beeley (or, she's involved...) makes me think it's just the same (adrenaline, presumably?) that he never bothered injecting. The brutal-seeming needle jab and twisting around - was it just for show? Two Swedish doctors who had a look think so, or that he never bothered injecting the stuff.

A comment from a doctor beneath the video adds:

...the technique employed would likely have caused fatal cardiac injuries (from failure to remove & reinsert the needle after each 'failed pass' and, instead, merely direct it at a new location - risking laceration of both myocardium & pericardium with potential hemorrhage and/or pericardial tamponade) were the unfortunate child not already dead.

--Caustic Logic (talk) 11:22, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Correlating Symptoms

(re-organized from above and expanded)

Chlorine Gassing Symptoms

See also Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013/Chemical agent#Chlorine?
The first effect of inhalation of chlorine is a burning pain in the throat and eyes, accompanied by a sensation of suffocation; pain, which may be severe, is felt in the chest, especially behind the sternum. Respiration becomes painful, rapid, and difficult ; coughing occurs, and the irritation of the eyes results in profuse lachrymation. Retching is common and may be followed by vomiting, which gives temporary relief. The lips and mouth are parched and the tongue is covered with a thick dry fur. Severe headache rapidly follows with a feeling of great weakness in the legs; if the patient gives way to this and lies down, he is likely to inhale still more chlorine, as the heavy gas is most concentrated near the ground. In severe poisoning unconsciousness follows; nothing more is known about the cases which prove fatal on the field within the first few hours of the "gassing," except that the face assumes a pale greenish yellow colour.
When a man lives long enough to be admitted into a clearing station, he is conscious, but restless; his face is violet red, and his ears and finger nails blue ; his expression strained and anxious as he gasps for breath; he tries to get relief by sitting up with his head thrown back, or he lies in an exhausted condition, sometimes on his side with his head over the edge of the stretcher in order to help the escape of fluid from the lungs. His skin is cold and his temperature subnormal; the pulse is full and rarely over 100. Respiration is jerky, shallow and rapid, the rate being often over 40 and sometimes even 80 a minute ; all the auxiliary muscles come into play, the chest being over-distended at the height of inspiration and, as in asthma, only slightly less distended in extreme expiration. Frequent and painful coughing occurs and some frothy sputum is brought up. The lungs are less resonant than normal, but not actually dull, and fine riles with occasional rhonchi and harsh but not bronchial breathing are heard, especially over the back and sides. Headache is generally severe, and there is also considerable epigastric discomfort, due partly to the strain of coughing and partly to gastric irritation, as it is increased if an attempt is made to eat.
The intense dyspncea of this asphyxial stage lasts about thirty-six hours, after which it gradually subsides, if death does not occur before. The patient, exhausted from his fight for breath, then falls asleep and wakes up feeling much relieved. A few hours later acute bronchitis or broncho-pneumonia develops. In severe cases the quiescent interval is short and the bronchitis very severe. The sputum is now viscid, yellow or greenish, and muco-purulent with occasional streaks of blood. Respiration becomes more shallow and rapid, and the rate may finally be even 70 or 80 a minute. The pulse is small and very rapid ; the temperature rises, and is often as high as 104. The patient may now become delirious. Pleurisy may occur, and in some instances empyema and gangrene of the lung have followed.
After recovery from the bronchitis and pneumonia the patient remains weak and exhausted for a considerable time. He gets tired very rapidly and is unable to walk quickly or up hill without getting short of breath, even after the last signs of bronchitis have disappeared. He may continue to have attacks of dyspncea and cyanosis for several weeks. The frightful experience he has passed through often affects his nervous system, and some of the attacks are doubtless aggravated by apprehension. Headache, vertigo and dyspepsia may continue for several weeks. --Charles Wood (talk) 01:00, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Everybody including John Kerry and the US State Department is saying this was chlorine. Maybe it was. What I find most interesting is that the symptoms and the whole "operation" seem strikingly similar to the Ghouta CW attack. We and others should compare the footage and note the similarities and differences, if any. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 11:31, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Chlorine in Sarmin: Described and Observed

It's established already the core victims do not display the classic symptoms od chlorine exposure (explained around, compare lists above and below). But classic chlorine symptoms might legitimately appear in other portions of the alleged attack (which would then be an apparent fusion of incidents). The signs are described me activist medics, and are claimed to appear on video.--Caustic Logic (talk) 12:29, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Described: Amnesty International's report lists symptoms: “reddened eyes, shortness of breath, continuous coughing, respiratory distress, vomiting, and drooling from the mouth.” But they didn't observe the symptoms first-hand, with any of the Talebs or with anybody - rather, "a doctor and a civil defence worker told Amnesty International" this is what the victims looked and acted like. MSF: "The events and symptoms described by the medical staff of the hospital leave no doubt as to the presence of chlorine poisoning." They also ruled out other agents, like improperly used drugs, which MSF helps supply. The hospital director said “the air smelt of cleaning products and their clothes had the distinctive smell of chlorine.” It was too dark to see if there was a neon-green cloud or not. Again, this is passed on. They also heard and reported “There were 20 patients in serious condition, agitated, foaming blood at the mouth and showing skin rashes.” the blood part may be inconsistent - above, Hurst mentions blood only as a feature of the recovery from the asphyxial (acute, life-threatening) stage, usually 36 hours. After that, a span of sleep, and a short time of relief, it says, so about 48 hours after, "acute bronchitis or broncho-pneumonia develops. In severe cases the quiescent interval is short and the bronchitis very severe. The sputum is now viscid, yellow or greenish, and muco-purulent with occasional streaks of blood." But it could be this is a legit claim anyway. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:29, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Adding later after more learning yes, it's a legit claim. Coughing blood is a sign of serious exposure. The problem is, while they describe it to sound right, there's no visual support for it being true. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:03, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Observed: There are about three videos from the main clinic where rebel fighters and others get treated. Could one of our more qualified members write up an analysis of any portion of this that helps explain: how consistent is that with chlorine? Does the narrative break down at the Taleb symptoms or at chlorine itself? --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:29, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Opiate Overdose Symptoms

This is a useful guide to recognizing an opiate overdose:

"The following are symptoms of an overdose:

  • Awake, but unable to talk
  • Body is very limp
  • Face is very pale or clammy
  • Fingernails and lips turn blue or purplish black
  • For lighter skinned people, the skin tone turns bluish purple, for darker skinned people, it turns grayish or ashen.
  • Breathing is very slow and shallow, erratic, or has stopped
  • Pulse (heartbeat) is slow, erratic, or not there at all
  • Choking sounds, or a snore-like gurgling noise (sometimes called the “death rattle”)
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsive to outside stimulus"

This corresponds closely to what we see in the children. I think opiate overdose is the most likely diagnosis because few other drugs cause severe respiratory depression without causing deep coma. Insulin for instance would produce deep coma but not depress respiration. As for the intracardiac injection, maybe they got the idea from the overdose scene in Pulp Fiction. It's obvious that they haven't a clue how to make their act look plausible. The correct use of intracardiac adrenaline is to provoke ventricular fibrillation when a heart monitor shows asystole (flat trace), followed by defibrillation to restore a heart rhythm.

This overdose isn't likely to be accidental. The sources cited by CL emphasize that dilated pupils can occur in an opiate overdose if other drugs have been taken or if (as in child N1) respiration has been depressed enough to cause severe hypoxia. So dilated pupils don't exclude morphine. Meperidine appears to be still widely used in Turkish military hospitals: are meperidine injectors issued to combat medics in the Turkish military (and to JAN?). Pmr9 (talk) 12:12, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Meperidine Overdose Symptoms

Meperidine because it likely wasn't brand-name Demerol. --Caustic Logic (talk) 03:46, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

spacer: main info here, whoever, whenever, and delete this --Caustic Logic (talk) 03:49, 22 March 2015 (UTC) 

One point raised, a crucial one, is the dilated pupils that point away from most opiates (as well as sarin, for example). Just thought I'd check, and it seems mainstream sources don't usually note this difference, but some do. I'm guessing this is a real but little-known fact and most people just swap in general opioid OD symptoms when giving the symptoms for this unusual one. What some reference sites say about pupils in meperidine overdose:

Side-note on meperidine/pethidine/demerol/Aldolan, thanks to FriedmanWo, a May, 2014 report in Turkish I think says Kurdish forces had found vials of Turkish made Aldolan (photo provided - mfr date 5-2012?) and something else in brown ampules, they found on ISIS (here ISID) fighters somewhere in Rojava, that they apparently were taking just to get high (? was a quick read). --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:43, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Other Chemicals

Focusing on the Mydriasis there are two candidates that may be worth investigating


Overdose of Insulin is an established murder method. Mydriasis is a common side-effect.

Adrenaline & Dopamine

A standard last-resort treatment for heart failure including directly into the heart, but via other means before it gets to the desperate stage. Charles Wood

Taleb family clinical features

We've already been covering this as a main section in different spots. I suggest re-organizing it in this spot. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:35, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

This could/should go right to the front page, but let's get it right first. Skimming above, I have enough points to start a symptoms list. Anyone step in un-signed like this is the front page to improve or add a symptom, re-arrange the order, etc. Let's consider all, especially ones that might be consistent with chlorine, to consider that carefully. Symptom-by-symptom, with individual variation notes within each entry. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:38, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  • respiration: Only Mohammed is clearly alive, breathing slightly, but not struggling for air. (whenever he stops breathing is unclear, it's that minimal) Aysha may be alive, and is said to be breathing, but it's not visually evident (except maybe at the one spot)
  • Muscles: flaccid, motionless. The girls might be dead but Mohammed is alive and also very limp and passive, doesn't visibly move at all except for that first yawn-like breath.
  • Skin: color is pale, may be sweaty/clammy, lips are mildly cyanotic, skin is generally clear of injuries, and of redness or other sign or irritation.
The vid linked to above "Sarmeen choked" shows a few seconds at the end of a close up of the older girl -- her lips are quite pink. There is moderate variability in such points where cyanosis would be found.Pierpont (talk) 14:14, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Could be, but that's the orange-filter video. Same footage is in video 2, 1:02. A better measure, and still kind of pink. Later photo, maybe a bit more cyanotic looking, but that's later and her eyes got darker too. So not the clearest case anyway. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:56, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Mucous/vomit: generally not evident. Only Mohammed is producing a stream of whitish fluid from his moth and bubbles from his nose (clearly complicating his lackluster efforts at breathing).
  • eyes: rheumy, not irritated or red. Pupils may be dilated.
  • lachrymation (tears): Aysha's eyes are clearly watering...
  • Level of consciousness: at start of video 1, Mohammed spontaneously moves his head but doesn't open his eyes or (as far as we can tell) vocalize. He would score 6 on the Glasgow pediatric coma scale from 1 (deep coma or death) to 15 (fully awake).
  • Responsiveness – despite being alive or possibly alive, the children Mohammed and Aysha do not seem to respond to often jarring external stimulus.
  • other?
Perhaps it's not technically a "symptom" but there is the oddly stained R palm of the woman. Reddish brown -- looks like the old mecurochrome topical antiseptic, which is no longer used in the States. Similarly colored spots seen on the white sheets under her head and over Mohammed's L eye.
Definitely not a symptom but a clue. You also have said there's an injury on the boy's elbow. But it's the same color - old bruise maybe, or this brown fluid - someone said iodine, maybe meaning Merbromin/mercurochrome - is this antiseptic used for injections? --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:06, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
These brown stains look like povidone-iodine, rather than merbromin which stains skin bright red (google for images to compare). Povidone-iodine is used as an antiseptic for wounds, and to prepare the skin before a surgical procedure or insertion of an intravenous cannula (maybe someone was trying to insert an intravenous cannula in Mohammed's right cubital fossa). For a simple injection, usually just an alcohol wipe would be used. These stains may be an important clue. If the family were rushed to the emergency room after a gas attack as supposedly shown in video 1, how did they arrive with povidone-iodine stains suggesting they had already been treated for minor wounds? Pmr9 (talk) 22:32, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Dilated Pupils?

(intro space)

Some enhancements to let us see if we can see irises relative to pupils.

Mohammed 1: looks like blue-gray iris (first enhancement) but more enhancement ruins that, and it doesn't come through in other views. Note red-brown band around all edges here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:35, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Mohammed 2: Re-done with both eyes and only the first enhancement. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:30, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
General note: over-enhanced shadow roll-offs come out orange-brown: bands of yellow, orange, then red (going from light to dark) precede full shadow. This might be because of the lighting color, and might explain some optical effects, especially where light meets dark (whites vs. pupils of eyes, for example). And if the light is an opposite color, blue-ish, it might explain an apparent blue iris (?) I'm not sure, but it matters as we consider irises that appear blue sometimes, brown sometimes. --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:21, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Mohammed 3: here, it looks like the iris is reddish brown, but is that maybe just that edge effect? Or conversely, is the blue another kind of artifact? --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:30, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Mohammed 4: right eye again shows faint color; looks like light blue-gray again. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:30, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Mohammed 5: again with the scene used for #3, with different treatments. --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:01, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

The different treatments give quite different pictures. To me, any brown-iris reading runs up against the coincidence it's the same orange-brown as the shadow roll-off everywhere. But any dilated pupils reading runs up against the only color appearing is that inherently blue patch (a darker, more purple-blue than it seemed before), here running up to about where the pupil normally starts. FWIW, the app. extreme dilation was just after that (final?) yawn-breath at the start of V1, (0:17 in V2, as bubbles move) and this frame is from well into video 2 (around 1:115, a minute later). So he's likely dead in this scene, and maybe a dilated pupil returns to normal after death? Or does it freeze that way? (Alternatives: pupils only looked dilated in other views, or the extra blue here is some illusion and it's still wide-open after all) --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:51, 8 April 2015 (UTC) and corrected Caustic Logic (talk) 13:51, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Aysha 1: Little doubt she has blue eyes. Seeming hazy in the top view and clearer later. Pupils not clear, but there seems to be a good amount of iris here; if dilated, not nearly as much as Mohammed's seem to be. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:30, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Top view, purple cast, may be related to the overhead light, which might cause other shifts in the purple direction, and cause the opposite-colored orange tinted shadows. Maybe the light explains some of the blue ... --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:21, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Aysha 3: again a side view with less direct overhead light. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:30, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

It remains slow. I have a question, would help with the report - in case Pmr9 or Pierpont can answer. If opiates cause miosis, Demerol is an opiate and widely listed as causing it, won't it actually? I mean at first, until the lack of breathing cause the secondary brain hypoxia and the eye shutters fall open. I'm confused by my attempts above, especially the semi-clear blue pupil that looks normal - besides wondering if that relaxes or freezes after death, I wonder if opiate od can only cause pinpoint pupils OR dilated ones (only the extreme poles) or can it include anything on the spectrum in between as well? Can normal pupils also mean opiates, specifically Demerol, if there's some hypoxia now mixing with the initial constriction? --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:08, 12 April 2015 (UTC)


This has apparently been confirmed by tests, done by and mentioned by Hamish de Breton Gordon in this tweet where I challenge the relevance of that finding: "How do you know that chlorine killed the 6? Do they look, on video, like chlorine victims? No, they don't." He even responded! "samples I tested positve for chlorine & Dr Tanneri's who treated the casulties testimony to UNSC cfms chlorine." So ... no. We're sticking with what activists say implies it must be chlorine, never mind the physiology of it. (until I see a sign otherwise) --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:56, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

What it means: in and of itself, chlorine points to rebel psychos who steal chlorine factories. Lots of explaining would help, but I'm short on time. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:56, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Samantha Power recently said “We need an attribution mechanism so we know precisely who carried out these attacks,” which makes me wonder what an "attribution mechanism" looks like, and if it's so useful, why they haven't gone one or two of those already? Everyone claims certainty this attack, especially with those heartbreaking babies, was done with chlorine, based mainly on a claimed smell. Why isn't that itself the mechanism here? Earlier, she told the UNSC “Only the regime of Bashar al-Assad had the capabilities to deploy and use chlorine weapons and must be held accountable for its violation of international law.” Now, she ceased repeating that stupidity and emphasizes that only the government has helicopters. But as I said to HDBG chlorine release aside, helicopters is activists say, which is maybe why she tried for a more "scientific" answer at the molecular level. And as I've alerted her and HDBG, the kids look like drug OD did them in. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:56, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Off topic - Re: Samantha Power & "attribution mechanism". What bloody difference does it make who killed these three children in a war with 300,000 victims? I am kind of developing a long essay on the topic of truth and the bleeding edge of human knowledge. Powers is demanding that everyone plays by their rules. Geopolitical implications should be drawn from things that are simply impossible to know. She and her "HR organizations" have dominance in obfuscation. If things are muddy, they win. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 17:05, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Dr. Annie Sparrow, I hear the wife of Ken Roth, has been following the chlorine clues lately. NYRB article There's a twitter discussion she had with an activist (link not handy) who claims (as I recall the gist) all chlorine in Syria must come from a regime factory, there are only two, she didn't know where, and so rebel areas could not get chlorine at all. Global embargo somehow observed at the Turkish border? Not explained. Implication was Assad was both keeping it for a weapon and holding back on water treatment etc. to cause more death and problems in rebel areas. And also, suggests rebels cannot possibly do any chlorine false-flag stuff. Here Sparrow posts pictures someone sent here of a "pool" absent chlorine now and looking as nappy as any backwater creek watering hole ... tap water with white mineral residue or unresolved aeration bubbles, and something else I can't make out. Concludes: "New form of biological warfare? Syrian govt withholds chlorine: check out drinking water, pool" They withhold it! Brilliant idea if they're so good at that is to finally "withhold" guns, bullets, foreign reinforcements. War could be over in a few weeks.--Caustic Logic (talk) 13:12, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

More Sparrow: Chlorine gas killing kids video horrifies UN The Star (Lebanon) April 25. "New York pediatrician and public health advocate Annie Sparrow ... urged the UN to act, at the very least to establish no-bombing zones." Apparently the no chlorine problem is not a "new form of biological warfare" but a prior (continuing?) one:
“For several years before the beginning of the popular uprising in March 2011, and in part contributing to it, the Syrian government denied many public health measures to areas of the country that were politically unsympathetic to it, selectively withholding not only chlorine for treatment of water contaminated by sewage, but also routine childhood vaccinations,” Sparrow writes.
“Having made civilians in opposition-held areas suffer from the lack of chlorine, the Syrian government is now, in a cruel irony, making it suffer from too much chlorine — in the form of chemical weapons.”

And the detective work continues. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:39, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Red Fluid

This is first noted under #Attack Site Video It first seemed like blood, but rathe seems to be a liquid residue of chlorine synthesis. Below are some sections that were scattered, put together under this heading. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:21, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

Bottles of Not-Blood Built Into the Bombs?

This comes into play with the new maybe-explanation for the red fluid offered by the rescue workers Human Rights Watch talked to. No one else had mentioned it before, but "Assad" has included in at least 5 of the 14 recent Idlib barrel bombs some inexplicable little bottles or red fluid. HRW could determine no reason for these. They show one, from an attack on Binnish March 24. I'm not good with volumes - smaller than baby bottle, larger than eye-drops bottle, apparently damaged - mostly empty but with the (blue) cap on. Leith Fares, White Helmets rescue worker at the Taleb site, says he found 12 bottles like this total; some full of their red fluid, some burned, some empty. HRW says he sent in two photos of these, but they aren't shown.

No one mentions that the house was full of a red fluid that gives the obvious appearance of a bloody massacre site. But they help sow what some will take as the explanation for that problem, as soon as they become aware of it. Fares doesn't say how many bottles were empty, where they were found empty, nor if they're all the same small size. But just by volume of fluid this strange story might fail. Other issues:

1) How would this fluid spread to the places seen? See the image, all approximate. They say it didn't blow up at all, just smashed the wall in with force of gravity, maybe with an extra mechanism to get the canisters opened, and maybe not for the not-blood bottles. One can imagine a bunch of bottles bursting open with a bit of trajectory the right way, the splash moving through the restroom and pouring out into the hall. In fact, the distance being probably less than I show, out the patio door too maybe. And maybe some of the splash continues like a little wave to the end of the hall. And some splashes out into the rubble and dirt out front. In fact, one can imagine a lot of really bizarre things if one tries.

2) It seems to behave like blood does, as far as the platelets settling lower and coagulating.

3) It might be too old. But then, as a mystery fluid with unknown properties, it might dry quicker than blood, so that the next day it looks like days-old blood. Another "Assad" trick for sure.

There were some others I had in mind, and there are other issues besides those, I'm sure. But this is enough for now.

In the end, HRW couldn't deduce a reason. Maybe once our report with the section on the blood-filled home comes out, thay'll start to get why. But really it comes down to who's behind it, and they do NOT have to be in the air.

Option A) Rebels are behind the massacre here and included this stupid story to explain why we saw a glimpse of blood we weren't supposed to. The reason for the bottles inclusion: so they can say, here and maybe forever, these homes full of red fluid suggest more Assad chemical shenanigans. In this case at least they do. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:28, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Option B) Assad did it as most believe and decided fake blood splashed around would make people think his CW attacks might've been rebel massacres instead. Extra tricks might be used, like the quick-drying effect, to mess with their timeline claims. If there was a way to make it look like Alawite blood, he'd do it. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:28, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

In option B, the role of all good citizens is to stop believe Assad's tricks. Our upcoming report - and I'm glad it wasn't done already - will be a crime against humanity for following that deceptive visual evidence. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:28, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Since when?

When did this strange idea emerge? I wondered did our mentioning the blood trigger people to start coming up with stories? Apparently not. I first noted it here March 30. They say April 24 is the date of an early photo of the bottles in Binnish (no verifiable public posting date, etc. I know of). Fares has photos from the massacre site under study, with bottles he found (date unclear but presumably the 17th) And why would they wait for us to note it? As soon as Fares posted his video and JaN posted theirs, the world had two videos of a red-fluid-filled crime scene to get puzzled over. Anytime after that is a good time to start the explaining. But no one mentioned it that I've seen until the HRW report, April 14.

Consider this: our making public noise triggered them to finally get serious and publish the stupid story which they had been quietly preparing. Maybe hoping they'd never have to say it. Two days later, something with a time-stamp, as HRW noted, under the March 31 attack section:

A video posted on April 1 shows the remnants of the barrel bombs and gas canisters outside the Palace of Justice. In another video, a rescue worker is holding up what appears to be bottles filled with red liquid similar to those in the Sarmin and Binnish attacks. The rescue worker points to soil in the impact crater that appears to have been colored red. In a third video, the same rescue worker points to a pool of red liquid on the asphalt, 'saying that water on the ground

turned red from the attack'. In a fourth video, several remnants of the bottles are visible. See, it was some kind of Magical Moses plague-on-the-Egyptians shit, NOT a massacre. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:34, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Eliot Higgins tweet, Feb. 24, 2015 Videos from Daraa (Feb 23) and (Aleppo? Feb 21) show what they say is a chlorine attack and the other maybe. Bot scenes, red fluid on the ground. The first looks like blood, a bit purple, but a pond full of it, with dry magenta power all over too. Looks like a whole barrel of just die was poured down here, as well as a bit being scattered with the explosion. Hole in awning where chlorine shell came in - way too small for a barrel bomb. Likely just the canister we see, lobbed by mortar. The other case is less clearly a match, more orange, bur on and mixing with dirt in the road. If there's any impact spot we don't see it. People are holding a piece of metal for a barrel bomb, but who knows if they picked iy up here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:50, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, reviewing the Daraa video the hole in the awning is about barrel size. Looks like a barrel bomb punched through and into the porch there. But all this dye ... it makes no sense to me ATM. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:53, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

I wish Bellingcat or someone would put together their best argument(s)/guess(es) on this subject. I'm not excited to have to work all this out ourselves just to question it too and see what makes the most sense. As it stands, there's some doubt about this whole sub-topic, but I just skipped the ambiguities for the moment and included it pretty clearly in the interim summary. If it changes by the final report, so be it. Seemed reasonable at the time of writing, or was just starting to not be so clear, close enough - it makes a great visualization, and could be blood, or likely enough, something else that's really interesting anyway. But that bloody massacre site is now "out on a limb" that might get cut off. The rest of the tree would survive fine, just with a lump. We'll see. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:53, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

HRW's later report in June sees a slightly different bottles-of-red story, that may apply to all these other cases:

Human Rights Watch also reviewed photographs of barrel bomb remnants from the Saraqib attacks, which included photographs of what appeared to be a refrigerant canister, a plastic bottle that a rescue worker said was filled with a reddish-purple powder, and metal remnants of the barrel bomb, also marked by a reddish-purple powder. It is unknown what role, if any, this powder may have played in the attacks or their medical consequences.

Indeed, some scenes (the Deraa one, for example) seem to have both a powdery crimson residue, and the larger portion that apparently mixed with water and turned it red. Maybe the bottled of fluid seen previously were just broken and filled with some water? --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:36, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

The Answer? Later on, the OPCW's investigation released/leaked a report detailing these alleged chlorine bombs (see The Trench), including small bottled of a red-maroon-purplish powder (should be powder) potassium permanganate, which seems to be consistent with what we see, as far as color if not how it got there, etc. It's volatile, and supposed to have a hand in the chemical process, but the details are debatable (see below) Also I notice it's odd how no one simply tested and tagged this stuff earlier on, and just left it mysterious like they did. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:58, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Orange Chlorine

I had this hit me finally, may be nothing or something. There have been issues with alleged chlorine gas plumes that appear too orange in color (should be pale green, tinted to yellow). Some Syria photos have this, blamed on the Syrian government, and some Iraq instances too, blamed on Islamic State / Daesh. Separately, in this case we've seen a house full of blood, heard it allegedly was not blood but red fluid in the bomb - then that it was not fluid but red powder that got wet. It hasn't been tested and no one knows why it's there. Was it supposed to mix with the chlorine to make an orange plume with unknown chemical properties? (since no one's tested it)) And is this innovation why ISIS plumes in Iraq are orange, and besides some in Syria? If so, more collaborated proven, right? Assad builds these bombs and gives them to Deash, or whatever. Any thoughts? Does it make sense? --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:41, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

The orange clouds are nitrogen dioxide. See for instance these images of the explosion in Catalonia a few months ago. Any nitrate-based explosive could produce NO2 but especially ANFO (ammonium nitrate and fuel oil). See this report from NIOSH. ANFO is often the explosive of choice for truck bombs, as it's cheap, easily-made (ammonium nitrate is available as fertilizer) and there's no requirement to pack the explosive into a small volume. It wouldn't be used for air-dropped explosives as for equivalent effect you'd you'd need about twice the mass and four times the volume using ANFO instead of PETN. See this page for calculation. So I think what the orange clouds tell us is that the explosives were probably delivered by truck, not by air or artillery. Pmr9 (talk) 10:48, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Interesting - it could be that, but these clouds are alleged to be chlorine, so if they aren't someone should know. I don't know about digging up links - ok, here Secure Bio panned a Syria photo as too orange, only Syria case I know of. The volume and consistency are also suspect - may be irrelevant, a too-powerful smoke generator like they suggest (also, overall photo color is shifted to yellow side, original color is a bit more ruddy/brown, sky is bluer, contrast with sky is worse) - same here wondering if that was potassium something - BBC photo with this Daily Mail piece has a chemical described as yellow but looking orange, left Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga woozy, suspected chlorine. It was contained in a suicide truck driven at them that blew up when shot. Smaller plume, brownish, seen in Press TV video from Iraq, origin unclear. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:40, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Several people, including ifriqiyah have pointed out that the orange clouds in Syria photos are obviously NO2. Compare the Syrian images with the Catalan incident. Military-grade explosives, even nitrate-based ones such as PETN, don't produce much NO2 because they were developed to maximize energy yield. Maybe ISIS used chlorine cylinders as well as ANFO in their truck bomb. Pmr9 (talk) 14:47, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
And I've seen Ifriqiyah say that, but didn't know/pay attention/get it. Here are photos of a brown-orange cloud of it in the air, caused by blasting at a mine with AN. That is just the right color. Chemical proof aside, visuals say NO over chlorine. And the Syria example isn't an example, and I didn't have any others I can think of, so the whole red-powder thing is prob. irrelevant to this. Thanks! --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:54, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Could the observations of "chlorine" and the chemical weapons effects be explained by NO2 / nitric acid released from truck bombs? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:22, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
The toxic effects of NO2 are very similar to those of chlorine: acute airway irritation, followed by delayed onset of pulmonary edema and respiratory distress. Maybe in a mix of noxious chemicals and smoke it's possible to mistake the smell of chlorine. Initially the Syrian army thought chlorine had been used in the 29 April 2013 Khan al-Assal attack, but this was later shown to have been sarin.
If anyone has time, it would be useful to go through the list of videos cited in the third OPCW report that are said to show a chlorine bomb. Then try to find the same video on youtube etc and see if the plume looks like NO2. Pmr9 (talk) 12:59, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
March 19 attack on Khan al-Assal, and it might have had chlorine plus Sarin. The Iraq truck bomb might've had chlorine too. The cloud looks like NO2 and it could just be confusion, but there's also the tanks shown in the Telegraph piece - looks like two bullets hit it, and a yellow-green gas escaped, or it's got residue that color around the holes anyway. Checking video might be a good idea, for someone with the time (not me, now). --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:13, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Some more yellow smoke: Russian Satellite Imagery Exposes ISIS Movements in Al-Raqqa: Syrian Air Force Capitalizes
Finally, to add the icing on the cake, the Syrian Air Force struck a textile factory that turned into an ISIS IED (improvised explosive device) factory; this attack created a large cloud of yellow smoke after the bombs triggered the explosives in the factory to go off.
-- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:36, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

VDC Records

For what it's worth here, All chemical and toxic gas victims from March 16 = 6, all civilian, and the first poison gas victims listed since some rebel fighters in Harasta in December. As Amnesty noted "The injured included a small number of fighters from the Free Syrian Army armed group, but the vast majority were civilians." And all the dead were civilian. All from the one family from Sarmeen, these records say. Notes for all, unless different: "Six people killed of the same family due to regime`s forces use of chlorine gas via explosive barrel bombs which caused their suffocation and death." Note: as usual, married women are listed with "maiden names."

They give 5 videos with each entry, 2 extra with Waref (the father) and Ayosh (his mother). Would take a little comparing with Petri's playlist above to see if anything new here. Probably not.

  1. Generic Video
  2. Generic Video
  3. Generic Video
  4. Generic Video
  5. Generic Video

--Caustic Logic (talk)

One in five was in my YouTube playlist. I added the others. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:06, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Pierpont, above: "CL, thanks for coming up with the names of the victims." Well, HRW had them all too, and even our scant front page already does. But was worth the details VDC's entries add. And the names they give are never gospel - I've caught apparent name/ID alteration before (at least with the Khunayfis Massacre of an Alawi family killed at their farm after rebels shelled it, hauled to and passed off as shelling victims in a nearby rebel town). But, it's what we have to work with. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:44, 28 March 2015 (UTC)


Took a while to notice this, but I suspect the grandmother's name is accurate. Ayosh Hasan Qaaq, Arabic: عيوش حسن قاق Qaaq is not a name I've ever noticed seeing anywhere. She was picked at random by the bomb, we presume. So why does the same name appear 3 times out of 7 victims of another round of regime shelling in Sarmin, non-toxic, ten days later? "Several people martyred in a massacre due to shelling with surface-surface vacuum missiles." Besides an unidentified, a Ghazal, Baydoon, and a Deeb, these terrible weapons killed Layth Ali Jameel Qaq, daughter of Numan Qaq, and Mohamad Khaled Qaq (all adults). Transliteration is slightly different, but the Arabic entries give the same exact true spelling قاق. So, someone is likely aiming for these people. For reference, Arabic martyrs list, nationwide, all time - 26 including names like Qaqeish. So it doesn't pop up often, and is probably connected when it does. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:14, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Update: the list shows ten Qaq victims, not 11. March 5, 2013 victims is double-listed with different spellings. But then it's back up to 11 - somehow that list misses one I just stumbled on separately - Mohammad al-Qaq from Jobar was one of the victims of the August 21 Ghouta massacre. The name Came From al-Ihsan hospital in hmouria. Entry number (92122) suggests pretty early reporting. No other clues. How rare is the name then? [English list] all with "qaq" has 18, 12 civilian (11 counting out the double) and counting Mohammed from Jobar, and 6 non-civilian. [all with "qaaq"] just adds Ayosh. So 12 total, with 2 killed in high profile chemical attacks, and 3 more killed just after the later of those. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:46, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
More Qaq victims were mentioned by Dr Tennari in his [1] testimony] to Congress: "On March 26, my field hospital in Sarmin saw five

victims from a chlorine attack. One of the victims was seven-year-old Manal Qaq, who was suffering from chlorine exposure. We treated her with oxygen, washed her off, gave her Atropine, and she was lucky enough to survive. However, the next day, her entire family of 12, including her young brothers, was killed in a barrel bomb attack" Pmr9 (talk) 15:11, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Jeez, why did I never read the testimony fully? That just sharpens it. "Next day" should be the same day, per VDC - Qaaqs killed Sarmin March 26. Chlorine allegedly dropped on both Sarmin and Qmenas, I think, in that one (3rd attack?) VDC said the family was killed with surface to surface vacuum missile, not barrel bomb. They list no boy brothers, all adults. Plus also SAMS director Sahloul says Tennari's clinic was hit with a missile same day, killing 15 (VDC lists only 7 total killed, no extras day before or after). Heavy day, and the same exact family was hit twice, just in that. --Caustic Logic (talk) 21:58, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Syrian business directory lists Taleb Ahmad Qaq as an equipment rental business based in Saraqeb and Sarmin - the two families may have had a joint business. Pmr9 (talk) 11:53, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
That could be a person's name, or a combination of 3 family names, 2 of which we know are connected. And equipment (rental? repair?) is not too far off from cell phone repair. Far off enough it's compelling. Digging ... VDC lists several Ahmads killed, two stand out: Wail Ebraheem al-Sheikh Ahmad from Telminis, killed Feb 26 2015 by detention execution. Then exactly 2 months later Mahmoud Ebrahim al-Shikh Ahmad from Kaframim was killed by "warplane shelling." Sounds like brothers and not coincidence. The other few Ahmads have a common name and are spread out. Tried a random search for business name in Arabic ( طالب أحمد قاق - with commas, dashes, etc. may help - I tried with equipment + Idlib added, found nothing) --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:09, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

(along the way a Taleb (or a student?) Mohammed Deeb al-Qaq appears, dead in this Jan. 2013 video - VDC listing Jan. 8, shelling - likely relative killed 5 days later by torture in regime's prison]) --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:09, 24 July 2015 (UTC)


(and also Thelth: In the relevant period, broadly, March 1 to present (April 12) VDC lists 4 people named Taleb killed in Idlib. Were these few Talebs killed just for the relation to grandma Ayosh? No, I suspect Taleb just isn't their real name. Wouldn't it be interesting if it was based on the less common Thelth? 18 killed by shelling in Idlib city March 30, 11 men and children named Thelth, 3 apparent wives, 4 unidentified men, all civilian, no one else. Not a single rebel fighter killed in that presumed miss... --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:41, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

I finally looked some more into this. There might be a cross-over with a horrific al-Mahbouja Massacre in Hama, discussed here for now and confusion about the Idlib victims, with different records showing people named Thelth in one version and Ramadan in another. Anyway, the name Thelth is rare enough it's basically not a name, Thelth search - only 11 victims in martyrs database, whole war, nationwide, and all on that day. It's not a transliteration issue; same 11 appear with the Arabic spelling - ثلث - which Google translates to "third." Searching the name "Mohammed Thelth" - محمد ثلث - gave me only 3 text results, Mohammed and a third of something, a math question, etc. It's a really rare name, or just not a name. So if there's a name link, this was their weird way of not saying Taleb again. Others maybe had different solutions. And then there may be no link. Sometimes there just isn't. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:22, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Syrian Shuhada day tally seems to agree: direct Romanized name thlth appears at least 8 time, near the bottom, with wife names like Toto. Ramadan doesn't appear. The Mahbouja massacre victims don't get listed here either. Not sure if they have a regime list to hide them in. And I can't search for the name, even in Arabic. But I imagine these are the only Thelth victims here as well. --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:36, 20 April 2015 (UTC)


Just stumbled upon this, forgive me if it was mentioned already but I can't seem to find a link: There's a "Special Flash Report" about the event here on the VDC website. Dated only "March 2015" but the PDF was created on March 28. --CE (talk) 11:55, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

New to me, thanks. Seems well worth skimming for interesting bits. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:31, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Report credits "The VDC team, led by the field researcher Ibrahim Abu Ghaith," and hears from director "Dr. Muhammad Ghaleb al-Tanari" "activist Muawiya Hassan Agha via Skype" and "Laith Fares, activist, civil defense worker and reporter for the civil defense teams." Two attacks: one at 8:30 PM, the other about two hours later. Included photos: different morgue photo for the Taleb children, torn and burned red fluid bottles and odd bomb remnants with rubber hose. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:16, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Dr. Tanari describes clinical signs he observed, lists medications and treatments given after the first attack. Victims came from Qmenas and Sarmin, none too serious. He says the victims of the second attack came in "showing the same symptoms as the ones from the first attack, with some additional ones like vomiting, asthenia (muscle weakness), body discharges and severe cough." --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:16, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

The Taleb family "had gone down to the basement to seek shelter from the impact of the explosion, as they usually did, which led to their immediate suffocation as the gas, being heavier than air, slipped down to their shelter." The gas slipped there "when a barrel fell directly on their house (in Sarmin). They had gone down to the basement to seek shelter from the impact of the explosion" (this is totally wrong, as the site videos show, but maybe he was just guessing) --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:16, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Activist Agha said the first attack was "at exactly 8:30" and the second "between 10:30 and 11:00 pm. I could not determine the time accurately because of the tension, fear and utter horror resulting from the use of chemical gases." I'm guessing it's also contested? Fares told the VDC that a large number of civil defense workers had suffered from exposure to gas due to lack of masks. They showed symptoms including respiratory irritation, burning in the throat, redness in the eyes and severe cough." He says he himself wound up coughing and running from the site because he had no mask. However, his own video might contradict that. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:16, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Video Analysis


Attack Site Video

Sarmin March16 Attack Site Blood.png

Video 7 on the list: Sarmeen, Idlib:the site that occurred the massacre of chemical (translated) This shows a home, damaged in what seems to be the kitchen, by a powerful explosion. The rest of the home appears intact but for some burning near the blast. Any serious ransacking was cleaned-up. The only thing that seems really out-of-place, and argues against clean-up, is the little foyer room (?) with white curtain, seen at 0:22 - with its floor completely full of blood, as it looks to me lightened a bit here to help). There is virtually no room for this much injury in the activist story. This is the kind of blood puddle the baby discussed below might have stepped in. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:26, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

There were nowhere near enough clues to geo-locate this as in Sarmin, Binnish, or other. If anyone finds a longer video with more outdoors clues, let me know. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:26, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

If it's fresh, where is the concrete dust? The place is far too clean for a recent explosion; and the possible bomb fragments at the start are far too rusted.
True, it doesn't appear dusty, as if it's been rained and blown on since. If that's bomb remnants, they too appear weathered. It would be bad if an old bombing site is the best they could come up with; not even a current attack site! Worst thing though is the blood, unless that's some other dark liquid ... that looks fresh. So are they taking people to old attack sites, just to kill them there, to say the attack killed them? Even though we don't see them there anyway, just the blood, that contradicts the story of chlorine gas and no trauma. And I didn't see any sign of a basement in this place, like the Talebs were said to be in - must allegedly be in another home. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:58, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
But on the other hand, I can't buy this yet. Visibly dusty or not, the place looks recently lived-in, and not likely by squatters. Clothes, toys, a made bed, baby stroller and shoes by the door, house plants set out in the sun (can't see if they're wilted, the larger ones, maybe drooping a bit). --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:22, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
I considered that and thought maybe it have been re-occupied? Perhaps by a displaced family? Not sure. This is not so much to bend a narrative but supply reasonable 'potential inferences' for the reason for a building is dustlessly damaged.--Charles Wood (talk) 11:27, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
There are all kinds of possibilities. Kind of a wreck to just leave if living there, but kind of a mess to deal with too. Eh, I don't know. Recentness of bombing is questioned at least. The blood is unexplained and unsettling. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:58, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Rust: - how impervious is this rusty remnant issue to the general state of the bombs we see? Old materials hobbled together - some parts might have been rusty before ever loaded on the chopper, I suppose. Presuming what they say there, which is possible (and we're looking for inconsaistencies, so if there isn't one...) Or is there a way around that possibility here? --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:55, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
Blood: I notice it is a bit tacky, not extremely fresh. Some separation, was very deep so it might remain liquid for some time, so maybe there about two days? (moderate temperatures presumed, sheltered area with minimal sun) This itself might predate the alleged attack, and why would the Taleb's be living/hiding there, not cleaning up the recent mass of blood from (?) as they waited for the bomb damage to happen? Might be blood in the right-hand washbasin as well, including a dry slash across the soap-rest. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:55, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
Others seem to agree the blood is suspicious. This pro-rebel video compilation features the home scene at 2:47. It shows the old-looking bomb damage, then cuts to the bedroom, ignoring the floor of blood even better than that cameraman did/ Very slick. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:13, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

One more thing, for location and context; it's not a normal home. Not sure how to read this, but it seems set into a dug-out stone area and it is apparently beneath a larger structure, supported with those pillars. (does that itself make this a "basement?" Not a very enclosed one if so) This dug into the rock thing could be an illusion, or a common thing all over, but it might be unique suggest a sort of stony area. What kind of stone this is, I can't say. But there's a pretty white patch, I guess exposed lime-stone, in the near corner of Binnish, with a few homes that might be dug into that. Might be nothing. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:30, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

These clues continue to fit with another video, [ claiming to show the attack site from outside. It looks like an old building with an arch mostly covered with debris. We don't get to see inside, but there might be pillars and that blown up kitchen a ways in. The street view could maybe be geolocated, presuming Sarmin, but the clues are a bit thin and I decided not to bother for now, if ever. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:13, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
SACA site blood 6.png

"Others seem to agree the blood is suspicious." More relevant others do too. I was wondering how more blood appears in the night video ( Seems it was cleaned-up, except for the big puddle (so they only cared so much?). In the night video, the blood continues past the curtain, on a white-and green rug. Next day it stops at the curtain/rug's edge, and the rug is just gone (maybe rolled up on the side though - more white on top = more green on bottom, right?) Home layout, walking in here: left, kitchen (door blocked by debris), right, living room (nice elevated couches, Western style not Arab style, room looks untouched) - next left, master bedroom. Blankets turned back, night attack? Next right, patio door. Straight ahead between the last, must be the childrens' bedroom. Not the same children who died in the clinic, I suspect, but someone's. Someone was bled out the patio door, but that's not clear the next day. You can also see inside see lines of blood at night, then washed away. They look like lines dragging out from the master bedroom (the view if from there) if someone was oozing from a few distinct spots and dragged through the wall. But the cleaned-up scene shows the flooring warps there - maybe more when wet, like now, but in all the same lines where there was blood before. So, suggested, is a bloody body or two dragged from the kids' room, scraping blood on these ridges, or something like that. Note also what the stamps say in context; who was in the know and knows what to clean up before filming? Who was rushing to the rescue only find the (wrong) victims already gone and blood all over? --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:26, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

SACA site blood tacky.png

This shot shows tacky blood (the sink may be just dirty, not blood-filled) and discarded boots. That's a clue there. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:26, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Never mind on the boots, most likely. Might have been a laundry basket full of footwear by the door that got smashed. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:28, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

One odd aspect of this home is its elevation. The night-time video shows a street-level gate with a walkway behind it, connecting to open stairs that go down three flights total, to two levels below street level. Big open spaces, nothing there but pillars, says it is technically enclosed, a building, but seems huge and vacant, like wasted space under an oberhang, but two floors of it. This all makes the home at the bottom a basement one, but one with a sun-lit patio, besides this open space out the other door and now out the blown-out kitchen wall. 1) How do you get trapped with enough fumes to die (chlorine, not CO) in a place like that? Ventilation and escapes are plentiful. 2) How does grandma Ayosh get out of the apartment, bring no one with, climb some of these stairs, and then succumb all blue and be the first to die, as "Dr. T" told MSF? 3) How does the gas rise from this blasted wall in the basement (or is that a coincidental damage from before?) to effect 70 other people who ostensibly live above basement level? 4) Is this really just some enormous open basement with skylights all the way down to its patio? And another one this bomb fell through? Or what? Or do those stairs run down some kind of cliff this home is dug into the base of? With big floors of (?) build above, for some reason (are there apartments down there, off frame?) There seem to be no cliff-type areas in Sarmin, or Binnish. Steep slopes in mountain towns to the SW, near Ariha, could explain that. Likely other spots closer by also could. Dr. T. did say the Talebs actually came in from "a neighbouring village," not from Sarmin like most say. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:28, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Apartment layout

Sarmin Taleb home layout.jpg

--Caustic Logic (talk) 12:28, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

The hall is too long, will update. The space from curtain to last doors is a few hairs shorter than this. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:28, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Next; how the bomb got there. They say it only hit with force of gravity, and had no explosives. Maybe instead it had explosives and was remotely detonated after getting rolled down the stairs. Either way, we can see in the day video how this area's generally shaded/covered, but at this spot indirect sunlight is getting in. it also might've punched through the floor above on its way down, or blown a hole in it when it detonated. Not super powerful, anyway. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:56, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Now, seen from above moving down, as in the Leith Fares night video. A street-level gate leads to a mid-lngth walkway, a flight of stairs down, and then to the left, the next two to get to the 'basement.' In the graphic below, the top left still is looking down from the top of the first flight of stairs. At the bottom is a broad open space with pillars – a green spot for about where he's standing for the next views. This floor is what the pillars in the day video are holding up. From the green spot looking forward, top right, we see about what should be above the impact area, where light comes in the next day (tracing the stairs down and reviewing the span from the bottom of the last ones up to the entrance and the damage just past that.)

SACA site Stairs 2.png

So in the orange area and a bit further out is where we should see the hole light comes in through. It doesn't appear blasted, or open. His shadow stops stretching there, so its an essentially vertical surface, with separate lighter-colored material, with a distinct seam at the bottom. There's a rounded or cylindrical object of some size, with a light knob on top, between that and the closest pillar. I don't know how to read this at all. But light shines down through it later. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:56, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

The last thing I just realized that Petri helped me understand - this floor above we see, supported from below by pillars and the walls of the Talen home, are clearly designed for supporting a structure above this. It seemed like that was so, a floor or even two above this. But at the moment perhaps the pillars aren't holding up anything. On the way in, looking t the right - this might be an Arab roof, ready for another floor if there's enough grandkids, etc. In fact, you can see their naked tops just fine. There's nothing higher than this. The roof is below street level, the "basement" right under that. Is basement here defined as the only living space lower than ... the roof? --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:56, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Can I get some other opinions on this? HRW clarifies no 70 were gassed here, but in Qmenas (allegedly). But the do say some others were, and there has to be some others they were too busy helping to think about checking way down in the basement. But if that's all there ever was here... important point, huh? --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:56, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Okay, I reviewed more carefully and decided this is only the roof relative to the parts it's above - otherwise, this is a 2-story house, top floor incomplete. And as we've seen, bottom floor largely empty space. Odd place. From a distance you can see at the end of the open space is a wall, with a window in it, for the finished part. That's the 'vertical surface'. So there's no hole visible here, meaning either it was made later, or it's on the other side of that wall, either from an object falling clear through the upper floor, or from a barrel bomb rolled down the stairs blowing up from below. This opens a few possibilities for chlorine and people in the partial upper floor. But HRW says 20 people were effected here besides the Talebs. That's a lot to be in one house. And considering there are only two incomplete stories to consider, it still seems odd that the ground floor should be thought of as a "basement" to not think about. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:20, 17 April 2015 (UTC)


We Never did locate this place ourselves, but the OPCW report had a placement that can be checked. It pans out fairly well, and I suspect this is it. Questions remain about the supposed vent and how everything lines up. The location is centered here on Wikimapia, across from a school. Explanations and visuals collected here at Monitor blog. This is a good spot to discuss details as needed. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:25, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Rough paint graphic (after an error) correlating the upper level as seen from space with the apartment layout correlated and sketched in:

Sarmin Taleb Home sat correlated.png

Rescue Worker 21

Sarmin White Helmet 21 day.png

This guy probably gives his name any number of places, but for now I'll start with "21" for the number on his sleeve. I hope that's as unique as it seems. Clockwise from top left: March 23 response video, he's a neutral unarmed white helmet guy AND clearly favored by AL Qaeda in Syria, FWIW. Top middle, a better view of lettering on his vest would be nice, but this is the best I see. Upper right, work mode: different gloves, shorter sleeves, same gray jeans. Bottom, at the chemical massacre site explaining the barrel bombing. There's a good view of his long-sleeved 21 shirt under the vest. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:03, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

So far most White Helmets I see wear the uniform - gray coveralls with blue shoulders - when working, and only wear the reflective vest at night. But this guy gets a special costume: black on top, and the vest at all times I've seen him anyway. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:58, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Sarmin White Helmet 21 night.png

What seems to be the same guy: face not visible but hair looks the same. Seems like gray jeans, dark long-sleeved shirt, 21 on left sleeve, writing on the back of his vest (no match yet). Later I noticed his face is visible at 0:27 in this video, back at the hospital. This is of course the mysterious rescue mission to a place with no people, that we've seen anyway - just the red fluid. The guy filming seems to be Leith Fares. 21 comes down after him, acting a bit confused too - no people here, huh ... oh! He notices the basement, maybe down here, he doesn't know, never been here. He leads the way down, the other two hold back a bit. He puts up his black hood here (seems to be under the 21 shirt) - this is to keep out the fumes I guess? 21 seems to me to change tone at this point. Only the two of them continue, and 21 seems to get more familiar with the places as they go. He seems excited for Leith to follow him all the way to the back room. He kicks the kitchen door open a bit on the way for no good reason. It has blood under it. But some combination of the lack of people to save, someone's behavior, the blood everywhere, and possibly chlorine fumes, causes Leith to grab 21 by his shoulder, as a heads-up, as he turns to leave, with or without him. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:03, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Face-shots from earlier added now at left. He may be avoiding eye contact here. There are outside scenes next - if he's in those, it's not cleat; may be elsewhere. Seems Leith, blue elbows (seems to be a boss) and someone else drive there on a motorcycle (?) and 21 is already there. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:59, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Next day and forward, both men are particularly involved in explaining the bombing that happened here and later explaining why there was mystery red fluid all over. A puzzling picture. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:03, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

The sympathy seems to be mutual. His buddies were happily allahuakhbarking and waving the Nusra flag when they took Idlib (via Urs (Warning, article contains extremely graphic pictures of what the Idlib gangs do when they don't play rescue workers)) --CE (talk) 12:17, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
So we have a few indications that at least some White Helmets are black-flag wavers. 21 is surely one of them. These come with problems. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:59, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Who is 21? Seems prominent. May speak to media. Video text gives no clue. HRW says they talked to two civil defense guys, only naming or citing Leith, and activist Muhammed Yazan. The dynamics here suggest 21 might be the other white helmet, and it's maybe interesting he was there but didn't get named or cited. Or he could be Yazan. Odd to be a vaunted white helmet and just speak as an "activist," but he seems like an odd guy. I searched that name in Arabic, with Idlib, civil defense, etc. and didn't find anything useful. Not a very prominent activist anyway, and nothing yet to give this guy's name. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:58, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Baby Transfer Video

Sermin Video loc 1.png

video 3 "An important sarmeen, Idlib: air strike استخهدفت city am" - apparently a morning video after the attacks night before. Still it seems like immediate response to the/a bombing shows (around 2:00) a baby (not one of the Taleb fatalities) is brought to the ambulance, near an impact site, but driven from somewhere else, carried by a running man to the ambulance, urgently taken away. Everyone's frantic, it's a race to stop something, like the kid is dying. There's no great view, but what we see is no outward signs of poisoning or even distress, no real blood or sign of injury. Something bad happened; he or she (the blue makes me switch to he) is not with his family anymore, but seems really calm anyway. No respiration given, or seeming needed, but maybe poisoned and it's just not clear.

One interesting clue is the bit of blood, probably not his own, you can see on his socks at 2:33. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:36, 28 March 2015 (UTC) and Caustic Logic (talk) 08:18, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

In the next video at 0:12 same child, in a hospital bed with no ventilation or anything, and getting less calm as they pull off his pants. The baby has a possible wound to the left thigh, but it's not bleeding if so (birth mark?), and possible bruising of the legs. At the very end, a doctor is working on something, and we can see bloody toes. But that's the right foot, same one with a soaked sock; it may not be his own blood, but related to the missing rest of his family. But it might be a minor foot injury. Still doesn't seem that urgent. A baby girl without family is brought in then by a bearded rebel fighter. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:36, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

So this must be a day after video, since it's dated 3-17 and the attack was the night of the 16th. Presuming late morning, the video starts driving west. The main strip in the north of town fits (details on the right before the dust cloud are quite clear, the rest consistent if general) and I say that's where it starts (inset image). Near the NW corner of town they turn north. The ambulance and this van take a (distraction?) route a bit to the left/west, near an alley with damage. Then behind them a van and a large truck (capable of blocking an intersection) arrive in that order. The truck lets the cameraman through anyway as the van turns right and parks. Another van with the baby was waiting, locally at least, coming from the north. If there's a neighboring town involved, it's most likely Binnish, to the north. The van they load the kid into is clearly marked with Arabic writing and the "civil defense idlib" logo seen on videos. They depart to the east, in what feels a bit like some sort of scam. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:18, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
To add - the second town was Qmenas to the southwest, but - I noticed later there's a town called Fu'ah, labeled as a Shia (Shi'ite) town, just north of Bnnish on Wikimapia. That might well be significant. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:42, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
The scam would be avoidance of the ambulance. Why, I don't know. I saw this kind of thing in Libya; a body removal truck arrives just before a "regime sniper" kills a guy - he's loaded, the truck takes him away, the crowd blocks the proper ambulance. But that was at the start, when there was a functioning gov. and medical system to avoid. This is ostensibly all rebel=held area. Situation in Syria map buts Sarmin and Binnish both under joint al-Nusrah/some Islamic group joint control. (civil defense I guess is connected to the latter) It seems both camps had media access to the victims, so any ambulance they had to ditch would be someone else yet. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:12, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
A simple rule to follow if in doubt is Beware Bearded Men Bearing Babes --Charles Wood (talk) 12:23, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

The "civil defense" van heads east, apparently towards whatever clinic the baby is next seen in. I couldn't start to place that. It doesn't seem to be the same place where the Talebs died, but maybe (different rooms). This area clearly has more space to work. Anyway, I checked Wikimapia for the Rabic labels for hospital and clinic. It goes by closes first, the closest was a clinic in Binnish. These places probably are in there somewhere, but just not labeled. too bad, one shortcut down. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:12, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

The baby was next seen in the same famous clinic of Tennari's, which is now placed (see Talk:Alleged Russian strike on Sarmin hospital. It's to the east-southeast of this transfer scene, so the baby is taken in the right direction to appear there next. The video starts on the main street about 450 meters west of the clinic and headed away from it (perhaps starting there). --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:34, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

The Barrel Bombs

Main article: Barrel bomb

Qmenas Impact

There is stuff shown on video that looks like barrel bomb remnants. I for one have always suspected Syria was using these, improvised, dropped from the air, and used effectively, and this is what pisses rebels off and makes them want to demonize the things with dead civilians they can always find at a moment's notice. Slightly covered on one page here: Aleppo "Barrel Bombs Massacre" I highly doubt they're used to release chlorine, as this is illegal and not likely to be very effective anyway. I definitely don't believe these things can inject locals in rebel turf with a deadly dose of opiates. What does anyone else think about these bombs, in general and in context? --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:29, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

The video showing the bomb fragments had clearly been assembled and laid out for view. It's very doubtful they were related to the hole they showed at the start as it was far too small for a bomb that size.
The small cannisters they showed would not have been that shape and size if they had been in the explosion of hundreds of kilos of medium grade explosive. They would have been crushed and/or torn to pieces. I'll accept the main bomb fragment as probably genuine as I've seen plenty of 'real' thin-wall bomb cannisters torn that way. -- Charles Wood 05:42, 29 March 2015
Great points I hadn't thought of yet. Indeed, they're more displayed, presumably after being gathered from nearby - but one token piece laid in the 'crater' as if they wanted to send mixed signals on that (?). The canisters might be how they disperse chlorine, maybe just the night before. The barrel bomb, probably remains from a real attack them pissed them off somewhere else nearby. Alleged video, above, claims to show a fresh hit in daylight on the 17th. And looks legit. So something like that, but earlier. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:30, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

The "Chlorine Barrel Bomb," one of four barrel bombs dropped there, they say, and one of two with chlorine. Combined images from morning after video, and later guy talking video (same scene, could be geo-located once directions are set) --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:43, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

supposed impact crater

SACA Bomb Crater.png

The grass is kind of yellow in one direction, making it for once undeniably greener on the other side. Anyway, chlorine bleaches the clorophyl right out of grass, I think I've heard. I suspect a container with the stuff landed here - maybe fired by a rebel mortar - and released a cloud. It may not be the same cloud that effected the rebels, the other civilians, and it was definitely not what killed the Talebs. Probably also not the spot a barrel that size filled with much explosives at all went off. But then, would you even use much explosives anyway? --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:02, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

barrel bomb remnants display

SACA Barrel Bomb Remnants.png

chlorine canister?

SACA Barrel Bomb Canister.png

Says "... this end" and then fine print, all apparently in English. But I am lazy, will enhance a bit and farm out to foreigners. No American members can help, this is all for Petri, Resup , etc. (lol, just being weird) --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:43, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

The other chlorine bomb must have had that rusty middle tube pat and hit the half-underground house-basement-place. (?) --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:43, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Here is a newly published video showing a Syrian army helicopter dropping barrel bombs from a height of several kilometers.

Especially the Syrian Authority for the media pictures showing the indiscriminate targeting of civilians by the regime soldiers on board a military aircraft using explosive barrels. images belonging to the crew of the plane that was shot down by rebels in the countryside of Idlib in March 2015 month were the families of the pilot and the rest of the elements during the process to communicate with us: our site across the Web official page on Facebook

Evidently the helicopter was shot down around March 22th. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:39, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Taleb Home

Sarmin BB Remnants Taleb Details.png

Okay, there were some doubts about this scene earlier, and I never considered it closely so far. I'm not sure I, or we, are even clear what exactly is alleged at the supposed Taleb home. They've always said it was a non-explosive barrel bomb (presumably same type as used in the Qmenas attack same night (see above) - iron barrel with welded handles, etc. and those refrigerant canisters inside. But here it's obviously different - just that single canister, similar in size to a 44-liter gas cylinder. We don't see any of the little greenish tanks around. Maybe they got buried, but more likely it seems to be just a different mechanism here.

  • That must have been inside the barrel? I'm presuming emitted chlorine. It's not very dented for being inside a barrel that went through so much. Also, it might be a bit too long to fit inside. Important question there.
  • It must have been packed with some serious ballast for weight, to tear through reinforced concrete like that. Is that even possible, or must this have been an explosive one?
  • Burn marks? left wall, maybe floor slab on the right, kitchen back wall and ceiling - just friction burns?
  • Surely the barrel would be damaged and twisted just from this impact, and indeed, there are twisted pieces of rusty iron consistent with that. With the better-quality photo in the transcript/report, I finally made this graphic to analyze these. The bar on the dark blue line is a good match, and the piece on the purple line. The orange line fragments are so uniformly rusty I almost thought it had to be orange plastic. But I think this is more barrel material. Or, is this too broken-up to be anything other than a regular explosive kind? The Qmenas one appears intact, just ruptured on impact, but this is really torn up. But then, a house was torn up too. Could use some other thoughts on this one. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:53, 20 June 2015 (UTC)


I'm working on the report still, and it's getting not as horrible. It will need an area map. This will be shown also at right. Later. There's not much geo-located stuff to indicate, just towns and the area. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:03, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Sarmin: On Wikimapia This shows no neighborhood boundaries, just a town outline around Sarmin. Nor many labels at all. Sarmin, simply, is given as the location of the attack, where everyone was from, where the hospital is, etc. May not be so simple. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:03, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

The Taleb's Hometown? MSF heard from “Dr T, the director of Sarmin hospital” - “...we saw people arriving at the hospital from a neighbouring village … Amongst them, there was a family, three young children with their parents... the entire family died in the hospital." Maybe he's just confused, because most others say Sarmin, but that could quite easily be a "rounded-off" location. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:03, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

The VDC report speaks of two hits in the eastern part of Sarmin, one fell behind the school, the other hit the Taleb house. So I went and found the school, which is always easy in these Syrian villages, and then looked at the surroundings. Here's the home of one Mr. Ali Talib, but more importantly around the corner this is the home of Mr. Ali Mustapha Taleb and his brother Mohammed. The marking's last edit is six years old and the neighboring ones often have some kind of "student" marking. If the Mohammed is the (Waref) Mohammed in question, he could have stopped living with his brother, marry and get three children in this time. Maybe he lives with them in that house now while Ali moved to the other place (although that marking's last edit is seven years old), or his brother stayed and he went to another place in the area. Not implausible. --CE (talk) 12:58, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Good move! Labels since the attack clearly would be unreliable but interesting in their way. 6 years old is acceptable. Interesting to have Talebs (student) by students and the school, a bit confusing, but full names and "brother" suggest it's a family name. That area is way unclear, but it doesn't seem likely to match the house shown anyway. But might fit into a useful puzzle spot somewhere. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:44, 17 April 2015 (UTC)


SAMS staff from the field hospital in Sarmin said that yesterday 2 barrel bombs were dropped by government helicopters on buildings in Sarmin and a chemical agent quickly spread because of the wind. One barrel bomb was dropped at 8:30 PM, falling in the Qaminas area of Sarmin. While doctors and civil defenders were treating people from that attack, another barrel bomb fell at 10:30 PM in a southern neighborhood of Sarmin, hitting a house.
This is interesting. One is in an "area of Sarmin" while the next one is in an actual "southern neighborhood" of the town. There are no marked neighborhoods on Wikimapia, but there is a separate town Qmenas just southwest of it, and just SE of Idlib. Kind of odd implication the one attack happened while someone was out of town 'respondin' to that other incident. Might be some sort of alibi construction, or nothing. Both southern areas might be other towns, the same town, actually in Sarmin, or a mix. Unknown at the moment.--Caustic Logic (talk) 11:03, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Emergency rescue workers, including a SAMS staff member and several SAMS supported medical workers, experienced injuries trying to help a family stuck in the basement of their home that had been hit. The rescue workers experienced symptoms of chemical agent exposure because they were not wearing protective gear. The family, including a mother, father, grandfather, and three children all under 3 years old, were injured and experienced extreme difficulty breathing. The entire family later died.
Note one fellin "an area," and the other hit a house. Maybe both hit houses, but the family was in a "home that had been hit." Could be either, but suggested is the "southern neighborhood" as opposed the "area of Sarmin." Whatever they meant to imply, it's probably not true. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:03, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Anyone trying to geolocate the alleged "chemical massacre" home (why dn't more people try? It's fun, once you have enough to actually find it. Failing is not fun): I Suggest Qaminas here this town is worth checking, but it's more likely this too is fudged to obscure reality. More likely the actual place is a bit further SW, somewhere with steeper slopes. Or it could be in a different direction, but "the rest of the compass" is not really worth checking. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:03, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Okay, HRW makes it more explicit:

1.March 16, around 8:30 p.m., Qmenas
2.March 16, around 10-11 p.m., Sarmin, 6 civilians killed

Dr. T, here named Tirani, must have been wrong, no one from Qaminas died. Or rather, that lead is strengthened by the denial. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:02, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

I think part of the confusion in the statements can be solved if we believe "media activist Muawiya Hassan Agha via Skype" to the VDC. He speaks of two barrel bombs at 8:30, both in Qmenas, but the wind carried the gas to Sarmin (2km, is that plausible?), which is why there were injured from both places. And hours later they came back and dropped another two barrel bombs, this time on the eastern part of Sarmin. One of those fell behind the school, the other hit the Taleb house. So we're talking about four locations, two in Qmenas and two in Sarmin according to "what activists say". --CE (talk) 11:02, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

That VDC account compared with the rest sounds well worth sussing out. No time for it now and wrong section anyway to go further so I'll say EH. But thanks for adding to this. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:42, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
See this UNCA tweet for a peek of a map with numbered locations 1-6. Numbers 1 and 5 are pinned to Qmenas, numbers 2, 3 and 6 are pinned to Sarmin. Number 4 is further up north. These might correspond to numbered attacks or numbered barrel bombs. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 17:40, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
North dot is Binnish, not hit that day. Cool dots, should give axact spots to check for a poss. match. (but likely won't be a clear match, nor clear enough to be sure it's somewhere else) --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:12, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
This must show six attacks, each with 1-2 barrels, over March. 1 and 2 is March 16, 3 and 4 March (23?) and 5 and 6 March (24?) Spots in Sarmin hit in each case. By that, the Taleb home is on the west edge of Sarmin. Hassan Agha says it was the eastern part. Someone said south, HRW says southeast. So, maybe north? (half-kidding) --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:28, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Oops, the dark dots at each town center connect to the # bubbles with lines. So these don't show locations at all, unless all attacks were dead center in each town. So no west allegation - we're down to E, S, SE, all most consistent with SE. --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:02, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Is a 2km drift plausible? Maybe. Wind direction is probably hard to establish. It's not that far. Can it disperse like it would along the way and still somehow effect 70 people so they go to the hospital? Not likely. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:28, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Wikimapia has labels for orchards owned by different Talebs - including one who died - SE of Sarmin. Might relate to where others lived --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:09, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

The Field Hospital

UPDATE: The location is established below in section Alleged Russian strike on Sarmin hospital

I don't know where this is, and don't care that much. The videos I've seen suggest a policy of filming to avoid geo-location. You see the inside, but video always cuts before they step out the door and show the surroundings. You never see anyone walking in either. We may see nearby scenery, but since you don't see it in relation, it's not clear. It's as if they fear "Assad" will bomb the place as soon as someone on the Internet locates it for him.

Did we know the hospital was allegedly shelled with a missile on March 26th?Sahloul tweet "The same @sams_usa hospital that helped the victims of #Chlorine gas in #Sarmin was just hit with a missile killing 15. More is expected." Note: this is the day VDC records "Several people martyred in a massacre due to shelling with surface-surface vacuum missiles" (note shared on 7 entries.) This includes three apparent relatives of Taleb grandmother Ayosh Qaq. Why does that family allegedly die at that hospital so often? Sounds like a powerful blast; if it killed 15, should have injured dozens and leveled the place. Seems the same hospital kept functioning though, unless this is a new one: "BREAKING: Just 1 hr after #UNSC Arria session, #Sarmin hospital received 20 victims from new chlorine attack in #Idlib city @AmbassadorPower" SAMS Tweet, April 16 --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:09, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Military situation

Studied the history of File:North-West_Frontlines.jpg. Sarmin has "always" been in "rebel" hands, but the first version of the map from April 2014 shows Qmenas in army hands with the frontline between the two villages. The next useful version is from March 5, 2015 and shows the frontline immediately west of Qmenas which is mostly in "rebel" hands now. Almost same immediately before the fall of Idlib, frontline minimally further to the west. Idlib falls on March 27 after five days of fighting, thousands of fighters were involved which must have taken time for preparation - useful if you have a propaganda element prepared as well. Frontline comes down from the north, stays the same west of Qmenas, until the latest map from two days ago shows it in army hands and them approaching towards Sarmin. SyrPer and SANA report fighting at both places today. --CE (talk) 08:50, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Interesting context. I'm glad it's not all in free-fall there and there's some reclamation going on. So this sounds like rebels couldn't maybe go far past Qmenas, and it'd be down to there and surrounding areas. I did look a bit - Ariha has been in government hands, but the area between seems permeable. But only so much. Wikimapia shows some army facilities along the highway just south of Qamenas, current status not sure. So it's somewhat boxed-in, this SW direction. And just Qminas or even closer (they say closer) is suggested for the blood site by how they just go back and forth with white helmets, must be home turf, not a onetime foray by a couple armed groups in trucks. As for the were the Talebs actually came from, that could be a fighter foray, in any direction really. We can be fairly sure - eh, I strongly suspect - the two places aren't the same, so the logic for the one place doesn't have to limit the other. (not sure if this is where you were going but it was my next thought on these lines, thx for the spur to add it) --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:30, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Just read the names of the villages on the latest SyrPer report earlier and thought I'd check that history out - wasn't going anywhere re:exact locations with that. But ...--CE (talk) 11:02, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
(snipped to move above) --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:02, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Subsequent Alleged Attacks

Trumping any wrong guesses below, Dr. Tennari's congressional testimony PDF gives the full list of alleged chlorine attacks around Idlib up to June 9, with a map (see pages 8-9). 31 attacks, sometimes two attacks at once on these dates: March 16, 23, 24, 26, 29 - April 16, 25, 26, 27, 29 - May 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 15, 16, 17, 19, June 7, 8, 9. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:38, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Some say the total number - nationwide - is over 90. NPR reports on July 25:

Zaher al Saket, a Syrian brigadier general and a defector, says he's investigated more than 90 chlorine attacks – six new ones in the past few months alone. He was an officer in the Syrian army's chemical division but quit in 2013 when he was ordered to use chemical weapons against rebels.
"I realized that this regime is only going to use more and more chemical weapons against civilians," he says, "and that's when I made my decision to defect."

March 23 Alleged Attack

Video (all Arabic) claims a second barrel bomb on March 23, hit an orchard-looking area, again with chlorine, but only mild cases this time and no deaths. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:57, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Another March 23 video (Arabic) has testimony of a woman who lives in the area that was exposed to chlorine gas. I thought it was re: the last attack, but is likely about this one, filmed in an orchard-looking area. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:05, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Chlorine is clearly claimed by by rebels: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 03:44, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

More Assad Chlorine Gas Attacks - Courtesy Brown Moses...

(March 26)

--Charles Wood (talk) 11:46, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

More Attacks

Apparently we're up to six total now? BioPrep watch reports:

Last week five attacks on the Idlib region were reported by hospitals and medical associations operating in the area including the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and Doctors Without Borders. Both organizations reported black government helicopters dropping barrels of what they later determined was chlorine gas in Samrin, Binnish and Qaminas.
The most recent attack was carried out on March 24, SAMS reported. It left two dead and 20 injured with chlorine poisoning.
Impressive green smoke bomb reported as Chlorine Barrel Bomb. Note no misting of atmospheric water vapour as real chlorine does. Just green smoke.
Agency Qassioun: Idlib moment the fall of the barrel, which contains chlorine gas on the town Altmanah 10/04/2015 Green Smoke --Charles Wood (talk) 12:23, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

All chlorine and other CW attacks in Idlib, climbing death toll, per VDC, from March 1 up to today: 7 martyrs. What's really killing now, according to their sources, is shelling and warplane shelling - same span, 163 killed. Oddly, they do still list a few detention-execution cases, blamed on Jabhat al-Nusra. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:58, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

March 31, Idlib City

And the al-Arabiya article I just looked at says at least one more since; a top photo is captioned "Civil Defense members spray water on a rebel fighter, affected by what activists said was a gas attack, in Idlib city March 31, 2015. (Reuters)" Of course that's because it's just now been "liberated." -- Caustic Logic

News search suggests at least no one died in this and it didn't make big news. The gas apparently was chlorine, but I did a Twitter search for gas + Idlib. There's video (SMART agency, wtf are they?), pictures of barrel debris, a statement that "Only 2 of the barrel bombs that Assad forces dropped on #Idlib last night contained chlorine gas according to #Syria Civil Defence." that there were 4 total, that "2 barrel bombs filled with Chlorine gas hit "security box" of #Idlib & 2 others fell in area of the mills." Also we learn "Assad started his revenge from civilians in Idlib the new liberated city " and NOW English (Lebanon) says "#Syria regime reportedly planning to "destroy" #Idlib with Scud missiles, chlorine gas." --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:47, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

tweet with goofy branding graphic, mentions a March 29 attack on central Idlib as well (?) --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:11, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Al-Aan reports (Arabic) "This is the third attack of its kind with chlorine Poison on the city of Idlib during the month, after the targeted areas sarmeen وقميناس." --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:14, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Note: taking a city doesn't just happen. You know the plans. That this punishment lines up with the "liberation" only makes sense. That it was just pre-illustrated by a reminder attack, suggests the same planners planned both, around this schedule. That only 6 and then 0 died so far suggests there is at least one more newsworthy attack planned, with far more than 6 "anticipated" to die. There's a fresh city full (not full but not empty) of targets to pick. This might be a big thing for them, like Ghouta 2.0. The PR front's in place, this has been building since August at least. So, it may be very important that we get the word out (no one else is really, just doubting and speculating, which is great as a starting point). --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:53, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Smart News Agency Syrian Revolutionary Media Action Team. Associated with or the product of French based Association de Soutien aux Médias Libres - ASML- out of Saint-Ouen ASML Despite being French based it may have some Syrian contributors, though I notice the White Helmets getting in on the act and the French web-sites have lot of jargon in common with Purpose
Their website was designed by Advocate Hypermedia a Paris based organisation similar to Purpose but smaller? Advocate Hypermedia's claim to fame is developing Hollande's election Campaign Media delivery systems. See Slick Teaser - watch subsequent clips for more detail. --Charles Wood (talk) 23:13, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
I love this: attempted English acronym fail. Syrian Revolutionary Media Action Team (SRMAT) clearly sounds smarter as SMART if u can't spell. Did Homer Simpson come up with it? "I am so smart, I am so smart, S-M-R-T, I mean S-M-A-R-T" (I suppose it's actually fair enough and smart, I just couldn't help making that link) --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:36, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

April Attacks

"#Syria: Rebels in the Grain Silos near Mansoura village in al-Ghab Plain, NW-#Hama." Comment below adds location link for the silos area on Wikimapia. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:40, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Karsa’a, Idlib, April 30? CBS News says this was around Jisr al-Shughour (north and south?) and in Saraqeb - again they tried to gas rebels, seemingly, but only hit civilian people. Again activists will probably find that was a charade and "Assad" is always targeting people and just pretending to try and stop the rebels, whcih means... "The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday at least 21 civilians, including five children, were killed." Not all by chlorine, presumably, which is barely capable of killing. Times of Israel reports on it too, mentioning:
The Syrian Network for Human Rights, which is based outside the country, has tweeted that 12 people were “suffocating.” The reports could not be independently verified.
The head of Syria’s main opposition group in exile says it received the reports Wednesday during an informal meeting with the UN Security Council behind closed doors. Khaled Khoja with the Syrian National Coalition urged the council to act on its resolutions, including one that threatens action against the use of chemical weapons.

--Caustic Logic (talk) 23:40, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

May Attacks

Watch the body of the man in the blue and black top. Note he starts rhythmically moving his body up and down at 00:12 and then a second or so later later the boy starts breathing harder at the same rate. The guy in blue and black isn't doing anything to the kid other than hold him lightly. Coaching anyone? --Charles Wood (talk) 10:48, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
That goes right along with what Syricide noted, the boy seeming fine but then seeming to act like it's a crisis and start gasping. What I mentioned there (on Twitter somewhere) is that's true, but maybe not nefarious. Consider, he's doing it while wearing a mask they always say is in short supply, like everything. Maybe hyperventilating a bit speeds it up so the next person can have a turn? If you think that's crap, maybe. But it's good to consider the innocent/irrelevant explanations. It's not a very convincing "crisis" but it could be just a bad try. And if that's it, well, there's the coaching for the poor job. Wouldn't be the first time, or the second. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:09, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
AP is now reporting a new statement by Dr Tennari from the Turkish border that a chlorine attack on 2 May "in a fourth village" killed a six-month old baby "in that attack", with the father dying on 7 May. The SNHR twitter feed has a photo of the baby, named as Mustafa Haj Ali, in a body bag with only the face exposed, and a logo with inscribed black flag above the word sarmin (? Sarmin Coordinating Committee?), giving the site of the attack as Nerab. Have any other photos or videos of this incident been uploaded? Pmr9 (talk) 09:15, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
The AP story is now blank, for me anyway. AP hosted Looking into that points to another alleged attack in east Ghouta. VDC lists no May 2 CW deaths anywhere. But May 3, two rebel fighters - brothers (by name), from Jobar, were killed (VDC says it can't verify! update: it did, now says "Two Killed due to regime forces chemical weapons use on Manasher Front"). The provided video is stamped Douma coordinating committee. There's a same day dead baby video from Douma, but baby named Salim al-Baghdadi, and died of starvation. Looks they're having a few of those lately, more videos along the side. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:20, 8 May 2015 (UTC) and updated Caustic Logic (talk) 09:39, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
SNHR has Mustafa Haj Ali, baby died May 2. Closest at VDC is Ahmad Mohammad Haj Ali - should be older brother, way older. Adult, FSA fighter, killed by "shooting" during clashes on al-Ghab plain, April 30. Weird, that. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:26, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
Update: later in the day they had added both of Tennari's alleged victims. The first one was a bit late - wonder why they didn't hear about a CW dead baby earlier? 149778 Mustafa Haj Ali CM, Neirab, " due to the previous exposure to chlorine Gas shelled by the regime forces." 149796 father of Mustafa Haj Ali (name unknown?)Married with a Child, from Neirab. "due to the previous exposure to chlorine Gas shelled by the regime forces. hi son was killed on the 02-05-2015 due to chlorine gas also" No video. And still, another Haj Ali guy was shot right before that, but he was a rebel, it says, so must be coincidence (?) Neirab location: Nayrab on Wikimapia - South of Sarmin, right by (presumably overrun) military camp, on the main highway. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:39, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

HRW, June 3 Syria: New Chemical Attacks in Idlib Security Council Should Urgently Determine Responsibility. They know who it was already:

Human Rights Watch was not able to conclusively determine the toxic chemicals used in the three attacks. However the distinctive chlorine smell reported by rescue workers and doctors from attacks over the past two months, and the Syrian government’s previous use of chlorine, indicate this chemical was used in some if not all of the attacks.

The report covers two attacks on May 2 (Saraqeb and Neirab) and "May 7 in the village of Kafr Batikh." Includes video of the baby who died - rheumy eyes, puffy lids, no pupil visible. Dark under the nose, right hand might be smoke-stained. They hear the Kayali story of rescuers with no protective gear at all passing out instead of saving people. Leith Fares and Walid Tamer talk about the second attack. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:25, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Back to this: we have another dead chlorine baby and elderly father story, where they sort of passed out inside from the chlorine and died in a hospital later. It makes little scientific sensem, and is of course the script for Sarmin, which is proven fake. So ... I'm suspecting this baby's death. He may have mucous-plugged nostrils, but also some odd dirt or residue around his nose, maybe as if that area was covered for some time (?). Possible skin irritation as with chlorine, but his eyes aren't red. No cyanosis. All suggest not chlorine.
Possibly related: the kid is all puffy. Babies can be quite chubby, but their eyelids don't usually get fat. I don't know if this is all swelling, or partly fat, but his arms are just sausage-like, and his thighs are just swelling out of his diaper. Is that a CW effect, or maybe like an infection that went untreated during his time in rebel captivity? --Caustic Logic (talk) 15:12, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

Mishmishan Attacks, May 15-?? and the Mysterious Ball Barrel Bombs WhiteHelmets twitter feed reports an attack with chlorine barrel bombs in Mhamshan (or Meshemshan) village, Idlib at 0200 on 17 May, with "more than 40 injured" and one dead: a 20-year old woman named Fatma Barghout. She is shown supposedly dead in an ambulance with oxygen being administered to an infant next to her. Puzzlingly, the twitter feed also show a photo of the contents of a barrel bomb consisting of iron balls about the size of a tennis ball and and a block what looks like cement of volume about 5 litres. Presumably this wasn't one of the chlorine one. I haven't found any videos yet. Pmr9 (talk) 18:11, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

The balls and concrete block are almost certainly from a Cement Clinker Ball mill. This is very likely related to the recent insurgent takeover of Jisr ash-Shughur cement plant. i.e. Yet another piece of faked/planted evidence!

--Charles Wood (talk) 04:40, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

That would be convenient if they got their random heavy junk from a high-profile capture of a place with masses of just that junk, as opposed to anywhere else, where random ballast is usually available as well. Why would the regime be stuffing the same things rebels just scored tons of into its own "barrel bomb"? Again, I suspect if these things are falling at all, and they may be, it's usually at angles like 45 degrees, from local catapults. Anyway, The White Helmets retweeted We Ask For Justice, May 15 "@RevolutionSyria: A metal ball weighing 1 kg was inside a barrel bomb dropped on #Aleppo by Assad regime. #Syria"

Shocking photo of the thing included. Scarred up badly, but round as all blackest hell. No surprise, they were designed to sow terror. How can you recover from the otherworldly dread of a barrel bomb with kg steel balls inside, and keep on fighting for real justice? It seems beyond all reckoning! --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps they are going for extra alliteration? Barrel Ball Bombs? Ball Barrel Bombs? Or the mil-speak Bombs Ball Barrel?
Incidentally the tweet was from Aleppo, not Idlib. Maybe a new propaganda meme? --Charles Wood (talk) 03:15, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
woman and baby in ambulance This 20 years old woman died because of chlorine gas and her 2 years old daughter beside her (baby lived?)retweet Regime bombing of Khan Sheikhon, Idleb kills child & his mother, and son of @SyriaCivilDef relief worker. (?) No news reports yet or VDC entries. bomb remnants may be from an earlier incident (re-tweeted) --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:20, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Comedy Chemistry on Twitter questions the chlorine claims based on absent "symptoms" - some incoherent responses, me popping in late, no response. --Caustic Logic
  • This May 17 attack isn't doing well for verification. Couldn't find any news articles or easily-found references - buried under the higher-profile earlier reports. And VDC still hasn't listed any such victim in their chemical and toxic gasses category. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:44, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Ooh, checking the name was a bit interesting. Likely coincidence, maybe not, but a man named Omer Akram al-Bargouth from Bukamal, Deir Ezzor, was killed by Kidnapping - Execution "at the hands of ISIS" on the same day, May 17. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:50, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Going back to Twitter then, an easy start to seeing a bigger picture of 3 alleged chlorine barrel bomb attacks on this same twon in a four-day span.

  • Syrian Observer citing SNHR, says the attack - or a similar attack shortly before - was on Friday (May 15) in "Mishmishan village near the captured town of Jisr al-Shughour" and killed two children, no one else. With two days longer, that's another two the VDC hasn't confirmed yet.
  • Sami ‏@Paradoxy13 on Twitter, May 19 3rd Assad chlorine gas attack in 5 days reported today in Mishmishan, #Idlib, #Syria. Photos by local council.
  • for whichever alleged incident, Video "Civil defence test for Chlorine at remains of barrel bomb- fallen on Mishmishan" --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:44, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Damascus, June

(reports, forthcoming)

  • VDC lists 4 civilians from Jobar killed June 29, 2016 by unspecified toxic gas. One is named as Ayman al-Samman, and the other 3 are unidentified. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:02, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, this was the wrong year. Why do there have to be so many of them? --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:00, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Damascus, July

  • SNHR Tweet, July 27 #Syria #SNHR: 29 victims suffocated from gov poisoned gas missiles on Jober, Ein Tarma, & Zamlka, Jul 27

A day later, little in the news. Israeli national news reports the SOHR now supports the claim: "The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that 30 people were injured in the recent attack, including women and children. There is no report yet on how many were killed." But did they say that? Facebook page says no - back to early on he 26th, Jobar is mentioned 7 times, chlorine zero. Their reports cite regular shelling and deaths on both sides. jul 28 So, just citing the SNHR, and wrongly.

However, the SNC/ETILAF have backed the reports: press release says "Around 50 people were injured in the chlorine gas attack on Jobar, eight of them were in critical condition and were rushed to Arbin field hospital." A tweet from them - Dr. Annie Sparrow (wife of Ken Roth, HRW CEO) - A Tweet by Syrian News has photos - bloodied and smoke-stained people being treated in a clinic. One tweet with a misattributed photo we know. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:03, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I took this to a blog post here with some additions. Like previous actual incidents in Jobar, gas was released by rebels whan the army showed up for them. This chlorine charge comes as government forces apparently attacked parts of Jobar. EA Worldview hears the clashes started right after rebels there took over an important water-pumping station, to stop the regime cut-off (and or cut-off pro-regime areas). Reports say that offensive was rebuffed, but with this chlorine attack along the way, hitting mainly or only civilians - in a district with very few civilians left hanging around for things like that. (some say zero civilians, I doubt it). But as always, any rebel captives held nearby as human shields are always the most likely to be gassed, by whoever. Wondering if the water station might have chlorine around too. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:59, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Checking in September, the [[VDC] records no chemical deaths at this time. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:02, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
I really kept forgetting what year this was about. :) --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:02, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

OPCW investigation

moved to Talk:UN/OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism

Note: discussion of the OPCW investigation of the Sarmin chemical attack should be moved back here. The Joint Investigative Mechanism is a separate investigation of who to blame for the various alleged chemical attacks, not led by OPCW Pmr9 (talk) 14:37, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Using potassium permanganate to generate chlorine

Depiction of a chemical barrel bomb (Source: OPCW)

Anyway, some details of the OPCW investigation of the alleged chlorine attacks in Idlib governorate have now been leaked.

There is a detailed drawing of one of the barrel bombs dropped from helicopters, supposedly containing nine gas cylinders filled with a "a chlorine or chloride containing compound" and up to 15 small flasks of potassium permanganate. all wrapped with detonating cord. On detonation, this supposedly produced chlorine by a reaction between the potassium permanganate and whatever was in the gas cylinders. The potassium permanganate "may be responsible for the purple–red colour occasionally seen in pictures and video footage of impact sites"

Even for an OPCW report, this sounds implausible. You can make chlorine by adding potassium permanganate to hydrochloric acid, and this is a convenient method for preparing small quantities in a lab. But with the contraption shown, where there's no chance for the permanganate and the hydrochloric acid to mix before detonation, I would expect the yield to be very low. It would be far more effective to drop an 80 kg cylinder containing 40 kg of chlorine compressed to a liquid, than to drop a half-ton bomb containing these precursors which might yield 10 kg of chlorine if the yield were 10%.

A possible explanation of all this is that someone used potassium permanganate and hydrochloric acid to generate chlorine at the alleged attack sites, and the red stains subsequently had to be explained by the story that Assad was using it in his barrel bombs. Pmr9 (talk) 14:37, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

(bolding added) --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:25, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
Update: the Tekkim Chemical Test video uploaded in December 2012... Pmr9 (talk) 19:43, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
Moved below to section #Tekkim chemical test video. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 06:12, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
In this alleged design, there is detonating cord and blasting caps, but no (or only small) charge on top of that. Just to rupture those cylinders, as they say. (Not saying that their plot is very convincing, or is substantiated enough)... --Resup (talk) 15:54, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
This might be important. Looking at the schematic here, I don't see a label nor much space for any kind of explosives. And if there were, as Pmr9 notes, its would disrupt the chemical mingling pretty badly (unless maybe it had a delay?) But ... the one at the Taleb home anyway somehow did blow up violently. The barrel is blown into twisted slats, as if it had filled with high explosives instead of all this Rube Golderg junk. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:25, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
The design is obviously ridiculous. The only tiny glimmer of possibility is that the permanganate is actually an incendiary that is mixed with glycerine or ethylene glycol to ignite the gas in the cylinders. There is precedent for this in the only known use of permanganate aerial 'bombs' - actually ping-pong balls full of solid permanganate that are injected with the liquid and jettisoned over forests to start controlled fires. Permanganate incendiary dispensing device --Charles Wood (talk) 19:19, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Here's what happens when you mix permanganate with a chloride --Charles Wood (talk) 21:31, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
... + HCl = ...(kinda slow, whether it is practical, no clue...) But that is not what happened anyway, as I understand, and they need to make the case. --I don't see they did. Indeed, doing all that seems pretty pointless and not worth the trouble.--Resup (talk) 23:09, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
That's interesting, and could explain the not-blood. Good thoughts about on-site mixing, but I can't verify the plausibility of the bomb design. Will look and think on it some more. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:24, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Graphic Origin

Zanders's blog posting on 16 November stated that the drawing was from one of three reports circulated (to whom?) by the Technical Secretariat of OPCW on 29 October, and was expected to be released at the end of the month as one of OPCW's monthly report to the UNSC. But I can't find any further mentions of the report or the drawing. Maybe some of those who were sent the report told OPCW it was ridiculous and they had to withdraw it. Zanders (who appears to have no scientific background) obviously didn't realize this. Pmr9 (talk) 17:43, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

Unsure, holiday period now, can be anything, postponed/put on back burner, thrown off, released inside something else so big nobody will ever read it, released to parties but not made public ... --Resup (talk) 12:09, 1 January 2016 (UTC)

Zanders's blog has another posting. Apparently the final OPCW report was "circulated" on 17 December - there's been a recent report on Reuters but I can't find anything on the UNSC website. It's not clear if the permanganate barrel bomb drawing in the interim report made it into the final report. Instead there's an investigation of an incident on 15 February 2015 in Darayya in which 8 syrian soldiers were casualties. OPCW apparently concludes that there is "high probability that some of these were exposed to sarin or a sarin-like substance". The Syrian hospitals had measured cholinesterase activity, but confirmation is awaited from analysis of stored blood samples in OPCW labs - this requires mass spectrometry probably not available in Syria. Surprisingly Zanders does not endorse the OPCW conclusion, but expresses regret that the CWC provides no penalties for malicious accusations of CW use and suggests that maybe the Syrian regime is staging mock CW incidents for OPCS so that they can learn how better to hide them from investigators in future.

A possible interpretation of all this is that there has been some pushback within OPCW after the absurd permanaganate barrel bomb story, and they are now trying to do a better job of evaluating evidence. Zanders's source isn't keen on this, and is briefing him that the new line to take is something like "malicious allegations, regime wasting OPCW's time". This looks interesting: it's possible that the US is losing control of the narrative and a story is about to break. Pmr9 (talk) 17:06, 8 January 2016 (UTC) ab

Tekkim chemical test video

Main article: Talk:Tekkim Chemical Test Video

Update: the Tekkim Chemical Test video uploaded in December 2012 looks as if this reaction is being used to gas the rabbits. The video shows that the lab has large stocks of potassium permanganate - far more than would be typically required for experiments / tests. So in early December 2012 the Mysterious Wind Chemical Brigade had stockpiled potassium permanganate apparently to make chlorine, but their plans may have been put on hold when the sarin attacks began later that month. Pmr9 (talk) 19:43, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

I have said from week one that the Ghouta CW attacks were chlorine released in confined spaces. The Tekkim rabbit video would be a test and demonstration of the technique of execution. What has always struck me in the video was the low lethality of whatever agent was used. It would never be suitable as a chemical weapon on the field, but could make a good gas chamber. What the terrorists in the video were doing is testing the LD50 dose / concentration of chlorine gas.
I have never seen any real proof of sarin attacks in Syria. There is lots of terror propaganda for sarin, but all I see is trace amounts of sarin left for the OPCW to find. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 06:22, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

Avaaz Petition

I just got by e-mail a request to sign the petition for "a targeted No Fly Zone" (so maybe not exactly a Western or US-led air war against Syria like the one that ruined Libya). :The Syrian air force just dropped chlorine gas bombs on children. But President Obama is considering a No Fly Zone that could stop these chemical weapon murders. He needs urgent public support to save tens of thousands of lives. Every signature makes a safe zone more likely: (space for another name) They say they already have 900,000 signatures, and maybe a full million will make the difference. To start, I didn't signs.

...One humanitarian worker said ‘I wish the world could see what I have seen with my eyes. It breaks your heart forever.’--Caustic Logic (talk) 23:14, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

What kind of response is appropriate to a petition this horrible? Not that I should do it, but maybe ... a counter-petition would probably fail - any other thoughts? --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:45, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Oh, gawd, here we go again. Recall how it was Clinton's enthusiastic continuation of the Iraqi NFZ and bombing infrastructure, like water treatment facilities, that led to the 500k dead toddlers reported in Lancet that Leslie Stahl asked Mad Albright about on 60 Mins in 1995 -- to which Albright said "It was worth it." It was, of course, prelude to the larger Iraq debacle.Pierpont (talk) 13:58, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

It appears Avaaz is a part creation of Jeremy Heimans who is also the founder of
We're now getting a nice grouping of media linked to both the US and French administrations. I'll have to do an entity relationship diagram, but basically all these groups are closely inter-related: White Helmets (, Syria Campaign (Asfari Foundation,, Jeremy Heimans, Clinton Administration, Smart News Agency (White Helmets,, Advocate Hypermedia, Francoise Hollande, Asfari Foundation, Alison Weiner, Anna Nolan

October 2015 attack on Sarmin hospital

Moved to Talk:Alleged Russian strike on Sarmin hospital

August 2017

Who is Leith Fares?

Leith Fares is quoted as a the source used by HRW. He also has a YouTube account. Was the cameraman for both al-Nusra and White Helmets? This collage exposes the connections.

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 13:26, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

White Helmets face map via Michael Kobs.jpg