Al Qaeda’s chemical weapons in Syria and Turkey

This video is called CHEMICAL WARFARE: Al-Nusra REBEL fighters detained in TURKEY after found in possession of SARIN GAS.

By Bill Van Auken:

Syrian opposition fighters arrested with chemical weapons

1 June 2013

In a series of raids in the capital of Istanbul and in the southern provinces of Mersin, Adana and Hatay near the Syrian border, Turkish police rounded up 12 members of Syria’s Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusra Front along with chemical weapons materials.

The Turkish media initially reported that police recovered four and a half pounds of sarin, the deadly nerve gas which had earlier been linked to chemical weapons attacks inside Syria.

While widely reported in the Turkish press, the arrests Wednesday have been virtually blacked out by the corporate media in the US. Newspapers like the New York Times, which have openly promoted a US intervention in Syria, citing alleged chemical weapons use by the regime of Bashar al-Assad as a pretext, have posted not a word about the raids in Turkey.

The daily newspaper Zaman reported that “the al-Nusra members had been planning a bomb attack for Thursday in [the Turkish city of] Adana but that the attack was averted when the police caught the suspects. Along with the sarin gas, the police seized a number of handguns, grenades, bullets and documents during their search.”

The city of Adana, approximately 60 miles from the Syrian border, has a sizable Alawite Arab population that is sympathetic to the Syrian government and hostile to the Sunni Islamist forces that have waged the US-backed war for regime change on the ground in Syria.

The Al Nusra Front, which has formally declared its allegiance to Al Qaeda, was declared a foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department last December. The United Nations Security Council added the group to the body’s Al Qaeda sanctions blacklist Friday.

The Syrian government had requested that the group be subjected to sanctions as a terrorist organization last month, but the action was initially blocked by Britain and France. Finally, an agreement was reached to declare Al Nusra an alias for Al Qaeda in Iraq.

The Al Nusra Front has been universally acknowledged as the most effective fighting force of the so-called rebels seeking the Assad government’s overthrow. Both Britain and France recently succeeded in overturning a European Union ban on arms exports to Syria, clearing the way for them to ship weapons to the “rebels.”

None of the arrested suspects have been identified. Turkish media reported that five of them were released late Thursday, and seven are still being held for questioning. The government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has provided extensive material support for the Syrian opposition, has given no public explanation of the police actions.

Adana provincial governor Huseyin Avni Cos denied on Thursday that sarin had been recovered in the raids but did allow that unknown chemicals had been found and were being analyzed.

The arrests come little more than two weeks after twin terrorist car bombings claimed the lives of 52 people in the Turkish city of Reyhanli in southern Hatay province near the border with Syria. The Erdogan government seized upon the incident to blame the Syrian government and call for international intervention to topple Assad. It simultaneously imposed an unprecedented gag order on the Turkish press to prevent reporting on the extensive evidence that the attacks were the work of Syrian opposition groups, which use Reyhanli as a supply base and who have free movement across the Turkish-Syrian border.

Subsequently, authorities arrested an army private on charges of “crimes against the state” for allegedly leaking top secret cables that indicated the government’s prior knowledge that the bombings were being planned by the Al Qaeda-linked forces in Syria. RedHack, the Turkish hacker group which made the cables public last week, denied that it had any contact with the arrested private, who was identified as Utku Kali.

The Adana daily Taraf reported Thursday that police are mounting road blocks and conducting searches in the area for a vehicle loaded with explosives that is believed to have been sent to the area by the US-backed anti-Assad forces.

The discovery of sarin or some other lethal chemical weapons materials in the hands of Al Nusra Front operatives in Turkey prompted calls by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for an immediate investigation. He condemned the continuing failure to send a United Nations inspection team to Syria to investigate a chemical weapons incident last March outside of the city of Aleppo.

“We are highly disappointed that because of the political games, the UN Secretariat failed to respond to that request swiftly,” Lavrov told reporters.

These “political games” refer to demands by Washington and its allies that any UN team be given carte blanche to inspect any and all Syrian facilities and interrogate anyone it chooses, along the lines of the inspection regime created in Iraq in the run-up to the US invasion of 2003.

The Assad government has charged that the March attack, which killed 26 people, 16 of them government soldiers, was carried out by the Western-backed forces.

The Obama administration has repeatedly declared the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government to be a “red line” or “game changer” that would trigger unspecified US intervention. At the same time, Washington and its European NATO allies have turned a blind eye to evidence of chemical weapons use by the Islamist militias.

There have been repeated claims by the Syrian opposition groups, as well as by the British and French governments, of chemical weapons use by the regime. Last month, however, Carla del Ponte, a leading member of the UN commission of inquiry on Syria, stated that the bulk of the evidence indicated chemical weapons use by the rebels.

The latest development in Turkey suggests that the Western-backed Islamist militias were preparing to launch another chemical weapons attack, apparently against a Turkish civilian population, with the aim of producing mass casualties that would be blamed on the Syrian regime and create the conditions for a US-led intervention.

The silence of the US media on the incident only demonstrates that it is prepared to play the same role that it did in Iraq, working to sell a war based upon lies to the American public. The experience of the past decade of unending war, however, has made this task more difficult.

A Gallup poll released on Friday found that more than two out of three Americans (68 percent) oppose any US military intervention in Syria if “diplomatic efforts fail to end the civil war in Syria.”

At least 60 people, including women, children and the elderly, were killed in a massacre of Shia Muslims by US-backed “rebels” in eastern Syria Tuesday: here.

The US vowed at the weekend to go ahead with provocative war games involving thousands of troops less than 100 miles from Syria: here.

US inflames sectarian tensions to escalate war in Syria: here.

Belgium, Al Qaeda and Syria: Une ministre belge confirme: Al Qaïda est notre allié indirect en Syrie.

23 thoughts on “Al Qaeda’s chemical weapons in Syria and Turkey

  1. Rebels boast of slaughter at Shi’ite village Hatla

    Wednesday 12 June 2013

    Syrian rebels boasted today of an attack on the village of Hatla in Deir el-Zour in which at least 60 people were killed.

    The Damascus government said the insurgents had “carried out a massacre against villagers in which older people and children were killed.”

    The British-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said at least 10 rebels died in the attack on “Shi’ites” in the village.

    A video showed masked fighters who bragged of being the “mojahedin, celebrating entering the homes of the rejectionists, the Shias.”

    Rebels added that they had burned Shia homes to the ground.

    The slaughter highlights the increasingly sectarian nature of the civil war in Syria, which the UN estimates has killed at least 80,000 people.

    It follows the murder by jihadists last Sunday of a 14-year-old boy accused of blasphemy.

    He was overheard telling a friend that he wouldn’t give him a free coffee “even if the prophet came down from heaven” – a common phrase in Syria.

    He was shot twice in the face in front of his parents. Rebel organisations later condemned the killing.

    Fighting between government and opposition soldiers continued to rage in Homs today – and Lebanese officials said a Syrian helicopter also fired three missiles at the border town of Arsal in Lebanon, which is now home to around 27,000 Syrian refugees.

    Since the government’s recapture of the town of Qusair last week rebel forces have been on the back foot – leading France, which with Britain is backing the insurgents, to renew its bid to send more weapons to the country.


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  3. The International Peace in Syria Initiative Meets with Government and
    Opposition in Damascus and Lebanon

    Since September 2012 the Peace in Syria Initiative has undertaken
    consultations inside and outside Syria. Between June 2 and 8, the Peace in
    Syria Initiative met with high ranking government officials, opposition
    and religious organizations.

    This international initiative is composed of prominent civil society
    figures from Europe and Latin America (list attached) representing all
    those concerned with peace and justice in Syria. Its aim is to contribute
    to the end of the war and the suffering by helping create favourable
    conditions for the advancement of the political process through dialogue
    and negotiations.

    In order to achieve such an aim, we met with State officials at high
    levels and various groups and parties of the opposition inside and outside
    the country, along with religious organizations and international and
    non-governmental bodies.

    We have been received, have been informed on the aspects and essence of
    the conflict, and have been heard.

    On the basis of the discussions held, the Initiative identified key areas
    of agreement and drew the following conclusions:

    1 The conflict cannot be solved by military means.

    2 There is a need for a viable political solution based on dialogue and
    negotiations and aiming at drawing up a political transitional framework.

    3 A sectarian war is now in the making and there is a real possibility of
    it becoming transnational, making peace all that more urgent.

    4 The conflict has had a catastrophic impact on the Syrian people as 6.8
    million people are in need of assistance, according to interviewed United
    Nations officials.

    5 The inflow and funding of weapons, soldiers, foreign fighters and
    militia from the outside aimed at continuing the war must all stop.

    6 The embargo has increased misery among the population and is a factor,
    among others, affecting the delivery of the much needed assistance.

    7 The Geneva II meeting must be attended and supported by all relevant
    parties in a way that genuinely meets the social aspirations of the Syrian
    people based on justice for the dispossessed, displaced and oppressed.

    The Peace-in-Syria initiative agrees with the above considerations.

    In the course of its discussions, various suggestions were presented to
    the parities including the following:

    – Organizing a Syrian civil society conference to be held possibly in
    Austria in support of peace-building and Syrian infrastructure
    reconstruction with an emphasis on the role played by women in the peace
    building process.

    – Local zones of non-violence around places such as hospitals, schools,
    cultural and religious centres with the aid of the Red Crescent.

    – Good will steps by contending forces on the ground for the release of
    prisoners, hostages and kidnapped persons, particularly those most

    – Formation of a European parliamentary delegation to encourage dialogue
    among the parties concerned.

    The Initiative believes there is no higher moral imperative at this time
    than that of ending the killing and the suffering in Syria. Further misery
    must also be avoided by ending the destruction of medical infrastructure
    and cultural patrimony. Every day that the war continues signifies a
    further erosion of the social fabric of the nation and therefore the
    capacity to build a lasting peace based on justice.

    We further believe that a genuine solution to the conflict should arise
    from a political process and outcome consistent with basic democratic and
    human rights, Syrian sovereignty, principles of international law and
    international humanitarian law.

    We join in advocating for the security of all civilians, particularly
    vulnerable groups, and call for the strictest adherence to international
    humanitarian and human rights law including the end of indiscriminate
    attacks against non-military targets and enhanced humanitarian access for
    Syrian Red Crescent and others for the delivery and distribution of
    medicines ending the embargo on the same.

    We strongly believe in the fundamental importance of the principle of
    self-determination in a context of the sovereign territorial and political
    integrity of Syria based also on freedom of expression and respect for
    cultural, economic and social rights.

    We reject all foreign intervention in the Syrian conflict. We warn against
    imperial and regional attempts to create sectarian states and redraw the
    map of the Middle East in order to control the resources and the future of
    this region while also ignoring the inalienable rights of the Palestinian
    people. The continuation of military action can only increase external
    dependence, foreign intervention and the multiplication in the number of
    victims leading to uncontainable chaos and destruction.

    The Initiative will continue its work and promote discussion among the
    parties of and immediate measures to alleviate suffering and promote
    Syrian-led reconciliation.

    Beirut, June 14, 2013


    See the website of the initiative:


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