On 5 September 2013, Dutch Protestant Christian daily Trouw had an article by their Middle East correspondent Peter Speetjens. Its translation:
Poison gas may have come from rebels’ exploded storage
That chemical weapons have been deployed in Syria seems certain now, but the question remains: by whom? Western intelligence services point the finger at the Syrian regime, the Russians suggest that it may have been the rebels. They would have wanted to provoke a Western intervention with the poison gas attack. What evidence is there for that version?
A female fighter says in the article that the rebels were not told “what weapons these were and how to use them”
Statements by survivors and rebels, made in an article on the website Mint Press News, point in the direction of an explosion in a weapons storage of the rebels of the Salafist Nusrah Front. In the article, written by the Jordanian journalist Yahya Ababneh and his American colleague Dale Gavlak, witnesses from the affected area Ghouta speak. One of them is Abu Abdel-Moneim, who tells how his son fought in a militia led by the Saudi Abu Ayesha. Two weeks before the gas attack the son asked his father what he thought of the new weapons which he had to carry. Moneim described some as ” cylinder -like “, while others looked like ‘huge gas cylinders’.
Mainstay of the Salafist insurgents
According to Abdel – Moneim his son on August 21 was one of the victims of the poison gas. He said his son died after a blast in a tunnel which the rebels used as a weapons depot. His account is confirmed by rebel leader ‘ J. ‘. According to him, the Nusrah Front used rebels of moderate groups to transport the new weapons. “Unfortunately, some fighters were careless with the weapons and caused an explosion,” he said.
A female warrior says in the article that the rebels were not told “what weapons these were and how to use them.” “We did not know that these were chemical weapons were and had never thought they might be chemical weapons. If Prince Bandar gives away such weapons, then he must give them to people who know what they are doing.”
Prince Bandar bin Sultan is the head of Saudi intelligence, an important mainstay of the Salafist insurgents in Syria. As ambassador in Washington, he acquired the nickname “Bandar Bush” because of his excellent relationship with the former presidential family. In 1986 he was involved in the Iran-Contra affair and later he played a key role in arming the Afghan rebels, including the Islamic extremists who would become known as the Taliban. Whether Bandar delivered chemical weapons to the Nusrah Front is of course impossible to verify, but that Syria is priority number one for him is beyond dispute.
According to the Wall Street Journal the Saudi intelligence tries ever since December 2012 to convince the US Americans that Syria has deployed chemical weapons. As an argument for that they included a possible poison gas attack in Aleppo, in March (it was this incident which the UN inspectors examined earlier this month). Here too, the Syrian regime was considered to be the main suspect. But after talks with victims and medical personnel in Syria Carla Del Ponte, former prosecutor in Yugoslavia Tribunal and a member of the International Independent Investigation in Syria concluded that the sarin gas had been probably used by the rebels.
Finally, those who once again are pointing to the rebels as potential perpetrators argue that it is unlikely that Assad would use poison gas at a time when his forces have the upper hand in many parts of the country. Why would he risk everything with a chemical attack? For the rebels, the opposite applies , they would just benefit from a helping hand which would strengthen their position.
Arabie Saoudite: Le silence blanc et un cocktail de wahhabisme et de pétrole: here.
Export papers seem to back Assad’s denial over sarin attack – but Russians won’t go into detail: here.
Saudi officials vent anger over US failure to attack Syria: here.
Jordanians, Egyptians and Saudis are visiting Syrian refugee camps to buy virgins. They pay 300 dollars, and they get the girl of their dreams: here.
Seymour Hersh: Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack: here.
The American media has blacked out an account by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh demonstrating that President Barack Obama and the US government lied when they claimed to have proof that the Syrian government carried out a sarin gas attack last August on areas near Damascus held by US-backed “rebels”: here.
BRITISH chemicals and equipment are likely to have been used to make poison gas by the Syrian government, the Foreign Secretary admitted yesterday: here.
- Syria: Evidence, Prayer, and Activism (asenseofbelonging.org)
- EXCLUSIVE: Witnesses Of Gas Attack Say Saudis Supplied Rebels With Chemical Weapons (mintpressnews.com)
- Syrians in Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack (intifada-palestine.com)
- Saudi Arabia irritated by the changing US relationship with Iran (theguardian.com)
- Saudi prince Bandar led attacks on Syria Christians (intifada-palestine.com)
- Britain and US suspend non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels (telegraph.co.uk)
- The UN Has Had Evidence That Syrian Rebels Have Been Using Chemical Weapons Since May (activistpost.com)