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Syria: The Nerve Agent Attack That Did Not Occur

Syria: The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur – Khan Sheikhun Summary Report by Prof. Postol

The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur – Khan Sheikhun Summary Report by Prof. Postol

MIT Professor Theodore Postol, a well known missile expert and former scientific advisor to the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, analyzed the available evidence of the alleged April 4 Sarin attack on Khan Sheikhun in Syria. He comes to the conclusion that the White House allegations and its report are false. This confirms other analysis published earlier on Moon of Alabama.

Here is Prof. Postol’s summary report: The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur (pdf) (18 pages)

Pic: NOT the site of a Sarin missile impact as claimed by the White House


sourcebigger

Prof. Postol sent the following covering letter with his report:

The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur – Summary of FindingsThis analysis contains a detailed description of the times and locations of critical events in the alleged nerve agent attack of April 4, 2017 in Khan Shaykhun, Syria – assuming that the White House Intelligence Report (WHR) issued on April 11, 2017 correctly identified the alleged sarin release site.

Analysis using weather data from the time of the attack shows that a small hamlet about 300 m to the east southeast of the crater could be the only location affected by the alleged nerve agent release. Video data of suffocating and dead victims lying on the ground shows a different location from the predicted sarin dispersal site if it had been correctly identified by the White House.

The conclusion is that the nerve agent attack described in the White House Intelligence Report did not occur as claimed. There may well have been mass casualties from some kind of poisoning event, but that event was not the one described by the WHR.

The findings of this expanded analysis can serve two important purposes:

1. It shows exactly what needs to be determined in an international investigation of this alleged atrocity.

In particular, if an international investigation can determine where casualties from the nerve agent attack lived, it will confirm that the findings reported by the White House Report are incompatible with its own cited data.

2. It also establishes that the White House Report did not utilize simple and widely agreed upon intelligence analysis procedures to determine its conclusions.

This raises troubling questions about how the US political and military leadership determined that the Syrian government was responsible for the alleged attack. It is particularly of concern that the White House Report presented itself as a report with “high confidence” findings and that numerous high-level officials in the US government have confirmed their belief that the report was correct and executed to a standard of high confidence.

Theodore A. Postol

Professor Emeritus of Science,
Technology, and National Security Policy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The “Sarin Attack on Khan Sheikhun”, which the White House and its Ambassador to the UN blamed on the Syrian government, did not happen – at least not in the way that was claimed. They Syrian government had no motive at all to mount such an attack. It was in the mid of a winning streak.  The incident benefited al-Qaeda in Syria which dominates the area in question but was losing on the battle field. In “response” to the claimed attack the U.S. bombed the Syrian military airport Al Syairat. This was the main air base for the Syrian airforce involved in fighting the Islamic State in eastern-Syria. The attack amounted to U.S. air support on request of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. The Trump administration initiated these events for domestic purpose. They let Trump to look sufficient belligerent and presidential and dispelled false allegations of association with Russia by the Democrats and the media. To justify the attack the White House released a report written by the National Security Council, not by intelligence services. The report was full of holes and ridiculous assertions.

In the Moon of Alabama analysis of the White House Report on April 12 we wrote:

That “intelligence community assessment” chapter title is likely already a false claim. […] The summary assessment the White House releases has no such [intelligence] heritage. It is likely a well massaged fast write up of some flunky in the National Security Council. The release was backgrounded by dubious statements of an anonymous “Senior Administration Officials” not by “Intelligence Officials” as has been the case on other such issues.

Professor Postol writes in his Final Comments (pdf) (pg11):

[I]t is clear that the WHR was not an intelligence report. No competent intelligence professional would have made so many false claims that are totally inconsistent with the evidence. No competent intelligence professional would have accepted the findings in the WHR analysis after reviewing the data presented herein. No competent intelligence professionals would have evaluated the crater that was tampered with in terms described in the WHR. Although it is impossible to know from a technical assessment to determine the reasons for such an egregiously amateurish report, it cannot be ruled out that the WHR was fabricated to conceal critical information from the Congress and the public.

Uprootedpalestinians's Blog

The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur – Khan Sheikhun Summary Report by Prof. Postol

MIT Professor Theodore Postol, a well known missile expert and former scientific advisor to the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, analyzed the available evidence of the alleged April 4 Sarin attack on Khan Sheikhun in Syria. He comes to the conclusion that the White House allegations and its report are false. This confirms other analysis published earlier on Moon of Alabama.

Here is Prof. Postol’s summary report: The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur (pdf) (18 pages)

Pic: NOT the site of a Sarin missile impact as claimed by the White House

sourcebigger

Prof. Postol sent the following covering letter with his report:

The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur – Summary of FindingsThis analysis contains a detailed description of the times and locations of critical events…

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