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originally posted by: Vector99
a reply to: markosity1973
Russians are no saints. It's like the white spy asking the black spy for intel (spy vs spy reference, hope you get it).
When the white or black spy helps the other one, they ALWAYS got blown up.
The joint chiefs also knew that the Obama administration’s public claims that only the Syrian army had access to sarin were wrong. The American and British intelligence communities had been aware since the spring of 2013 that some rebel units in Syria were developing chemical weapons. On 20 June analysts for the US Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified five-page ‘talking points’ briefing for the DIA’s deputy director, David Shedd, which stated that al-Nusra maintained a sarin production cell: its programme, the paper said, was ‘the most advanced sarin plot since al-Qaida’s pre-9/11 effort’. (According to a Defense Department consultant, US intelligence has long known that al-Qaida experimented with chemical weapons, and has a video of one of its gas experiments with dogs.) The DIA paper went on: ‘Previous IC [intelligence community] focus had been almost entirely on Syrian CW [chemical weapons] stockpiles; now we see ANF attempting to make its own CW … Al-Nusrah Front’s relative freedom of operation within Syria leads us to assess the group’s CW aspirations will be difficult to disrupt in the future.’ The paper drew on classified intelligence from numerous agencies: ‘Turkey and Saudi-based chemical facilitators,’ it said, ‘were attempting to obtain sarin precursors in bulk, tens of kilograms, likely for the anticipated large scale production effort in Syria.’ (Asked about the DIA paper, a spokesperson for the director of national intelligence said: ‘No such paper was ever requested or produced by intelligence community analysts.’)
I find the report credible, taking into full account the fact that the CHP (Erdogan’s center-left Kemalist rivals) and Today’s Zaman (whose editor-in-chief, Bulent Kenes was recently detained on live TV for insulting Erdogan in a tweet) are on the outs with Erdogan.
Syrian Civil War Source
During the Syrian Civil War US President Obama had argued in a 2012 speech that a chemical attack in Syria would constitute crossing a "red line" and that this would trigger a US military intervention against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Since his speech, and prior to the chemical attacks in Ghouta, chemical weapons were suspected to have been used in at least four attacks in the country. On 23 March 2013, the Syrian government requested the UN send inspectors to investigate an incident in town of Khan al-Assal, where it said opposition forces had used chlorine-filled rockets. However, on 25 April US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stated that US intelligence showed the Assad government had likely used chemical weapons – specifically sarin gas.
On 8 December 2013, the London Review of Books published an online article by Hersh alleging that President Obama had "omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts" in his assertion during his televised speech of 10 September that Bashar Al-Assad regime had been responsible for the use of sarin in the Ghouta chemical attack of 21 August 2013 against a rebel-held district of Damascus. In particular, Hersh wrote of anonymous intelligence sources telling him that the Syrian army was not the only agency with access to sarin, referring to the Al-Nusra Front Jihadist group, and that, during the period before the Ghouta attack, secretly implanted sensors at the country's known bases had not detected suspicious movements suggesting a forthcoming chemical attack in the period. The New Yorker and The Washington Post had both decided against publishing Hersh's account.
Eliot Higgins an amateur blogger, using youtube video evidence, argued that the munitions used in the Ghouta attack were only possessed by Syrian government forces, apparently ruling out state-sponsored rebels. He claims the range of the rockets used is consistent with them being fired from government-held territory, though this was discerned through watching videos on YouTube and referencing Google Earth. In a MintPress News interview between MIT professor Theodore Postol, Hersh, and Higgins, Postol supported Hersh's assessment and criticized Higgins, saying the latter "has done a very nice job collecting information on a website. As far as his analysis, it's so lacking any analytical foundation it's clear he has no idea what he's talking about."