Late last night, The Pentagon stated that their attack on the Syrian Government air-base near Homs was not targeting the regime’s supposed chemical weapon stocks. Despite “all the signs” pointing to Assad’s guilt, and it being “very likely” that this base is where the gas attack originated…no efforts were made to destroy any chemical weapons. At all.
The Pentagon’s official statement says:
The strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act. Shayrat Airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian air forces. The U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4.
And that the attack…
…was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.”
But the targets were limited to:
…aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars.
So they “know” where the chemical weapons are. And they “know” Assad used them on civilians and (for all they know) may well do so again.
So why not target and destroy these weapons? Wouldn’t that be the easiest option?
Well, it is NOT because they know Assad doesn’t really have any. They want to be very clear on that point. Rather, it’s because they want to prevent possible casualties by putting chemicals into the atmosphere, as The Guardian reports:
But that tenuous self-defence justification was weakened by the Pentagon’s insistence that the goal of the strike was not to destroy chemical weapons. In fact, it took great pains to avoid bombing any sites where chemical weapons may have been stored, for fear of causing civilian casualties downwind.
But, hold on, isn’t this statement in total and complete contradiction to all the media coverage of the Idlib attack so far? Why yes, yes it is!
When the Russian government suggested the chemical casualties were caused by the bombs hitting a rebel weapons stockpile, these claims were rubbished as “fanciful” by the current go-to expert on chemical weapons, Col. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon. He told the Guardian, the BBC and others:
“No I think [the Russian explanation] is pretty fanciful, no doubt the Russians trying to protect their allies,” he said.
“Axiomatically, if you blow up sarin, you destroy it.”
“It’s very clear it’s a sarin attack,” he added. “The view that it’s an al-Qaida or rebel stockpile of sarin that’s been blown up in an explosion, I think is completely unsustainable and completely untrue.”
All the mainstream media have been very clear that releasing sarin gas into the atmosphere through bombing is impossible. Even going so far as to ignore weapons experts so say otherwise, and remove them from their articles.
So there we are, it is perfectly safe – according to our own former-NATO experts – to bomb the crap out of sarin. It poses no threat whatsoever to civilians and will be completely destroyed.
The fact the American’s didn’t destroy, or even attempt destroy, Assad’s supposed sarin gas stocks is definitive proof of one of two things:
1. They know Assad doesn’t have any sarin gas.
2. They know the Russian explanation to be, at least theoretically, correct.
Of course, it could also be both.