Another chemical weapons attack occurred in Syria this Tuesday. This particular attack took place in Idlib province, consequently, dozens have reportedly died.
Syria is no stranger to chemical weapons attack. In 2013, there were notably two destructive attacks, both of which the Obama administration tried to justify a direct strike on Assad government.
The UN thoroughly investigated the firs 2013 attack. The UN Commission of Inquiry’s Carla Del Ponte ultimately said the evidence indicated the attack was carried out by the Syrian rebels, not the Syrian government. Despite this, the support for the Syrian rebels from the US and its allies only increased, raising serious questions about the Obama’s sincerity when condemning chemical attacks.
Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh shockingly found that the second attack was happened in the same manner. Hersh found that US deliberately tried to frame the evidence to justify a strike on Assad without even considering al-Nusra, a terror group with access to nerve agents that should have been prime suspect.
Syrian government has indeed used chemical weapons during the long years conflict, UN concluded in 2016, but that ISIS too. This is in the light of the fact that in 2013, the UN also declared that the regime no longer possessed chemical weapons.
You might have got that these facts have been largely missing from any serious commentary on the recent attack in Syria. The world decided to ignore and rush to blame Assad once again, even these reports being accessible and available. The worth noting point is that the sources blaming Syria and/or Russia for the attack is Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), an organisation run by a single anti-Assad dissident in Coventry, England.
Having these claims bolstered by the White Helmets does nothing to aid its credibility given the group’s leadership is reportedly driven by a “pro-interventionist agenda conceived by the Western governments and public relations groups that back them,” according to Alternet.
Without directly confirming any intelligence the media and government are in full force to condemn the Assad government. The Guardian has three top headlines on this news: one reporting on the attack and two condemning the Assad government.
The New Zealand Herald, a New Zealand newspaper, ran an ambitious article entitled “Donald Trump is the only leader who can stop Syrian atrocities.”
In the article the writer ignores all the aforementioned reports regarding the attacks in 2013, claiming that in that year “the Syrian regime used sarin.” She also claims “Obama did nothing” in response.
The claim that Obama “did nothing” makes no sense. In 2016 alone, Obama dropped around 26,000 bombs, half of which dropped in Syria. These bombs were also dropped Syrian troops in direct violation of International law. As president Obama also oversaw the CIA’s expenditure of $1 billion a year training on Syrian rebels.
Perhaps the Syrian government did use chemical weapons in the stupid move that would immediately attract international condemnation and calls just days after the US openly acknowledged they would consider Assad leaving alone. But what if the Syrian government wasn’t responsible and the attack was again committed by the Syrian rebels? Will the world unite and join Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard in her calls to stop arming terror groups in Syria?
Or is it that we only care about chemical weapons attacks if there is an indication that the Syrian government is behind it?
One should bear this in mind that if the rebels did commit the attack, the US could actually do something about it considering America and its allies actively support them. Withdrawing support for groups that resort to these tactics would contribute to Syria’s safety and security. This is not a concern, however, because it appears the media’s ultimate focus on this story is to garner support for further war and bloodshed in the Middle East — not less of it.