Over the last 24 hours, new accounts are out from multiple firsthand sources in Douma, posted in video and print, which all report, that they saw no evidence of use of poison gas in the April 7 imputed chemical weapons episode. The disparate accounts conform to show a scenario in which, in the midst of a shelling attack, people sheltering in an underground chamber were stricken by dust, smoke, and debris. Some died right there; others were able to flee. Some got to the hospital, where medics began treatment for respiratory and other forms of distress. Suddenly, cameramen arrived, and a shout of "gas attack" went up. Certain people started hosing children and others, all of which was caught on video. The film team then departed, and the medics continued to treat people. Accounts have come from Douma from Pearson Sharp (One America News, April 16,) from CGTN, and others.
For example, Robert Fisk, writing in Britain's daily Independent (April 16), interviewed Dr. Assim Rahaibani, a senior Syrian physician, who spoke of the night in question. "There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night—but on this night, there was wind, and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a 'White Helmet,' shouted, 'Gas!' and a panic began. People began throwing water over each other. Yes the video was filmed here; it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia—not gas poisoning."
At The Hague yesterday, information on all this, including the White Helmets' role and history, was distributed at the OPCW meeting to all the participants, by Russian Ambassador Alexander Shulgin. He said afterward, "We handed out materials demonstrating that what happened in Douma on April was well orchestrated. The Russian Defense Ministry made a very important statement. Facts were presented to show how the White Helmets, this pseudo-humanitarian, non-government organization, works off the money they receive from Western sponsors, first of all, from the United States and Great Britain, to stage various sorts of provocations." For their part, the British envoy, and the U.S. Ambassador to the OPCW Kenneth Ward, charged up their new Big Lie, that the Russians may be tampering with the evidence onsite in Douma.
However, the bigger the lies, the more exposed. Not only the Russian, but Chinese sources are naming names. China English-language TV broadcaster CGTN put out a special exposing the White Helmets, by their prominent host, Yang Rui. In his "Rui Thinking" program today, he states that the White Helmets are known to practice medical aid by day, and by night, carry out terrorist attacks. He says that to believe what the White Helmets say, puts you in the land of "post-truth."
Helga Zepp-LaRouche today observed that we are in a situation where the lies can completely backfire. If the role of Britain is exposed—and the Russians and Chinese are now focussing on it, then it all can backfire. She drew out the point, "Spooks like to operate in the dark. But the limelight is now on the spooks!"
Instead of the lies, attacks and destruction, what is required among nations—acting in the realm of light and truth, is for actions which serve the mutual benefit of all. This potential is being furthered this week between China and Japan, as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has important meetings in Tokyo. Today in Florida, President Donald Trump hosts Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It is high time for Trump to meet with President Vladimir Putin.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche's call for this was carried April 13 by Russian Satellite News Agency, out of Moscow, and is also picked up in China. Quoting Zepp-LaRouche from an earlier interview, the Agency dispatch reports, "'As Trump said on Twitter, the deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations is largely the result of actions within the U.S. against him. Special investigations by Mueller and various committees of the country over the past year, have found no findings of "Russia traces."' LaRouche concluded, 'The sooner Trump meets with Putin, the more opportunity they have to stop the provocation.'"
U.S. Missiles Were Shot Down in Syria, Despite Trump’s Claim [That 100% Reached Their Targets]
April 17, 2018 (EIRNS)—In Hialeah, Florida, President Donald Trump repeated what his military advisors had told him since April 14: that all of the missiles fired overnight by U.S., U.K. and French forces hit their targets in Syria. He went so far as to claim that Syrian and Russian air defenses “didn’t work too well.”
The Russians, however, continue to tell a completely different story than what the Pentagon presented. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a briefing yesterday that the damage at the Barzeh science facility outside Damascus did not correspond with the 30 cruise missiles that the U.S. claimed were launched at it. “Moreover, the survey of the territory of this and other objects did not reveal either a large number of debris and fragmentations of ammunition, or a corresponding number of impact craters,” he said. Konashenkov went on to say that the actual U.S.-U.K.-French targets include five airfields, Shayrat among them, none of which were hit, because the attacks were successfully repelled by Syrian air defenses.
Konashenkov listed the Russian anti-aircraft systems employed by the Syrians to repel the attack, including, for the first time, the truck-mounted Pantsir S1 short range anti-aircraft/anti-missile system. The Syrians have 40 Pantsir S1 systems which fired 25 missiles and hit 24 targets. “It is to be stressed that Syrian air defense system was organized on the principle of object defense,” Konashenkov said. “Almost all objects protected by air defense systems repelled the strike.”
U.S. Charges Russia Tampered with Alleged Syria Chemical Attack Site
April 17, 2018 (EIRNS)—Yesterday’s meeting of the executive council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was the scene of accusations and countercharges, as the U.S. and the U.K. accused Russia of blocking access to the site in Douma, Syria of the April 7 alleged chemical weapons attack. Even worse, the U.S. Ambassador to the OPCW Kenneth Ward claimed that the Russians may have tampered with the site of the alleged April 7 chemical attack “with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW fact-finding mission to conduct an effective investigation,” Ward said, the Wall Street Journal reported. The same powers that were accusing Russia of blocking OPCW access to the site of an alleged chemical attack were more than happy, in late 2017 to accept the report of a joint UN-OPCW investigation blaming the Syrian government for the Khan Sheikhoun attack, though the investigators declined to visit the attack site!
Ambassador Alexander Shulgin, Russia’s representative to the OPCW, told the council that the U.S. is worried that the inspectors might not find any evidence of an attack, and thus are worried about what happens next. “The U.S. ambassador said that Russian experts had visited the site of the presumable chemical attack and cleaned up something there to help the Syrians cover up the tracks,” Shulgin said. “We consider that as a clumsy attempt to cushion the blow in case it turns out that they have lied about what had actually happened. “Our American partners look to be nervous, in frenzied effort to find anything that could justify their steps in case their allegations about the use of chemical weapons in Syria prove to be false,” Shulgin stressed. “They are probably afraid that experts on the ground may refute their false theory that was used as a pretext for a strike on helpless Syria.”