On the night of April 8th, 2018, a Sunday, Syria’s Tiyas Military Airbase in the Homs governorate (also known as the T-4 Airbase), was struck by missiles in a vicious and unprovoked attack. Initial reports claimed that Syrian air defences intercepted five of eight projectiles, and that there were several casualties and wounded.
The attack comes just over one year after the April 7th, 2017, US missile strikes against the Shayrat Airbase, when 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched as a US ‘response’ to a flurry of reports of a chemical weapons attack against civilians in Idlib province, which also allegedly killed around 70 people. That ‘response’ took place without an investigation and on the basis of little evidence demonstrating the Syrian government’s involvement. The missile strikes rewarded newly-elected US president Donald Trump with positive media coverage, but shook his supporter base as it undermined his election promise to not ‘topple foreign regimes’.
And now, once again, the supposed ‘red line’ for this latest attack has been the use of chemical weapons within Syria’s borders, but rather unusually there have been no immediate statements from a major military power claiming responsibility for it. The US military denied perpetrating the attack, claiming that, “At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria.”
France, having previously made strong condemnatory statements towards the Syrian government, also denied involvement. Suspicion fell on Israel, which has conducted over a dozen airstrikes on Syrian targets in recent years, and recently lost an F-16 in the process. The likelihood of Israeli guilt was given a strong boost when the Russian Ministry of Defense today issued a statement claiming that the strike was carried out via two Israeli F-15 fighters. So far, however, the Israeli government has refused to confirm or deny the allegations.
The supposed “chemical weapons attack” in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, on Saturday, has of course been reported as headline news in Western media, but denounced by the Russian Foreign Ministry as “fake news”. It is already doubtful whether anything took place there at all. The location was the last remaining stronghold of takfiri militants in the Eastern Ghouta region who have, since this incident allegedly took place, made a deal with the Syrian state forces to surrender and be relocated to Jarablus in Turkish-held northern Syria. Russian military officials have thus already been able to move into and inspect the site of the alleged attack: they report finding no trace of chemical weapons there. In addition, the Syrian Red Crescent and local medics have reported that not a single person in Douma has come forward to report experiencing or witnessing anyone afflicted with anything remotely resembling chemical poisoning.
This non-incident took place 34 days after the March 4th poisoning of ex-‘double agent’ Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia in the United Kingdom, allegedly by a “military-grade nerve agent” known as “Novichok”. The poisoning was followed by a surge of groundless accusations and hysteria about ‘Russian espionage’, propagated by mainstream UK media presstitutes ever-willing to spout Russophobic propaganda in the name of selling papers.
Timed two weeks before the 2018 Russian Presidential elections (which incumbent Vladimir Putin overwhelmingly won with 76% of the vote), the epic failure of Boris Johnson and Theresa May’s rabble-rousing has exposed the UK government as the pack of incompetent liars that it is, and has raised serious questions regarding criminal, murderous acts by the British security agencies.
Despite the recovery of both Skripals (and a UK policeman) from exposure to said “military-grade nerve agent” – of which apparently only one milliliter absorption via the skin is sufficient to kill – and the categorical announcement by the UK’s Porton Down chemical weapons facility that they have been unable to identify the source of the agent – the UK government has been doubling down on its ridiculous fairy-tale of a Russian assassination attempt, apparently incapable of facing the reality that their ‘existential’ struggle with Russia is a delusion almost entirely of their own pathological making.
With the collapse of the UK’s narrative about a ‘chemical weapons attack’ by a foreign government on British soil, all of a sudden another ‘chemical weapons attack’ has allegedly occurred in Syria. The Russian government has been warning of just such an attack (or the simulation of one) for months; it did so again several weeks ago; and it did so again not 36 hours before this latest manufactured incident.
It is legitimate to ask the question: Was the recent month-long “nerve agent” propaganda barrage against Russia done with a view to undercutting the credibility of any defence Russia might make on the international stage on behalf of the Syrian government concerning its alleged use of chemical weapons? After all, it would have been much easier to convince the world that further ‘military intervention’ against Assad was ‘justified’ if there was a cloud over Russia’s moral standing regarding chemical weapons. It is of course absurd that such a provocation could be undertaken given that Russia is the only major power that has voluntarily destroyed its chemical weapons stockpiles under observation from and with the verification of the international Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), but we are living in the Age of Absurd in which Western leaders routinely do and say the most absurd things.
It would make sense if Israel turns out to be the perpetrator of yesterday’s airstrike against Syria. Israel has a history of military provocations against Syria, and has a long-running historical enmity against both that country and Iran, whose forces are also present there. Israel has no intention of leaving the occupied Golan Heights in Syria, which are rich in natural resources. With US President Donald Trump’s recent announcement that US forces would soon vacate Syria, and the aggressive rhetoric by Israeli military officials concerning this supposed ‘chemical weapons attack’, it’s possible, even probable, that Israel sees its goals for the partitioning of Syria sliding away, and that the T-4 Airbase attack was an attempt to escalate the military confrontation between the US and Syria by manipulating the US to step in as an ‘ally’.
Whether this strategy fails in the short-term remains to be seen. Trump has announced that the US may respond militarily in the next day or two. The Syrian Arab Army – with Russian military personnel embedded within it at every level – is securing more and more of Syria every day. With each new capture of the remaining pockets of ‘rebels’ and ‘moderates’, the comprehensive defeat of the Deep State’s proxy forces beckons: soon there will be no one left in Syria to stage the false-flag attacks required to generate the media outrage the Western coalition relies on to manipulate their domestic populations.
Have we seen the last of the ‘chemical weapons attack’ narrative? It should have been dead and buried all the way back in August 2013, when Russia first intervened in Syria by striking a deal with London and Washington to act as guarantor in the OPCW process of destroying the country’s chemical weapon stockpiles. That diplomatic move apparently saved Syria from NATO ‘shock-and-awe’ at the eleventh hour. But here we are, five years later, and the ‘chemical weapons’ Theater of the Absurd is still, apparently, the biggest show in town.