Is Trump Making Up Syria-Sarin Claims?

The White House claimed victory after it warned Syria not to mount a chemical weapons attack and nothing happened, but some experts are questioning the quality of these U.S. claims about Syria and sarin, says Dennis J Bernstein.

By Dennis J Bernstein

This week, the White House issued a warning to Syria that it would pay a “heavy price” if it carried out a chemical weapons attack that was allegedly in the works — and President Trump took credit when no attack occurred. But no evidence was presented to support the White House claims amid growing doubts about Trump’s earlier missile attack on Syria in retaliation for another alleged chemical attack on April 4.

Photograph of men in Khan Sheikdoun in Syria, allegedly inside a crater where a sarin-gas bomb landed.

The latest doubts about the April 4 incident came from legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh — published in the Sunday edition of Die Welt — who questioned whether the Syrian government carried it out. Hersh earlier had disputed U.S. government claims that the Syrian government was responsible for a sarin attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013.

Another skeptic of these U.S. government accusations is Theodore Postol, professor emeritus of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT. In earlier comments on the topic of allegations of Syria’s use of chemical weapons, Postol stated, “The White House took unjustified actions — and is now creating another set of reasons for more such actions. Chances of an unpredictable escalation are significant. Trump is pushing the Russians to extreme positions and he’s undermining the effort to destroy the Islamic State.”

I spoke to Postol on Pacifica Radio’s Flashpoints show about the U.S. claims that Syria had used chemical weapons as well as the dangers of a new global conflagration if the U.S. launches another attack on Syrian government forces now closely aligned with nuclear-armed Russia.

Dennis Bernstein: So, now, why don’t you come at this, because we’ve seen a bit of evidence that these first two attacks by the Syrian government with chemicals really weren’t from the Syrian government, if in fact they…

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