Weapons Inspectors: Syrian Chemical Weapons Fired from REBEL-HELD Territory

George Washington's picture

The head of the UN weapons inspectors said that the American case for Syrian government firing chemical weapons was weak, because the rockets can only go 2 miles … but government-held territory is much further away.

Similarly, McClatchy reported yesterday:

A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated.




The authors of a report released Wednesday said that their study of the rocket’s design, its likely payload and its possible trajectories show that it would have been impossible for the rocket to have been fired from inside areas controlled by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Map of Damascus

Modified Grad missile

In the report, titled “Possible Implications of Faulty U.S. Technical Intelligence,” Richard Lloyd, a former United Nations weapons inspector, and Theodore Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argue that the question about the rocket’s range indicates a major weakness in the case for military action initially pressed by Obama administration officials.




To emphasize their point, the authors used a map produced by the White House that showed which areas were under government and rebel control on Aug. 21 and where the chemical weapons attack occurred. Drawing circles around Zamalka to show the range from which the rocket could have come, the authors conclude that all of the likely launching points were in rebel-held areas or areas that were in dispute. The area securely in government hands was miles from the possible launch zones.


In an interview, Postol said that a basic analysis of the weapon – some also have described as a looking like a push pop, a fat cylinder filled with sarin atop a thin stick that holds the engine – would have shown that it wasn’t capable of flying the 6 miles from the center of the Syrian government-controlled part of Damascus to the point of impact in the suburbs, or even the 3.6 miles from the edges of government-controlled ground.


He questioned whether U.S. intelligence officials had actually analyzed the improbability of a rocket with such a non-aerodynamic design traveling so far before Secretary of State John Kerry declared on Sept. 3 that “we are certain that none of the opposition has the weapons or capacity to effect a strike of this scale – particularly from the heart of regime territory.”


“I honestly have no idea what happened,” Postol said. “My view when I started this process was that it couldn’t be anything but the Syrian government behind the attack. But now I’m not sure of anything. The administration narrative was not even close to reality. Our intelligence cannot possibly be correct.”


Lloyd, who has spent the past half-year studying the weapons and capabilities in the Syrian conflict, disputed the assumption that the rebels are less capable of making rockets than the Syrian military.


The Syrian rebels most definitely have the ability to make these weapons,” he said. “I think they might have more ability than the Syrian government.” [He's right.]




They said that Kerry’s insistence that U.S. satellite images had shown the impact points of the chemical weapons was unlikely to be true. The charges that detonate chemical weapons are generally so small, they said, that their detonations would not be visible in a satellite image.


The report also raised questions whether the Obama administration misused intelligence information in a way similar to the administration of President George W. Bush in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  [Correct, indeed.] Then, U.S. officials insisted that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had an active program to develop weapons of mass destruction. Subsequent inspections turned up no such program or weapons.


“What, exactly, are we spending all this money on intelligence for?” Postol asked.



Even the New York Times – one of the main advocates for the claims that the rockets came from a Syrian government base – has quietly dropped the claim.

But the U.S. is still taking the position that the only acceptable outcome for the coming Syria negotiations is for Assad to be replaced by the US-backed transitional government.

As with Iraq, the “facts” are being fixed around the policy.

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Notarocketscientist's picture

The CIA is arming and directing the rebels - who are comprised of Al Qaeda and Al Nusra fanatics

It is virtually a certainty that the rebels launched chemical weapons into a civilian neighbourhood killing many innocent people including children

Therefore ______ is responsible for the gas attacks.

You see -- this is the real face of those who really control the US ---  this is why Obama does EXACTLY what they tell him - same with Bush - same with every last politician in Congress and the Senate - same with every MSM news outlet.

These people are psychopathic monsters - they will do ANYTHING to further their agendas.  If there is such a thing as 'evil' then they are that absolutely.

The devil now has a face - and it is making damn sure that few see it - as evidenced by the Hersh censorship


Now does anyone doubt that the 911 could have been a false flag?

SmittyinLA's picture

Is John Kerry the creepiest Sec of state ever or what? 



ncdirtdigger's picture

Which YouTube video caused this?

Hedgetard55's picture

GW, where ya been? ZH commenters outed the Prez on this right after it happened.

NoWayJose's picture

Thank goodness for Putin...

novictim's picture

You must also give credit to the British House of Parliament...their "NO!" vote for British involvement ended this stupid run up to war.


BTW: This report serves to place the last nail in the coffin for what anyone with an interest in this conflict had already concluded.


And may I ask this?  WHY in the hell would our country be committing itself --again!-- to fighting the sworn enemies of Al-Qaeda??  Because defense contractors wanted a payoff...

GreatUncle's picture

Amazing really when those who your were led to believe were your enemy may have been your greatest ally.

The world changes as the West now moves to tyranny and darkness whilst rising in the East the birth of a new home for freedom.

SMC's picture

If a US Government spokesperson claimed that garbage pick up was delayed in Dumbfukistan, I would fact check their claim.

Can you imagine how frustrating it must be for their crony-capitalistic masters to deal with the institutional idiocy and ineptitute? 

Definately a managerial challenge for the banksters, molls, guns and thugs who belong to the too big to jail and too big to fail crowd.


Winston Smith 2009's picture

"Can you imagine how frustrating it must be for their crony-capitalistic masters to deal with the institutional idiocy and ineptitute?"

It wasn't "idiocy and ineptitute," it was, as GW said, “facts” being fixed around the policy and I'm sure some of the push for that, at least in Congress, is coming from a fear of AIPAC.

jballz's picture


OP you obviously did not watch the president's speech.

He said it quite clearly and there was really no ambiguity. He said we were certain it was Assad's regime. 

Maybe you can sell this tinfoil hat conspiracy swill to the uninformed folks who don't watch the news. The rest of us got it straight from the oval office so go peddle it somewhere else.


(oh, and can we give that lying motherfucker ONE prop for his 8 years of shit? In all fairness he didn't actually bomb Syria. Why or why not, because Kerry fucked up the war pitch or because 95% of the polls said fuck no, whatever... hey he earned his peace prize for a few months anyway. Mitt would have gone tits out with the cruise missiles from the word go.) 


WarPony's picture

"In all fairness he didn't actually bomb Syria."

+1 Yep, he punted the issue off to Congress and there it stalled (-relief-).  The real question is why.  Perhaps he was getting some heat from the military and feared an Egyptian-style coup.  One could only hope that the military is still holding this thought - which might explain the purge of some 200+ in high command.

P.S. Fuck you AIPAC.

no more banksters's picture

Two ships loaded Syria’s chemical weapons to be buried off Crete; Greeks protest


MFLTucson's picture

The newest lie from the Military Industrial Complex who has plans for Iran to take over Syria.

TBT or not TBT's picture

You mean like they did in neighboring lebanon a long time ago, or more like they've done in Iraq more recently, thanks to the Jarret administration scuppering the Status of Forces agreement? Any idea what more than the thousands of Iran-backed Hezbollah fighters have been doing in the Syrian conflict? I'd guess they wouldnt be there without massive financing, supply, and direction from Teheran.

NuYawkFrankie's picture

What's the betting?


Probably a photo, somewhere, of "Middle East Peace Envoy" Tony Blair frollicking around on the rebel launch-pad....

The Heart's picture

Interesting, that since all the public attention is going every where but where the babylonians want it to be going, they need to start up the Syrian war thing again. Oy vey, what next?

Here's an interesting read for ya GW.


Add it to the fuku files.

Strange haze reported across the nation slowing storms and causing weather anomalies.

Falling objects from Ison?


moonman's picture

I am from Babylon and i tell you we want no part of this



DrSandman's picture

<Sigh> you folks sure are gullable.  "Physics says that they couldn't have gone that far!"...  




I'd be willing to bet that the professional CW impact modeing and meterologists are just a smidge more technically.... how do you say.... correct than some hack journalist with an Engrish degree and an agenda.


Postel is dangerous in that he doesn't know what he doesn't know.

NuYawkFrankie's picture

"...you folks sure are gullable"

Is that a new word? tia


Emergency Ward's picture

Gullable is "following sea gulls" in the new Engrish Dictionary.

LeisureSmith's picture

DrSandman is just angry because he bought the most ridiculously counterintuitive propaganda effort in living memory, so now he's got sand in his vagina and egg on his face.(it looks like egg at least).

If you think reading is gay, (looking at you MrSandman) you probaly shouldn't read through this blog. http://whoghouta.blogspot.de/

If don't mind reading a bit and you are interested in this subject, check it out.

Joe A's picture

I heard it was all over the MSM, NOT.

Seize Mars's picture

The USA is the world's greatest! The world's greatest dope pusher, counterfeiter and car-bombing poison gas launching regime toppling fucking terrorist ever seen on this miserable planet.

I would be ashamed, as an American, but you know what? Our country has been taken over by a criminal gang. Nothing to be ashamed of. The world knows it.

Joe A's picture

What you're gonna do about it then?

Seize Mars's picture

I'm going to masturbate to gay porn.

Extra hard!

What about you?

Four chan's picture

didn't we know those idiot rebels poisoned themselves months ago? he who lives by the sword.

New American Revolution's picture

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, to find gambling in Casablanca!

TBT or not TBT's picture

Even more shocking than that would be brutal inter tribal warfare, indiscriminate mass murder, or animal barbarity in an Arab country.

scraping_by's picture

No, it's not Brown People Doing Nasty Things.

Since the money, recruitment, and direction is coming out of Saudi Arabia (with Israel, its tame jackal, slinking along behind) it's international power politics. Figure out their goal (fundamentalist dictatorship client state) and decide if they fit into the US interest. Decide go or no go (no takebacks, no halfways) and stick to it.

Reality based world view.


tony bonn's picture

al qaeda, the cia's black bag operatives, fired the chemical weapons, and the fake rebels (al qaeda) got their chemical weapons from the same place where saddam hussein got his - united kingdom. they shipped through scotland from the usa. the assault on syria is part of the bush crime syndicate's project for a new american century which called for the invasion and toppling of at least 7 middle eastern nations. the cia / bush crime syndicate is the world's largest and vicious terrorist organization along with mossad.

DaveyJones's picture

"U.S. officials have long denied acquiescing to Iraqi chemical attacks, insisting that Hussein's government never announced he was going to use the weapons. But retired Air Force Col. Rick Francona, who was a military attaché in Baghdad during the 1988 strikes, paints a different picture.

"The Iraqis never told us that they intended to use nerve gas. They didn't have to. We already knew," he told Foreign Policy.

According to recently declassified CIA documents and interviews with former intelligence officials like Francona, the U.S. had firm evidence of Iraqi chemical attacks beginning in 1983. At the time, Iran was publicly alleging that illegal chemical attacks were carried out on its forces, and was building a case to present to the United Nations. But it lacked the evidence implicating Iraq, much of which was contained in top secret reports and memoranda sent to the most senior intelligence officials in the U.S. government. The CIA declined to comment for this story.

In contrast to today's wrenching debate over whether the United States should intervene to stop alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government, the United States applied a cold calculus three decades ago to Hussein's widespread use of chemical weapons against his enemies and his own people. The Reagan administration decided that it was better to let the attacks continue if they might turn the tide of the war. And even if they were discovered, the CIA wagered that international outrage and condemnation would be muted.

In the documents, the CIA said that Iran might not discover persuasive evidence of the weapons' use -- even though the agency possessed it. Also, the agency noted that the Soviet Union had previously used chemical agents in Afghanistan and suffered few repercussions.

It has been previously reported that the United States provided tactical intelligence to Iraq at the same time that officials suspected Hussein would use chemical weapons. But the CIA documents, which sat almost entirely unnoticed in a trove of declassified material at the National Archives in College Park, Md., combined with exclusive interviews with former intelligence officials, reveal new details about the depth of the United States' knowledge of how and when Iraq employed the deadly agents. They show that senior U.S. officials were being regularly informed about the scale of the nerve gas attacks. They are tantamount to an official American admission of complicity in some of the most gruesome chemical weapons attacks ever launched.

Top CIA officials, including the Director of Central Intelligence William J. Casey, a close friend of President Ronald Reagan, were told about the location of Iraqi chemical weapons assembly plants; that Iraq was desperately trying to make enough mustard agent to keep up with frontline demand from its forces; that Iraq was about to buy equipment from Italy to help speed up production of chemical-packed artillery rounds and bombs; and that Iraq could also use nerve agents on Iranian troops and possibly civilians. ..."

DOT's picture

@ Tony Bonn

LOL! where have you been boy? Today's top terrist org is the Obama/MIC/CIA/FSA. Special Drone Club memberships are available.



are we there yet's picture

It is bad when Assad looks more honest than Obama.

kchrisc's picture

Now don't throw me under the bus, but I would say that Hitler was more honest. That is, he just came out and wrote and said that he was going to do a lot of what he did do.

Not saying it's better or even honest, but just a tad bit more honest than these conniving pieces of shit in power in the UFSA.


"Ignorance of the Constitution and 'following orders' are no defense."

JustObserving's picture

It is worse when Assad is more honest than Obama or Kerry - which is indeed the case in the  sarin attack imbroglio.

A Nobel Peace Prize winner lying to start a major war that could have killed hundreds of thousands.

TBT or not TBT's picture

I'm guessing we aren't there because the Jarret administration feared, upon further investigation, that intervention might further American interests somehow, I just can't work out how. Obviously Valerie knows something we don't.

john39's picture

Most people need to forget everything they think they know about who is or is not a danger to world piece. Decades of propaganda has everything turned upside down, and the world is running desperately short of honest leaders.

0b1knob's picture

< No one in the US knows who gassed whom at this point.

< No one in the US CARES who gassed whom at this point.

Conax's picture

 ! What difference does it make? !

Dick Gazinia's picture

Don't call me "Boner Shrinker"

JustObserving's picture
Seymour Hersh, who exposed the My Lai massacre, reported on US lies on the sarin attack but no US media would touch that story:


Seymour Hersh exposes US government lies on Syrian sarin attack

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has published an article demonstrating that the US government and President Barack Obama knowingly lied when they claimed that the Syrian government had carried out a sarin gas attack on insurgent-held areas last August.

Hersh’s detailed account, based on information provided by current and former US intelligence and military officials, was published Sunday in theLondon Review of Books. The article, entitled “Whose sarin?,” exposes as a calculated fraud the propaganda churned out day after day by the administration and uncritically repeated by the media for a period of several weeks to provide a pretext for a military attack on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad


US media blacks out Seymour Hersh exposé of Washington’s lies on sarin attack in Syria

The American media has blacked out an account by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh demonstrating that President Barack Obama and the US government lied when they claimed to have proof that the Syrian government carried out a sarin gas attack last August on areas near Damascus held by US-backed “rebels.”

Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and other top officials declared categorically that the August 21 attack on Eastern Ghouta, which reportedly killed hundreds of people, had been carried out by the Syrian military. They, along with the leaders of Britain and France, sought to use the gas attack to stampede public opinion behind their plans to attack Syria, cripple the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and install a puppet government.


SuperRay's picture

What?!  There is still an actual journalist in existence.  Get that michael hastings benz refitted.  

old naughty's picture

Now, What and whose stuff are they dumping off Crete ?

Fox-Scully's picture

Damn Details!  Back to the drawing board.

rehypothecator's picture

Nose Gear Doors Baffle TWA Crash Investigators (Sept 5 1997)

"Federal officials investigating the crash of TWA Flight 800 are baffled by the recent discovery of impact damage on the doors that close over the front landing gear.

According to several people involved in the investigation, for the last two weeks National Transportation Safety Board investigators have been trying to figure out what could have caused the nose gear doors to blow inward -- and whether whatever caused that damage happened before the plane's center fuel tank exploded.

But Shelly Hazle, an NTSB spokeswoman, downplayed the significance, emphasizing that investigators will have to see how this newly discovered evidence fits into their theory of how the plane blew up." 
Short Range of Chemical Rocket Baffles Intelligence Analysts   White House military advisers were baffled today upon learning that the modified rockets, originally designed to carry HE warheads, only had a 2-mile max range.  But John Kerry, spokesman for the administration's narrative, downplayed the significance of the finding, emphasizing that they would have to see how the newly discovered information fits into their theory of how the Syrian regime used the chemical weapons against rebel strongholds.