White House Reveals New "Red Lines": Assad's Use Of Barrell Bombs Could Lead To More Strikes

Tyler Durden's picture

Yesterday, when discussing what the precursor for future US air strike on Syria could be, we said "expect to hear much more about white phosphorus in the coming days: it will be the "catalyst" for the next round of Syrian airstrikes." In retrospect, we may have been aiming too high.

In the latest apparent shift of the White House's official stated position on what could draw a U.S. military response in the Syrian conflict, on Monday afternoon press secretary Sean Spicer warned that the use of either chemical weapons or the use of barrel bombs on civilians could draw fire, literally, from the Trump administration. Here is the exchange in question:

Question: Is the red line for this White House chemical warfare? Is conventional warfare enough to get the president to go further than this White House is going?


SPICER: I think the president has been very clear that there are a number of lines that were crossed last week. He’s not going to sit down — you saw this with the last administration, they drew these red lines, and then the red lines were run over. ... The answer is that if you gas a baby, if you put a barrel bomb into innocent people, I think you will see a response from this president. That is unacceptable.

While the future use of chemical weapons or incendiary bombs and/or white phosphorus for that matter, would surely warrant further escalation in the eyes of the administration whether such attacks were legitimate or "false flagged" - these are effectively banned ordinances - the fact that the White House considers barrell bombs a catalyst for escalation is surprising. The reason for that is that  barrell bombs, or oil drums or cylinders packed with explosives and shrapnel, are among the most common form of weapons used by both sides in the Syrian civil/proxy war.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights watchdog, some 13,000 barrel bombs were dropped in the country in 2016, killing hundreds of people. The bombs are seen as targeting civilians because they hit an indiscriminate area. But the punchline is that if Trump’s new policy is indeed to respond by bombing Assad every time there’s a barrel bomb attack that kills civilians, then the US will have no choice but to bomb Assad every single day, in other words engage in all out war, whether it calls it that or not.

What is further surprising is that this policy appears at odds with everything else the administration has said: all officials, including Spicer, have suggested the US doesn’t intend to topple Assad by force, and yet by lowering the bar so low, it assures that the US will be engaged in daily combat against Syria, and by implication, Russia which has shown no sign it will reduce its support for Assad.

One simple explanation for this divergence is that Spicer doesn’t know what a barrel bomb is, and instead meant to say incendiary, or phosphorus, bombs.

On the other hand, if what Spicer said is true, then Trump has been palced in an awkward place, with his own press secretary declaring the use of a barrel bomb as the latest “red line”, the kind of bomb Assad is almost certain to use in forthcoming attacks against rebels.

Suggesting that the explanation is likely the former, according to Reuters, Spicer later said his mention of barrel bombs as a potential trigger for further action by the United States did not reflect a change in position.

"Nothing has changed in our posture," he said by email. "The president retains the option to act in Syria against the Assad regime whenever it is in the national interest, as was determined following that government's use of chemical weapons against its own citizens. And as the president has repeatedly made clear, he will not be telegraphing his military responses."

And even that answer was inconclusive, which means that merely further reports of bombing by Assad could be sufficient to launch a second air strike against the Syrian regime. If that is the case, and if yesterday's report that Russia and Iran would "respond with force" if Syria is attacked again is accurate, then the recent normalization in geopolitical tensions will be very short-lived.

* * *

Finally, just to keep the drums of war beating not just for Syria, but Russia as well, AP reported that according to a senior US official the US has "concluded Russia knew in advance of Syria's chemical weapons attack last week, a senior U.S. official said Monday."

How did it make that conclusion? Because "a drone operated by Russians was flying over a hospital as victims of the attack were rushing to get treatment. Hours after the drone left, a Russian-made fighter jet bombed the hospital in what American officials believe was an attempt to cover up the usage of chemical weapons."

And while the senior official said the U.S. has no proof of Russian involvement in the actual chemical attack in northern Syria, he added that "the presence of the surveillance drone over the hospital couldn't have been a coincidence, and that Russia must have known the chemical weapons attack was coming and that victims were seeking treatment."

And that's all the "evidence" the US media needs to take the narrative that Russia was complicit in Assad's chemical attack and make it part of tomorrow's news cycle, a news cycle which since Trump's launch of air strikes on Syria is oddly devoid of any stories in the NYT or WaPo detailing how Donald Trump has been operating on behalf of the Kremlin...

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Deathrips's picture

This Hypocrisy is mind fumblingly stupid.


Leave Syria alone you zionist fucks!


Fuck the Moneychangers!!



WTFRLY's picture


Manthong's picture

It’s just a good thing that Saudi Arabia has not used cluster bombs in Yemen.


NugginFuts's picture

What if Assad wrapped the barrel bombs in "I'm Sorry" apology letters?

11b40's picture

The problem with barrel bombs is that they are too cheap.  I mean, we can't let these guys get away with dropping cheap bombs, can we?  It should be a war crime to drop any bombs that don't cost at least $100K.  We have a MIC to protect!

WTFRLY's picture

Deflation is everywhere lol

Donald Trump's picture
Donald Trump (not verified) WTFRLY Apr 10, 2017 5:21 PM

Dummy Spicer should have said:

Trump reserves the right to bomb Syria whenever he desires.


Here's full press briefing:



bob_bichen's picture
bob_bichen (not verified) Donald Trump Apr 10, 2017 5:28 PM

***AT the top:   
Donald Trump     soon to be joined by AKA's   ares_xtreme   AKA  john doeberg   AKA alt ride dude   AKA   dyler_turden  <<< The "dailywesterner,com" SPAMMER with dozens of log-on's  (see below for your list)  DO NOT FOLLOW ANY LINK WHATSOEVER TO THIS malware- TROJAN-  AND  VIRUS-PLAGUED WEBSITE.  (links may be disguised as "goo,gl" or embedded as "hidden" links"   or in this case    youtube!   -- DO NOT FOLLOW ANY LINK!!!! 

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NiggaPleeze's picture

Trump has walked back the nonsense talk:  AFP White House correspondent Andrew Beatty reports that the White House has since clarified that “Spicer's barrel bomb red line referred to barrel bombs containing industrial chemicals like chlorine.”

The Trump regime likely doesn't comprehend that TNT is an "industrial chemical" or, for that matter, that chlorine is a chemical element, not an "industrical chemical".  But then again, it doesn't take brains to become President or become his "handler", or to drive the world to WW III.

NidStyles's picture

He's surrounded by jews, what do you expect? They only know how to scheme and graft, that doesn't require anything other than loose morals and willingness to screw others over.


We are talking about people that get scared witht he mere sight of a firearm, and likely have never driven themselves or done their own shopping in their lives.

BaBaBouy's picture

THUMP Has Gone Military ApeShit On Us ~

Took less than 3 months...

We're Fucked ...

Big Twinkie's picture

Trump -- the great bait and switch.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Ignore bellicose mumbling of Trump and Putin… just remember one thing, all war is bankster war. Qatar is want pipeline through Syria to topple Russia gas line monopoly to Europe and Amerika Military Industrial Complex is do bidding of bank to convert human death into filthy lucre.

…but what is Boris know?!

logicalman's picture

Good to see you, Boris.

Boris know more than Boris let on, I think Boris know alotovkrap.


Manthong's picture

Y’know, I could make one of those.

But rather than waste the electricity and argon/CO2 from the MIG welder, I would just attach a drogue chute, probably less than the diameter of the barrel, to the side opposite the detonator.

This would stabilize the barrel in the vertical position without really slowing it down.

And you would avoid the handling danger and inconvenience of those inefficient metal fins.

Way moar better than the fins.

But if you are really into fins, angle them enough to get the barrel spinning...

..that will help stabilize it too.


-Manthong Munitions Manufacturing


Manthong's picture

some 13,000 barrel bombs were dropped in the country in 2016, killing hundreds of people.”

But geezus, that does not sound very efficient to me.

If you cannot place them effectively, do not waste your time making them (unless it’s some kind of workfare program, maybe).

Jubal Early's picture

13000 in 2016~=40/day.  From a helicopter hovering over militants waiting to be shot at with 50cal, rpg-7 or even stingers. Plus we know they have loads of TOWS.  The people who believe these kinds of lies are beyond idiots and are into zombie territory.

Sam.Spade's picture

I'm out.  Trump's been turned.  Our last chance to attack The Deep State from within the system has died.

Get ready for the streets.

Or maybe something else...

Until this century, there was only one way to fight back against centralized tyranny, and it always started on the pavement. From the Bastille to Tiananmen Square.  Maybe not always successful, but it was the only chance freedom had.

Until the new digital age.

Now, instead of barricades and paving stones, think Everyman Hacker vs The Deep State.

Free-market cyber-stalkers, following all the pols, stealing all their secrets, and selling them to the highest bidder.

You don't really think the Russian government hacked the DNC, do you?  Or any hierarchical organization, for that matter?  Hardly.  It was an ad-hock assembly of script kiddies, crawling over cyberspace like army ants, using tools forged by master hackers who sold them for a profit to the highest bidder on super-silk roads.

Read Thieves Emporium if you really want to know what is going on.  One reviewer called it the first novel of the new Internet age.  Others have called it 1984 for the digital millennium.

The Daily Anarchist loved it and called it 'Barely Fiction'.  The editors of The Daily Bell thought it was so good they ran it as a serial which you can still read for free.

Or, you can buy a copy at Amazon (4.6 in 118 reviews), Nook (same rating, fewer reviews), Smashwords (ditto), or iBooks.

But whatever you do, start reading it now before this thing blows up around you.



divingengineer's picture

I would paint flames on the barrel, to make it look scarier.
But not naked women, that would be going too far.

Manthong's picture

We can airbrush that on.. but for mass production I would go to decals.

How about just a WWII Betty Grable pic?

BTW, I have painted stuff on my Navy planes back in the day.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


We can airbrush that on.. but for mass production I would go to decals.

How about just a WWII Betty Grable pic?

Put a picture of a Tomahawk cruise missile on it and you'd have Fareed Zakaria and Brian Williams humping it.

Jeremy Scahill on CNN: If Fareed Zakaria Could Have Sex With Trump's Missile Strike, He Would


stizazz's picture

That's because it's not their kids who will do the dying.

winged's picture

"'Nothing has changed in our posture,' he said."

Meaning: "We're still doing Israel's bidding, bitches. They got us by the balls."


winged's picture

Besides, the barrel bomb usage sounds like an excuse to somehow attack Syria no matter what.

divingengineer's picture

Not us, just everyone who ever visited orgy island or flew on the Lolita Express.
Epstein was running an Israeli honey trap.

gallistic's picture

Ha ha!

I love it when a reporter eviscerates the stenographers...

Sick Monkey's picture

I have a feeling the stingers are getting muled into Syria as we speak. Comrade heli pilot may want to throw away his id and head north.

TheReplacement's picture

Good points but your chute would not become shrapnel, unlike the fins. Dual purpose provides a different efficiency.

Dennisen's picture

Those of us who've been on Zerohedge a while know Alotokrap.

Giant Meteor's picture

Comrade Boris knows a lot. Probably been around potemkin village, a time or two eh?

Keyser's picture

Hmm, I made the same comment yesterday and got 21 down votes... What is comrade Boris' secret? 

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is wear two set of underwear and is change twice year if need or not.

Creative_Destruct's picture

"....just remember one thing, all war is bankster war. Qatar is want pipeline through Syria to topple Russia gas line monopoly to Europe..."

Yup... the pipeline is A BIG PART of the equation, and the geopolitics of minimizing Europe's energy dependence on Russia. Then there's the Israeli/Iranian security worries angle, the Saudia angle, and the Iranian-Shia-Russo arc geopolitical combo angle, and the MIC angle. They are all tied together in a tangle of mixed motivations and interests, all focused and enabled by the Neocon blow-the-fuck-out-of-whatever-it-takes-to-convert-the-world-to-democracy-for supposedly-noble-purposes angle.

wren's picture

And I want to conquer the world

Give all the idiots a brand new religion

Put an end to the FED and Military Industrial Complex

Promote dissecting Big Pharma and Big Oil

We'll have peace on Earth and global communion...


Bad Religion tune modernized...

logicalman's picture


Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

Denis Diderot

Badsamm's picture

He sounds like a banker

techpriest's picture

State atheism hasn't produced a better result. Far worse, arguably. Of course, that's why Western history books are surprisingly quite about this aspect of the 20th century Communist revolutions.

BarkingCat's picture

Doesn't matter if it is religion or politics that will let some psychopath to rise to power. They will use whatever method is available.

They can fake piety just as easily as seculat humanitarian concern for the people. .....or both.

Troy Ounce's picture


He did an Obama on us. 

Hope & Change?

Drain the Swamp?


Half_Irish's picture

Something big planned.


Steve Bannon posted this today on Twitter:


Russia-phobia must end. They are our natural allies in the huge Christian worldwide war against Islam coming up, and means sacrifice.


When the word SACRIFICE is used I get very nervous. Notice the buzzwords...the big SELL...CHRISTIAN WORLDWIDE WAR.  They have it all figured out now how they will proceed and who can argue with a Christian worldwide war?????  More buzzwords coming soon.

Half_Irish's picture

Oh, and wouldn't doubt a deal has been made with Putin.  But that's just speculation of course.  Time will tell all.  I read somewhere Russia and Israel also have some kind of deal.  Will have to look that article up.

Manthong's picture

Do you know how Christian Russia has become?

As the west slides evermore secular, Christianity is resurgent in Russia.

Just a few examples…

1.    Christmas is a real big deal for them even beyond the secular trappings and lights.

2.    There is a Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church that blesses every manned Soyuz that blasts off.

3.    The prelates of the church have front row seats at the address to the federation (state of the union) each year.

4.    Putin make frequent trips to the monastery at Valaam

The last muslim invasion of Europe was stopped on 9/11/1683  (911 ???)

Europe is going to need to get fed up with Islam or just surrender to the Caliphate now.

Make no mistake, Islam will have to reform or we will have a new Crusades on our hands.

The future of western civilization depends on it.

BadDog's picture

Not to mention that they have paratrooper priests with chapels and alters for communion on the battlefield.


techpriest's picture

Multiculturalism, I'm finding, has little to do with respect for other cultures, but instead is about the creation of a "multiculture" that reduces all other cultures to mere differences in food and clothing. In all substantive matters, however, the multiculture decides all.

Of course, this also leads to a profound ignorance, as multiculturalism assumes that everyone is part of the multiculture, when in fact most are not.

IMO, "multiculturalism," or more accurately "anticulturalism" is just as big of an enemy as expansive Islam, if not bigger.

Socratic Dog's picture

Take a wild guess who is behind the multiculturalism push in the west.

And think about how much multiculturalism they have in their own country.

SwiffFiffteh's picture


.....no, hmm....the Japanese? Wait....the Chinese!

....no?  Malaysians?  Thai.  Umm, Eskimos!

 Mexicans?   Shit......I give up.

Giant Meteor's picture

All a giant head fake and nod to "consumerism." The only real identity that really matters ..

Fucking shits could give two shits about any multi culturalism. What they want are obedient slaves on the plantation system, to support / keep them .01 % and their ilk, families, man servants etc. in the style that they've become accustomed to.

Mindless consumers, in the consumerist e con o me  .. all that is required ..

Question nothing. Obey. We want your shit, all your shit, including your children, the unborn, and their souls too ..

Hail monsanto! Hail Ceasar! On donner, on blitzen ...

Too all a good night ?

Freddie's picture

Russia has been Christian for 1100 years?  The exception was 80+ years of Rothschild/Nudelman/Jared Kushner/Soros/Haim Saban/Feinstein/Schumer/Weiner Bolsheviks.  They murdered 25 million Russian Christians.

I hope the Russians, Orthodox Church and Putin never forget.



Putin & Solzhenitsyn- Led by Christ
Ghordius's picture

yes, Russia is Christian... and cool about it
evidence: the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, Muslim, 1'000 mosques
more evidence: Russia is allied with Iran and Syria
just try to be as cool as Russian Christianity... if you can