Oct 11, 2013

Suggesting Scenarios

This page was used to discuss possible scenarios and their fit to the evidence. A conclusion has since been reached and is available here.


After weeks of meticulous collection and evaluation of evidence, it is time to reach a conclusion as to what exactly happened on August 21st in Zamalka.

This will be an ongoing process in which suggestions will be brought forward and examined in an open discussion. Suggested scenarios will be examined on two criteria:
  • Fit to Evidence – The scenario should explain ALL the evidence well. In other words, a good scenario is one that is not contradicted by evidence.
  • Scenario Plausibility – The scenario should be plausible by itself. This means that regardless of the evidence, it should describe events that are likely to happen in a situation such as the Syrian civil war.

To take two extreme examples:
  1. Claiming that aliens launched the chemical attack and then planted all the evidence to confuse us, provides a perfect explanation for all the evidence but is not in itself plausible, and therefore an unlikely scenario.
  2. Claiming that no chemical attack occurred on that day is a very plausible scenario (that’s what usually happens), but does not explain the evidence well, and is therefore also an unlikely scenario.

The Evidence

The following lists all the evidence that so far withstood scrutiny, and should therefore be addressed by proposed scenarios:
  1. Hundreds of videos, social media reports and eyewitness testimonies describe a mass poisoning event in Zamalka starting at August 21st 2:00 AM, with symptoms that are highly consistent with nerve agent poisoning: miosis, headaches, nausea, dizziness, foaming, convulsions, loss of consciousness, apnea and death.
  2. Many eyewitnesses describe multiple rockets or shells landing in Zamalka prior to the poisoning event. A few hours after the attack videos and images were uploaded showing several rocket remains in their impact sites.
  3. The rockets (codename “UMLACA”) show signs indicative they were used to deliver chemicals: small impact craters with little damage, relatively intact rocket bodies, and remains of a container that seem to explode on impact (e.g. Page 22 of the UN report describes container remains found on a roof while the rocket body penetrated to the floor below).
  4. Rockets of a similar design but with a conventional warhead were launched by the Syrian Army on multiple occasions.
  5. Rockets that seem identical in design to the ones used on August 21st  landed in rebel-held territory in January, and showed signs indicative of a White Phosphorus payload. None of the UMLACA reports prior to August 21st are consistent with a sarin payload.
  6. The rockets found on August 21st were launched from an area that is about 2.5 km north of Zamalka.
    A scenario that assumes a different launch area must show how all UMLACA range calculations are incorrect and provide an alternative range calculation that exceeds
    3.5 km. Alternatively it would have to show why the three impact sites analyzed here do not indicate a northern source.
  7. This area is not under regime control, with parts of it rebel-controlled and other parts contested 
  8. The UN investigation team has found multiple indications that sarin was used in the attack.
  9. The sarin used in the attack was of low quality.
  10. Zamalka is the first alleged chemical attack targeting a residential rebel-held territory. In all previous cases victims were males of fighting age. It is also the first attack in rebel-held territory to result in a large number of deaths.
  11. On March 19th in Khan Al Assal, Syrian troops and regime-supporting civilians were poisoned, possibly by sarin or chlorine, killing 26 and injuring 86, making it the deadliest chemical attack prior to August 21st.
  12. On September 16th three videos were published anonymously which claim to show Liwa Al-Islam launching UMLACAs at regime forces in Qabun and Jobar, on the date of the chemical attack, while wearing gas masks.
  13. These videos contain information indicating that its claimedlocation is very similar to the real launch site.
  14. A scenario should choose whether to treat these videos as real (implying certain discrepancies), or as a fabrication (implying another set of discrepancies), or possibly provide some other explanation. See full discussion here.
  15. A scenario should choose whether or not to claim a chemical attack in Moadamiyah, again with each explanation implying a different set of discrepancies. See full discussion here.

Please comment if you think I missed any verified evidence of importance.

I will start off the discussion with a few suggested scenarios. After each scenario I will examine its fit to the evidence and its plausibility. 
Within each scenario, each piece of evidence receives one of five scores:
  • Match – The evidence is what one would expect to see under this scenario.
  • Medium Match – The evidence is not what one would expect to see under this scenario, but still reasonable.
  • Weak Match – The evidence is unlikely under this scenario, yet not impossible.
  • No Match – The evidence directly contradicts the scenario. For the scenario to be considered, this evidence must be disproved.
  • n/a – Not applicable in this scenario.

Scenario 1 – Regime Attack / The Mainstream Scenario

This is the scenario dominating most media reports, and promoted by western intelligence agencies

According to this scenario, the regime has grown so frustrated with its inability to rid Damascus suburbs of rebels, that it decided to use chemical weapons to achieve a breakthrough. The regime was confident that there will be no international implications, since its previous smaller-scale chemical attacks had no repercussions.

The attack was launched from Syrian bases on Mt. Qasiun, using rockets fitted with sarin warheads – a chemical agent that the regime has been known to develop in large quantities for over 20 years under its advanced chemical warfare program
The area of Zamalka was attacked by UMLACA rockets, while Moadamiyah was attacked with M14 rockets.
Later, in an attempt to relieve international pressure, the regime fabricated videos implicating Liwa Al Islam in the attack.

Fit to evidence:
  1. Match
  2. Match
  3. Match
  4. Match
  5. Match
  6. No Match. The source of the attack is nowhere near Mt. Qasiun.
  7. n/a
  8. Match
  9. Weak Match. The Syrian chemical program is a strategic asset intended to counter Israel’s nuclear weapons, and is considered very advanced. It is unlikely that after 20 years of development they cannot manufacture high quality sarin.
  10. Weak Match. The scenario claims the regime expected no response to the August 21st attack, based on the responses to previous attacks. This is unlikely, given the dramatic differences between this attack and previous attacks.
  11. Weak Match. Victims in Khan Al Assal are Syrian troops and regime supporters.
    Note: The mainstream scenario does not claim an accident or false flag in Khan Al Assal.
  12. Medium Match. The Liwa Al-Islam videos are a weak fabrication job, and were published when international pressure was already relieved.
  13. Match.
  14. Medium Match. The Liwa Al Islam videos have several discrepancies when considered a fabrication.
  15. Medium Match. The Moadamiyah scene has numerousinconsistencies which make it unlikely to be a chemical attack site.

Scenario Plausibility:
The first thing nearly everyone noted when this scenario was proposed was how suicidal it seems. This is best understood when examined on a timeline:
  1. In August 2012 movements of chemical weapons were detected by the west, triggering Obama's 'red line' speech, which clearly conditions foreign intervention on the deployment of chemical weapons. (a reasonable explanation for these movements was protection from opposition advances, and indeed later reports indicated that all weapons are currently in regime controlled areas).
  2. In December 2012 Obama goes further and issues a direct warning stating: "if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences".
  3. During this time, the regime constantly assures Russia that chemical weapons will never be used.
  4. Following the Khan Al-Assal attack in March 2013 which left 16 Syrian soldiers dead, the regime pressed for a UN investigation.
  5. When the UN investigation got delayed over disagreements on its mandate, the regime invited the Russian investigation team (who blamed the rebels).
  6. In August 2013 the UN team finally arrived in Syria, and upon its arrival the regime decides to launch an unprecedented mass-scale sarin attack on a residential area.
  7. The regime allows the UN to visit the attacked sites within two days of being requested to do so.

It is hard to read this as anything but an attempt by the regime to bring international military intervention to Syria. This seems even weirder when considering these points:
  1. Even if for some reason the regime has decided to kill hundreds of innocent civilians, it could have easily done so with conventional weapons.
  2. No explanation is given as to why, after months of fighting and the regime making steady gains, did its “frustration” suddenly become so unbearable that it had to launch a chemical attack.

Summary: This scenario is highly implausible, and is in strong contradiction to the evidence.

Many analysts felt uncomfortable with the mainstream scenario, and proposed some variations on it. some of these somewhat increase its plausibility and explain some of the evidence, but are still far from likely. A few examples:
  1. The attack was ordered by a rogue officer. This may explain the poor strategic choice, but imposes other difficulties such as gaining access to sarin, reaching the launch location in rebel-held territory and not explaining the Khan Al Assal attack. Furthermore, rogue operations on this scale are very rare to begin with.
  2. It was an intentional regime attack, but was not meant to be so deadly, using the wrong concentrations of sarin. As discussed here sarin is intended to kill. You use it when you want an attack to be as lethal as possible. If the intention is instead to terrorize there are much better weapons, such as napalm.
  3. It was an intentional regime attack on a military target, but missed its target. Looking at the map of the attack shows this is implausible. If the target was not the residential areas but the front line, it would mean the regime sent the attackers to infiltrate rebel territory only to attack the front lines from behind – an act that makes no military sense.

So the mainstream story and its variations don’t seem to make any sense, but is there another regime attack scenario that was not yet suggested and is more reasonable? Here’s the best I can think of, but if anyone can come up with a better one, please share.

Scenario 2 – Regime Attack / Double False-Flag Scenario

In this scenario, the regime decided to launch a chemical attack on rebel residential areas, but to avoid international response tried to make it look like a rebel false-flag attack (hence a double false-flag).

They decided to use the UMLACA, a proprietary design which is not documented and will be easier to attribute to the opposition, and filled it with sarin that was intentionally manufactured in a sloppy manner.

On the night of the attack an UMLACA team and launch vehicle infiltrated rebel-held territory to reach the launch site, launched over 10 sarin rockets, and returned safely to base.

After the plan failed miserably and the regime was blamed, they tried to divert the pressure by fabricating the Liwa Al Islam videos.

Moadamiyah – In this scenario the M14 could not be the chemical weapon, since it is easily associated with the Syrian arsenal, and in general attacking two locations far apart undermines the credibility of the operation. So in this scenario Moadamiyah was attacked only by conventional weapons, and the sarin findings there are a result of contamination and patient evacuation from Zamalka.

Khan Al Assal may have been a false-flag to gain international support or an accident during a previous double false-flag attempt.

Fit to evidence:
This scenario fits all evidence well.

Scenario Plausibility:
  1. Probably the first double false-flag operation in history (anyone knows otherwise?)
  2. Seems like a very big risk to take. The western narrative was pro-opposition, and it seems over-optimistic to assume the west will believe this was a false-flag attack, rather than a regime attack.
  3. If the regime intended to convince the world this is a rebel false-flag, they should have prepared an extensive Psychological Warfare campaign, including high quality fabricated evidence. In practice, the evidence presented by the regime was so weak that it is very unlikely to be a fabrication. This includes two ambiguous phone calls, discovery of a rebel cache with some multi-purpose chemicals and gas masks, and undocumented claims of soldiers “suffocating” when entering Jobar.
  4. As long as three weeks after the attack, Assad still did not want to commit to a specific theory, stating We’re not sure that anything happened
  5. It was only four weeks after the attack, when international pressure has already subsided, that significant evidence was published, namely the Liwa Al Islam videos. However, these too would make for a very poor fabrication job that was unusable for propaganda.

So at this point it doesn’t seem like there’s any plausible regime-attack scenario that fits the evidence.

But what about a rebel-attack scenario? Let’s examine one option.

Scenario 3 – Rebel Attack

According to this scenario, extreme fundamentalist factions in the Syrian opposition have been building chemical capabilities for some time (possibly related to groups carrying chemical attacks in Iraq). The motivation may have been to counter the Syrian Army’s military advantage, or for carrying out a false-flag operation that will meet the US’s red line requirement.

While they were relatively successful in producing sarin, they still did not have the technology to build an efficient delivery device.
In one of the many raids on Syrian Army bases, they captured one of the regime’s UMLACA launcher and rockets, including some with incendiary warheads. They realized these can be easily refilled with sarin, creating a very efficient chemical rocket.

Prior to August 21st, they made several chemical attacks on Syrian troops, including in Darayya, Khan Al Assal and Barzeh, and possibly many more which the Syrian Army chose not to report. It is also likely that many of these attacks did not cause casualties due to high preparedness among Syrian troops. Since we don’t have direct evidence on when the opposition gained access to the UMLACA, it is hard to estimate whether these attacks used the UMLACA or more primitive devices.

On the night between August 20th and 21st the regime launched a wide scale attack as part of its Rif Dimashq Offensive. In response, a Liwa Al Islam chemical unit positioned itself in a clearing west to Irbin and proceeded to attack government forces advancing in Qabun and Jobar, using the chemical UMLACAs. Part of this attack was recorded on video, and later shared among acquaintances until leaked.

At some point the unit decided to target Zamalka. Several sub-scenarios may explain this decision:
  • Scenario 3.1 – Misreading the battle situation. In this scenario the group is not composed of locals, and were misinformed to think Zamalka is an abandoned area (like Jobar and Qabun). They detected (or thought they detected) Syrian Army advances into Zamalka and attacked them.
  • Scenario 3.2 – A mistake in orientation. In this scenario the group believed it is targeting Qabun and Jobar, but they miscalculated their orientation by 90 degrees, attacking Zamalka instead. Important to note that the whole area has been disconnected from electricity, which would make it easier to make such a mistake.
  • Scenario 3.3 – False-flag contingency plan. According to this scenario, the team was trained in advance to perform a false-flag operation on rebel residential areas. This was a contingency plan to be activated in case of a major deterioration in the battle.
  • Scenario 3.4 – Rogue false-flag. According to this scenario, the group took an unauthorized decision to use their chemical capability to bring international intervention and change the course of the war. In this case the videos were intended as an alibi, to give the impression of a mistake. 
In this scenario, Moadamiyah was attacked only by conventional weapons, and the sarin findings there are a result of contamination and patient evacuation from Zamalka.

Two side notes about false-flag attacks:
  1. The term false-flag is often associated with fringe theories, and rightfully so – false-flag attacks are a rarity. However, in the case of the Syrian civil war it is actually the expected behavior: Once the US made the explicit link between a regime chemical attack and military intervention, it would be unreasonable to assume that of the many extremist opposition groups operating in Syria, not even one would try to exploit it.
  2. Many believe a scenario involving an opposition attack “on their own people” is implausible. (a) In the context of a war where hundreds die each week, there will definitely be people who would find a sacrifice of this size justified in order to stop the killing. (b) Some of the fundamentalist groups are in direct war with the more secular FSA factions. They could have viewed the FSA-dominant Zamalka residents as legitimate targets. (c) These groups have a high percent of foreign fighters, who may not feel as attached to the local population.

Fit to evidence:
This scenario fits all evidence well.

Scenario Plausibility:
Unlike the regime-attack scenarios this makes perfect sense in terms of motivation. However, it has two weak points:
  1. While theoretically possible, producing sarin on this scale is something that was not done before by a non-state actor.
  2. While the opposition seems to have gained access to practically every heavy weapon in the Syrian Army’s arsenal, there is no evidence yet of them seizing UMLACAs.

Update - Foreign Intervention Scenario

In the discussions below, several contributors suggested scenarios involving foreign intervention on the side of the opposition. This could be relevant in three aspects of the attack: (a) Sarin production, (b) delivery devices, and (c) execution.

The last two do not seem very likely:
  • Execution – There is no doubt that a large part of the opposition is composed of foreign fighters, especially among the fundamentalist factions. However, these are usually individual volunteers or militants from similar organizations in other countries. While it is theoretically possible that foreign troops or covert agents are assisting the opposition on the ground, there is no evidence that this is the case. There is also not much reason to bring troops into Syria and risk war, when there are enough combatants in Syria that can be trained abroad.
  • Delivery devices – Since there is strong evidence that the attack used UMLACAs, and that these were developed by the Syrian Army, there doesn’t seem to be a likely scenario where foreign countries provided the delivery devices.

This leaves us with the option of foreign support in sarin production.

Since there is not much evidence supporting or refuting foreign involvement in sarin production, we can only evaluate it on its a-priori plausibility. There are a few possible sub-scenarios to consider here:

  • Help in acquiring chemicals necessary for sarin production – Chemicals that are further along in the sarin production process are more heavily regulated, and a seller receiving large orders of these should alert authorities (as Al-Nusra discovered in Turkey). If buyers know that authorities are willing to look the other way, they could order the more advanced chemicals at larger amounts. This would result in an easier production process, less failures, larger amounts and higher quality.
  • Providing lab equipment – High quality lab equipment is essential for mass production of sarin. Obtaining such equipment would be easier for a country than for an underground group.
  • Guidance and know-how – Countries may provide access to chemistry specialists and knowledge, which are not easily accessible to an underground organization.
  • Actual production – Last, a country can produce sarin (or more likely, its immediate precursor Methylphosphonyl Difluoride) in its facilities and provide it ready made to the opposition.

Doing any of these would be a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and constitute a significant risk on the part of the supporting country. This should mean that more “obvious” support, such as sarin production or specific guidance is less likely. However, ignoring acquisition of suspicious chemicals and lab equipment is more easy to explain as unintentional, and may be done by government officials without receiving explicit approval (e.g. similar to the Iran-ContraAffair).

So which countries could be relevant here? The three immediate suspects are those most involved on the opposition’s side: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Turkey has arrested Al-Nusra operatives trying to produce sarin, which indicate it is probably not cooperating in such an effort, and Qatar seems to have stepped down its involvement. Saudi Arabia, however, does seem like a possibility, and especially its head of Intelligence, Bandar Bin Sultan, who is reported to be directly involved in toppling the Syrian regime and convincing the US that Syria used chemical weapons.

In terms of evidence relevant to foreign intervention, we only have the Syrian report of a chemical cache found in Jobar. This included bags of Lye manufactured in Saudi Arabia. Lye could be used to destroy sarin in case of spills, but is otherwise a multi-purpose chemical not related to sarin production.

It is important to note that while the whole foreign intervention scenario is mere speculation, it does have some value: The complexity of underground production of large quantities of sarin is currently estimated to be the weakest point in the plausibility of the rebel-attack scenario. The addition of the foreign assistance option provides another way for the opposition to acquire sarin, and therefore strengthens this scenario and increases its plausibility.

Summary: While there is not much evidence to either support or refute foreign assistance, it extends the range of options for sarin acquisition, thereby increasing the likelihood of a rebel-attack.

Conclusion: At this point the rebel attack theory seems far more likely than the regime attack theory. Please help by sharing your feedback and scenario proposals.


  1. Comment for Scenario 3, plausibility:
    Why do we assume the rebels need to make their own Sarin if they want to use it? We all know they are supported by foreign powers and it seems more plausible that IF they decided to use a chemical agent, they would get it from their foreign sponsors ready made and in bulk. Do we assume the foreign sponsors would have moral objections? It seems naive to think these people have such high moral standards considering that even the champions of morality (the British) tested Sarin on their own soldiers...

    1. Interesting suggestion.

      At this point we're discussing specific scenarios, so please describe a scenario in which sarin is brought from abroad: Which country, how they made it, how they transferred it etc.

      If it's plausible, I'll gladly add it.

    2. The scenarios you describe are still valid if chemical agent was brought in from outside. The paragraph under Plausibility could be altered. The weak point nr 1 could be expanded with something like ´However if a false flag operation was set up, it is highly likely this was done in cooperation with a foreign intelligence service and Sarin or Sarin mixture was delivered to the rebels ´ready made´´. I don´t think suspects need to be named.

    3. The reason I'm insisting on specifics, is that we have to show that there is at least one country for which this would make sense. After all, sending chemical weapons to an underground group is a pretty serious violation, which most countries would be very hesitant to do.

    4. It's already public that there were arrests of Takfiri rebels in Turkey for trying to make sarin. See comments at http://www.progressivepress.com/blog/dirty-war-syria: "Russia's Lavrov hints at Turkish hands behind Ghouta attacks, cites VIPS who cite Bodansky. Finally! http://syria360.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/russia-turkey-might-be-behind-the-chemical-attack/ " and
      " Turkish prosecutor indicts Syrian rebels on chemical weapons charges http://thekurdishcause.blogspot.com/2013/09/turkish-prosecutor-indicts-six.html or http://rt.com/news/turkey-syria-chemical-weapons-850/ "
      The nations and the motive are also plentifully obvious, as Putin and Lavrov have been saying more or less openly for weeks -- the US, its allies and Israel wanted to create a war provocation. You could read the entire http://www.progressivepress.com/blog/dirty-war-syria blog on Ghouta or else the ebook http://www.progressivepress.com/news/free-ebook-syria-cw-false-flag or at least Bodansky http://southweb.org/blog/did-the-white-house-help-plan-the-syrian-chemical-attack/.

    5. Turkey indeed arrested Al Nusra operatives trying to make sarin, but they do not have a chemical weapons program. Actually this arrest is evidence that they're not assisting the opposition to attain chemical weapons.

      So I can't see Turkey being the supplier here. Is there another country you can see doing this?

    6. You don´t need a chemical weapons program to be able to supply these agents. You need access to specialized labs. Any army or intelligence service with sufficient financial resources can have access to these chemicals.I´m sure sufficient knowledge exists in the Arab World. Besides Syria, Egypt also has chemical weapons (am NOT naming Egypt as supplier, only making the point plenty of experts available in Arab world). The experts are there, the money is there, the motive is there, it is plausible a chemical agent was supplied to the rebels. That doesn´t mean it happened, but we shouldn´t discard the possibility.

    7. I don't believe a foreign power was necessary, although Saudi Arabia's assistance can not be ruled out given some of the evidence. More likely is the scenario coming out of the prosecution of rebel members in Turkey, who tried to order at least 10 tons of chemicals to make Sarin for the al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham. There is a supposed leaked US intel document claiming Al-Nusra was caught with Sarin before the latest capture in Turkey. Another possible source was al qeada in Iraq or ISIS jihadis working in Iraq. I agree that rebels would have likely had to "import" Sarin and have it made outside Syria's borders. But you have shown how all that would be needed are sufficient chemicals - and we have apparent proof of rebels trying to order just those chemicals for Al-Nusra.

    8. Ok, so I want to try to add the foreign intervention scenario to the list.
      Does anyone want to suggest a plausible scenario?

    9. I think Charles´scenario was pretty good. You could use that as a basis

  2. > "Hundreds of videos…"

    May I ask You to show me video on the disposal of 400 children in a mass grave? Yes-yes, to be seen as Caterpillar digs a trench.
    It is common practice - the International Commission estimates the number of victims over the bodies retrieved from burial sites. For example, the Katyn.

    I hope it will be easy to do if we have many video materials.

    1. The victims were distributed across many hospitals over a wide area. I'm not sure there is one grave with hundreds of bodies in it. Additionally, many victims died in their homes and were buried during the days after the attack.

      Still, the videos do seem to show a large number of bodies:

      Combine that with the very consistent eyewitness reports, and the authentic documentations of sarin symptoms, and it's hard to deny mass poisoning has occurred.

      It's definitely possible that the 1400 number is exaggerated, but there should have been at least a few hundred dead.

    2. > "I'm not sure there is one grave with hundreds of bodies in it."

      Not one, of course - ten, twenty, hundred.
      Families should die entirely - it is a chemical weapon, not bullets. Bearded men - one by one. This is a candidates to mass grave, many mass graves.

      It's not a very good topic, but in this war all around are engaged in shooting a video. There are just a lot, but above ground - descend below the earth captured once (maybe).
      / http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/08/21/article-2398691-1B655261000005DC-966_634x449.jpg/

      Houston, you have a problem.

  3. How about a modified false-flag scenario?

    A foreign Military Intelligence unit was tasked with fabricating a gas attack. It chose to do this under the cover of a conventional SAA bombardment prior to their advance (documented the next day by ANNA). It was especially significant the UN inspectors were available to examine the attack. The attack was performed in conjunction with Liwa al-Islam higher command 'to shorten the war' (see report by journalists who overheard post-attack conversations)

    An amount of chemical agent was released - possibly by spray, less possibly by actual missiles. It was released in an area close to the actual bombardment, but not in direct danger from it.

    The numbers of casualties were relatively restrained - certainly not as many as reported. This relied on the false-positive self-reports of gas victims of around 5:1 combined with a massive propaganda effort.

    To provide 'evidence' of SAA involvement a number of missiles were actually fired, had been previously fired in conventional bombardment, or were placed in location. In all cases Liwa al-Islam was briefed to show these to the UN inspectors. These missiles could have been from previous conventional attacks by the SAA or (much less likely) pillaged from SAA stores. NB - there are subtle but distinct differences between the 'UN' missiles and ones previously seen in other battle-grounds. More likely they were functioning copies or they were non-working copies placed in location.

    To further push the case, nominated target sites were contaminated with trace chemicals to simulate Sarin and breakdown products. Simply spraying these in the immediate at very much sub-lethal levels is more than enough to trigger a lab positive for swabs.

    Carefully briefed subjects presented to the UN were also prepped with non-lethal trace chemical pills - thus explaining the discrepancy between environmental samples and body samples at Moanmar in particular. This fabrication was necessary as the relatively few genuine victims would likely have an unhelpful story as to how they were affected.

    The minimum equipment required to kill quite a number of people could be contained in a couple of suit-cases - including post-attack faking environmental and body samples. Bringing in your own missiles or faking spent missiles might require one or two medium trucks - but having existing spent missiles in the area makes that a lot easier.

    1. Thanks for this suggestion.

      I have a few questions and comments:
      1. Why fake a sarin rocket attack, instead of simply launching a sarin rocket attack?
      2. The 5:1 reporting is of light symptoms, not of deaths.
      3. What are the changes between the incendiary UMLACA and the ones planted in Zamalka?
      4. How did the rockets brought from a different attack survive a conventional warhead explosion?
      5. It seems to rely on the UN conducting a specific set of tests. I think it's hard to predict what the team would do and what tests it would take.
      6. Do you know of a chemical that produces symptoms that are so similar to sarin?
      7. This is a very sophisticated operation, involving deep understanding of chemical warfare, and involving fabrication of chemical tests, multiple fabrications of impact sites, getting multiple witnesses to cooperate without anyone leaking information. Do you have an example of any other operation resembling this level of sophistication in this (or a similar) conflict?

    2. Hello sasa,

      In response to your questions:

      1. Why fake a rocket attack? Because shooting real rockets full of Sarin is very difficult and dangerous. You need whole teams of specialised CW experts to do it. Shooting a dummy rocket is much easier.

      2. 5:1 ? Most people didn't die. There were reports of over 3500 people affected. Many of them will be false reports.

      3. Missile changes? Specifically motor tube of 120mm in the UN version compared to 130+mm in the only fully measured CW instance http://imgur.com/a/DCinJ. Secondly, the UN versions had a large protruding conical nozzle. None of the earlier versions had that.

      4. Conventional explosion? I assume the ones used were the WP/FAE variant

      5. The tests performed were well known in the literature. It's not hard to plant matching evidence.

      6. Symptoms? Acute? Yes - various drugs do most of it, but that's not part of my scenario. Drugs to produce exposure symptoms a week later? Yes, various salts of decomposition products are easily available and of low toxicity. Note also the discrepancy between miosis occurrence and chemical signature in samples. They are not compatible with an original Sarin exposure.

      7. Sophisticated? Yes, if you are a hostile Government then all the technology is easy. Witnesses? If my assumption is correct then any actual witnesses were kept away from the UN. Only selected persons were presented. Even then some (many?) of them may have been genuine but 'enhanced'. Total people in the know? Somewhere between low tens up to a hundred or so.

      7a. Similar examples? Nothing with the same details, but for instance operations by the Israeli Secret service (murder in Dubai) and the DSGE (sinking of the rainbow warrior) both had dozens immediately involved and probably hundreds in support roles.

    3. 1. Why would it be so dangerous? If you wear protective gear during the whole time you are carrying the rockets from the lab to the battlefield you should be ok. Just keep the gear on for 30 more minutes, to make sure any possibly leaked sarin degrades to safe chemicals and you're good to go.
      Seems simpler than simulating the attack in multiple locations.

      2. Definitely possible many reports of light symptoms were wrong, but the number that got the world going is the number of deaths.

      3. This is interesting information. Can you direct me to specific images where I can see the difference clearly?

      4. Got it. I thought when you wrote 'conventional' you meant HE. WP would definitely work. Not sure about FAE though - that should cause some serious damage to the rocket.

      5. I guess it's possible for someone familiar with the procedures.

      6. I was referring to the symptoms shown in the videos and reports from the day of the attack. They really look like a nerve agent.
      I agree the blood results could be faked by someone who knows what he's doing.

      6a. I researched the miosis issue in update 3 here: http://whoghouta.blogspot.co.il/2013/09/the-un-report.html
      14% seems perfectly reasonable given how it was tested.

      7a. In the cases you list, the people in the know were intelligence professionals who know how to keep a secret. They didn't get random locals involved.

    4. A few additions to Charles's response, based on our discussions at ACLOS.

      5. Faking tests: although my initial suggestions were that the blood and urine tests could have been faked without exposing people to sarin, I now think that from available information about the 29 April Saraqeb incident including French lab results there is a strong indication that at least on that occasion people were exposed to sarin while under "medical" care. Giving atropine with sarin (instead of after sarin) would prevent some of the symptoms and signs such as miosis.

      7. For an example of a similarly elaborate and successful deception operation by an intelligence service in wartime, I'd think of Operation Mincemeat. If Ghouta was a deception operation, they made a few mistakes: specifically the single rocket in Moadamiyah was too small to explain the mass casualties, and the video of a family supposedly found dead at home in Zamalka was a crude fake.

    5. pmr9 -

      5. This is very interesting information. What is the evidence that sarin was administered?

      7. Of course very large covert operations have taken place in history. What I'm looking for is one involving many civilians, which I think would constitute a serious security risk.

    6. This Le Monde article reports that blood samples from two individuals in the Saraqeb incident were positive for sarin in the [fluoride ion] regeneration test, one at 9.5 ng/ml. From what I've read, this level implies a high dose likely to be rapidly fatal. As the only reported fatality was a woman exposed to a smoke canister at home who was treated at a local hospital before being transferred to Turkey, this implies that she was exposed to sarin after reaching the local hospital.

      I can think of two ways to involve civilians in this attack. One is to make sure they end up dead. The other - and this may be what happened in Saraqeb - is to release some toxic chemical to panic people into seeking medical attention where sarin (with atropine to mask its effects) is administered as emergency "treatment". If this were done by replacing atropine with vials that contained atropine plus a sublethal dose of sarin, medical staff would not realize what they were doing. Survivors would believe that they had been victims of a sarin attack, and their blood and urine would test positive.

    7. Can you give some more information on what this test is, and how to interpret the 9.5 figure?

    8. Comment on 6a, reply of Sasa to Charles Wood: Prior to publishing of the UN-report all experts (including Dan) wrote that the clinical symptoms were not completely consistent with the exposure to Sarin. That was their unbiased opinion without being influenced by the UN report. Once the report was out, they changed their positions to conform with the UN report. Sasa, I don´t understand your position on the myosis. Myosis is the most persistent symptom,plenty of reports to support the expectancy of a higher than 14 percent occurrence.

    9. Charles,
      I think your scenario is plausible.
      1. Firing the conventional missiles is surely less risky than the chemical ones. The launch zone was a contested area, if something went wrong, the false flag would of been obvious. Firing ´sarin missiles´ was probably not tested technology (they didn´t have access to SA CW missiles, and using a tested CW missile of the sponsors would have been out of the question) A missile filled with a fluid warhead does probably not react as predictable as a solid warhead. The team firing the conventional missiles didn´t even need to know about the chemical false flag going on at the seem time.
      5. We still don´t know what tests the UN did. I think it is extremely strange for a scientific report not to report what tests have been used in analyses. Have the UN been instructed to be vague about it? The UN s not always a beacon of neutrality, plenty of examples of that. A chemical mix could have been a little Sarin and a lot of Dimp. IMPA being a metabolite of DiMP doesn´t contradict the use of Sarin. To prove Sarin you need IMPA in blood and urine AND clinical signs of Sarin. If the clinical signs are not there, the poisoning might have been DIMP only. And let it now just be the clinical symptoms that are not completely consistent with Sarin....
      7. The number of people into the operation doesn´t need to be that many. Apparently this Sarin has such a psychological effect that once people see a few victims, many more think they are affected without in being the case. In Charles´scenario, the missile firing crew doesn´t even need to be in. The people who have noticed something strange will probably keep quiet or will apply auto censorship because 1/ it´s dangerous to speak out 2/ they will not be believed.

    10. please read my analysis of the miosis symptoms and the report it quotes in update 3 here:
      after 6 days miosis recovered about half-way. this would make it undetectable in a quick test in a lit room. you need to bring the patient to a dark room for a long time to see it - something the UN didn't have time to do.

    11. You refer to the Sarin report, do you have the page nr for stating ´significant recovery is reached within 6 days. this would make it undetectable in a quick test in a lit room.´

    12. Sure. Check page 171 here.
      You can see that by day 6 the pupils are already far from the pinpoint state. This is a pupil size typical of a lit room, so would not be detected in a simple exam.

    13. Sasa - reply to your query at 9.40 pm

      The fluoride ion regeneration test splits sarin from its binding site on the butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) enzyme. The maximum possible level of regenerated sarin, when the binding sites on BChE are saturated , is estimated to be about 11 ng/ml.(estimates vary from 7 to 13 ng/ml The highest level recorded in stored samples from 18 Japanese victims was 4.1 ng/ml. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9299607). A later study estimated that some of these 18 received high doses that would usually be fatal if untreated http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9851684. So the level of 9.5 ng/ml reported in a Saraqeb victim is more than twice as high as the highest level recorded in Japanese victims, and close to the upper bound of the test. . On this basis it doesn't seem likely that someone with this level of sarin bound to receptors could have survived for long outside intensive care.in hospital.

      Of course we shouldn't have to rely on newspaper reports:if the lab results had been published, we might be able to make some sense of them.

    14. Sasa, I don´t think that figure 5.4 allows you to deduct ´significant recovery is reached within 6 days. this would make it undetectable in a quick test in a lit room´. 1/ the Sarin dose is fig 5.4 is unknown, it must have been light since the victim wasn´t even hospitalized 2/ the report doesn´t state your conclusion that after 6 days it wouldn´t be detectable anymore in quick test, I assume it is your conclusion (or did I miss something?) 3/ unless you are medically trained in detecting myosis, you would need an expert to confirm your conclusion 4/ myosis is seen to be a better indicator of Sarin than the ´cholinesterase test´, how come this highly specialized UN team just made an unreliable ´quick test´. To do the test described in fig 5.4 of the report is not difficult. You need a dark room and a digital camera. Maybe the UN team felt it was not necessary to do it that way and they had other ways of detecting the myosis. 5/ if the specialist of the UN say ´14 percent myosis´ we should accept the number or question it after thorough discussion.

    15. Anon -
      1. Dose is not critical here. The point is that miosis recovery is a gradual process.
      2. In a normal lit room, the pupil size is about what you see in the day 6 photo. Therefore would not be detectable.
      3. If you know a medical expert who would like to contribute, that would be great.
      4. They visited each site for a few hours under tough conditions. It's very likely their tests were incomplete. Remember we're talking about the same people who put symptoms from day 0 and day 7 in the same graph.
      5. Here we never assume anything and always double check. Specifically, the UN report was found to contain numerous errors, so special care should be taken in interpreting its results.

      Bottom line: Since there were other strong indications of sarin, we need to have strong evidence to claim otherwise. The results of the miosis test taken under unfavorable conditions is not strong enough.

    16. What about the experts (including Dan) that had doubts about the Sarin prior to the Un report. I´m not saying there was no Sarin, but something in the clinical symptoms doesn´t add up. We should not discard the fact that the clinical symptoms don´t match completely with a full scale sarin attack. That evidence is there for all to see.

    17. I don't pay too much attention to what experts say. For every expert that says A, another says B.
      What matters is the evidence, and so far I haven't seen anything inconsistent with a wide-scale sarin attack. If you can find any, I will gladly change the conclusions.

    18. http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2007/Long-Term-Health-Effects-of-Participation-in-Project-SHAD-Shipboard-Hazard-and-Defense/SARINNERVEAGENT.pdf Rengstorff 1985 p56, ´Pupillary reflexes were not detectable until 11 days after exposure´. This contradicts your assumption that after 6 days, the inspectors couldn´t detect the myosis. But I agree, it doesn´t prove the opposite either. I´m going to accept your arguments. I guess it´s obvious that Sarin symptons were shown by the victims, BUT: the symptoms are not ´textbook´ what suggest the Sarin was all than not deliberately mixed with other substances, the possibility exist that there are ´fakes´ amongst the people examined by UN experts.
      Hopefully the complete UN report will clarify the issue.

    19. Nice find. It quotes some interesting sources there. Went through a few and it seems there is a lot of variance in miosis reporting. Recovery is indeed long, but most of it happens in the first 2 weeks, and in many cases the miosis findings are not strong (2-3mm) even on day 1.
      So my guess at this point is that their tests were simply not extensive enough (by the way - they report that their tests were done by local doctors under their supervision, so it couldn't have been too professional)

    20. Sasa,

      As for symptomatology, I think I have indicated sufficiently that we do not agree with respect to your miosis conclusions. Dosage matters absolutely, and this has been noted throughout the literature I have reviewed. But, no need to rehash this - I am just fairly certain you are incorrect.

      Let us move on to other symptoms, which have not been discussed as much (as an aside, the reason miosis is so prevalent in these discussions is because miosis is, in fact, considered to be the best threshold indicator of systemic Sarin exposure. Throughout literature, consistently, both pre and post-Tokyo, presence of miosis is considered to be a better test than measuring AChE levels (without multiple baselines, AChE variance would have to be in excess of 20% to indicate AChE inhibitors at work - due to the large variance of AChE levels in humans).

      Here, I will raise the issue of eye irritation. Eye irritation is unrelated to Sarin exposure. Sarin exposure does not cause eye irritation. It has never been considered one of the symptoms.

      Among subjects surveyed by the UN, eye irritation is reported in 22%. Same rate of presentation as with vomiting. And vomiting (gastric emesis) IS one of key Sarin-exposure indicators.

      To have a symptom unrelated to Sarin appear at the same rate of presentation as a symptom related to Sarin is, well, .... very puzzling.

    21. How can you be fairly certain when we don't even know how the test was done? They describe it as "brief eye and respiratory examinations". Is that really enough to be fairly certain of anything?

      as for eye irritation. note that it's defined as eye irritation/inflammation and that could definitely match conjunctiva, a known sarin symptom:

    22. Sasa,

      I am fairly certain based on what I am seeing in literature. To assume that miosis, even when tested in light, would disappear after 6-9 days leads to the inescapable conclusion that the Sarin exposure of the surveyed victims was low. Dose does matter, and all literature speaks to that. However, low exposure does not reconcile with the reported presentation of loss of consciousness. This latter symptom would indicate high level of systemic Sarin exposure. So we have an irreconcilable conundrum. The only three ways out are:

      (1) assume that the UN team failed to detect miosis even though miosis was present;
      (2) assume that some other agent was acting insted of, or in addition to Sarin (DMMP, DIMP, other nerve gas agents, some unknown chemical);
      (3) asssume that loss of consciouness is over-reported by the surveyed patients (however, even that would not completely answer questions regarding low miosis presentation).

      The further problem with saying that th UN team did not test for miosis properly is to suggest that they did not know what they were doing well enough - actually, this may well be obvious in other parts of the report - however, to start suggesting that is very troubling to me, as the house of cards will start falling very quickly in that event.

      As for CDC response card: "redness of the membranes (conjunctiva), pain in and around the eye, dim and/or blurred vision, sensation of pressure with heaviness" - these symptoms occur with ocular, eye exposure. Note, they do not occur with inhalation exposure. I would assume that for such high rate (22%) of eye exposure to be present, Sarin would have had to be aerosolized rather very effectively. That is inconceivable with the kinds of delivery vehicles used in Zamalka. So, again, the presentation of symptomatology raises unanswerable questions. I don't have answers to this.

      As well, how you have such high rates of presentation of eye irritation without at least correspondingly high persistent lacrimation is difficult to understand.

      However, to dismiss conflicting symptomatology (discussed above, as well as lack of other involuntary bodily functions - diarrhea, lacrimation, emesis, etc.) is short-sighted.

      Ok, that's my response. But I don't need to go into that further. Not here to convince you - we have had this discussion multiple times already.

    23. Oh, in addition, regarding eye irritation - is it not assumed, widely, that the vast majority of victim were sleeping during the attack? If so, eye exposure to Sarin would be very unlikely. Hence, eye irritation would not occur. So, where doe eye irritation come from?

    24. I don't think that the UN didn't know what they're doing. They had a few hours to take many tests. The eye exam was of minor importance since the blood samples are way more reliable, and that's how they treated it. I really don't think we should read too much into it. Let's see if the full report will help shed some light.

    25. Sasa, I don't want to argue with you ad naseum, but blood tests, if measuring AChE levels, are less reliable than miosis presentation as an indicator of systemic Sarin exposure. That is because AChE levels vary widely in human beings, and predictive potential is limited by the percentage of drop in AChE. For AChE levels to be accurate predictors of Sarin exposure, up to 10 baseline tests would need to be taken. Even then, AChE drop would have to exceed 14% to start reliable to indicate Sarin exposure. Without baselines tests, the drop would have to be at least 20%. Actual bonding of AChE with Sarin/IMPA could have been measured as well, followed by extraction of Sarin/IMPA and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry - but we have no indication that was done. All we have is that signatures of Sarin were detected - that usually means a drop in AChE levels.

      As a result, (and widely in literature) miosis presentation is considered to be a more reliable indicator of systemic Sarin/nerve gas exposure than AChE level testing.

      Anyways, no need to argue. Problem is, we may never see the actual data you think may be forthcoming. We'll see.

    26. "indicators", rather than "predictors"

    27. So far I assumed the blood tests included specific indications of Sarin, and not just its effects. If that was not the case, then I agree with you.
      I think we'll see the details in the full report. Let's see.

    28. Gleb,
      Why doesn´t your expert O Brien know IMPA is not unique to Sarin? It is also a metabolite of DIMP.
      To support Gleb´s argument concerning miosis (http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2007/Long-Term-Health-Effects-of-Participation-in-Project-SHAD-Shipboard-Hazard-and-Defense/SARIN, p52, (Nozaki et al. 1997.): ´CONCLUSIONS: Miosis is a more sensitive index of exposure to sarin vapor than erythrocyte AchE.´

    29. I also agree with it. It's just that so far I assumed the UN found actual sarin breakdown products in the blood. I'm now no longer sure. Let's wait for the full report.

    30. pmr9 - sorry for the late reply.
      Definitely interesting observations. Not sure what to make of them. As you note, it's hard to rely on some number from an article (which had many inaccuracies).
      If the opposition handled sarin, they should have had a few accidents (Aum had many and produced smaller amounts). I'm sure they would take samples when this happened. So we should expect to have a few sarin samples coming out of Syria in this scenario.

    31. Veritas,

      Denis is well aware of that fact. However, his intention with the paper he did was to analyze the UN report at face value, not to hypothesize different explanations. As it is, the paper is a dense 23-pager. It takes substantial effort and time to do proper scientific analysis.

      Denis has raised the question - if not Sarin, what then? - but that is the subject of a separate discussion and analysis. Done properly and thoroughly, nothing ever comes quickly.


    32. And, just to be clear, Denis is not "my" expert by any means. We have been in communication, true, but I intentionally stayed out of his way, as a scientist should always remain independent of outside influence.

      In fact, Denis shared his paper with others (appropriately) when he shared it with me, and I believe it was posted on shoutwiki before I disseminated it.

      I am honoured by my acquaintance wth Denis, but would not presume to take credit for any of his excellent work.

  4. In response to "Probably the first false-false-flag operation in history (anyone knows otherwise?)" I feel compelled to point out that:

    There have been numerous false flag attacks throughout history, nearly all of the known ones failed miserably and therefore became widely known as such, so there is probably a not insignificant number yet in the dark.

    However, several oft-cited cases of "false flags" weren't actually such, and the false flag hypothesis is being applied to pretty much everything that happens today and that practice is outright silly (if you browse through YouTube for an hour it seems like nothing can happen these days without a sinister plot behind it...It's ridiculous).

    Despite those caveats, rest assured - false flags have occured and have been described for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It is not that far fetched, in fact - it's a pretty simple way of having your way. Like writing a mean message signing it with somebody elses name to screw up a relation or make a notorious bully do the dirty work for you, happens every day in schools.

    And adding to that, ridiculously bad intelligence, outright staged evidence, deceitful reports and so on is commonplace. Remember made-up reports of terrible atrocities in Kuwait? Remember the total meltdown of the CIA and their "informant" Snowball, the yellowcake story and all the other mumbojumbo that Powell brought up? Those were all fairly recent, and the very same practices go back hundreds of years.

    Now, this heap of things doesn't necessarily mean anything in this particular context, if nothing tangible supports a false flag then a false flag model simply isn't supported. What it does show however is that it wouldn't be a world first if it were so.

    1. I think you may have misread the sentence. It refers to false-false-flag attacks: An attack by group A meant to look like a false-flag attack by group B.

      I'll change the wording to double false-flag to avoid confusion. Thanks for pointing it out!

  5. Storyful has done quite a lot of geolocation here:http://storyful.com/stories/63271
    I'm not sure if this is already part of whoghouta-evidence, but it looks quite comprehensive, and might come in handy for the detectives..

    1. This was indeed a crucial piece of evidence when determining the source of the attack. It is referenced here: http://whoghouta.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-un-report.html

  6. Referring to false-flag operations, we must remember that we only know about the failures or the ones exposed later by history. The successful ones worked very well in their time.

    The Gleiwitz incident as part of Operation Himmler was very successful at the time and provided a perfect excuse for the invasion of Poland by the Germans.

    The Iraq invasion was a rolling avalanche if misinformaton, innuendo, and outright lies designed to justify the invasion. Every possible pretext was used to support the cause. The US anthrax episode was blamed on Iraq. 9/11 was partly blamed on Iraq. The very convenient defector Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi lied through his teeth to force an invasion.

    Collectively the US and UK misuse of information created a 'virtual false flag' to support an invasion they had planned for entirely different reasons.

    What is really surprising now is how the Syrian/Russian lay-down-misere ploy has worked so effectively - unless there is more background information we don't know about (very likely)

    1. I assume this is related to the misunderstanding of the false-false-flag term. I of course agree false-flags have occurred in history. I'm trying to find one case of a double false-flag: An attack by group A meant to look like a false-flag attack by group B.

  7. You may have dismissed the Isteams report too hastily, where you wrote, "As it doesn't seem anyone takes this claim seriously, I will not perform a full analysis of the report, and just give my general impression... All the evidence may easily be explained as the behavior of thousands of people in panic and pain."
    It's not true that no one takes the report seriously. It has been featured a number of times on Russia Today and Lavrov has referred to it as well.
    Granted the ISTEAMS report is a bit difficult to get a handle around because of the way it's presented. But their observations are challenging. One little boy shows up in five different videos supposedly from five different places. That is not a behavior explainable by panic or pain.
    Two sites that summarize the Isteams evidence so that one can fairly easily see what sort of scenario it points to:
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/5350600/5350600 and
    http://www.progressivepress.com/dox/Fabrication.mobi - with this scenario
    "Mother Agnes’ explosive evidence points in a frightening direction: many if not all the dead and dying children shown to Congress and the world were not gassed that night in Ghouta, but kidnapped earlier by the FSA and used as props in a staged propaganda feat."
    The highlights of the evidence:
    Taken together, the discrepancies point to a strange and shocking conclusion: the scenes were staged, the videos are fake. Rebel psychological warfare units evidently prepared them before Aug. 21. They then uploaded them to Youtube immediately after the staging of a low-grade release of chemicals in the early hours of Aug 21, which may have claimed some real victims. Opposition NGO's then fed the hysteria about a CW massacre to the world media.
    The first odd thing is the hour chosen for the event: around 2 or 3 a.m., under cover of darkness. Any independent observers could have slept through it. By the time they awoke, the show would be all over.
    Ghouta was already depopulated by fighting, except for rebel bands and a few of their families. Street scenes of the aftermath after daybreak show men only. Yet the footage of victims is predominantly of children -- of course evoking the strongest emotions for propaganda. In an interview with a child survivor, a boy says none of his friends or neighbors were hurt, because they all left beforehand.
    Women victims are scarcely seen at all, except for one view of shrouded bodies in a separate room. Were the actors strict Islamists who didn't want to show the faces of the actresses? Or were the victims kidnapped and the women raped and killed first? It is reported that families in Latakia, in a different part of the country, recognized their missing or kidnapped children in the videos.
    None of the victims are ever identified in the videos. Their names are simply not known; instead, a number is written on each forehead. If rescuers went into houses to bring them out, as they claim in the videos, they would know who the patients were by where they lived. If the families came to the clinics by themselves, they would have given their names. The US claims an exact figure of 1429 dead, but so far I have not seen any reports of the victims' names. Can you imagine a clinic or a doctor not asking a patient their name?
    A narrator, identified as a Revolutionary Council Commander, says, “The martyrs are 865, they are all unidentified. They are numbered on their foreheads as you can see... so that if their parents come they will be able to recognize them.” (cont'd)

  8. (cont'd) How is it possible that all 865 are unidentified? Only if they have been brought in as props or actors. If they were families sleeping in Ghouta and awakened in the chemical attack at 3 a.m., they would go to the clinic together. Any who survived, would be able to identify their next of kin. This is really quite a conclusive point.
    There is not a single video of a funeral, and only one shot of a grave, with only eight bodies in it. Funerals and posters in memory of the dead are a very important part of the culture in this part of the world. Why were they not filmed for their propaganda value?
    There is not a single scene of a family or a mother with her child. There is only one alleged father carrying his daughter into the clinic. He is ranting an anti-Assad diatribe, and saying she calls me father. We then see him ranting over a little boy's body, not his own son, suggesting he is a rebel actor. Ten minutes after the scene with his “dead daughter,” a video is uploaded from another location with her still alive -- yet the first video showed her dead on arrival.
    A clip from a Cairo morgue is presented as a scene from Ghouta. US Secretary of State Kerry also presented a famous photo of bodies from Iraq to the UN as Ghouta victims, following an old error made by the BBC after an earlier false-flag massacre.
    Scenes of children's bodies laid out on the floor are presented in different videos as scenes from different villages. However, many of the same dead children are shown in these different places at the same time! The logical explanation is the bodies were not transported, only the images were.
    Illustrations: Ten children (numbered 0 to 9) are posed as dead in two different videos from two different places, Al Marj and Kafarbatna. The eleventh child, the girl in yellow, is seen in a third video from yet another place, Jobar.
    The same little boy is shown in different scenarios supposedly filmed in five different areas, Ain Tarma, Hammouria, Irbin, Zamalka and Jobar. The videos were uploaded only minutes apart, a little after 4 a.m. Some of the footage is shared between the videos, but differently edited. Fancy footwork indeed!
    Two sisters shown dead in Irbin also come up in a photo of dead children in Kafarbatna.
    The children's bodies are often shown with their shirts pulled up to show their little bare tummies, increasing the emotional effect. Many of them appear to be anesthetized rather than dead.
    The “rescuers” and “medics” mostly look like Al Qaeda fighters, with the obligatory beards.
    There is almost no indication of ambulances or other medical transport efforts, in spite of the alleged scale of the disaster. Sirens are heard only twice in the videos, an ambulance is seen only once. Scenes of arriving patients show private cars with only a single victim.
    In one scene described as rows of dead bodies, a nurse is giving one of them an injection. During a disaster with a great shortage of antidotes, why would they inject a dead body? Unless it is with sarin. The UN report showed no sarin in soil or hair samples, only in blood samples...
    And finally, when ISTEAM published their report on Sept. 15th, with links to the suspect videos, Youtube quickly removed most of them...
    Mother Agnes in an interview on Russia Today: “I am not saying that no chemical agent was used in the area – it certainly was. But I insist that the footage that is now being peddled as evidence had been fabricated in advance. I have studied it meticulously, and I will submit my report to the UN Human Rights Commission based in Geneva.”
    On Sept 11, Press TV reported, “Russia says the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) has confirmed that the videos and photos purporting to show the victims of a chemical attack near the Syrian capital, Damascus, were fabricated.”

  9. False flags work because most people won't believe an event is the opposite of what it seems, unless it's well-documented and the proof comes from a respected authority.
    Which is why trying a double false flag practically cannot work, unless you have a population that thinks everything is the opposite of what it seems.
    Even if anyone has ever been crazy enough to try one, we might never know, because the perpetrators can't very well come clean about it - and there is always the defense that the accuser is paranoid.
    You are right to point to the slow reaction of the Assad government. Perpetrators of false flags typically strike while the iron is hot, and are well-prepared to jump and capitalize on the initial emotional reaction. The US haste to mobilize a strike is very suspect in this light.
    When Assad referred to terrorists as scorpions, this could also be a metaphor for the back-handed tactic of false flags, as the scorpion strikes from the tail.

    1. Lots of info here. Give me some time to process. Thanks for contributing!

    2. Thank you for all your efforst, I appreciate it.
      No question that video evidence takes more time to analyze. So I focused on the text of the report, at 50 pages that took long enough. Also most of the links to youtube videos have been taken down. Some of these were downloaded and salvaged by Against Austerity activists and are archived here: http://www.progressivepress.com/dox/AgnesVids/.
      In fact, video forgery has been essential to building support for the whole "insurgency" operation and the campaign of demonization of the sitting government which always precedes a US war of aggression. So you'd almost expect it to play a key role here.
      I've been wanting to find a good online catalogue of FSA video fakeries for over a year. It seems to be more difficult to create something like that than to analyze textual materials for discrepancies.

    3. "There is not a single video of a funeral, and only one shot of a grave, with only eight bodies in it."

      Wise people still have - it's very good.

    4. vinci,
      I went through some of the evidence, and in all cases felt it has a reasonable explanation. Since there is no way we can cover all of it, I suggest we try this: Pick one piece of evidence which you feel indicates a staged scene (rather than panicked behavior or confusion typical to such events), and we'll work together to determine its reliability.

    5. suggestion: create page ´video analysis´.... And start from ISTEAM report.

    6. I think we can start with the page "evidence contradicting a regime attack", where isteams is discussed. Suggest one of the items, and let's analyze it.

  10. Think hard about it, the only thing close to a double-false-flag attacks is the various Israeli attacks on Gaza and Lebanon.

    Specific examples include the incident in Qana in 2006 killing scores of civilians that immediately got 'the treatment' claiming that Hezbollah killed them and 'falsely blamed the IDF'

    e.g. "Evidence Mounts that Kana "Massacre" Was a Fake"


    While not technically a double false flag it was the result of a pervasive Israeli culture that exists to turn any untoward incident into a double false flag.

    There is also the Israeli/Jewish meme of 'Palliwood' which is essentially a never-ending double false flag exercise. Any time the IDF does something controversial a phalanx of 'adjuster's emerges claiming that either it was deliberately provoked by the Palestinians, was completely faked by the Palestinians, or it was exaggerated way beyond what actually happened.

    1. Good point, although these seem more like a retrospective cover-up, rather than a planned double false-flag. It's more similar to what the west is currently accusing Syria: that they did a regular attack, and then blamed it on a rebel false-flag once they saw the consequences.

    2. sasa

      The Israeli situation is more than retrospective. In legal terms it is at least 'recklessness'. That is acts are committed that are known in advance to be capable of being spun as a false flag.

      In fact so many incidents actually are spun as false-flag that all incidents now are 'contaminated' to some extent.

      I'd argue that the systemic blaming the Arabs for 'faking it' amounts to a policy of double false flag.

      I'd also argue that some attacks are planned in advance to be spun as an Arab false-flag. In a similar way some attacks are designed to get missiles fired out of Gaza that can then be spun as Arab aggression.

    3. good point.
      still this a bit different. the claim of this scenario is that the regime deliberately targeted a residential area with sarin, not that they were reckless, while knowing they could blame it on a false-flag.

  11. Do we have a realistic estimation of the number of victims? It´s an important number to start with when building up scenarios. 1400 seems very unlikely, what is realistic? Has someone counted the victims on the videos?

    1. So far no one did a proper investigation of the number, as the focus here is on finding the perpetrators. If you want to do this, I'll be glad to post your results.

    2. The ISTEAM report made a count of 500 (p38), including the doubles. We know there are a lot of doubles, real count according to video´s (not all victims on videos I guess) must be less than half. Maybe their count is not reliable?
      Seems to be an important question as important conclusions are attached to this number e.g. the rebels can´t have done it because they are not able to make so much Sarin to kill all these people. If the real count is less, more scenario´s become plausible.

    3. Would definitely be interesting to find the real number, but I'm not sure it would have a dramatic effect on the analysis. It's hard to claim that producing 100 kg sarin is within the reach of some group, but not 500 kg. If it was 1 kg and 500 kg, then definitely interesting.

    4. Still think we need a page ´counting victims´ per locality. How many victims for each location do we have proof of? We should try to do this using videos and other sources. An overview of distribution and count of victims will help us with the scenarios.

    5. Done. Thanks for the idea!

  12. 1.  Obama's red lines indicating USA will attack/intervene if CW are used by SAA and Assads gov. That would tip the scales infavour of oposing armed groups and definitely would weaken army fighting capabilities and bring governing regime down quickly.

    2.  Before attack Syrian gov starts to get upper hand of situation in conflict by regaining ground and territory, encircling, blocking groups in strategic areas. Same time Reports start emerging that Syria connected cells trying to obtain components for Sarin. It supposed to be used inside Syria for unidentified reasons or produce Sarin attack incident on USA military base in Turkey near Syria border which would blame Syria gov. One of such team cought by Turks, but there's reasons to believe many more separate teams were operating in region for assigned task. 

    3. USA which opposed on close investigation on previous cases of alleged CW incidents and was limited only on blaming Syria gov finally agrees on investigation. As UN inspectors arrive Damascus to investigate previous cases, CW attack of "unprecedented" scale acquires in very Damascus rebel controlled suburbs. USA immediately starts blaming gov forces and with no delay together with France and UK starts deploying warships into region to attack gov positions and strategic objects.

    Gonna post concerns about evidance on ground, witnesses accounts, and experts reports complete mismatch later

    1. Thank you for contributing. I think all of this was already covered, but please share further findings.

    2. 1. Witnesses claim no explosions were heard of missiles that delivered lethal gas in most effected areas.

      2. Gas reported to have had strange and different smell in different areas.

      3. UN report gives no clue on what happened only it is clear that poor quality Sarin was used in incident.

      4. Delivery method not clear but supposed to be UMLACA missiles (50-60l of Sarin) and 140mm M14 rockets (2-3l of Sarin).

      CW expert Dan Kaszeta on Brown_Moses blog puts optimal gas/explosives ratio in warhead for ultimate Sarin vapor spreading result that are used in Army to 3.3 3/1.

      That means M14 rocket to be loaded approx 0.5-1kg explosives and UMLACA 10-20kg of explosive warhead. That's pritty big explosion to be heard in gas attack site.

      Dropping 50-60l "bathtubs" of Sarin is simply unnefective read same Kaszeta.
      That's very short but we can go into details many questions to ask Kaszeta if you corespond with him

    3. I don't think it's linear. I think a 20 kg charge would completely destroy 60 kg of sarin.
      In estimates of the UMLACA's design (e.g. page 10 here http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/syria_cw0913_web_1.pdf), it seems like the bursting charge is pretty small. I calculate it by volume to be less than 2 kg.

  13. Exactly where I'm getting to,  

    again witnesses reported they "heard" missiles flying but heard No or any explosions of them at impact sites indicating it as "strange" and pointing it as strong "evidence" that missiles caried gas payload.

    Again even for ~2kg sarin carrying warhead USA army use ~0.7kg explosive charge as most effective. Kaszeta wrote it's perfect ratio and found intact body of M14 proves it.

    You still don't get all picture?

    1. Regarding UMLACA that were not exploding and M14 that would leave piles of rocketbody evidence

      Dan Kaszeta

      "Dispersing a payload of Sarin in one load of liquid all in one place (like dumping a bucket) causes a great hazard in one spot, but not wide effects."

      "The lack of a payload-carrying section indicates to me that the explosive bursting charge of the rocket functioned as intended. The US Army used approximately a 3.3:1 ratio by weight of Sarin to conventional explosive in the US’s closest analogue to the 140mm rocket, the M55 115mm rocket. As a Soviet-designed 140mm rocket carried approx. 2.2 kg of Sarin, a comparable ratio would indicate an explosive charge of 650-700 grams of explosive.

    2. Sorry, I'm afraid I don't really follow. Could you explain in more detail what is the claim you're making regarding the bursting charge size and sound of explosives?

    3. Abu Omar of the Free Syrian Army stated to The Guardian that the rockets involved in the attack were unusual because "you could hear the sound of the rocket in the air but you could not hear any sound of explosion"

    4. That I get - that's common for chemical attacks, but I don't understand what you claim this implies.

    5. So UMLACAs had no charge. Now read Kaszeta above first quote:


      Dispersing a payload of Sarin in one load of liquid all in one place (like dumping a bucket) causes a great hazard in one spot, but not wide effects." 

      Read loud very last part of sentance.

      When you understand it we can continue

    6. The fact that people didn't hear an explosion doesn't mean there wasn't one. It just means that it was not as loud as the other sounds. Keep in mind that a 100 kg rocket hitting the ground at 400 km/h is quite loud by itself.

    7. Tottaly irrelevant. You can here bullet shot in kilometers and here we talk according to you of at least minimum 2kg of explosives hitting neighbourhood. Plus in some effected areas was no fighting reported. In others people were just sleeping.

    8. Ok it seems we're both just speculating. If you could bring strong evidence that the UMLACA should have generated a loud explosion sound that witnesses should have reported, I'll gladly update the report.
      Thank you for contributing!

    9. My speculation is based strongly on available witness accounts and CW experts analysis.

      Ask Kaszeta about explosives needed for effective detonation of  50l of sarin warhead to spread vapor for wide effect. And then judge on areal sound effect


      Typically, a chemical attack like this would come in the form of a rocket a couple meters long topped with a nose containing a liquid form of sarin. The liquid would be transformed into a fine mist when an internal detonator blew up the rocket. 

    10. I prefer to have direct evidence and research and not rely on experts, as they are often mistake. You can see form example several mistakes in Dan's previous analysis in here (under Update 3):

      If you could find the design of a chemical (or white phosphorus) warhead of similar size, that would be optimal.

    11. My overall point is UMLACAs were not used to deliver sarin they not designed nor practical for such case to effectively vaporize 60l of sarin under impact. With same efficiency barrels of sarin could  be dropped from helicopter.

      Rebels suburbs during 2 years are littered with exploded unexploded and all sort of UMLACAs and it us known gov posses them if you want to accuse just prepare few recycled and point to them.

      I don't think Syrians came up with such highest efficiency multipurpose wonder that looks like can that all of our millitary experts can't even explain how it works

    12. I think this was explained well here:
      The UMLACA was used before to carry a White Phosphorus payload. WP and chemical warhead have similar technical requirements, so the attackers simply replaced the payload with sarin.
      I doubt it is highly efficient, but I'm sure it's better than just creating a puddle.

    13. First look at link and pictures in your link and videos of umlacauk . It just burries all payload under ground and How far it spread contains on concrete?

      Second. Umlaca not designed to squirt or spread. 

      Missile lands on container bending it and skirt that's always stay on bottom of container intact physically don't alow wide spread Efect by nature. On sarin you want put myst and vapor high as possible to spread skirt don't slow it.

      HW this bottom skirt under impact must and should go of under detonation and impact presure slowing squirt contains high up and far into sides.

      Just because it has container doesn't mean you can blame all on it because it can carry anything HE wp and even chopped potatoes.

      Umlacas not designed for gas attacks or spreading

      Imagine syringe, that's proper principle of container of im telling you

    14. Instead of "slow" and "slowing" alow and allowing. Damn phone..
      Make drawing of impact phases on hitting ground with skirt on u will see where it forces low on ground and that all umlaca sarin is nonsence

    15. I agree this does not seem to like a top notch dispersal mechanism, but it definitely has one. The container is obviously blown from the inside out. Also, check p. 22 of the UN report - container segments were dispersed on the roof, while the rocket body penetrated to the floor below.

  14. Just to be clear, the scenario that the regime executed the attack intentionally is dismissed based on the idea that they would not want the international attention but the actual scenario, in the real world, that we have seen play out is that most in the international community are absolutely convinced that they did it but Russia (and to a lesser extent China) have stood firm with the Syrian government.
    So on this basis we can say that the analysis above dismissed the scenario based on a political calculation deemed implausible that in practice has actually proven to be not only plausible but actually successful. This seems like a substantial weakness in the case made above.

    1. Good point. A few comments:
      1. Averting the attack cost Syria the dismantling of their whole Chemical Warfare program - a strategic asset to counter Israel's extensive WMD program. Not a small cost.
      2. Your claim implies clairvoyance of the Syrian regime. The fact that one scenario played out, doesn't mean it was the only possibility. What if the UK parliament had voted to attack? What if Obama hadn't decided to ask Congress? What if the idea of dismantling the CW program hadn't come up? What if the west had provided strong evidence against the regime, thus exposing Syria was lying to Russia - would Russia still stand by Syria?
      3. It's not only about the result, but also the timing. Why urge the UN to visit and then attack exactly when they come? Couldn't they wait a week?

      However, note that this was not the main reason this scenario was dismissed. It was dismissed mostly because it is in complete contradiction to the evidence.

    2. Did they need clairvoyance or just faith in Russia? On what planet does the truth matter in international relations or specifically in Russian diplomacy?

      So the reason this scenario is discarded is because of the single "no match" in the evidence list that rests on the basis that it would be impossible for the Syrian government to maneuver a launching platform to a location on a highway north of the attack site? The launching platforms are literally trucks, right?

    3. 1. They would need huge amounts of faith in Russia. Read Russia's statements here:
      Reading this, it's obvious a wide-scale sarin attack would be a spit to the face of Russia.

      2. It's not only the no match', it's also the other weak matches. When considering that the rebel-attack scenario is both more plausible and doesn't contradict any evidence, it seems ridiculous to support the regime-attack scenario.

      3. Nowhere did I say that Syria can't move launchers around. But this is not what the west is claiming. They clearly claim the attack was done from army bases. This was proven wrong.

      4. I think you're misunderstanding what this blog is. This is not a few people telling the world what's right. It is a collaborative effort - you're part of it. Welcome!
      If you can write a plausible regime-attack scenario that matches the evidence, I'll be glad to publish it.

      Thanks for contributing!

    4. From reading this and a few of the background posts backing it up it feels like for the Syrian government the mole-hills are turned into mountains but for the rebels the mountains into mole-hills.
      The two most glaring examples of this to me are:
      - on the Syrian government side it is assumed here that the existence of Sarin precursors and the apparent absence of stabilizers are indicative of the government not being the source of the sarin. These assertions are made with,as far as I can tell, no knowledge of the quality of sarin the Syrian military actually produces. There is an assumption that because they have had the capability for a long time they must be good at making it, but that assumption is without evidence, the only evidence we have that is related is the Syrian government's own admission that they have the capacity to produce it. (I am not entirely convinced that the presence of precursors in samples is actually evidence of low-quality sarin in the first place, but that is a separate matter.)
      - on the rebel side the assumption is made that a weapon that the rebels are not documented to have access to is acquired and then used, despite them having no familiarity with it, to deliver a very large payload of Sarin, also something that there is no evidence they have access to. (Further to this point, but simply speculation, one might assume that sarin would be a very valuable commodity if they had it and managed to get it into a location to use it effectively, so using unfamiliar rockets to deliver it is another stretch.)

    5. These points are clearly stated above as the weakest points of the rebel-attack theory. I don't think anyone was trying to hide that.

      When examining thousands of pieces of evidence, there will always be some discrepancies - that's how reality works. The question then comes to which scenario is more likely.

      For the rebel-attack theory, we need to make two assumptions that are not far-fetched at all, while for the regime-attack theory we seem to have to assume a very weird chain of events.

      But if you think you have a plausible regime-attack scenario, please share. We really can't find one, and your help will be appreciated.

    6. Let us look at the plausibility points for the mainstream scenario.
      #1. The article linked does not "indicate these movements were probably done for protection".
      #2. That's pretty straight-forward if we can assume that the diplomatic message matches the public one, later behaviour seems to indicate that.
      #3. This assumes that Russian statements to the media are an indication of diplomatic messages, we do not know that.
      #4. Links to a Syrian press release, this is only evidence of their public position not what they actually wanted.
      #5. Nothing much to discuss, the Russians are an interested party in the conflict.
      #6. This is what the scenario dictates happened, yes.
      #7. Four days elapsed, which is quite a bit of time if the government had control of the site for that time period.

      Most of these items are not supported by evidence, they are supported by conjecture. Not to say that conjecture is not interesting and can not inform opinion, only that it is not evidence.

    7. 1. The relevant quote: “So far what we have been told is that most of the sites and facilities that we need to inspect are in government control”. Since 70% of the country is outside government control, it's fair to assume they were moved. But I agree it's not clear enough. Here's a better source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/13/syria-crisis-weapons-idUSL6E8ID5O020120713
      2. Agree.
      3. Are you implying that Russia was an accomplice to Syria's use of chemical weapons? That would be even more implausible.
      4. Not sure what are you implying here. That Syria said they invited the UN, but didn't actually do it?
      5. Not really important, so we can ignore this.
      6. Ok.
      7. (a) The area was under rebel control. (b) 2 days is record time in diplomacy. It took the UN 2 days just to REQUEST a visit. (c) As the UN report showed, there was plenty of evidence after a week.

      What do you think is not supported by evidence?

      But I'm not sure what is the point of your questions. Are you trying to claim that it does make sense to launch an unprecedented sarin attack on civilians when a UN investigation you requested is in town?

    8. I'm also not sure why you're focusing on the mainstream scenario. It is obviously wrong - the attack did not come from a Syrian army base. If you want to offer another scenario, that would be much more helpful.

    9. http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/175498789?width=360 very interesting might help sorry for mobile link

  15. >>Many believe a scenario involving an opposition attack “on their own people” is implausible. << keep in mind that most of the jihadists are foreign mercenaries, from Libya, Iraq, Chechnya, Jordan, even from Europe and one woman from the US. So if rebels did this, they may have been foreigners who were not "killing their own people" and could have less sympathy for Syrians than "their own people."

    1. Good point. Added. Thank you for contributing!

    2. Prehistory and situation:

      USA red line on CW use and regime, after a year since recline militants start losing ground. Only option to fast end/victory make regime cross red line on CW that would instantly bring third parties anti regime military involvement.


      Some cells linked to al Qaeda and Nusra front start gathering components required for sarin production abroad, some cought close to Syria border . In Syria Videos confirming possession, production and readiness to use by radicals other types of lethal chemicals.

      Resources and Plan:

      Quantity of Sarin needed  2-5 liters, other available lethal chemicals.  2-3 teams Spread chemicals in some densely populated areas and known civilian hideouts to create panic wide havoc during army routine shelling of one of rebel held areas.


       Zemalka on Wednesday night/morning

      Ashraf Hassan, 18

      "Around 1.30am, we started to hear shouts of people for help. We did not hear any attack or shelling. We went out to find out that the district is in complete chaos and panic."

      "I helped many other guys evacuate bodies and some people who were still alive … until I myself started to smell the gas. The smell was like cooking gas."

      Actual Army shelling happened after half an hour.

      To increase effect make more panic and lure people into effected areas from hideouts:

      "Soon, loudspeakers in the neighbourhood, some attached to mosque minarets, started blaring terrifying warnings – telling residents to leave their houses and flee."

      Another testimony:

      "When I reached home, I began to smell something like vinegar and rotten eggs. Then, I heard people shouting that the district was under attack by chemical rockets."

      "You could hear the sound of the rocket in the air but you could not hear any sound of explosion." And they caused no visible damage to any buildings. The smell became overpowering."

      Doctors testimonials and videos show arriving victims with mydriasis that is opposite of miosis symptom of Sarin gas which is odorless

      No amount of rockets missiles body evidence found that suggest massive CW artillery attack.

  16. Note:

    Possibly could be one diversion team. By putting detailed timeline and poisoning hotspots possible to track movement Zamalka-Ein Tarm-Ibrin by main road, and later 2-3 hours travel to Moadamiyah.

    Need to notice as well 1:15am first reports of heavy fighting in Ghouta by oposition Facebook pages possibly Jobar frontline area because first victims in Zamalka Ibrin reported no fighting heard all quiet and ANNA media team with army reported operation in Jobar. 

    Plus obvious from early testimonies chemical poisoning acured before army barage early between 2-3am note first testimonies indicate 1:30 in Zamalka people were poison effected by strong odored chemical with no shelling or fighting.

    Need dig all out testimonies, report times, areas, symptoms etc and put together

    1. I think this was already addressed here in item 3:

  17. Scenario 1: NDF or SAA launched UMLACAs from here http://wikimapia.org/#lang=de&lat=33.552554&lon=36.354704&z=16&m=b or from M5 road south of there. Both under regime control or at least easily to be secured for some special task. That´s given the 2.5km range. Above that a variety of launch positions come into play.

    Please correct #6 and #7 of scenario 1.

    1. " ..Above that a variety of launch positions come into play ..."

      Err ..no they don't. Unless of course you are now totally disregarding the MSM paraphernalia based on trajectory paths derived from azamuth calculations?


      Is this where we are at? If we are disregarding the above then we must concede the munition crash sites have been tampered with.

      Which is is?

  18. Let´s focus to 2.5km first and the area around M5. Map shows it´s regime held or contested which makes it well possible for SAA/NDF to use it for an attack. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/68/Military_situation_in_Damascus_region_as_of_15th_of_September_2013.png

    Add UMLACA range and you can add many more positions like Harasta or Barzeh (contested) or Assad suburb (regime held).

  19. WhoGhouta's analysis on the likeliest trajectory of the UMLACAS debunked HRW's report with data that strongly suggests them being fired from a north position (Zamalka) NOT west as reported by HRW. This is largely a rebel area.

    If you are now discounting the data put forward by HRW and now want to set up a scenario to fit your narrative of a 2.5km 360 degree kill zone. Please go ahead and supply your analysis.

    But be mindful of that fact that you are now yourself rejecting the very evidence you trumpeted in the first place.

    1. I don´t change trajectory. It´s all from north. I don´t see your point.

    2. And again, let´s start here: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=de&lat=33.552554&lon=36.354704&z=16&m=b

    3. This must be George again .. I am lost for words.

      Well? Go on then! .. l
      Lets allow you to now move the goal posts and now disregard your previous trumpeted evidence. Lets allow you to now set the scene to suit your latest narrative.

      Start there! which looking at the maps I have is predominantly rebel but bordering a contested area.

      Make your case!

      Or shall I help you get started?

      Make your case that the SAA or NDF decided to move chemical weapons into a CONTESTED area and probably "under fire" from the rebels, then........ for some obscure reason decided to fire these obscure customised UMLACAS SOUTH of the area of conflict AWAY from the immediate area of contact into an area not part of the immediate front line of action so that ..
      1. It would have no effect on the immediate area of contact and
      2. They would have no way of knowing if these munitions would impact on the rebels in the immediate area of contact
      3. Provides no strategic advantage firing these munitions AWAY from the immediate area of conflict
      4. Completely plays into the hands of the rebels and gives them the international leverage to call on the western alliances to immediately set in motion an allied strike and possibly turn the war to their advantage
      5. Take this action within 24 hours of the UN arriving so they can all finish up with this war before the weekend was out!

    4. Anonymous/George - welcome and thanks for contributing.
      Here are some follow ups on your scenario:
      1. Note that the M5 intersection is 3 km from the farthest impact site
      2. Why did they choose sarin manufactured in an immature process?
      3. Why did they use a weapon previously documented only with white phosphorus payload, and not the chemical weapons they developed and tested over many years?
      There are many more issues, but let's start with these and hopefully we can build together a plausible scenario.
      Thanks again!

  20. Alternative launch position: Regime held Armored vehicle Army Base/"Idarat al-Markabat" (the one with the rubbled HQ recently). Exactly 2.5km from impact zone.


    Should be enough no to adjust scenarios. No?

    1. Welcome and Thank you for your suggestion.

      A few follow up questions:
      1. Do you have evidence that this Army base is currently under regime control? It is currently marked as rebel territory in all maps.
      2. The azimuth to the base is 30-35 degrees different than indicated by the impact sites. Can your suggested scenario support this evidence?
      3. The distance to the farthest impact site is 3.6 km. Can your suggested scenario support this evidence?

      Thank you for contributing!

    2. 1. It's the base where the HQ building got blown up 11/17. That base has reportedly always been in regime hands.

      2. I don't think that the indications are strong enough to rule out some deviation.

      2. 3.5km is within "cone nose" scenario. Let alone the higher range that others suggest.

    3. 1. What is the evidence that this is the building blown up? I've been shown a photo on twitter (by you?) which was a mismatch.

    4. You're way to quick to dismiss evidence. It was definitely a match!

      The building at the side of the HQ is just smaller than it appears on satellite view.

      Video from 4/21/2013 targeting same building described "vehicle administration": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfJMGQxWrG

      Video 08/06, same building: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxRM6yLXwnE

      Video 08/11, same building more of the base: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHTdXZ1Axkg

    5. I think it´s somewhat obvious that the rubbled building is part of THAT base. I didn´t even come across anyone questioning to location yet. There is only one مبنى إدارة المركبات or "armored vehicle administration base" in Damascus. Agree?

      There are plenty of videos that show the building being attacked, because it´s been a notorious sniper location but only from north/western locations where rebels seem to be located.

    6. Found another satellite view of the building. http://twitter.com/ArtWendeley/status/403148073897312258/photo/1

    7. All five anonymous posts above by @artwendeley. (This on too).

    8. Very nice work! Combining these videos together seems to indicate this is the location.

      We still have the following problems:
      1. Even with a nosecone and optimistic assumptions, the range is 3.3 km: http://whoghouta.blogspot.com/2013/10/impact-site-analysis.html
      2. While it's possible impact sites 1 and 3 could be made to match this azimuth, impact site 2 very clearly points north: http://whoghouta.blogspot.com/2013/10/impact-site-analysis.html
      3. It still doesn't explain why the regime would drive to a logistical base surrounded by rebels to launch the rockets, instead of using advanced chemical weapons from the safety of its main bases.
      4. It still doesn't explain why the sarin was manufactured with low grade chemicals.

      Would be great if you could provide good explanations for these 4 items. Thanks!

  21. As there is a possibility that the rockets are of Hezbollah in origin. Maybe the Sarin is too?

    I look forward to the blogs consideration of this possible attack scenario.

    1. Definitely an interesting scenario. All you have to do is write it down in the 'suggesting scenario' page and provide as much detail as you can to explain all the evidence, and it will be discussed.
      Thank you for contributing!

  22. This is the 'suggesting scenario' page - have fun.

    1. Oops, sorry about that.
      So just write down a detailed scenario explaining how the Hezbollah carried out the attack: how they got the sarin, what was the motivation, how the liwa-al-islam videos fit in, what was the involvement of the regime etc.
      Then we can discuss and evaluate it.
      Thank you for contributing!

    2. 'how they got the sarin' - that's my point you're evaluation seems to have totally missed the possibility that the 'homemade' (sic) sarin was made by Hezbollah. If you don't consider it then you can't come to a valid conclusion. Especially as these weapons are being linked with Hezbollah.

      In fact there has been an inconsistency running through all the narratives i.e. why would anyone develop and use these short range HE/CW missiles?

      They don't really fit any of the rebels MO or even the SAA but Hezbollah make a lot more sense.

      I don't need to write a detailed scenario I just need to posit that the Sarin & delivery system is Hez in origin and you have to prove it cant be them otherwise your conclusion becomes invalid.

    3. You seem to be missing the point of this site. This is not me arguing against the world that "the rebels did it". It's a collaborative effort of finding who is behind the attack. If Hezbollah is a more likely culprit - that will be the new conclusion.

      I'm asking for your help in building this scenario. If you only want to claim "Hezbollah developed the rockets, manufactured the sarin and launched the attack", that's fine - i'll try to fill in the rest of the details myself, but I think it's best if you give the full scenario.

      As to the short range HE/incendiary rockets - they seem to make perfect sense for urban areas of the civil war, allowing short range delivery of very large payloads at a low price. Perfectly likely for the SAA to develop them (as is claimed in one of the videos).

  23. The trouble with suggesting a scenario is that it will miss all the other variations on it.

    For instance I didn't mention anything about Hez launching the attack because I have no idea if they did. They could have given the equipment to say the NDF.

    They may have done it because they hadn't tested the warheads yet and doing so in either Lebanon or Israel would be somewhat problematic.

    They may have accidentally shipped a number of CW warheads.

    So before even beginning suggesting scenarios I would have though stage 1 would be to look for evidence of Volcano use by Hez in Lebanon and attempts by Hez to acquire Sarin precursors, ownership of Labs etc (tho my guess is they are going to be very secretive as if the IDF got a sniff of it airstrikes would probably occur pdq).

    If the weapon is of Hez origin that does account for the complete lack of videos showing the opposition with them on account of them not being in the SAA inventory for opposition groups to capture. Don't think there has been any reports of the opp using those IRAMs either which should be a much likelier capture.

    Would love to help more but I don't have the time to peruse you-tube etc for hez videos etc but I'm sure there are those that will.

    1. Fair enough. I'll see if I can get to it soon. Thanks!

  24. What is main proof for rockets being the Sarin vectors? The videos of the 3 rockets filmed by activists + successive UN report? Does rest of evidence add up with this evidence? Without these 3 rocket remains/videos, there would be no irrefutable link between rockets and Sarin?

    1. Copied from "The Conclusion":

      Evidence that the UMLACA was the sarin delivery device:
      They were found immediately after the sarin poisoning, and in the same area. No other munitions were reported.
      The impact sites and rocket remains show no signs of damage from explosives or incendiary.
      The impact sites have remains of a container capable of carrying around 60 kg sarin. The remains are stripe-shaped, indicating the container was designed to explode on impact, tear open, and release its content to the environment.
      The UN has reported finding sarin in soil samples taken near the impact sites.
      More details in the UN report.

  25. Not convincing... IF false flag, all these things could have be planted, would explain vague UN-report.
    Organizing false flag is not spontaneous. Plants of these rockets remains could have been included in script. Not saying it´s the case, but not ´Sarin-tight´ case for rocket use in my opinion.

    1. The idea that the rockets were planted and sarin was distributed in a simpler manner was discussed in the past, and we failed to reach a reasonable scenario, but it's definitely worth reconsidering. Would you like to try to propose a scenario of how this could have been executed?

  26. Starting point is your conclusion:

    "Evidence that the UMLACA was the sarin delivery device:

    They were found immediately after the sarin poisoning, and in the same area. "

    This is an indication that these devices are involved but not absolute proof. The rockets could have been planted there part of false flag, or they just happened to be there from a previous non chemical attack. In Moamadiya, no such rockets were found. In fact it has been proved that (another type) a rocket was staged as CW vehicle. What happed in Moa, could also have happened in Zamalka.

    Other arguments against these rockets as Sarin vector:
    1-(cfr picture of rocket close to ploughing field), apparently dried gras just next to impact spot has kept its cellulose structure. Would expect that HF released together with Sarin would attack it.
    2- (same picture), no evidence of chemical reaction with sand of HF. Would expect kind of ´hotspot´there.
    3- Area is not treated as ´dangerous´. Already first day, militants were all over the place, not afraid of being affected.

    "No other munitions were reported.

    If other device was used as Sarin vector, this point has no more value

    "The impact sites and rocket remains show no signs of damage from explosives or incendiary.

    See above. But lack of remains is rather suspicious in my opinion.

    The impact sites have remains of a container capable of carrying around 60 kg sarin.

    The figure of 60 kg has no value of its own, it has been deduced by geometry of rocket.

    "The remains are stripe-shaped, indicating the container was designed to explode on impact, tear open, and release its content to the environment.

    The rocket does seem to be designed for something like CW. This is a valid point. But has it been really designed for CW? Or are we all starting to believe it because BM told us so.

    "The UN has reported finding sarin in soil samples taken near the impact sites.
More details in the UN report."

    The UN report is suspiciously vague and inaccurate. By not specifying analysis methods, concentrations, exact chemicals measured, the Un report leaves room for speculation. They seem to be hiding something. Staging some Sarin in the soil samples for UN to pick up is not difficult. But staging it in a way that concentrations, byproducts, metabolites etc are consistent would be very difficult. But UN doesn´t give us the data to check this out: very suspicious.

    Other evidence that doesn´t add up with rockets:

    Video in Moa of Sarin victims but no rockets.
    Lack of scenes of people dying in situ, in the houses (not logical that these scenes would not have been filmed).
    Firing location in contested area (regime or rebel problem) unlikely.

    Suggested scenario:

    Devices where detonated in specific places (eg IED found in Jobar location). Victims quickly collected (everything was prepared…). Videos sent to internet. Rockets surfaced (either intentionally or non-intentionally). UN came and reported. Report kept vague not to disturb narrative.

    1. Sorry for the late response.

      You raise some good points. Here are some facts I think you should to take into account.

      1. We know from the Turkish chemical list, that the formula contained isopropylamine which is used to neutralize HF in the binary process, so HF effects should not be significant.

      2. People walking around the sites is typical human behavior. You will often find people approaching dangerous sites out of curiosity or ignorance, if they don't feel any immediate effects.
      Note that the UN's sarin detectors beeped when arriving and they moved people away.

      3. I agree with you that there was no sarin attack in Moadamiyah. There is a separate section on it "What happened in Moadamiyah".

      4. I think the launch location is perfect for a false flag. You want the rockets to seem to be coming from government areas, but you can't really carry out such a conspicuous operation in a fully controlled area.
      Also note that the videos perfectly match the location.

      5. It's hard to explain the launch videos if it was a false flag not involving Volcano launches.

  27. Concerning
    1/ Even with isopropyl amine neutralization you will get substantial amounts of produced HF. We´re talking 60 l of Sarin mixture, that is 3 buckets full. Since the shell of the container is seen next to rocket remains, a very big part of the contents will have slammed into the soil. Read the Matsumoto report, plenty of damage to plants because of HF. So in radius of few meters, I expect to see visible remnants of HF. The Sarin mixture must have slammed in soil, sand must have been affected at least by degrading sarin that produces HF.
    2/ Human behavior around the rocket shows indeed that they were not scared of immediate effect. Not normal for the Sarin epicentrum causing 100´s of deaths. Note that UN even found active Sarin (not degraded) after a weeks time. If Rocket was Sarin vector, first days should have been dangerous area.
    3/I didn´t say no Sarin attack in Moa´, no Vocano type rocket shown, instead a proven rocket plant of other type. Video´s show victims. Theory of them being Zamalka victims far fetched seen distance and lack of specialized facilities in Moa. Must say, victim reanimation videos of Moa´not convincing, but either they show real victims or they show fake victims. If victims are real, there must have been another Sarin vector (because no volcano in Moa). If videos are fake, rebels very well organized to have produced these videos so early in morning of 21-8. Both possibilities should be examined since this info gives important clue for Zamalka area.
    4-I understand your point of it being a perfect location for launch, but risks seem very high. If there is a false flag, why do it in such a hard way as to bring around 10 times 60 liters of Sarin to the battlefield (is equivalent to 30 buckets filled with sarin). This over bumpy roads (probably with shell craters), right into a field next to government fighting in area (plus probably also government observation points). Would not be my ´first choice´ strategy if I was planning a false flag. It would have been much more simple to let us say send in a few idiots thinking they are launching a chemical rocket in this other area mentioned in the Liwa videos, and planting an IED device like described in the Jobar ´lab´, and planting that in an area where your own sons and daughters are not living, and detonating it at a certain desired time.
    5- What launch videos are you referring to? Is that the Liwa video? Ok, then I suggest as mentioned above:
    The false flag commando sends a team of dull witted fighters to the launch field telling them ´the Assad dogs´are going to get it and be gassed. That´s why the Liwa video mentions another launch target than Zamalka. Since the fighters there are not the most clever ones, they don´t even know, they´re firing the wrong direction. They also don´t know that the gas masks are only for show. Maybe the rockets do carry traces of Sarin, in any case not enough to kill if something goes wrong in this crazy rocket attack in contested area. The rockets land somewhere in Zamalka. At the same time the IED´s are triggered in a controlled place (far away from plotters´ own families), and the rest of the script unfolds as we have seen with videos taken in certain locations.

    Conclusion: Your theory as it is now has to many far fetched explanations for eg:

    -Moa attack
    -Lack of visual chemical remnants at rocket impacts
    -Lack of footage of victims in homes, general myosis in area, victim composition
    -Insufficient evidence of other volcano impacts
    -Improbability of 600 l of Sarin on bumpy road to be launched next to contested area
    - Testimony of M Agnes of her sensors not having picked up the massive amount of deaths in Zamalka (victims maybe not random victims)
    -Vague and faulty UN report seeming to cover things up.

    You have done a wonderful job! You were also the first to point out that HRW rocket range was completely wrong! Congratulations on your excellent site. But I hope you will continue with asking more questions to fill all the holes in our understanding. Your effort is highly appreciated.

    1. 1. The Zamalka impact sites do seem to have withered leaves as expected in the Matsumoto report (of course they could have been in this state prior to the attack).
      2. Not sure I agree. Initially you had a pool of several meters diameter, which evaporated lethal amounts, then you were left with a few small pockets that remained for long, but produced small amounts. By definition - anything producing large amounts would dry quickly.
      3. I disagree. There were many evacuations to Duma, which is pretty far. No reason to think Moadamiyah was excluded. Note that these videos are from hours later, so logistically it's not a problem.
      4. The ANNA videos show the SAA operating very carefully in the area (mostly tanks, and the checkpoint heavily fortified). I don't think operations in the field after midnight were high risk.
      5. I find part of your scenario interesting: Maybe only the commander knew the purpose of the mission, and the others thought they're attacking SAA.
      The Volcano/IED scenario is also definitely plausible.

      Thank you for the kind words and the intelligent contributions!