The disinformation about the Syrian army allegedly using chemical weapons with the death toll up to 1000 victims was spread around almost at the same time by Saudi, Qatari and British media early Wednesday, on August 21. Russian media outlets in Damascus report that the goal was to stop a large-scale counter-terrorist operation launched by Syrian military just a few hours before. President Bashar Assad’s forces pressed on with a military offensive in the Jobar neighborhood in west Damascus, which was seized by the gangs of foreign mercenaries at the end of last year. As some sources inform, chemical weapons were not used at all that day. At any case, there is no clear evidence – it’s just ballyhoo raised to attract public attention.
Some time before that, on August 18, a United Nations chemical weapons inspection team came to investigate the alleged attack that took place in the village of Khan al-Assal (near Aleppo) on March 19 this year (back then 26 men were reported dead and 86 wounded) upon reaching understanding with the Syrian government. Syria provided well documented description of events to support its request to conduct inquiry. The team includes ten scientific experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the World Health Organization headed by Professor Ake Sellstrom of Sweden. It was formed in a few days after the March 19 attack (no names of team members are made public). The Western diplomatic maneuvering obstructed its work from the start, there were conditions put forward known in advance as unacceptable for Damascus. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had to make a statement saying that the situation involving the chemical weapons must not be used as a pretext for speculations and achieving geopolitical goals or «some maneuvers in diplomatic games». This goes without saying, but, at that, the speculations about the use of chemical weapons are raised all the time while the West actually refuses to check if the reports are true.
The Sellstrom’s team has solid ground to start its work from. On June 9 Russia handed over to the United Nations Secretariat and Security Council a full package of documents on alleged cases of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, over 80 pages, including photos and certain lists of geographical locations, procedures and results. Three cases were investigated by Russian experts, including the incident in Khan al-Assal. The study was completely in line with the criteria of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The conclusion was that the munitions and agents (nerve agent sarin) were produced this February on the part of Syrian territory controlled by the Free Syrian Army. Talking about the March 19 incident investigation, Sergey Lavrov said, «Our investigation was conducted in full and 100% in compliance with these standards». Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General, has the results of the investigation at his disposal. Still the conclusions of report are not made public. Instead, the disinformation was spread on August 21 (a bright example of waging an offensive information battle!). Now the events in Syria and around it are taking a different turn as a result.
First, the Sellstrom’s team switched from Khan al-Assal March 19 incident, when the criminal formations used chemical weapons, to the alleged chemical attack in Jobar on August 21.
Trying to be a step further before the international expert team comes out with trustworthy results, Washington abruptly intensified its muscle flexing demonstrating the readiness to strike Syria. «The Pentagon is prepared to carry out military options on Syria should President Barack Obama order them» – that’s what hits the media pages now being discussed and repeated all the time while the reaction of world leading states is scrutinized. These days the intensive efforts are underway to make public accustomed to the idea that Syria may be attacked as it is all in the day's work. Media outlets are busily assessing what means the US has at its disposal to carry out the intervention.
President Barack Obama is moving the United States closer to an «illegitimate» war in Syria, raising echoes of predecessor George W. Bush's moves before invading Iraq, Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian lower house of parliament's international committee, said commenting the events. He has not put too precisely: if another war is launched by the US, no way combat actions would be limited by Syrian borders. Fighting will automatically spill over. Just in case, Damascus and Tehran have warned about it. Or, perhaps, Washington has its own calculations?
It’s absolutely not important if it’s Obama who is moving the United States to war or some other forces related to shaping the US foreign policy. The only thing that matters is that these very days, if not hours, it is being decided if the world is ready to reconcile with the idea that a military intervention of the «sole global power» against another state becomes a sinister norm of everyday life after what has already happened in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.