« WMD Mirage By Richard Sale | Main | “U.S. Patrolling Syrian Border to Stop Turk-Kurd Clashes” - TTG »

29 April 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Babak Makkinejad

No, look at slide 3.


Very interesting but no. The infographic I saw started out with something similar but then used pre and post-event satellite imagery to establish which buildings along those lines had been damaged so identifying where the bombs hit.

The reason I say very interesting is that the image you linked to shows that four bombs hit Khan Shaykhun. The three seen in the video from the northern most location and two from the western most location, with one common to both videos and from this image it looks very much like they were dropped as two pairs. If you add in the alleged chemical missile that means five weapons were dropped but according to Wikipedia, the SU-22 has ten hardpoints (three under the fixed portion of each wing, four on the fuselage sides).
How difficult would it be to fly such an unbalanced aircraft? Any pilots out there care to comment? Could it be that the aircraft wasn't responsible for the alleged chemical missile or am I missing something?



The only thing I've seen resembling the images you describe were in the NYT video. I did a search after I saw the video and couldn't find any corresponding photos , but you might be able to get some screenshots off the video itself.


Here's the NYT video , see if the shots ~ 3:15 look like what you saw:


I did find what appears to be one screenshot from this video :



Ken Roth of HRW has a new video up today on the sarin attack. I haven't watched it yet but I can guess it will show incontrovertible evidence of Assad's guilt in the attack , and that he also cheats on his wife :



Thanks Marko, I'm fairly certain that is what I saw - how that became an infographic I don't know.


Not entirely off topic:
The ever factual Dr Postol has also co-authored a post titled
"How US nuclear force modernization is undermining strategic stability:
The burst-height compensating super-fuze" at

In it he details how installing an "intelligent" fusing system on Americas
thermonuclear weapons has lead to a threefold increase in the lethality of
these weapons. The article points out that this capacity is just what is needed for a successful surprise first strike - a decapitation option

I imagine this option will have been explored in depth by war planners and strategists in the Pentagon.
The notion of Victory is not without its attractions to the military mind.

There is precedent: June 1967 the Israeli Cabinet was told:
"The Egyptian Army needed 2 years to be ready for war;
the Israeli Army is ready now".
The "Generals Coup" argument prevailed and a first strike was launched.
One notable casualty, the USS Liberty.

Postol then looks at what is required for this first strike option
and concludes it is Work in Progress.
( People with a more detailed understanding of US military matters
may disagree. )

So developing smart fusing technology enhances a First Strike option,
under the control of a Commander in Chief who has a proven short fuse :-(

Chris Chuba

It's interesting to view the WH govt assessment next to the FIR


While I consider the FIR inadequate, it is like the Magna Carta vs Bazooka Joe when you look at both documents side by side. At least the FIR refers to actual lab tests that they performed. They didn't pull the old, 'we could tell you but we'd have to kill you' method of hand waving as was done in the WH report. They also properly identify the rebels while the WH just calls them 'the opposition' as in ...

"Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) was born from the merger of several radical factions with the Al-Qaeda movement Jabhat Fatah al-Sham after the fall of Aleppo. Pragmatic coordination between HTS and other armed groups present in the Hama sector was observed in late March. To the knowledge of the French services, none of these groups has the capability to employ a neurotoxic agent, or the air capacities required."

They also properly describe the war situation while the WH invents pure fiction by claiming that Assad's forces were threatened.

I didn't see any reference to the Ghouta/Damascus attack in the FIR, only Saraqib. I found the references to the Aug 2013 attack confusing because I couldn't find the description in the FIR.

Chris Chuba

I've tried to keep up but maybe someone has already mentioned this, someone on Russia-Insider claimed that the picture that Nikki Haley waved around at the U.N. shows a mark on the victim's neck below the chin caused by strangulation.



These photos are from NBC and businessinsider, so the picture of the picture shouldn't be photoshopped. I'm not a Coroner, but it does look like there is a discoloration in that area but it is not pronounced. If we are going to bomb people, we should actually do an autopsy, not squint at photos. Just curious if anyone can tell if these pictures reveal anything.

Chris Chuba
"In a binary munition that's been deployed , you don't care about 10 seconds worth of corrosion. The whole debate breaks down to speculating about whether at some time in the future Assad might have decided he needed some unitary sarin , and at that time he might possibly have chosen to add hexamine to the unitary mix"-Marko

Excellent point Marko. Why would Assad try to develop a unitary weapon instead of his regular arsenal since the west is now claiming that he simply under declared his standard inventory. Why would he mess around with a Rube Goldberg device like a hand grenade (tear gas cannister) at Saraqeb instead of using a missile with a binary payload.

Does anyone know about Assad's known delivery systems for his binary chemical weapons that he inherited from his father? Since they were designed around countering Israel, I would think that they would be long range weapons like Scud missiles. Would they even bother to make short range weapons like artillery shells or air to ground bombs that have less of a chance of actually making it to Israel?

Terence Reeves-Smyth

One aspect of the Khan Shaykhun incident that no one seems to have asked is who were the people who died? Were they genuine 'residents' of the town (bearing in mind that so many of these settlements close to the front lines were understandably thinly populated) or were they captives from nearby villages being held by AL jihadists following their recent and initially successful campaign towards Hama? Since pictures of some of the dead were posted on line I would have thought it possible that this question could be answered.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad