Associated Press reporter Dale Gavlak is reporting that Syrian rebels, armed with chemical agents from Saudi Arabia, were responsible for the August 21st Chemical weapons attack. Gavlak has also written for the BBC, Salon, and others.
Here is what she reports at Mint Press:
As the machinery for a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria gathers pace following last week’s chemical weapons attack, the U.S. and its allies may be targeting the wrong culprit.
Interviews with people in Damascus and Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital, where the humanitarian agency Doctors Without Borders said at least 355 people had died last week from what it believed to be a neurotoxic agent, appear to indicate as much.
The U.S., Britain, and France as well as the Arab League have accused the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for carrying out the chemical weapons attack, which mainly targeted civilians. U.S. warships are stationed in the Mediterranean Sea to launch military strikes against Syria in punishment for carrying out a massive chemical weapons attack. The U.S. and others are not interested in examining any contrary evidence, with U.S Secretary of State John Kerry saying Monday that Assad’s guilt was “a judgment … already clear to the world.”
However, from numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack.
Chemical weapons from Saudi Arabia squares exactly with what we reported back on August 26th. In fact, we even posted a screen shot from a video that showed a back of chemicals from Saudi Arabia. It is from a video purported to be from a rebel location after it was secured by the Syrian government.
According to Gavlak, despite the rebels being responsible, they were interested in retaliating against Assad anyway:
…the militant group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is linked to al-Qaida, announced that it would similarly attack civilians in the Assad regime’s heartland of Latakia on Syria’s western coast, in purported retaliation.
“They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”
“When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned.
Here’s an account from another witness:
A well-known rebel leader in Ghouta named ‘J’ agreed. “Jabhat al-Nusra militants do not cooperate with other rebels, except with fighting on the ground. They do not share secret information. They merely used some ordinary rebels to carry and operate this material,” he said.
“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” ‘J’ said.
So, it looks like some disenfranchised rebels are not interested in letting the Muslim Brotherhood faction carry out a blood libel in the interest of garnering sympathy and bombing raids on Assad.
Senator John McCain just can’t stop looking like a doofus. Here he is with Neil Cavuto just three days ago. If he doesn’t come clean, he may have a Susan Rice problem: