On August 21, 2013, rockets loaded with an extremely toxic chemical called Sarin struck the Ghouta suburb in the Damascus city of Syria. Sarin, which is classified as a weapon of mass destruction, resulted in the death of at least 281 to 1729 civilians. The rocket strike was considered the worst chemical attack since the Iraq-Iran war and infamously dubbed the ‘Ghouta Chemical attack’.
An open-source study published by Rootclaim has revealed that the attack was orchestrated by the Syrian rebels and not the Bashar al-Assad-led Syrian government as previously believed. Journalist Aaron Maté reported about the explosive research in an article in Grayzone on Monday (July 26). When the deadly chemical attack took place in 2013 and led to several casualties, the US government and its allies blamed the Syrian government. The Obama administration had even planned to bomb Syria in retaliation but the plans were averted, following an agreement with Russia.
The new study found the impact locations of the attacks, based on the trajectories of the 7 rockets that were launched into Ghouta. It then traced the rockets back to a small area controlled by the Syrian rebels, located at a 2 km distance from the site of impact. The range was calculated by experts for the sarin-laden rockets used in the attack. The new revelation is compounded by previously discovered video footage that showed Liwa Al Islam rebels firing volcano rockets from a small field within their territory.
Syrian govt held terriorties were beyond the range of rockets used in chemical attack
The study on the 2013 Ghouta chemical attack was authored by Michael Kobs and Adam Larson. It built on the previous revelations that punctured US claims about the Syrian government’s involvement in the attack. The study was further supplemented by the research work done by MIT Professor Ted Postol and former UN Weapons Inspector Richard Lloyd. The duo concluded that the range of the sarin rockets was beyond the territory held by the Syrian government. As such, it was impossible for the government to execute the Ghouta chemical attack.
US, UK had prior information about the involvement of Syrian rebels
Another report, published by Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books, revealed the US intelligence agencies had evidence that unearthed the role of Syrian rebels in the chemical attack. According to the Defense Intelligence Agency, al-Nusra in Syria had an advanced sarin production cell. It had highlighted the possibility of the acquisition of the chemical from Turkey by the rebels so as to trigger US military intervention.
To add to it, British military laboratory Porton Down discovered that the type of sarin used in the Ghouta attack did not match the ones available in the government’s chemical arsenal. Despite this, the Obama administration wanted to target the chemical weapon arsenal of the Syrian government.