Chemical Arms Allegations: US Shaping Public Opinion Ahead of Strike on Syria
It appears that President Trump is trying to discredit Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to undermine the positions of Russia and Iran in Syria and reinforce the US-backed militants on the ground, geopolitical analyst Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann told RIA Novosti, commenting on the recent chemical weapons allegations.
US President Trump is deliberately seeking to discredit the government of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to counterbalance Russia and Iran in the Middle East, Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann, Director on geopolitical studies at the Brussels-based European Institute of International Relations (IERI), suggested in an interview with RIA Novosti.
"President Donald Trump believes that the United States has lost lots of its points in Syria, and he is seeking ways to discredit the government of Bashar al-Assad in order to counterbalance the influence of Russia and Iran [in the region]," Thomann said, commenting on the White House's previous statement on the alleged "preparations" for a chemical attack by the Assad government.
"The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.
The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said June 26 threatening that the Assad government "will pay a heavy price" if it launches the attack.
However, just a day before the White House's statement was issued, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh had revealed that the US military in Syria did not share the Trump administration's stance regarding the much-discussed April 4 chemical attack.
"We KNOW that there was no chemical attack. The Syrians [Syrian Arab Army Air Force] struck a weapons cache (a legitimate military target) and there was collateral damage.
That's it. They did not conduct any sort of a chemical attack," an American soldier on ground wrote to a security adviser on April 6.
"Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the US intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon," Hersh wrote for Welt Am Sonntag newspaper on June 25, stressing that "some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the President's determination to ignore the evidence."
However, it appears that Hersh's article was completely overlooked by Washington decision-makers.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley not only rushed to blame the Assad government for "further attacks" but also accused Russia and Iran of "supporting [Assad] killing his own people."