Trump ignored intel claiming no evidence on Syria using chemical weapons: Report

Seymour Hersh writes that he was told by several intelligence officials on the ground that there was a disconnect between President Trump and many of his advisers regarding the incident in Khan Sheikhoun.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: June 30, 2017 12:23 pm
seymour hersh, donald trump, chemical attack, syria chemical attack, syria sarin gas, sarin gas attack, syria gas attack US President Donald Trump

Despite intelligence warnings that no evidence was found linking Syrian government to the Sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun, US President Donald Trump decided to authorize a missile strike on a Syrian air base, a report by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in the German newspaper Die Welt said.

“We KNOW that there was no chemical attack … the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth … I guess it didn’t matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump,” an American officer is reported to have told his colleagues when he came to know of the decision to bomb the airbase with Tomahawk missiles.

The Die Welt report states that there was a targeted strike on April 4 by the Syrians on a building in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun which held several high-profile jihadists. Unknown to the Syrians and the Russians, the basement of the building reportedly contained lots of chlorine-based decontaminants along with fertilizers and herbicides (for local consumption) which when lit on fire released neurotoxins similar to Sarin which may have eventually led to a lot of casualties, including children, in the area.

Hersh writes that he was told by several intelligence officials on the ground that there was a disconnect between President Trump and many of his advisers regarding the incident in Khan Sheikhoun. In the report, he said US military officials were warned beforehand by the Russians and the Syrians about the imminent strike to neutralize jihadists in Khan Sheikhoun.

“Did the Syrians plan the attack on Khan Sheikhoun? Absolutely. Do we have intercepts to prove it? Absolutely. Did they plan to use sarin? No. But the president did not say: ‘We have a problem and let’s look into it.’ He wanted to bomb the shit out of Syria,” an adviser told Hersh.

Many of the photographs uploaded to the internet showed children suffocating and being treated at hospitals with symptoms similar to a nerve agent-based chemical attack. At least 70 people were reported to be killed in the attack.

After the attack was widely reported in the media, Trump took the opportunity to lash out at the Syrian government and President Bashar-al Assad for murdering innocent babies. Hersh writes that despite officials telling Trump about no evidence of Syria using Sarin on its people, the President went ahead to order a missile strike on the Shayrat airbase in Syria as a warning.

Hersh is known for his investigative story on the prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq by US officials and the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.

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  1. H
    Jun 30, 2017 at 5:53 pm
    And now the ' Forever - at - War - White House ' is warning Syria not to go ahead with a ' Second Chemical Weapon Attack ' within Syria. False Flag once again. No limits to neo-con hypocrisy. President Eisenhower's " Military Industrial Complex " speech in Dec 1961, which was also his farewell address to the American people , has turned out to be prophetic. The world suffers because of the U. S Military - Industrial Complex. And no U.S. President can survive his term at the White House unless America is at War all the time - which takes care of the profits of the Military - Industrial Complex.
    1. Mahender Goriganti
      Jun 30, 2017 at 4:32 pm
      Drumpf is super duper con artist an teaching Porkistan and China how to lie expertly.
      1. D
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        1. Ivan
          Jun 30, 2017 at 12:31 pm
          Its a fairly obvious point that the Syrian government had it wanted to kill civilians can use conventional weapons to similar effect. Trump wanted to show Xi Jinping that he could be tough after eating the 'rich chocolate cake.' There is absolutely no reason why the Syrians should be using chemical weapons at this stage, even if one does not credit them with humanitarian concerns.
          1. A
            Jun 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm
            Donald Trump wants to tell Pakistan, China who is the Daddy! Of late Pakistan has been telling US and other countries that China is a Superpower and insulting US on a daily basis. After having Osama Bin Laden, planning for 9/11 one is not sure if Chinese knew about it earlier or funded it indirectly but it seems Pakistan is keen on slapping US and insulting it. Well Donald Trump doesn't like that, what Pakistan should be careful about is if he turns Pakistan into Syria. He doesn't like Pakistani at ude in Afghanistan which is what American wants to consolidate as part of the National Security Effort. Donald Trump will make Chinese eat $hit for lunch and dinner and Pakistan horse $hit.
            1. K
              Kamal Pasha
              Jun 30, 2017 at 4:07 pm
              Asish : Why such a big Bhashan like Feku. Trump and Modi have very little time in office. Trump will be impeached and Modi will be arrested for taking bribes from rich Gujratis for favouring them to make millions.
              1. Ivan
                Jun 30, 2017 at 4:30 pm
                So can I conclude that you too agree that Syria did not use chemical weapons?