Behavior of victims not consistent with alleged injuries
Paul Joseph Watson
August 22, 2013
Another chemical weapons expert has cast doubt on video footage which appears to show victims of a “gas attack” in Syria, noting that images of people foaming at the mouth appears “set-up” and is not consistent with the effects of a real chemical attack.
Stephen Johnson, an expert in weapons and chemical explosives at Cranfield Forensic Institute, told Euro News that the video footage looked suspect.
“There are, within some of the videos, examples which seem a little hyper-real, and almost as if they’ve been set up. Which is not to say that they are fake but it does cause some concern. Some of the people with foaming, the foam seems to be too white, too pure, and not consistent with the sort of internal injury you might expect to see, which you’d expect to be bloodier or yellower,” Johnson said.
Johnson adds that a definitive conclusion cannot be drawn from the videos, something which hasn’t stopped countries like France and Turkey threatening force before any kind of formal inquiry into the alleged attacks has even begun.
Johnson joins five other experts who have publicly questioned the authenticity of the narrative behind the alleged chemical weapons attack.
“Firstly, the timing is odd, bordering on suspicious,” writes BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner. “Why would the Assad government, which has recently been retaking ground from the rebels, carry out a chemical attack while UN weapons inspectors are in the country?”
His suspicions are shared by Swedish diplomat and former UN weapons inspector Rolf Ekeus, who told Reuters, “It would be very peculiar if it was the government to do this at the exact moment the international inspectors come into the country….at the least, it wouldn’t be very clever.”
Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom, who is leading the current UN inspection in Syria, told Swedish broadcaster SVT that the high number of those killed and wounded sounded “suspicious.”
Charles Lister, an analyst at IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, told the Jerusalem Post that the timing of such an attack is confusing. “Logically, it would make little sense for the Syrian government to employ chemical agents at such a time, particularly given the relatively close proximity of the targeted towns (to the UN team),” he said.
Meanwhile, chemical and biological weapons researcher Jean Pascal Zanders said that the footage appears to show victims of asphyxiation, which is not consistent with the use of mustard gas or the nerve agents VX or sarin. “I’m deliberately not using the term chemical weapons here,” he said, adding that the use of “industrial toxicants” was a more likely explanation.