Well, this is why they’re paying Donald Trump the big bucks. What to do about Syria when he can’t even be sure of the facts on the ground. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
For the first time since his election, president Trump is set for a direct collision course with Vladimir Putin after Russia said on Wednesday it stands by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad despite widespread popular outrage over a chemical weapons attack which the media was quick to pin on the Syrian president, in a carbon-copy of events from 2013 which nearly launched a US invasion of the middle-eastern nation, when a YouTube clip – subsequently shown to be a hoax – served as proof that Assad had used sarin gas on rebels in a Damascus neighborhood.
As reported yesterday, Western countries including the US accused Assad’s armed forces for the chemical attack, which choked scores of people to death in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in a rebel-held area of northern Syria hit by government air strikes. While Washington said it believed the deaths were caused by sarin nerve gas dropped by Syrian aircraft, Moscow offered an alternative explanation, claiming the poison gas had leaked from a rebel chemical weapons depot struck by Syrian bombs.
The strike, which was launched midday Tuesday, targeted a major rebel ammunition depot east of the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement. The warehouse was used to both produce and store shells containing toxic gas, Konashenkov said. The shells were delivered to Iraq and repeatedly used there, he added, pointing out that both Iraq and international organizations have confirmed the use of such weapons by militants.
The same chemical munitions were used by militants in Aleppo, where Russian military experts took samples in late 2016, Konashenkov said. The Defense Ministry has confirmed this information as “fully objective and verified,” Konashenkov added.
According to the statement, Khan Sheikhoun civilians, who recently suffered a chemical attack, displayed identical symptoms to those of Aleppo chemical attack victims.