According to MIT professor Theodore Postol, a White House’s report on a chemical attack in Idlib “cannot be correct.”
Theodore Postol, a professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has issued a 14-page document, which questioning the White House’s accusations, according to which the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime carried out a chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun town in Idlib province on April 4. Earlier, Postol challenged claims of a chemical attack in Syria in 2013.
On Tuesday, a declassified intelligence brief was released by the White House. According to the brief, Assad ordered and organized the attack, which was carried out by the Syrian Air Force. Allegedly, Syrian warplanes dropped chemical ammunition on civilians in the rebel-held town of Khan Shaykhun.
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However, according to the MIT professor, the report “contains absolutely no evidence that this attack was the result of ammunition being dropped from an aircraft.”
“I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun,” Postol wrote.
The professor admitted the fact that the chemical attack really took place, but, at the same time, stressed that the available evidence does not support the conclusions of the US President Donald Trump‘s administration.
“I have only had a few hours to quickly review the alleged White House intelligence report. But a quick perusal shows without a lot of analysis that this report cannot be correct,” he wrote.
The White House’s report cited “a wide body of open-source material” and “social media accounts,” including video materials, filmed and published online by the White Helmets rescue group. Such evidence was not enough for Postol.
“Any competent analyst would have had questions about whether the debris in the crater was staged or real,” the professor wrote. “No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it.”
He noted that “the most plausible conclusion is that the sarin was dispensed by an improvised dispersal device made from a 122mm section of rocket tube filled with sarin and capped on both sides.”
“We again have a situation where the White House has issued an obviously false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report,” Postol concluded, reminding the similar situation, when the Barack Obama’s administration accused Assad of the usage of chemical weapons against in Damascus province in 2013.
“What the country is now being told by the White House cannot be true,” the MIT professor wrote, “and the fact that this information has been provided in this format raises the most serious questions about the handling of our national security.”