MIT Professor Questions White House Claims on Syrian Air Force’s Involvement in Chemical Attack in Idlib


According to MIT professor Theodore Postol, a White House’s report on a chemical attack in Idlib “cannot be correct.”

Photo: Reuters / Ammar Abdullah

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.

The document was published online by one of the Reddit’s users, nicknamed Sigurdz. The full Postol’s report can be found here or seen below.

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.

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.”
















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  • Jonathan Cohen

    good work.

  • Barba_Papa

    I expect zero fucks to be given about this report in the media. I hate being cynical, but I pretty much only watch the news to ogle the pretty ladies reading it. To hear anything substantial? Don’t be daft!

  • watcher12

    A good analysis with skilled perceptions beyond my level of technical knowledge. Unlikely for you to be interviewed by any mainstream ‘reporter’ that wishes to get home safely afterward. Please be aware that truly the United States is NOT America – it is a private for profit corporation and has been preceeded by other corporations wearing that name. The same for the United States of America, also a corporation for profit. Of itself this is not terrible but – the total corruption of these corporations and their constant need for conflict to fuel tham is a tragic abuse that makes all other governments truly envious that they are not as succesful with their sheeple. There may be true governments on planet earth, my perceptions of this means I am limited to seeing what each government does and the level of violence that it clouds in ‘patriotism’.

  • Douglas Houck

    Most excellent article. Some real expertise on what may have happened. I agree with the professor, that some form of a nerve agent attack occurred. From the CDC:
    “Showing these signs and symptoms (including the ones mentioned by the US Government) does not necessarily mean that a person has been exposed to sarin.” (just a nerve agent)

    The biggest reason given for why to suspect the Assad government is the fact that weaponzing sarin is generally felt outside the capabilities of the jihadist. That only the Assad government had that capability. This give a good explanation for why that is not necessarily the case.

    The other primary reason is the US government goes into the analysis with the preconceived understanding that the Assad government is guilty. It’s tough being objective when you have already determined guilt.

    From reading the CDC section on sarin, there are a number of facts that cast doubt onto the effectiveness of the White Helmets and even the hospitals response(s). I admit I’m not an expert so see:

    First: “All nerve agents cause their toxic effects by preventing the proper operation of an enzyme that acts as the body’s “off switch” for glands and muscles. Without an “off switch,” the glands and muscles are constantly being stimulated. Exposed people may become tired and no longer be able to keep breathing.”

    It messes with the enzyme system not the oxygen/blood system. Giving someone oxygen may help them on the back side of recovery, but will not do anything for them to prevent death or convulsions as it is only increases the O2 content of the blood. Nothing for the enzymes and nothing to prevent the convulsions leading to inability to breath. If you’ve been exposed to a lethal (or sub-lethal) dose of sarin there is little that can be done. I would say most of those masks are either faked, or it simply makes the patient feel better.

    Second: Sarin is quickly metabolized inside the body. Recovery is generally within hours once exposure has been eliminated.

    The only treatment is removal of exposure, via removal of clothes and washing with soap and water. Death can occur within minutes.

    Third: “Treatment consists of removing sarin from the body as soon as possible and providing supportive medical care in a hospital setting. Antidotes are available for sarin. They are most useful if given as soon as possible after exposure.” (i.e., several minutes).

    That means any atropine administered was either ineffective (faked) or the victim was still being exposed to the nerve agent due to lack of clothing removal and/or poor handling by the time the patient got to the hospital (which did occur),

    Putting a victim inside a disposable gown without first removing their clothes and washing them with soap and water would simply exacerbate their potential for exposure. If done correctly, the use of a gown is simply because there are no clean clothes for the victim. So if you see anyone with a gown on and clothes underneath, someone is either seriously incompetent or its a fake. For those helping the victims complete coverage (including gas masks) especially the hands is needed to ensure no exposure to sarin droplets.

    The huge problem for determining what happened is the large reliance on using jihadist social media as the primary source of information. Many of the images seem contrived and/or staged. I haven’t seen any desire from the Al-Qaeda groups to allow independent experts into the area. Not to say that a sarin gas attack did not occur, but to discern exactly what happened is impossible with these sources and methods.

  • FlorianGeyer

    The problem with this report is that White Helmets and other useful idiots were filming themselves scratching around in the hole without any chemical suits whilst they acted for the camera.

    If it was Sarin all would have died in minutes.

    • PZIVJ1943

      An asinine peace of propaganda for certain.
      Also note that the area is not taped off to to keep people away.
      The guy on the motorcycle is probably thinking (WTF).

      • Thegr8rambino

        lmao yes

  • Bob

    When defeated militants were allowed to exit east Aleppo by SAA and Russians, they left behind their base and depot buildings. Apart from the hoarded food aid, the militants had large munitions stockpiles and several bomb making factories (one was notably in a school site). The journalist Lizzy Phelan, amongst others, filmed in one east Aleppo militant bomb factory, with rooms of open barrels and sprawling open sacks of hard form chemical pellets, of chlorine and other chemical materials, labelled of both Saudi and German origin, that were clearly being used in mortar casings that were also piled high in adjacent rooms.
    In short, it is proven that militants munitions depots have imported chemical agents used as element in their weapons making materials.

  • Mii Ke

    While the containing information speaks for itself, the source (as an image on imgur) isn’t very crediable. Does anybody have a link or something to the very origin of the MIT article?

  • paul

    Only an idiot or a western politician or journalist would believe that the
    Syria Government used chemical weapons. It does not take an academic
    to question this ludicrous claim it only takes some sort of brain.
    But it’s hopeless. The play book is the same and probably always has
    been. Even in my lifetime the lie goes back to the Gulf of Tonkin –
    anyone remember?

  • Thegr8rambino

    the white house doesnt need even a shred of evidence of who did what, all it has to do in order to achieve its aims is to keep repeating the same lie over and over again until the public accepts it as truth. they pulled it off with iraq and theyre hoping we forget this time, but they are mistaken

  • Loz

    All actors played their part, in all elements of Kabuki.

    Phase 1. Easing into the concept of rapprochement. Mechanisms in place. DONE
    Phase 2. Easing into introducing the concept of Chemical attack a false flag by other actors. DONE
    Phase 3. Introduction of idea some high level security advisors has deliberately mislead the President in spite of potential disastrous consequences with nuclear country. DONE

    The next step is obvious.

  • jim crowland

    Poor lonely pathetic MIT freak, how much money was he paid?

  • David Harris

    Very damaging paper for Trump. It seems that after getting caught out lying about Obama wiretapping him he kept digging a bigger and bigger hole for himself. Now the noose is tightening on him as being indebted to Russia he needed something to show he wasn’t in their pocket. The Syrian rebels were on the run and this was their only way to fight back, ie., to create a situation which would make America attack Syria. The photos of the home made pipebomb speak for themselves. They had the motive to do this… Seems Trump meant what he said that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and wouldn’t lose a vote. But, can a President, or his daughter, decide people should die on such pathetic “evidence” and escape justice? Time will tell. History should record this as US state sponsored murder of children.

  • Boris Tabare Ag

    Check the link: Daily updated report of clues and proofs on false flag Al Qaeda-White Helmets chemical attack in Idlib, 4 april: