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Friday, August 30, 2013

White House Claims To Have Had Knowledge of Syrian Attack

"Our intelligence sources in the Damascus area did not detect any indications in the days prior to the attack that opposition affiliates were planning to use chemical weapons." - Senior White House Officials

During a White House conference call today with Senior Administration officials, media were given a
U.S. government assessment of the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on August 21, 2013, with two very different accounts.

Part of the Assessment indicates that US intelligence was unaware of the planned attacks on Syria.
"Our intelligence sources in the Damascus area did not detect any indications in the days prior to the attack that opposition affiliates were planning to use chemical weapons."

Another portion of the Assessment makes the claim that the US did have intelligence, indicating that Syrian forces were preparing chemical munitions prior to the August 21st attack.

"We have intelligence that leads us to assess that Syrian chemical weapons personnel – including personnel assessed to be associated with the SSRC – were preparing chemical munitions prior to the attack. In the three days prior to the attack, we collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence that reveal regime activities that we assess were associated with preparations for a chemical weapons attack. Syrian chemical weapons personnel were operating in the Damascus suburb of ‘Adra from Sunday, August 18 until early in the morning on Wednesday, August 21 near an area that the regime uses to mix chemical weapons, including sarin.  On August 21, a Syrian regime element prepared for a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus area, including through the utilization of gas masks. "
The White House claims that multiple streams of intelligence indicated that the regime executed a rocket and artillery attack against the Damascus suburbs in the early hours of August, 21st.  Satellite detections corroborated that attacks from a regime-controlled area struck neighborhoods where the chemical attacks reportedly occurred – including Kafr Batna, Jawbar, ‘Ayn Tarma, Darayya, and Mu’addamiyah.
Intelligence was gathered from numerous classified and unclassified sources, per the White House, that include accounts from "international and Syrian medical personnel; videos; witness accounts; thousands of social media reports from at least 12 different locations in the Damascus area; journalist accounts; and reports from highly credible nongovernmental organizations".

With all that intelligence, the looming question was, of course, why couldn't the Syrian use of chemical weapons be thwarted?

The response from a  SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL is below.

 "As to the indicators that we have of preparations, let me just say in this forum that timelines for all of our streams of intelligence are different.  And so, in some cases, we can and do get something close to real time; and other times, because of the nature of the access or the procedure or the process, there is some built-in delay.  And again, I don’t want to add more here as to what’s on our capability side, but just to say that we feel confident that we can, in fact, identify that those preparations occurred.  They were under the regime control and thus implemented from above."

Reaction to Syria's use of chemical weapons on thousands of men, women, and children has been mixed, but perhaps none as controversial as from a person purporting to be the son of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Supposedly Assad's son, Hafez Assad, who is eleven mind you, took to Facebook with his own interpretation of the Syrian attack, and of the US military.

"No one has soldiers like the ones we do in Syria. ... America doesn't have soldiers, what it has is some cowards with new technology who claim themselves liberators."

Quite militant for a six grader, eh?

The poster (or poser) goes on to write...

Are you as 'smart' as this sixth grader?  Is your sixth grader's cognitive ability as keen as this alleged 6th grader?

President Obama, in a meeting today with Baltic leaders, remarked that he does not have plans to send US military to Syria in the wake of the attacks.
"We're not considering any open ended commitment. We're not considering any boots on the ground approach."
No word on what action the US does plan to take, if anything, are clear at this time.
Added President Obama, "I have not made any decisions" about what actions the US will take.

"We have consulted with allies. We have consulted with Congress."

Secretary of State John Kerry Remarks on Syria

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