By the editors, 3 May 2018. A selection of documents, news reports and analysis on the background to the April 14th missile strike on Syria by the USA, France and UK, dealing with the evidence provided to justify the strike, its legality, press reportage, and the geopolitical consequences. With many thanks to the authors whose work we have reposted and to our growing network of helpers.
Bashir al-Jafari, 16th April 2018. US occupies one-third of Syria – Damascus envoy to UN
One-third of Syria is under US occupation, the Syrian envoy to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari, said. The UNSC, meanwhile, prefers to discuss “minor details” of the situation on the ground, while neglecting this fact.
Federico Pieraccini, 22nd April 2018. Behind the missile strike.
What did the 14th April missile strike on Syria achieve? How effective was the defence, and how are we to judge the rival claims of the US, Syrian and Russian defence ministries? This in-depth investigation provides detailed and pertinent background information.
Ariane de Vogue(CNN), 17th April 2018. Was Trump’s Syria strike legal? An expert weighs in
Was the Syria military strike legal? A Q&A with CNN legal analyst and national security law professor Steve Vladeck about the legal issues surrounding President Donald Trump’s authorization of a strike against a Syrian government air base.
Vaska Tumir, 12th April 2018. International lawyers: Strike against Syria was illegal.
Experts on both sides of the Atlantic challenge the legal basis for the 14th April missile strike on Syria by the US, France and UK. In this statement released just before the strike, international law experts warn that a U.S. military strike on Syria would be illegal if not in self-defense or with U.N. Security Council authorization.
Was there a chemical weapons attack in Douma?
Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), 13th April 2018. Intelligence experts question the evidence supporting attacks on Syria
The validity of the evidence behind the missile attack on Syria is questioned by many qualified experts, including a growing number of high-ranking professionals within the intelligence and defence communities, as made clear in this open letter and the list of signatories at the end of this post.
Scott Ritter, 11th April 2018. Trump’s rush to judgment on Syria chemical attack
Scott Ritter of the American Conservative lends his voice to the many who questioned the evidence for April’s US, French and UK military attack on Syria.
Robert Fisk, 17th April 2018. The search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack
Fisk was one of the first western journalists to visit Douma. Since then, others have echoed the important questions he asked.
Uli Gack (SDF). 23rd April 2018. German ‘BBC’ reports Douma gas attack probably staged.
The Douma gas attack was probably staged by rebels, who have also been stockpiling chlorine gas, reports the official public German television station ZDF – the license-funded PBR equivalent of Britain’s BBC2 – whose reporter was on the ground shortly after the missile strike, and spoke to Douma refugees in Harjallah.
Moon of Alabama, 19th April 2018. Who is stalling the OPCW investigation in Douma?
How can we get to the bottom of what happened in Douma just before the April 14th missile strike? Two prerequisites are not being met: the OPCW, the body responsible for overseeing the prohibition of chemical weapons, should be allowed to do its job. And the press should objectively report the investigation. So far, neither is happening.
Tim Hayward, April 11th 2018. George Monbiot and Syria: a critical enquiry.
This critical analysis of an influential reporter with a reputation for liberalism goes to the heart of the contradictions within anglophone reportage on Syria. These have reached crunch point with the missile strike on Syria, as the deep-rooted and Eurocentric xenophobia that permeates liberal journalism, penetrating deep into the left, finds its narratives have become the stock-in-trade of regime-change militarism.
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