What the U.N. leaves out in its attribution of these attacks to the Syrian government is the fact that Assad’s involvement in these attacks is highly implausible. The real perpetrators of the attacks are very likely the multiple U.S.-supported
This is because whereas these factions have been admitted by the U.S. State Department to possess and regularly use chemical weapons, there is no evidence that Assad has a chemical weapons supply. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded in January of 2016 that chemical weapons were no longer held by the Syrian government as far as the evidence tells us. When we know all of this, why does it make sense to assume that Assad is behind the attacks? Shouldn’t the prime suspects be the people who we’re already sure have chemical weapons at their disposal?
Last year, when this part of the Syria situation threatened to undermine the case for Assad’s involvement in the Khan Sheikhoun chemical incident, the defenders of the official narrative were not able to come up with a compelling argument to solidify their claim. Three days after the charge against Assad was made, The New York Times’ Scott Shane published a piece in defense of the narrative titled Weren’t Syria’s Chemical Weapons Destroyed? It’s Complicated. After summarizing the pre-2016 operation to have Syria get rid of its chemical weapons, the article says:
So did that eliminate the threat? Not entirely, though by all accounts, it removed lethal weapons that could have caused slaughter and suffering on a huge scale. Even as the O.P.C.W. completed its mission, new reports emerged of scattered attacks in Syria using chlorine and other suspected chemicals.
This is a very misleading paragraph. When it talks about those attacks, it doesn’t mention the fact that the jihadist groups have chemical weapons supplies. This leads the reader to think that Assad could have been the only potential culprit. The next two paragraphs use the circular reasoning from within this statement to supposedly prove that Assad still has chemical weapons: