Hersh Vindicated? Turkish Whistleblowers
Corroborate Story on False Flag Sarin Attack in Syria
By Peter Lee
October 23, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "Counterpunch"
- This is quite the bombshell delivered by two CHP deputies in the
Turkish parliament and reported by Today’s Zaman, one of the top
dailies in Turkey.
It supports Seymour Hersh’s reporting that the
notorious sarin gas attack at Ghouta was a false flag orchestrated
by Turkish intelligence in order to cross President Obama’s chemical
weapons “red line” and draw the United States into the Syria war to
If so, President Obama deserves credit for
“holding the line” against the attack despite the grumbling and
incitement of the Syria hawks at home and abroad.
And it also presents the unsavory picture of an
al-Qaeda operatives colluding with ISIL in a war crime that killed
I find the report credible, taking into full
account the fact that the CHP (Erdogan’s center-left Kemalist
rivals) and Today’s Zaman (whose editor-in-chief, Bulent
Kenes was recently detained on live TV for insulting Erdogan in a
tweet) are on the outs with Erdogan.
Considering the furious reaction it can be
expected to elicit from Erdogan and the Turkish government, the
temerity of CHP and Today’s Zaman in running with this
story is a sign of how desperate their struggle against Erdogan has
become. Note that the author is shown only as “Columnist: Today’s
I expect the anti-Erodgan forces hope this will be
a game changer in terms of U.S.and European support for Erdogan.
It will be very interesting to see if and how the
media in the U.S. covers this story. In case it doesn’t acquire
enough “legs” to make into US media, I attach the full Zaman piece
Peter Lee edits
Matters and writes about Asia for
CHP deputies: Gov’t rejects probe into
Turkey’s role in Syrian chemical attack
Two deputies from the main opposition
Republican People’s Party (CHP) have claimed that the government
is against investigating Turkey’s role in sending toxic sarin
gas which was used in an attack on civilians in Syria in 2013
and in which over 1,300 Syrians were killed.
CHP deputies Eren Erdem and Ali Şeker held a
press conference in İstanbul on Wednesday in which they claimed
the investigation into allegations regarding Turkey’s
involvement in the procurement of sarin gas which was used in
the chemical attack on a civil population and delivered to the
terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to enable
the attack was derailed.
Taking the floor first, Erdem stated that the
Adana Chief Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into
allegations that sarin was sent to Syria from Turkey via several
businessmen. An indictment followed regarding the accusations
targeting the government.
“The MKE [Turkish Mechanical and Chemical
Industry Corporation] is also an actor that is mentioned in the
investigation file. Here is the indictment. All the details
about how sarin was procured in Turkey and delivered to the
terrorists, along with audio recordings, are inside the file,”
Erdem said while waving the file.
Erdem also noted that the prosecutor’s office
conducted detailed technical surveillance and found that an
al-Qaeda militant, Hayyam Kasap, acquired sarin, adding:
“Wiretapped phone conversations reveal the process of procuring
the gas at specific addresses as well as the process of
procuring the rockets that would fire the capsules containing
the toxic gas. However, despite such solid evidence there has
been no arrest in the case. Thirteen individuals were arrested
during the first stage of the investigation but were later
released, refuting government claims that it is fighting
terrorism,” Erdem noted.
Over 1,300 people were killed in the sarin gas
attack in Ghouta and several other neighborhoods near the Syrian
capital of Damascus, with the West quickly blaming the regime of
Bashar al-Assad and Russia claiming it was a “false flag”
operation aimed at making US military intervention in Syria
Suburbs near Damascus were struck by rockets
containing the toxic sarin gas in August 2013.
The purpose of the attack was allegedly to
provoke a US military operation in Syria which would topple the
Assad regime in line with the political agenda of then-Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government.
CHP deputy Şeker spoke after Erdem, pointing
out that the government misled the public on the issue by
asserting that sarin was provided by Russia. The purpose was to
create the perception that, according to Şeker, “Assad killed
his people with sarin and that requires a US military
intervention in Syria.”
He also underlined that all of the files and
evidence from the investigation show a war crime was committed
within the borders of the Turkish Republic.
“The investigation clearly indicates that
those people who smuggled the chemicals required to procure
sarin faced no difficulties, proving that Turkish intelligence
was aware of their activities. While these people had to be in
prison for their illegal acts, not a single person is in jail.
Former prime ministers and the interior minister should be held
accountable for their negligence in the incident,” Şeker further
Erdem also added that he will launch a
criminal complaint against those responsible, including those
who issued a verdict of non-prosecution in the case, those who
did not prevent the transfer of chemicals and those who first
ordered the arrest of the suspects who were later released.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced in
late August that an inquiry had been launched into the gas
attacks allegedly perpetuated by both Assad’s Syrian regime and
rebel groups fighting in Syria since the civil war erupted in
However, Erdem is not the only figure who has
accused Turkey of possible involvement in the gas attack.
Pulitzer Prize winner and journalist, Seymour M. Hersh, argued
in an article published in 2014 that MİT was involved with
extremist Syrian groups fighting against the Assad regime.
In his article, Hersh said Assad was not
behind the attack, as claimed by the US and Europe, but that
Turkish-Syrian opposition collaboration was trying to provoke a
US intervention in Syria in order to bring down the Assad