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The Nerve Gas Attack Described in White House Report Did Not Occur, Expert Says of Syria Incident

Posted on Apr 19, 2017

By Theodore A. Postol

(Page 3)

As a result, the hamlet could well have been within lethal range of the sarin exposure. However, areas further downwind from the hamlet would be far enough away for the sarin to disperse sufficiently so that it would not be capable of causing deaths.

Thus, the hamlet area 300 meters downwind of the crater is the only area where mass casualties could occur, if there had been a sarin release at the crater as alleged by the WHR.

The selected video frames collected on the next two pages show three important sets of data that indicate the following:

1. Unprotected civilians with clothing that have logos of the Idlib Health Directorate are tampering with the contents of the crater that the WHR alleges was the source of the sarin release. All indicators point to a ruptured tube that could have contained no more than 8 to 10 liters of sarin. This is the only container shown in any videos from this scene.

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2. The next collection of video frames shows panoramic views of the target area taken from a drone equipped with a video camera. As can be seen in the video frames, a goat that was allegedly killed from the sarin dispersal is close to downwind of the alleged dispersal site. However, the hamlet that should have experienced major casualties, if the alleged dispersal site had been correctly identified, is only 300 meters downrange, and easily reachable by simply walking over to the site.

Yet none of the video journalists refer in any way to a mass casualty site nearby. They simply focus on a dead goat and present out-of-context images of a few dead birds. It is remarkable that no video journalists—of the many who reported from this crater area—referred in any way to the mass casualties that could only have occurred 300 meters away, if the attack had been executed from this crater.

3. The last collection of 18 video frames is from the area where mass casualties were piled on the ground haphazardly. They were dead or dying. Among these casualties were infants as well as men and women. This scene clearly could not have been at the location of the hamlet as one can see that the walls surrounding the area are carved out of rock. Thus, this scene could not possibly have been at the hamlet.

These video frames were generated by reviewing hundreds of videos posted on YouTube, plus additional videos and video frames found on Twitter.

Among the hundreds of videos reviewed, there seems to be no more than 50 to 60 seconds of actual original scenes like those laid out in the collection of 18 videos below. The vast majority of time in the videos contains the same repeated sequences of the same dead and injured infants and adults that could all be collected into less than a couple of minutes of independent scenes.

The overwhelming evidence is these videos repeat nothing more than redundant scenes that suggest one terrible event might have occurred. Almost none of the scenes contain any different information from the others. This raises a serious question about how much real data has been supplied that would indicate an actual significant nerve agent attack.

What is absolutely clear from the videos is the location of the sarin dispersal site alleged by the WHR and the mass casualty site that would have been produced if the sarin dispersal actually occurred are not in any way related to the scenes of victims shown in the other videos. The conclusion is obvious: The alleged attack described in WHR never occurred.

Unprotected officials from Idlib Health Directorate tampering with the crater at the alleged location of sarin release.

Panoramic of area around the alleged location of the sarin release where the dead goat was found and the hamlet where mass casualties would be expected to have occurred.

Video frames from the location where mass casualties either occurred or victims were being treated.

Final Comments

This abbreviated summary of the facts has been constructed entirely from basic physics, video evidence and solid analytical methods. It demonstrates without a doubt that the sarin dispersal site alleged as the source of the April 4 sarin attack in Khan Shaykhun was not a nerve agent attack site.

It also shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only mass casualty site that could have resulted from this attack is not in any way related to the sites shown in the video alleged to have been made following a poisoning event of some kind at Khan Shaykhun.

This means that the allegedly “high confidence” White House intelligence assessment issued on April 11, which led to the conclusion that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack, is not correct. For such a report to be so egregiously in error, it could not possibly have followed the most simple and proven intelligence methodologies to determine the veracity of its findings.

Since the United States justified attacking a Syrian airfield on April 7, four days before the flawed National Security Council intelligence report was released to Congress and the public, the conclusion that follows is that the United States took military actions without the intelligence to support its decision.

Furthermore, it is clear that the WHR was not an intelligence report.

No competent intelligence professional would have made so many false claims that are totally inconsistent with the evidence. No competent intelligence professional would have accepted the findings in the WHR analysis after reviewing the data presented herein. No competent intelligence professionals would have evaluated the crater that was tampered with in terms described in the WHR.

Although it is impossible from a technical assessment to determine the reasons for such an egregiously amateurish report, it cannot be ruled out that the WHR was fabricated to conceal critical information from Congress and the public.


Resource materials used to determine local weather conditions and sun angles needed to verify the above analysis.

Time and Date in Syria

Theodore A. Postol can be reached at

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