Trong tình trạng cùng quẫn thất bại với chiến dịch “tấn công tội phạm Assad”, Nhà nước Âu Mỹ và guồng máy báo chí chính qui  không chỉ tiếp tục tung tin giả như đã từng làm trong vụ “Vũ Khí Toàn Diệt Sadam Husein- Iraq” với tên cụu đại tướng ngoại trưởng Colin Powell, kẻ từng bán đứng lương tâm trong việc che đậy vụ tàn sát Mỹ Lainăm 1968, mà còn dàn dựng những vụ “đính chính” để hủy diệt uy tín các nguồn tin độc lập.

ĐIỂN HÌNH: Trường hợp tờ Mint Press New đăng tải bản tin  “ả RẬP sEUT cung cấp vũ khí hóa học cho phiến quân- “Syrians in Ghouta claim Saudi-supplied rebels behind chemical attack http://www.mintpressnews.com/”  nguyên thủy là một TIN TỨC được tường trình cẩn trọng  với đầy sự kiện THẬT và lời khai khả tín từ người dân địa phương khó bác bỏ, gây chấn động dư luận và làm bẽ mặt Âu Mỹ. (tương tự như vụ lời khai của dân địa phương tại nơi diễn ra “ám sát” Bin Laden- đã được ông Paul Craig Roberts phân tích và đăng tải)

Bản tin đươc ký giả  độc lập Yahya Ababneh chuyên biệt tại khu vực Trung Đông viết dưới sự trợ giúp của ký giả Dale Gavlak  thuộc hãng thông tấn AP- vì nguyên thủy bản tin được tổng hợp bằng tiếng ả Rập- điều này đã được minh định rõ trong phần đầu của bản tin.

 Ngay sau khi Âu Mỹ bị buộc phải “tạm hoãn” tấn công Syria,  bỗng nhiên ký giả của AP Dale Gavlak ra thông báo chính thức rằng Cô ta không phải là tác giả của bản tường trình này!!!

Dĩ nhiên, ngay từ đầu của bản tin, tác giả bản tin đã xác định rõ là ký giả của AP, cô Dale Gavlak CHỈ GIÚP VIẾT và GÓP Ý KỸ THUẬT TƯỜNG TRÌNH, và không có mặt tại Syria (Dale Gavlak assisted in the research and writing process of this article, but was not on the ground in Syria. Reporter Yahya Ababneh, with whom the report was written in collaboration, was the correspondent on the ground in Ghouta who spoke directly with the rebels, their family members, victims of the chemical weapons attacks and local residents. )

Nhưng HÀNH ĐỘNG VIẾT CÔNG BỐ KHÔNG THỪA NHẬN LÀ “TÁC GIẢ” của Dale Gavlak mặc nhiên tạo một ấn tượng SAi rằng tác giả bản tin “lạm dụng tên tuổi danh vọng” của ký giả chính qui Dale Gavlak , và như vậy tự nhiên theo “phản ứng quần chúng” bản tin  sẽ bị hiểu SAI  và bị qui là hư cấu! Mặc dù đối chiếu với nhiều tin tức khác đã cho thấy tính xác tín của bản tin rất cao-chính vì tính xác tín CAO nên nó phải bị đánh gục bằng mọi giá!. Thí dụ như  sự kiện Saudi đã dùng các tử tội sắp sửa bị chém đầu ở Saudi, tha bổng và chu cấp tiền cho gai đình vợ con, nếu đồng ý qua làm “chiến sĩ tự do tại Syrian”(http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/01/21/saudi-inmates-fight-syria-commute-death-sentences/1852629/) . Và Saudi điều đình với Nga để trao đổi quyền lợi dầu hỏa vũ khí nếu Nga buông SyriaThe Fai led SaudiRussian Talks: Desperate Diplomacy as Syrianhưng không thành công.

Sau khi tung ra lời “minh xác chối bỏ liên quan đến bản tin”, khi bị chất vấn, ký giả Dale Gavlak , qua luật sư chính thức lại giải thích rằng :” Tôi có giúp anh ta viết lên bản tin, nhưng anh ta nên giữ tất cả công trạng này” (I helped him write up his story but he should get all the credit for this.) và đòi rút tên ra khỏi bản tin.

Nhưng ký giả Yahya Ababneh tuyên bố giữ nguyên bản tin vì thật sự Gavlak có đóng góp nhiều công sức trong bản tin này, và theo tinh thần đúng đắn đã công nhận sự đóng góp đó. Vấn đề còn lại tùy vào tờ Mint Press.

Trong khi đó tờ “antiwar.com”, tờ trá hình độc lập, đã vội vã lên tiếng đính chính để mặc nhiên phủ nhận “bản tường trình nguyên thủy”.

Mặt khác, guồng máy báo chí chính qui khắp nơi, đồng đăng tải những bản tin mặc nhiên  coi như rằng chế độ Al Assad là thủ phạm dù không có bằng chứng chính thức, nhất là báo chí chính qui tại Úc, tay sai đắc lực của nhà nước Mỹ, đi tiên phong và rầm rộ trong tiến trình này!

Nên nhớ ngay cả  Cơ quan LHQ đến Syria thanh tra CHỈ VỚI MỘT MỤC TIÊU là XÁC ĐỊNH  VŨ KHÍ HÓA HỌC CÓ XẢY RA hay KHÔNG mà thôi! Còn Ai là Thủ Phạm KHÔNG ĐƯỢC ĐIỀU TRA hay NHẮC ĐẾN!!! Tự nó đã cho thấy “hảo ý và thiện chí” của Âu Mỹ và LHQ trong “nỗ lực giải quyết” vấn đề Syria như thế nào rồi!!!

Tuy nhiên sau đó, theo những bản thư chính thức trao đổi, chúng ta được biết những ký giả liên hệ đã và đang bị áp lực trực tiếp từ các nhà nước về bản tường trình này (xin xem bản phân tích chi tiết của Globalresearch phần nguồn dẫn)

Thật sự sợi giây giăng mắc giữa Mỹ-Do Thái, và Saudi đã được biết đến từ lâu. Riêng Boiling Frog của Sibel Edmond và Global Research đã tường trình rất chi tiết.Iran- Contra Redux? Prince Bandar Heads Secret Saudi-CIA Effort to ..

Tất cả là một ván cờ của các bọn “nhà nước” và quyền lợi tập đoàn đại bản được tính toán trên sinh mạng “công dân”  gồm thường dân, trẻ em, và ngay cả những kẻ “hung bạo yêu nước tham gia quân đội.

Chúng ta để ý rằng sau khi bản phân tích của nữ tu Agnes được gửi đi các nơi, đến những văn phòng chính phủ Âu Mỹ cùng lúc với những báo cáo từ Nga đến LHQ… thì Trung Quốc lại đứng ra mở màn tấn công bà nữ tu này, thế mới “lạ đời” Divisions over nun’s rejection of Syria gas-attack evidence South China Morning Post

 MỤC TIÊU của TIẾN TRÌNH này là BIẾN MỘT BẢN TIN CÓ THẬT với những chứng cớ liên kết khó bác bỏ, trở thành MỘT BẢN TIN ĐÁNG NGHI NGỜ và sau đó mặc nhiên THÀNH MỘT BẢN “TIN GIẢ”  trong não trạng tâm lý quần chúng với niềm tin “sẵn có” vào Nhà Nước và “danh tiếng báo chí Chính qui”. Cho dù lịch sử thông tin đã minh chứng, như vụ 911 và cuộc chiến Afgan, Iraq rằng THÔNG TIN CHÍNH QUI đa số là DỐI TRÁ TUYÊN TRUYỀN.

Sự kiện này nhấn mạnh cho chúng ta một bài học cũ kỹ: Bọn quyền lực luôn dư thừa tài chính nhân sự và thủ đoạn không chỉ hư cấu thông tin, mà còn dư thừa thủ đoạn để chống đỡ ngay cả khi đã bị lật tẩy hoàn toàn. Bởi chúng nắm chắc não trạng và thói quen nọa tính, ích kỷ, căm thù, định kiến, và sợ hãi của quần chúng qua “tín lý” đã được nhào nặn huân tập hàng ngàn năm: NUỐT CHỬNG TẤT CẢ NHỮNG GÌ TỪ NHÀ NƯỚC CHÍNH QUI, nhưng CHẤT VẤN NGHI NGỜ -rất đúng đắn- những thông tin đối chất- Một thái độ đúng đắn cần thiết nhưng không bao giờ được ứng dụng với Nhà Nước và báo chí chính qui như họ đối với những thông tin độc lập! Có bao nhiêu người còn nhớ bài học  dối trá trắng trợn như Colin Powell trước LHQ về Iraq? Lavon Affairs? Vịnh Bắc Bộ? Northwood?

Trong thời buổi “loạn lạc và tràn ngập thông tin đa chiều” hôm nay,mỗi chúng ta cần phải đọc kỹ, xét kỹ và lập luận tất cả mọi thông tin để tự quyết định và có kết luận hũu lý riêng.

Và nên nhớ rằng dù rõ ràng chứng cớ 100% đến như Wikileaks, Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, Bill Binney còn bị chúng tấn công triệt hạ uy tín không ngừng, thì một bà tu sĩ Anges hay những ký giả độc lập ít danh tiếng sẽ chẳng khó gì với bọn chúng.

NKPTC 

Các nguồn dẫn:
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Syria: Controversy surrounding MintPress Chemical Weapons Ghouta Report

On Friday 20th September, the corporate media’s favourite “YouTube Syria analyst” and self-proclaimed “weapons expert” Eliot Higgins – aka “Brown Moses” – released a statement on his blog from the Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak; in response to his queries regarding the MintPress article that included her byline.

The MintPress article, published on 29th August, through interviews with rebels, family members, and villagers in Eastern Ghouta, alleges that elements within the opposition were responsible for the alleged chemical weapons attack on 21st August, and that those chemical munitions had been supplied through Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Below is the statement as published on Higgins’ blog in full: (emphasis added)
Mint Press News incorrectly used my byline for an article it published on August 29, 2013 alleging chemical weapons usage by Syrian rebels. Despite my repeated requests, made directly and through legal counsel, they have not been willing to issue a retraction stating that I was not the author. Yahya Ababneh is the sole reporter and author of the Mint Press News piece.   To date, Mint Press News has refused to act professionally or honestly in regards to disclosing the actual authorship and sources for this story.
I did not travel to Syria, have any discussions with Syrian rebels, or do any other reporting on which the article is based.  The article is not based on my personal observations and should not be given credence based on my journalistic reputation. Also, it is false and misleading to attribute comments made in the story as if they were my own statements.

Following the release of this statement a flurry of questions arose, and Gavlak’s lawyer proceeded to send a second statement to Higgins’ blog to clarify Gavlak’s position and answer his queries: (emphasis added)

Dale Gavlak has sought to make a public statement from the beginning of this incident and now is able to do so.  Email correspondence between Ms. Gavlak and Mint Press News that began on August 29 and ended on September 2 clearly show that from the beginning Ms. Gavlak identified the author of the story as Yahya Ababneh, a Jordanian journalist. She also made clear that only his name should appear on the byline and the story was submitted only in his name. She served as an editor of Ababneh’s material in English as he normally writes in Arabic. She did not travel to Syria and could not corroborate his account.
Dale Gavlak specifically stated in an email dated August 29 “Pls find the Syria story I mentioned uploaded on Google Docs. This should go under Yahya Ababneh’s byline. I helped him write up his story but he should get all the credit for this.” Ms. Gavlak supplied the requested bio information on Mr. Ababneh later that day and had further communications with Mint Press News’ Mnar Muhawesh about the author’s background. There was no communication by Mint Press News to Ms. Gavlak that it intended to use her byline.  Ms. Muhawesh took this action unilaterally and without Ms. Gavlak’s permission.   After seeing that her name was attached to the article, Dale Gavlak demanded her name be removed. However, Ms. Muhawesh stated: “We will not be removing your name from the byline as this is an existential issue for MintPress and an issue of credibility as this will appear as though we are lying.” Mint Press News rejected further demands by Dale Gavlak and her legal counsel to have her name removed. Her public statement explains her position.
Following this statement, even more questions and contradictions arose, as it had previously been inferred Gavlak had little to no involvement in the article by Higgins’ and several of his corporate media colleagues. Gavlaks’ line had now changed to include in her statement that she “helped write-up” Ababneh’s story. Not only this, but Gavlak was responsible for pitching the story to MintPress News under her own volition. Gavlak received the report from her colleague, Yahya Ababneh, whom she has worked with before. Gavlak then proceeded to translate, edit, add background research, and crucially: pitch the story to MintPress News. Following MintPress receipt of the report, Gavlak then made further communications to verify her colleague Yahya Ababneh and to vouch for his reporting. MintPress news published the report on the same day, and it almost instantly went viral.
Since the reports release, much speculation has been focused on the veracity of the reporters involved and the substance of the report itself, yet it has taken Gavlak three weeks to publicly respond – at which point she chose Higgins’ blog to release the statement while adding comments under several other blogs that carried the story. Following Gavlak’s statement release, and after several attempts by myself and many others to contact MintPress News, MintPress editor Mnar Muhawesh in turn released a lengthy statement that defines their position in no uncertain terms: (emphasis added)
Thank you for reaching out to me in regards to statements made by Dale Gavlak alleging MintPress for incorrectly attributing our exclusive report titled: “Syrians in Goutha claim Saudi-supplied rebels behind chemical attacks.” Gavlak pitched this story to MintPress on August 28th and informed her editors and myself that her colleague Yahya Ababneh was on the ground in Syria. She said Ababneh conducted interviews with rebels, their family members, Ghouta residents and doctors that informed him through various interviews that the Saudis had supplied the rebels with chemical weapons and that rebel fighters handled the weapons improperly setting off the explosions.  
When Yahya had returned and shared the information with her, she stated that she confirmed with several colleagues and Jordanian government officials that the Saudis have been supplying rebels with chemical weapons, but as her email states, she says they refused to go on the record.
Gavlak wrote the article in it’s entirety as well as conducted the research. She filed her article on August 29th and was published on the same day.
Dale is under mounting pressure for writing this article by third parties. She notified MintPress editors and myself on August 30th and 31st via email and phone call, that third parties were placing immense amounts of pressure on her over the article and were threatening to end her career over it. She went on to tell us that she believes this third party was under pressure from the head of the Saudi Intelligence Prince Bandar himself, who is alleged in the article of supplying the rebels with chemical weapons.
On August 30th, Dale asked MintPress to remove her name completely from the byline because she stated that her career and reputation was at risk. She continued to say that these third parties were demanding her to disassociate herself from the article or these parties would end her career. On August 31st, I notified Dale through email that I would add a clarification that she was the writer and researcher for the article and that Yahya was the reporter on the ground, but did let Gavlak know that we would not remove her name as this would violate the ethics of journalism.
We are aware of the tremendous pressure that Dale and some of our other journalists are facing as a result of this story, and we are under the same pressure as a result to discredit the story. We are unwilling to succumb to those pressures for MintPress holds itself to the highest journalistic ethics and reporting standards. Yahya has recently notified me that the Saudi embassy contacted him and threatened to end his career if he did a follow up story on who carried out the most recent chemical weapons attack and demanded that he stop doing media interviews in regards to the subject.
We hold Dale Gavlak in the highest esteem and sympathize with her for the pressure she is receiving, but removing her name from the story would not be honest journalism and therefore, as stated before, we are not willing to remove her name from the article. We are prepared and may release all emails and communications made between MintPress and Dale Gavlak, and even Yahya to provide further evidence of what was provided to you in this statement.
At the time of writing, Gavlak, or her lawyer, have not responded to the above statement.
Several key questions regarding this affair still remain, and will hopefully be answered in due course if and when MintPress release the emails between Gavlak and themselves, or, if Gavlak releases a clear and specific statement regarding her actual input into the report and her vouching for Ababneh. Regardless of whether those emails are released, a key indicator as to the credibility of Gavlaks dissociation attempts will come from her and her lawyers next course of action. If the alleged emails prove MintPress’ case that Gavlak did indeed author and vouch for the report, then it seems anathema for the supposed “third parties” pressuring Gavlak to want these emails out in the open – further exposing Gavlak’s attempts to disassociate under duress.
The major questions that remain unanswered:
1) MintPress claim that Gavlak did not merely translate Ababneh’s article, but also edited; “wrote up” in its entirety; researched; and then pitched the article to Mintpress. Not only this, MintPress also claim that Gavlak had “further communications” with them post-pitch regarding Ababneh’s bio – in essence, to vouch for his credibility. Considering this; why has Gavlak waited three weeks to make a statement on the issue, and in effect discredit the story, if she ever thought it was dubious?  Surely Gavlaks’ alleged statement to MintPress that she had confirmed the story with “colleagues and several Jordanian government officials” belies any claim to her now trying to distance herself from it.
2) Where is Yahya Ababneh? From the above MintPress statement it becomes clear why both Ababneh and Gavlak may have kept out of the spotlight until now. And also why Gavlak seems to be communicating through a lawyer and only to corporate-media-friendly sources.  Yahya Ababneh has apparently been contacted since the reports release by journalists who have in turn claimed that a) he exists, b) he stands by the substance of the story, the claim that Gavlak wrote it and contributed to it, and c) has confirmed that he has recieved threats via actors attempting to force him to abandon the report and any follow ups or interviews regarding its substance. But Ababneh is yet to release a public statement regarding the issue. Considering the alleged threats coming directly from the House of Saud, and supposed “third parties”, Ababneh’s absence from the spotlight is hardly surprising.
3) Who are the “Third Parties” that are allegedly pressuring Gavlak to disassociate herself from the article? One can readily assume that these people are her employers at the Associated Press. Who have apparently now suspended Gavlak “indefinitely”. If this is the case, there are again several scenarios as to why the AP is pressuring her. It may be a simple case of AP not wanting a reference to them on such a controversial – and as yet unproven – report. But it may be something entirely more sinister, the actions against Ms. Gavlak seem to suggest the latter, and that there is a considerable amount of top-level pressure being applied to her, if the report is merely bogus propaganda; why is so much effort being put into discrediting it?
4) Considering Gavlaks’ tacit admission that she “wrote up” Ababneh’s report in her second statement; MintPress are well within their rights to uphold the byline they added. Gavlak pitched the story to MintPress presumably knowing the editors valued her credibility and experience. So the question remains: why would Gavlak willingly translate and edit; then attempt to pitch the report but keep her name off it; then vouch for the report and its author through “further communications” if she knew it was dubious or would bring scorn from her other employers? Why take that risk with a small independent outlet?
5) Why the haphazard attempt to disassociate from the story now, three weeks later? It has only given the report an added impetus – highlighted by the fact that a plethora of establishment media pundits and commentators (who originally dismissed and subverted the report) are now going to great lengths to discredit it. There is almost an air of desperation coming from several pundits, going as far as to insinuate that MintPress holds a bias simply because the editors father in-law happens to be a Shi’ite Muslim. The NYT lede blog even ran a story on the issue late last night – totally omitting any reference to the crucial pieces of information relayed in the MintPress statement. This is even more perplexing when you consider the fact that outlets such as the New York Times completely ignored recent revelations that the Washington Post’s new Jerusalem correspondent is the wife of a Zionist PR tycoon that regularly lobbies for the Jewish state.
Regardless of the veracity of the original report from Ghouta, and the allegations against the Saud regime held within; MintPress News are undoubtedly within their rights to uphold the Gavlak byline and in turn deem her accountable for its credibility.
If one were to offer a hypothetical, it seems likely that Gavlak has received this report from a trusted colleague (Ababneh) and wanted to run it through a smaller outlet anonymously to avoid possible recriminations from her corporate media employers; at which point MintPress have realised the controversial nature of the report and added Gavlak’s byline to bolster its credibility (which is well within their rights). As Gavlak rightly forsaw, she is now being pressured to retract her name from the story and subsequently discredit it. Whether the report itself is true or not is an entirely different matter, which will hopefully be explored as more details emerge. The current furor, and alleged efforts made by powerful interests to discredit and suppress it, suggests that this report is perceived by those powerful interests as more damaging than a mere piece of unverifiable propaganda.
Phil Greaves is a UK based writer/analyst, focusing on UK/US Foreign Policy and conflict analysis in the Middle East post WWII. http://notthemsmdotcom.wordpress.com/

Retraction and Apology to Our Readers for Mint Press Article on Syria Gas Attack
Eric Garris, September 20, 2013

On August 31, Antiwar.com reprinted an article from Mint Press News: “Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack.” We originally linked to it, but then reprinted on our site at the request of Mint Press because traffic on their site was crashing their server. The validity of the story was primarily based on the fact that the supposed co-author (Dale Gavlak) is a reporter for Associated Press.
Many other articles have been written which refer to the information contained in the Mint Press piece, including ones appearing on Antiwar.com.
Dale Gavlak has issued a statement saying she did not co-author the article and denies that she traveled to Syria or contributed to the article in any way. Here is his statement:

Mint Press News incorrectly used my byline for an article it published on August 29, 2013 alleging chemical weapons usage by Syrian rebels. Despite my repeated requests, made directly and through legal counsel, they have not been willing to issue a retraction stating that I was not the author. Yahya Ababneh is the sole reporter and author of the Mint Press News piece.   To date, Mint Press News has refused to act professionally or honestly in regards to disclosing the actual authorship and sources for this story.
I did not travel to Syria, have any discussions with Syrian rebels, or do any other reporting on which the article is based.  The article is not based on my personal observations and should not be given credence based on my journalistic reputation. Also, it is false and misleading to attribute comments made in the story as if they were my own statements.

The staff of Antiwar.com sincerely and deeply apologizes for being a part of spreading this article. We also apologize to Dale Gavlak.

EXCLUSIVE: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack
Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group.

This image provided by by Shaam News Network on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, purports to show several bodies being buried in a suburb of Damascus, Syria during a funeral on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, following allegations of a chemical weapons attack that reportedly killed 355 people. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network)

Dale Gavlak assisted in the research and writing process of this article, but was not on the ground in Syria. Reporter Yahya Ababneh, with whom the report was written in collaboration, was the correspondent on the ground in Ghouta who spoke directly with the rebels, their family members, victims of the chemical weapons attacks and local residents. 
Gavlak is a MintPress News Middle East correspondent who has been freelancing for the AP as a Amman, Jordan correspondent for nearly a decade. This report is not an Associated Press article; rather it is exclusive to MintPress News. 

Ghouta, Syria — As the machinery for a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria gathers pace following last week’s chemical weapons attack, the U.S. and its allies may be targeting the wrong culprit.
Interviews with people in Damascus and Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital, where the humanitarian agency Doctors Without Borders said at least 355 people had died last week from what it believed to be a neurotoxic agent, appear to indicate as much.
The U.S., Britain, and France as well as the Arab League have accused the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for carrying out the chemical weapons attack, which mainly targeted civilians. U.S. warships are stationed in the Mediterranean Sea to launch military strikes against Syria in punishment for carrying out a massive chemical weapons attack. The U.S. and others are not interested in examining any contrary evidence, with U.S Secretary of State John Kerry saying Monday that Assad’s guilt was “a judgment … already clear to the world.”
However, from numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack.
“My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta.
Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”
Ghouta townspeople said the rebels were using mosques and private houses to sleep while storing their weapons in tunnels.
Abdel-Moneim said his son and the others died during the chemical weapons attack. That same day, the militant group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is linked to al-Qaida, announced that it would similarly attack civilians in the Assad regime’s heartland of Latakia on Syria’s western coast, in purported retaliation.
“They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”
“When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution.
A well-known rebel leader in Ghouta named ‘J’ agreed. “Jabhat al-Nusra militants do not cooperate with other rebels, except with fighting on the ground. They do not share secret information. They merely used some ordinary rebels to carry and operate this material,” he said.
“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” ‘J’ said.
Doctors who treated the chemical weapons attack victims cautioned interviewers to be careful about asking questions regarding who, exactly, was responsible for the deadly assault.
The humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders added that health workers aiding 3,600 patients also reported experiencing similar symptoms, including frothing at the mouth, respiratory distress, convulsions and blurry vision. The group has not been able to independently verify the information.
More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government.

Saudi involvement

In a recent article for Business Insider, reporter Geoffrey Ingersoll highlighted Saudi Prince Bandar’s role in the two-and-a-half year Syrian civil war. Many observers believe Bandar, with his close ties to Washington, has been at the very heart of the push for war by the U.S. against Assad.
Ingersoll referred to an article in the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph about secret Russian-Saudi talks alleging that Bandar offered Russian President Vladimir Putin cheap oil in exchange for dumping Assad.
“Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord,” Ingersoll wrote.
“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Bandar allegedly told the Russians.
“Along with Saudi officials, the U.S. allegedly gave the Saudi intelligence chief the thumbs up to conduct these talks with Russia, which comes as no surprise,” Ingersoll wrote.
“Bandar is American-educated, both military and collegiate, served as a highly influential Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and the CIA totally loves this guy,” he added.
According to U.K.’s Independent newspaper, it was Prince Bandar’s intelligence agency that first brought allegations of the use of sarin gas by the regime to the attention of Western allies in February.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the CIA realized Saudi Arabia was “serious” about toppling Assad when the Saudi king named Prince Bandar to lead the effort.
“They believed that Prince Bandar, a veteran of the diplomatic intrigues of Washington and the Arab world, could deliver what the CIA couldn’t: planeloads of money and arms, and, as one U.S. diplomat put it, wasta, Arabic for under-the-table clout,” it said.
Bandar has been advancing Saudi Arabia’s top foreign policy goal, WSJ reported, of defeating Assad and his Iranian and Hezbollah allies.
To that aim, Bandar worked Washington to back a program to arm and train rebels out of a planned military base in Jordan.
The newspaper reports that he met with the “uneasy Jordanians about such a base”:
His meetings in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah sometimes ran to eight hours in a single sitting. “The king would joke: ‘Oh, Bandar’s coming again? Let’s clear two days for the meeting,’ ” said a person familiar with the meetings.
Jordan’s financial dependence on Saudi Arabia may have given the Saudis strong leverage. An operations center in Jordan started going online in the summer of 2012, including an airstrip and warehouses for arms. Saudi-procured AK-47s and ammunition arrived, WSJ reported, citing Arab officials.
Although Saudi Arabia has officially maintained that it supported more moderate rebels, the newspaper reported that “funds and arms were being funneled to radicals on the side, simply to counter the influence of rival Islamists backed by Qatar.”
But rebels interviewed said Prince Bandar is referred to as “al-Habib” or ‘the lover’ by al-Qaida militants fighting in Syria.
Peter Oborne, writing in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, has issued a word of caution about Washington’s rush to punish the Assad regime with so-called ‘limited’ strikes not meant to overthrow the Syrian leader but diminish his capacity to use chemical weapons:
Consider this: the only beneficiaries from the atrocity were the rebels, previously losing the war, who now have Britain and America ready to intervene on their side. While there seems to be little doubt that chemical weapons were used, there is doubt about who deployed them.
It is important to remember that Assad has been accused of using poison gas against civilians before. But on that occasion, Carla del Ponte, a U.N. commissioner on Syria, concluded that the rebels, not Assad, were probably responsible.

Some information in this article could not be independently verified. Mint Press News will continue to provide further information and updates . 

Dale Gavlak is a Middle East correspondent for Mint Press News and has reported from Amman, Jordan, writing for the Associated Press, NPR and BBC. An expert in Middle Eastern affairs, Gavlak covers the Levant region, writing on topics including politics, social issues and economic trends. Dale holds a M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. Contact Dale at dgavlak@mintpressnews.com
Yahya Ababneh is a Jordanian freelance journalist and is currently working on a master’s degree in journalism,  He has covered events in Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Libya. His stories have appeared on Amman Net, Saraya News, Gerasa News and elsewhere.