US `cherry-picked` Syria chemical attack intel: Report

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 11:41

Washington: The United States knew that an al Qaeda-linked rebel group in Syria was capable of producing sarin gas but ignored it in blaming the Syrian regime for a chemical attack in August, a veteran US journalist has charged.
In a long article published by the London Review of Books, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh accused President Barack Obama`s administration of "deliberate manipulation of intelligence" in the Syrian chemical weapons affair to justify intervention.

Administration officials denied the charges and said there was no evidence to support Hersh`s claims.

"The suggestion that there was an effort to suppress intelligence is simply false," said Shawn Turner, spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Hersh does not absolve the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad of responsibility for the August 21 attack in a Damascus suburb, which by US estimates killed more than 1,400 people.

But he contends the administration "cherry-picked" some of the intelligence about it or was silent about other reports that didn`t fit with its version of events.

Hersh accuses Obama of omitting "important intelligence" and presenting "assumptions as facts" in a September 10 speech accusing the Assad regime of carrying out the attack.

"Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country`s civil war with access to sarin," Hersh wrote.

"In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order -- a planning document that precedes a ground invasion -- citing evidence that the Al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with Al-Qaeda, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity.


First Published: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 05:29

More from zeenews

comments powered by Disqus
Party Won Trends Swing
BJP 122 122 76
SHS 63 63 19
INC 42 42 -40
NCP 41 41 -21
MNS 1 1 -12
OTH 19 19 -22
Party wise Trends/Tally | Key Candidates | Vote Share
Constituency Wise Results Interactive Map
Party Won Trends Swing
BJP 47 47 43
INLD 19 19 -12
INC 15 15 -25
HJCBL 2 2 -4
OTH 7 7 -2
Party wise Trends/Tally | Key Candidates | Vote Share
Constituency Wise Results Interactive Map