The Syrian sarin question – Human Rights Watch refuses to answer

Recent new elements concerning the attack with the nerve agent sarin on the 21st of August in Syria point to the fact that, in contrast to earlier claims put forward by among others Human Rights Watch and the New York Times, there is not one shred of proof the Syrian army was involved.

On the 28th of December 2013 the New York Times to a certain degree withdrew its previous claims although it blamed the US government and not itself for the lies produced then back in September 2013. However Human Rights Watch still didn’t react to these developments and so continues to stick to its old now discredited lies.

Unreliable azimuths

Human Rights Watch and the NYT then based it very grave accusations against the Syrian government and especially the 104th Brigade of the Syrian Republican Guard on two main elements. First there were the azimuths of these rockets found and then there was the distance these rockets supposedly could fly.

See this map produced by Human Rights Watch in a press release (1) written by Josh Lyons on the 17th of September 2013

Map produced by HRW on the sarin attack of the 21ste of August 2013 near Damascus

By linking the attack to the elite military unit of the Syrian army this could have led to a serious destabilization of this main fighting unit defending Damascus against Al Qaeda linked groups. Was this the real intent of HRW, thereby making it also sure the US would attack Syria resulting in a jihadist Al Qaeda victory?

However these azimuths first are totally unreliable as they were deducted from rockets found in rebel controlled areas days after the attacks and shown to the UN-mission by these rebels. Rebels which included elements of Jabhat Al Nusra, officially designated by the US government as a terrorist organization linked to Al Qaeda. Making any dealings of US citizens with it a crime.

This is the same group that on the 11th of September 2001 attacked the World Trade Center in New York killing more than 3000 people. Therefore evidence as the azimuths of these rockets is totally unreliable from a forensic point of view. No serious investigator would base anything on it. But no problem for HRW who without hesitation used this to make such very strong accusations.

More lies

Another lie by HRW was the distance this 330mm rocket found in al Tarma/Zamalka near Damascus could fly. They concluded it could fly at least more than 9 km. Evidence from different sources, including one coming from Ake Sellstrom, head of this UN-mission on Syria, shows that this rocket could fly at best 3,5 km and almost certainly less. Thereby making the claim regarding the Syrian army doubtful. And that against the Republican Guard base a lie.

The two questions posed on the 2nd of January by telephone and mail to the press office at the New York headquarters of HRW were therefore simple and straightforward. What’s the reaction of HRW regarding the new elements coming to light concerning these rockets? And so will HRW apologize to those people it wrongly accused of being responsible for the death of hundreds of children as claimed by HRW?

As a professional organization stating to defend human rights it is essential its statements regarding human rights abuses are based on solid grounds. Here they obviously were not. Still HRW refuses to answer these two simple questions. Raising more suspicions about the true nature of this organization.

Here in Syria, as in Libya before, it works closely with jihadist organizations whose aims are contrary to what human rights are supposed to be. Recently it was also disclosed they worked hand in hand with a Swiss Ngo called Al Karama. Here to this was found out by the US government to be financing Al Qaeda and spreading its ideology. Any serious research of Al Karama would have found already years ago the links between extremist Salafist groups and this NGO. Human Rights Watch didn’t. It were their ‘friends’.

Saudi finance

This also has to be viewed in the light of the visit of Sarah Leah Whitson, director for North Africa and the Middle East at HRW, in May 2009 to collect funds in Saudi Arabia, main ideological and financial backer of jihadist groups worldwide including Al Qaeda. After al Salafisme is the official state religion of the country, one of the most brutal dictatorial governments on earth. It is as if someone went to Adolf Hitler to ask for money to build synagogues.

Another striking thing revealed by the Syrian file of Human Rights Watch is the dubious nature of their ‘research’. When confronted with this attack on the 21st of August and the videos uploaded on the internet by the Sham News Network they, as HRW themselves wrote, talked to those who had uploaded these video’s to verify the facts. And this was sufficient for them.

So on the 10th of September 2013 they wrote in their report concerning this sarin attack:

‘By directly contacting the activists who videotaped and uploaded the videos of the attack available on YouTube, Human Rights Watch has been able to verify the reliability of the videos, and confirmed that they were filmed in the affected area.’ (2)

A work method totally opposed to what any serious research should be. It is as asking someone who wants to sell you a carpet if he’s sure it can fly. And then of course you get a yes. You can hardly expect anything else.

Come clean

But as the name suggest, Sham News Network – Sham is the Salafist name for Syria – is a jihadist organization wanting to introduce sharia law and a Salafist caliphate in the country and elsewhere. It works among others closely and at least partly under control of Jabhat Al Nustra, the US labelled terror organization linked to Al Qaeda. So Al Qaeda sets video’s online and HRW asks an Al Qaeda linked group if they are correct?

With that in mind who on earth should take anything coming from Human Rights Watch as being the truth?

It is therefore no surprise at all Human Rights Watch didn’t oppose the plans at that time for an American bombardment of Syria. Luckily US Congress and the White House later had other and better ideas.

So whose human rights does HRW really defend? And will HRW come clean regarding Syria and the whole Middle East?

Willy Van Damme


1) Josh Lyons, 17 September 2013, Human Rights Watch,

2) Human Rights Watch, 10 September 2012,

This is a shortened version of earlier articles published here in Dutch concerning Syria, The Middle East, Human rights Watch and the New York Times.


9 thoughts on “The Syrian sarin question – Human Rights Watch refuses to answer

  1. R2P heeft de medewerking nodig van NGO’s om het vuile doel te bereiken. De moslimwereld past niet binnen de filosofie van het fascistische wallstreet/city imperium. Werkte Sarah niet voor Goldman Sucks? Dan heb je toch speciale gaves nodig om daar te mogen werken? En die neem je dan mee naar HRW. Het is bijna niet voor te stellen waar de tentakels overal reiken? Het lijkt wel opzet.
    Over die episode bij Goldman Sachs zou ik niet veel belang hechten. Het lijkt eerder toeval.

    Wat betreft R2P, het Right to Protect (het recht om te beschermen), lijkt het mij simpel. Het overschrijden van een landsgrens en het steunen van een gewapende opstand in een ander land zijn in de internationale wet reden voor oorlog door de aangevallen partij. En zoiets kan je vrij gemakkelijk op het terrein vaststellen.

    Het gebruiken van R2P is echter iets heel anders. Daar komen we terecht bij een heel subjectieve materie, want wat voor U een mensenrecht is, is dat niet voor anderen.
    ik voerde ooit een discussie met gewezen minister Mark Eyskens rond mensenrechten en wat dat juist zijn. Voor mij waren daar sociale rechten bij, voor hem niet.

    Voor sommigen is het naakt kunnen lopen of het homohuwelijk een mensenrecht, voor anderen is dit dan weer pure gruwel en een aanslag op de mensenrechten.
    Daarom dat R2P er onder druk van de VS kwam omdat het toeliet dit erg subjectief te gebruiken, in tegenstelling tot het plegen van gewapende agressie in een ander land. Dat stelt men gewoon zonder meestal veel discussie vast.

    Kijk, toen de Nederlandse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Frans Timmermans (PVDA) onlangs in Cuba op bezoek was had hij het daar constant over de politieke rechten.
    Hetzelfde met Rusland. Wie tegenwoordig op de Nederlandse TV kijkt hoort tegenwoordig bij het bespreken van Rusland en Poetin maar een woord meer: homorechten. Om ziek van te worden.

    Toen de Franse president François Hollande recent in Saoedi Arabië op bezoek was kwamen politieke rechten of de vervolging van homo’s niet ter sprake. Ook amper of niet in de Franse media.
    R2P is daarom synoniem voor willekeur en de macht van de sterkste. Het staat dus haaks op wat recht zou horen te zijn.

    Daarom ben ik zo’n grote tegenstander van R2P. Niet omdat ik tegen mensenrechten zou zijn, integendeel. Het is omdat het resultaat van R2P totale willekeur en dus de schending van de mensenrechten is.
    Want een correcte rechtspraak is een van een centrale elementen van een rechtvaardige correcte samenleving.
    Willy Van Damme

  2. Hi Willy,
    Weer puik artikel. Heb het op FB gezet. het gaat snel de wereld over.

    Groeten, Ben Braam
    Willy Van Damme

  3. “9/11” was 11 september 2001, not 9 september
    Sorry for the mistake. In Belgium we always put the day before the month, the opposite from the US tradition, and so this mistake was made. I’ll correct it. And thanks for your reaction.
    Willy Van Damme

  4. i agree that HRW is an unsavoury organisation which has worked hard to provoke a missile attack on Syria with no evidence and that what happened is likely a false flag for this very purpose.

    Yet with scientific evidence conclusive that the official 9/11 explanations simply could NOT have happened and that buildings cannot collapse through fire damage at the alleged speeds, it is right to question whether if airplane attacks happened at all these are in fact bona fides “terrorist attacks” by groups of “Islamic” fanatics… study the evidence carefully.

    Kerosene fires wont melt steel which is a highly conductible metal spreading any heat throughout the entire structure.Even if temperatures did get that high and NIST says they nowhere achieved remotely these levels,then steel sags and does not sheer.
    Even if it did sheer then the conservation of energy at every floor would slow any “collapse” .
    If collapse happened at every 10 floor with freefall in between,the building couldnt have collapsed in under 30 secs. If the explanation is impossible,the alleged events leading up to this point are also likely impossible,unless hijacks were somehow under the control of the real culprits behind the plot.

    However evidence also strongly suggests that an airliner collision with a steel building( note Newtons 3rd law) would result in much of the airliner falling outside the building and far less penetration, as the videos show.But Americans arent lying when they say they saw this happen!!!

    Nor indeed are any of the researchers lying when they uncover what are in effect false trails like Abel Danger.The answer is hologram planes containing missiles.No hijacks.No Arabs.Fake cell phone calls.No Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon.
    Ken Watson
    Thanks for your reaction. I’m no expert on this matter so it is difficult to answer in full about your remarks. I however tend to agree with many of your points and find it very doubtful the official story of 9/11 is the correct version of events. I never saw airplane parts for instance at The Pentagon after the so-called attack.

    It’s I think probably like Pearl Harbour and so many other crucial moments in history manipulated in order to achieve what was planned all along. My guess is it was organized but some of the people involved didn’t know how they were disposable fools.

    Just as many of those jihadist destroying the Middle East don’t understand the fact they just are cannon fodder, pawns in a great Israeli scheme to destroy the region and have Israel come out of it on top, and enlarged with the whole Jordan Valley, cleansed of anything non-Zionist and saved for decades.
    Willy Van Damme

  5. Pingback: Muze & Idool (deel II) | Francesca doesn't live here anymore!

  6. Hello Willy ( Ja, ik ga in het engels schrijven naar U),

    we have seen you giving interviews on Russia Today, where people like Putin, Kissinger and Assange are interviewed. This article about HRW was published on Global Research, a few days ago.
    My requesdt to you would be: please write the articles which are about international matters in English.
    Or ask someone to translate them in English and publish them on another blog.

    It is a pity that all this research work that you did, reaches such a limited audience.

    Greetings, JV.

    Note: In a reaction to Kuukske you explain why Responsability to Protect (R2P) is such a useful instrument. Very enlightening .
    But in the case of Lybia they went 1 step further: they used R2P to prevent a crime which they claimed was going to happen in the near future.
    Several authors have shown that Ghadaffi had already demonstrated that he would never do that. See : Max Forte:

    It’s a cruel world: Butcher and war criminal ( genocide) Ariel Sharon was buried with hardly any criticism. And in Belgium a muslim goes to jail for 12 years because he wrote something on the internet.
    Jan Verheul
    It’s an idea that here at home has already been discussed but I’ll stick to Dutch. It’s my mother tongue and there are very few decent websites discussing these matters in Dutch.
    It would also mean extra time and I’m already short of it. Only on rare occasions when it centers on a US organization like Amnesty International US and Human Rights Watch I’ll do a English language version.
    Here also because as far as I known no one in the US and UK who seems to have confronted HRW head on with their lies. Therefore this short version.
    Willy Van Damme

    • Okay, we write one comment in English.

      Yes, I’ve noticed the article of Willy on Global Research also, and I thought, wow Willy goes global! On the other hand, it wasn’t a surprise at all. Willy’s articles deserve to go global, they are a must read.

      I don’t want to call them “rebels”, I prefer to call them terrorists!

      “Weapons Inspectors: Syrian Chemical Weapons Fired from REBEL-HELD Territory”

      With a very smart comment of a blogger on a Dutch political blog:

      “But there could have been Syrian Goverment Forces in rebel-held territory who fired the chemical weapons.”

      “What, exactly, are we spending all this money on intelligence for?” Postol asked.

      Because intelligence can be fixed around the policy, perhaps?
      Joop de Jong
      I didn’t know they used it on their website. They should have told me but of course I have no problem with it whatsoever. Thanks for informing me. I today heard there is also a German translation circulating. I just hope it was done in a proper manner.

      I guess Human Jihadist Watch must by now know the existence of the article. And yes, still no reply from them. To busy supporting their Jihadist friends I guess

      Theodor Postol and Richard M. Lloyd made a new 23 page study on the matter refuting lies by the US government, HJW and the NYT called: ‘Possible Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence in the Damascus Nerve Agent Attack of August 21, 2013′. It was published on the 14the of January.

      It’s funny because we can read in this dossier Secretary of State John Kerry saying that after the failure of intelligence with Iraq they were careful this time in not making the same mistakes.
      This time, he said, there was to be no doubting the US government claims. And they did it again. Surprise? No!
      Willy Van Damme

      • Dear Willy,

        “I didn’t know they used it on their website. They should have told me but of course I have no problem with it whatsoever.”

        I don’t think you have to worry about it. They used it as a good informative article, otherwise they didn’t placed it. Global Research is a wellknown website with lots of independent contributors, and they can be trusted.

        “It’s funny because we can read in this dossier Secretary of State John Kerry saying that after the failure of intelligence with Iraq they were careful this time in not making the same mistakes.
        This time, he said, there was to be no doubting the US government claims. And they did it again. Surprise? No!”

        Maybe because they didn’t use a Power Point presentation as Colin Powell did, back in 2003? It’s not visible, you know? However, use toy vehicles as mobile chemical factories will do the job anyway.
        Joop de Jong
        A good idea put John Kerry, Colin Powell and these from Human Jihadist Watch in the same category of writers such as the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. But then I would prefer the stories coming from Andersen and company.
        Willy Van Damme

  7. We know that social media and blogs are infiltraded by intelligence services, but must it be so cruel? They really do everything to influence public opinion!
    Joop de Jong:
    That’s what they call propaganda. And still it is being used by mainstream media as recently with the pictures about the refugee camp al Yarmouk near Damascus.
    Willy Van Damme

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