Former Texas congressional Rep Ron Paul, who also ran for president as a Republican in 2008 and 2012, claimed on Wednesday that a horrific chemical weapons nerve gas attack against civilians in Syria was a “false flag,” that is, an attack designed to be blamed on another party. In this case, Paul claimed on his Liberty Report YouTube webcast that the attack was falsely blamed on Syria President Bashar al-Assad.
Paul made his claim on the same day that a spokesperson for the Russia Foreign Ministry also suggested that the chemical attack was staged. Russia supports Assad and has staged thousands of aerial bombing raids against anti-government rebels in Syria. Nearly 10,000 Syrians were killed by Russian bombing attacks in a one-year period from September 2015 to September 2016.
While Trump had consistently stated that U.S. policy in Syria should remain focused on fighting the terror group ISIS even if it means leaving Assad in power, Trump appeared to change his stance after news of the Syria gas attack was broadcast worldwide on Tuesday.
The civil war in Syria has been ongoing for six years, and according to a report by the Syrian-American Medical Society, about 1,500 Syrians had been killed in 161 chemical gas attacks prior to Tuesday, Trump, until this week, remained steadfast in his opposition to U.S. action to remove Assad.
The overwhelming majority of chemical weapons attacks have been the work of the Assad government in Syria, according to most Western governments, although Assad claims that the chemical attacks are the work of anti-government Syria rebels.
On Wednesday, Trump said that his position had changed after this week’s attack.
“My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much,” Trump said at a White House Rose Garden press conference. “It crossed a lot of lines for me.”
But according to Paul, the attack itself was some sort of covert operation specifically designed to force Trump to change his policy of support for Assad.
“Before this episode of possible gas exposure and who did what, things were going along reasonably well for the conditions. Trump said let the Syrians decide who should run their country, and peace talks were making out, and Al Qaeda and ISIS were on the run,” Paul claimed in his webcast.
“It looks like, maybe, somebody didn’t like that so there had to be an episode, and the blame now is we can’t let that happen because it looks like it might benefit Assad,” the former presidential hopeful added.
But also on Wednesday, Russia Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova also hinted that the attack may have been staged or faked, saying that rescue workers in video from the scene — in the town of Khan Shaykhun between the major Syrian cities of Aleppo and Damascus — appeared “too calm” as they helped victims to safety, calling this alleged calmness “noteworthy.”
She also criticized a United Nations report on the chemical attack, which also pinned responsibility on Assad, for being “prepared carelessly.”
Press accounts from the scene in Khan Shaykhun, however, described rescuers as themselves becoming ill and collapsing in the course of their rescue operations.
Watch the full Ron Paul webcast in the following video.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating Trump and members of his political organization for ties to Russia, and for possible collusion with the Russian government in an attempt to undermine the 2016 presidential election with computer hacking and covert propaganda.
Paul added that he believes there is “zero chance” Assad was behind Tuesday’s Syria gas attack that has so far claimed more than 70 lives. Experts say that the symptoms displayed by victims are consistent with exposure to deadly sarin gas, the same chemical agent used to attack an anti-government stronghold in August of 2013, another attack attributed by the U.S. to Assad.
But the Russian government said that the 2013 attack, which killed more than 1,000, was the result of a bombing raid on a rebel-held chemical weapons factory.
[Featured Image By Steve Helber/AP Images]