French Investigation Resembling 'Tactics US Used' Prior to 2003 Iraq Invasion

© REUTERS / Ammar AbdullahCivil defense members inspect the damage at a site hit by airstrikes on Tuesday, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 5, 2017
Civil defense members inspect the damage at a site hit by airstrikes on Tuesday, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 5, 2017 - Sputnik International
Paris has pinned the blame for the alleged chemical attack in the Idlib province on the Syrian government, but analysts say that the French investigation has not been unbiased. In an interview with Radio Sputnik, Professor Lev Klepatsky of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs described the probe as "a manipulation."

"The West has turned to manipulation tactics. They carry out something. It does not matter who is responsible. The main task is to create a backdrop for other operations. In this case the United States has caused quite a stir by launching 59 missiles [against Damascus]," he said.

New York-based geopolitical analyst Ulson Gunnar pointed out that the way France handled the investigation has raised questions as to what its intentions in the matter are.

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"Were it the case that France was seriously committed to holding the perpetrators of the alleged attack accountable, the French government would need to call for an impartial, independent investigation into the attack, and as soon as possible. Instead, it decided to carry out its own 'investigation,' ensuring neither impartiality nor independence, and by consequence, achieving no accountability," he said.

The French intelligence services compiled a six-page report, saying that the toxic substance used in the alleged attack in Idlib came from President Bashar al-Assad's hidden stockpile of chemical weapons. They cited anonymous sources to support their findings, prompting the analyst to draw parallels with the notorious probe into Saddam Hussein's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

"French evidence is based on what French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault himself claims is 'a certain source' which, in wording alone, resembles the ambiguity and oblique tactics used by the United States in the lead up to the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq," he recalled. "In 2003, US and European politicians … relied heavily on alleged evidence produced by similar unnamed sources. It would later be revealed that those sources were intentionally lying, and were intentionally cited in a wider effort to fabricate a false pretext for war with Iraq."

Gunnar further emphasized that France couldn't have carried out a comprehensive independent probe into what happened in Idlib because Paris has long been involved in efforts aimed at deposing Assad. In 2014, the outgoing President Francois Hollande confirmed that France had provided weapons to rebel groups fighting against Damascus. In addition, French forces have taken part in the anti-Daesh operation carried out by the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria. The campaign in Syria has never been authorized by the United Nations or Damascus.

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"A nation directly involved in efforts to violently overthrow a government cannot in any rational way conduct an impartial, independent investigation into the actions of that targeted government," the analyst pointed out. "France, by all legal metrics, is a compromised party with a direct stake in finding the Syrian government 'guilty.'"

The analyst maintained that France would only boost its international clout if it called for an independent probe into the attack.

"The answer to 'why' they would forgo such a politically lucrative move can be explained by a total lack of confidence in their evidence, or certain knowledge that their 'evidence' is entirely fabricated, and genuine investigations would only confirm that publicly," he said.

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