From Timisoara to Khan Shaykhun [Syria, Iraq, Libya, Romania]: The Staged-Massacre Routine for Regime Change (Part I)

MILITARISM, 6 Nov 2017

Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli – The Indicter

28 Oct 2017 – This investigation aims to inquire into the staged-massacre routine and similar false flag operations implemented by Western powers to justify military and/or political interventions for regime change. The series comprises: I) The Staged-Massacre Routine for Regime Change; II) Role of Western media and NGOs in the anti-Syria campaign; III) Epidemiological questioning of the ‘UN-Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic’ Report on the Khan Shaykhun incident.

This first part gives a brief synopsis of such a false flag operations assayed in recent decades in a number of countries, and regarding to Syria, this first section focuses on allegations done by the “Third report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ­­­/ United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism”, a document delivered for the Security Council consideration on 24 August 2016.

Ensuing section II in the series assesses the psychosocial role of Western media and stream rights organizations such as “Human Rights Watch”, in the staging and dissemination of this deceitful war propaganda. Inevitably, the role of the “White Helmets” –a propaganda organization of locals established by Western powers in occupied territories of Syria, also associated with other jihadist combat organizations – is also commented. One main reason being that “White Helmets” has been instrumented as the main media source for ‘massacre’ allegations. Invariably, these claims have conveyed a role of pledging for military action against the Syrian government. I may summarize such a role partly with this statement read in the recent “handbook for U.S. Army formations”, “Russian New Generation Warfare Handbook”: [1]

“The new objective is not victory in a conflict, but regime change…Not all regime changes have to be resolved with a military option, but when a military lever is activated, it is done by, with, and through segments of the local population. The involvement of locals gives validity to military action on the world stage.”

The ending section, N° III in the series, focuses on a recently issued report about the Khan Shaykhun purported “sarin attack” of April 2017, published by the “UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic” (COI). [2]

Interestingly, while the new COI-report exhaustively list the claims of chemical attacks taken place in Syria since the conflict began –and where the COI found “reasonable grounds to believe” that it was the Syrian government who had perpetrated those attacks– there is no mention at all about the alleged “chemical attack” on Sarmine, Idlib, 16 March 2015. Those allegations, originally put forward by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and sourced in the White Helmets, were focus of an analysis-series undertaken by Swedish Doctors for Human Rights (SWEDHR) in March-April 2017. [3] [4]. Our investigation demonstrated the falsehoods in the pseudo evidence claimed by a HRW-report [5] as well as serious pseudo-medical fabrications in the corresponding ‘life-saving’ videos showed by the White Helmets as ‘evidence’ for the claim. [See details on this staged-massacre routine further bellow, in section Syria].

Nevertheless, the fact that the UN-panel omitted the above-mentioned “Sarmine episode” from the list of alleged chemical attacks in Syria given in their report, a) It further indicates the accuracy of the SWEDHR analysis and our fact-based conclusions on that new murky episode enacted by the proxies White Helmets. b) It once more confirm that the mentioning of our investigations at the UN Security Council session of April 2017 done by the Syrian ambassador, [6] as well as the citations by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova of SWEDHR independent analyses, [7] [8], including her reference to the denounces in The Indicter Magazine [9], were relevant and legitimate. I thank these diplomats for the attention drawn to the work done by our independent organization Swedish Doctors for Human Rights. c) The omission of the “Sarmine attack” allegations in the COI-report it also invalidates the unjustified attacks against SWEDHR and its representatives done by some pro-NATO media in Europe – such as Swedish DN [10] or the French Le Figaro. [11] See also my statement published by the Journal of the Swedish Medical Association, “SWEDHR is absolutely independent”. [12]

I draw attention on the facts above as means of encouraging further analysis from the international research community on any spurious claims of that kind against the Syrian people, its secular government, its armed forces, and its friends and allies combating for the victory over religious fanaticism. Unsubstantiated allegations deprived of beyond-doubt evidence, or blunt attacks as hominem, self-expose a desperate strategy intended to find public support for a continuation of the Syrian conflict. Ultimately, for those Western powers and mercenary proxies it is about pursuing a political reversal at the eve of a military defeated campaign. And more victories to come for the human-rights-for-all struggle.

  1. False flag operations for regime change

In the various endeavours for regime-change assayed to fit the geopolitical and economic interest of western powers, a foremost argument has consisted in allegations on infringements of human rights and accusations of insufferable oppression against the population. These claims have often culminated with the staging of ‘massacres’ against civilians. Subsequently, to these blames the strategists have added a corresponding pledge “by the locals” for external military interventions. Such false flag

The practice of false flags to justify political overthrown or military interventions steams from an old geopolitical tradition of deceptive strategy. However, during the last decades it has been surreptitiously established a geopolitical routine. It has a clear aim, which is regime change, and a clear design, which is war propaganda. And its effects are not solely in the sphere of ‘fake news’ for purely propaganda aims, but also used as the pretext for the initiation of bloody overthrows or cruel, long lasting wars.

A most classic episode, and which represent the reestablishment of the false-flag routine in the post world ward era, was the psy op known as “Gulf of Tonkin incident” enacted on August 4, 1965. Then, the false claim consisted in that Soviet-built North Vietnamese torpedo boats would have attacked the U.S. destroyers “Maddox” and “Turner”. To this false claim followed the same day an order by President Lyndon B Johnson’s for a deadly retaliatory air strike against Vietnam. [13 ]

Amidst the media dramaturgy around this ‘patriotic response’ to the made-up attack in the Gulf of Tonkin, President Johnson obtained the approval of Congress (the “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution”) for the waging of a war which at its ends had killed over one million North Vietnamese –most part civilians– but also over 50,000 American military. [14] President Johnson later blamed the military for the fabricated events in the Gulf of Tonkin. [13]

President Trump and the retaliatory attack “due to” the Khan Shaykhun incident

In resemblance, President Trump’s order on a retaliatory missile strike against Syria this year would have also been based in manipulated information, namely, allegations of a “chemical attack” in Khan Shaykhun attributed to Syrian forces. It was, again, about a routine allegation sourced in testimonies originally provided by the White Helmets, and for which no conclusive evidence has ever been produced.

Military-wise, the tactical damage effected by that missile operation was neither significant (in relation to the weaponry chosen), nor deterrent for the Syrian army. In the general context of the warfare on Syria, the attack could be also considered as a relatively ‘mild’. This would indicate that there were other political factors that prompted Donald Trump to order the show of force on Syria. For instance, Trump’s order on the Tomahawk-missile strike should be also evaluated against the backdrop of his then deteriorated political status in the U.S. domestic sphere, and the missile-attack as contributing to change the public approval rate towards his government. [15]. According to the Gallup poll, the approval rate for Trump was 35% before the missile attack on Syria, increasing to 40% after  that. [16]

Stressing this argument, it could be said that a  similar impact in the approval rating [AR, for brevity] of U.S. presidents can be historically found associated to presidents’ belligerent executive-decisions argued on false flag operations. For example, George W. Bush obtained an increase from  58% to 71% following the invasion of Iraq – based on the false claim regarding ‘Saddam Hussein’s  weapons of mass destruction’. The same phenomenon regarding his father, George H.W. Bush, after the U.S. initiations of hostilities in the Kuwait War, or Ronald Reagan and the Granada / Panama military operations. [15]

Further, there are in my opinion other consideration to include in that background, and that put in doubt the seriousness of the reasoning argued for the Tomahawk-missile attack (the alleged “Khan Shaykhun chemical attack”. I refer to the spectacular military dispay exercised by the Russian armed forces when 26 Russian Kalibr cruising missiles were fired from a submarine and a combat ship in the eastern Mediterranean, to eleven different targets nearly 1,000 miles away in Syria (near Akerbat, Hama province), successfully destroying ISIS weapons depots and ISIS command posts. The New York Times reported at the time, flabbergasted, [17]

“…A demonstration that Russia has the ability to strike from virtually all directions in a region where it has been reasserting its power — from Iran, from warships in the Caspian Sea, from its base in the Syrian coastal province of Latakia and now from the Mediterranean.”

I mean that the 59 Tomahawk-missile strike ordered by Trump may have been an operation also intended to balance a domestic public opinion impressed by the Russian military might, as shown not only by the objective effectiveness of the above mentioned Russian missile launch, but also by the wide reporting of it in the news.

Nevertheless, the Syrian government and the Russian Federation well calibrated their reaction to the U.S. “retaliation”, and thus a risk for World War III was averted. An escalation would possibly have taken the conflict to a scenario similar to a “No-Fly Zone”. Neither Trump pursued a further escalation, as for instance in the line advocated by the U.S. hawk-lobby pursuing a No-Fly Zone in Syria. In these regards,  it is worth to mention the statement by the chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chief of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, during a hearing at the U.S. Armed Services Committee: ‘For us, to control all of the airspace in Syria will require us to go to war against Syria and Russia’. [18]

An illogical allegation

As to the allegations that President Bashar al-Assad would have ordered a chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, I have already pointed out in The Indicter shortly after those claims were made, and thereafter in interviews with media [19] that such “self-destructive” move from Bashar al-Assad appears inconceivable, or plain illogical. His forces were then, as they are now, clearly wining the war. Namely, Assad was on top of an irreversible winning position – militarily and politically – particularly since the recapture of Aleppo last year, or even before, since the debut of the Russian military support (as well as from other allies forces, such as Iran and Hezbollah).

Secondly, at that time, the previous more hostile position of the U.S. government (and by a variety of EU countries) had shifted substantially in reference to the Syrian president. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley had declared just a few days prior the incident: [20]

“Our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out”

So, why would President Bashar al-Assad indulge in that kind of ‘harakiri’ decision that it would instantaneously decimate all the positive odds his geopolitical position was enjoining by the beginning of April 2017?

Further, as I declared in the Radio Sputnik interview of the same month, [21]  why the international community would be so eager to, and uncritically, to trust ‘denounces’ made by organization such as the White Helmets after it has been demonstrated on and on the spurious or even fabricated ‘evidence’ they have presented in the past regarding similar allegations?

Such attacks initiatives comprising chemical or other prohibited weaponry, are only in the losing parties’ options. Only the side in a war that is desperate to turn the odds, as its total defeat seems imminent, would need to essay the trespassing of that highly hazardous red line.

Another relevant issue is that President Trump had given signals all across his election campaign that he would cooperate with Russia, and eventually with Assad, to end the Syrian conflict. Furthermore, just days before the White Helmets false flag operation, Donald Trump had announced a drastic change in U.S. policy towards Syria. So the question is, why would have the Syrian government issued such a political catastrophic and self-destructive order?

3.     From Timisoara to Khan Shaykhun.

Phony allegations on ‘massacres’ falsely attributed to the government targeted for a regime change, is a false flag routine that has been repeated in the last decades at increased tempo. While those initiatives most certainly steam from operation rooms of a variety of Western Intelligence services –included on the field– the role of the stream media has been pivotal. In episodes of recent years it can be also observed a more often participation of stream right organizations.

I here review some examples historical examples selected from recent decades, and which ends in this report referring the current situation on Syria.


In fact, the events of December 1989 in Romania were not a revolution, but a putsch. It was a bloody coup that intended a pro U.S. ‘regime change’.

Here we find a classical example of the role of western media, for instance in the dramatic narrative around the staged mass graves, intended to depict an allegedly gruesome massacre in Romania 1989. Namely, a toll of 4,500 bodies it was said been found on exposed mass graves, allegedly been massacred by security forces in a three-days repression orgy ordered by the government in December that year. It was the main argument used to speed by violent means the regime-change in Romania and to legitimate the prompt execution of President Ceausescu and his wife. Subsequently, western media had distributed deceitfully photographs, manipulated to depict the claimed Timisoara mass graves. The world opinion was horrified.

However, according to the testimony given the year after by Dr. Milan Dressler, a lawyer and also pathologist working at the Timis District Morgue, “the mass grave never existed”. In fact, the corpses piled in the infamous picture background have been transported there from a cemetery for indigent people. [22]

The ‘evidence’ turned out being a bunch of manipulated photographic work. One of the pictures [see below] was described by the stream media as a man crying over the massacred body of a mother and her child. It was showed later that the woman wasn’t that man’s wife nor was she the mother’s infant. It was also demonstrated that the bodies depicted in the photograph as massacred victims had instead a completely different causes of dead. The woman in the picture, for instance, has died of cirrhosis, and the infant of crib death. [23]

Meanwhile, the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported, “Immediately after the December revolution, the Bush administration welcomed the changes that had occurred in the country”. HRW also praised the U.S. government of Bush for its commitments in favour of the human rights there. [24]

The Kuwait war

The same type of manipulation for propaganda war and regime change took place when mainstream media all over the world showed in 1991 pictures of an agonizing cormorant (Socotra Cormorant), blackened, drenched in oil, left to die in the Persian Gulf waters. It was said that the “black cormorant” was a victim of a ruthless Sadam Hussein that had opened the oil pipelines. It was instead a manipulated imagery, filmed in another country. No cormorants are present in Kuwait before the spring season; Besides, CNN could not have ever filmed those cormorant scenes in Kuwait since it was a territory at that time occupied by Iraq. Some reporter admitted to have taken a cormorant from a Zoo and purposely soaked it with oil. [25]

Source of the image above, including caption: Alamy Stock Photo

Iraq – “Weapons of mass deception”

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Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli is professor emeritus of epidemiology, medicine doktor i psykiatri (PhD, Karolinska Institute), and formerly Research Fellow  at Harvard Medical School. He is the founder and chairman of Swedish Professors and Doctors for Human Rights and editor-in-chief of The Indicter. Also publisher of The Professors’ Blog, and CEO of Libertarian Books – Sweden. Author of Sweden vs. Assange – Human Rights Issues. Op-ed articles published in Dagens Nyheter (DN), Svenska Dagbladet (Svd), Aftonbladet, Västerbotten Kuriren, Dagens Medicin, the Journal of the Swedish Medical Association (Läkartidningen) and other Swedish media. He has also published op-ed columns in the Russian newspaper Izvestia. Reachable via email at,


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One Response to “From Timisoara to Khan Shaykhun [Syria, Iraq, Libya, Romania]: The Staged-Massacre Routine for Regime Change (Part I)”

  1. Molroch says:

    The West The West The West The West is to blame. The West The West The West The West is to blame.

    Repeat and repeat.