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Oct 16 · Last update 1 mo. ago.

Does a new open-source study on the Ghouta chemical attack shed new light on the Syrian Civil War?

Rootclaim is a collective of specialists that use probability modelling and crowdsourced evidence to mathematically analyse competing hypotheses to reach conclusions that can better represent the best available understanding of complex politicized situations. A major area of research for Rootclaim has been the contested 2013 Syrian chemical weapons attack in Ghouta, the deadliest chemical attack in decades and a “red-line” for foreign intervention in the Syrian Civil War. But according to Rootclaim’s study, titled: “Ghouta Sarin Attack Review of Open-Source Evidence Michael Kobs, Chris Kabusk, Adam Larson and many helpful citizen investigators”, the attack was most likely carried out by insurgents not the Syrian government as commonly believed. This is a controversial topic that is still being hotly debated, but can Rootclaim’s mathematical methodology offer us the tools to better analyse the conflicting information we are so often presented with in today's media landscape? Does the grassroots analysis of Rootclaim make the debate around the Ghouta chemical attack any clearer? Or does this type of grassroots re-analysis just muddy the waters and make the situation even less clear? Does a new open-source study on the Ghouta chemical attack shed new light on the Syrian Civil War?
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Yes, and corroborates Sy Hersh
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No
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Yes
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Yes, and corroborates Sy Hersh

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author Seymour Hersh, who was instrumental for exposing the cover-up of the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War, the subsequent secret US bombing campaign in Cambodia, and the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Gharib prison, has written extensively about the Ghouta attack. Hersh published two articles in the London Review of Books and stated that a former senior intelligence official told him that there were no US intelligence reports about the attack around the time, and that subsequent intelligence reports lacked any actual intelligence intercepts and simply gave an account of a generic chemical attack. Hersh later wrote that he was subsequently told by an intelligence officer that Ghouta was covertly planned by Turkish intelligence to push Obama over his so-called "red line" and encourage the US bombing campaign in Syria, Erdogan is widely believed to support Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front. Not only does Rootclaim's research make logical sense it also corroborates these intelligence leaks published by Sy Hersh.

lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v36/n08/seymour-m.-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line buzzfeednews.com/article/rosiegray/report-obama-administration-knew-syrian-rebels-could-make-ch lareviewofbooks.org/article/dangerous-method-syria-sy-hersh-art-mass-crime-revisionism

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D H
Nov 7
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No

The Syrian Army and as a result the Syrian Government are mostly widely believed to be behind the Ghouta chemical attack and this is really a closed case at this point, and this re-evaluation does not detract from the fact that the Syrian Army were behind other chemical attacks in the Syrian Civil War. The UN investigating team that analysed Ghouta post-attack confirmed clear and convincing evidence that sarin was used in the area on an indiscriminate attack on civilians, and this sarin was the same quality and quantity that only Syrian military had access to. The European Union, the United States, the Syrian opposition and even the Arab League have denounced the forces of President Bashar al-Assad for carrying out these attacks, and UN representative, Åke Sellström, denounced the Syrian Government's explanation for the attacks as unconvincing and based upon poor theories. Downplaying the role of the Syrian Army in chemical attacks is akin to downplaying the atrocities of any similar war crimes, be it that of Saddam Hussein or Nazi Germany.

theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/06/sarin-gas-attack-civilians-syria-government-un web.archive.org/web/20140221234407/http://www.cbrneworld.com/_uploads/download_magazines/Sellstrom_Feb_2014_v2.pdf bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/09/06/history-sarin-use-syrian-conflict motherjones.com/politics/2019/06/behind-the-lines-syria-part-one

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D H
Oct 31
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Yes

The amazing grassroots and open source research of the Ghouta attack by Rootclaim's Michael Kobs, Chris Kabusk, Adam Larson definitely sheds new light on the Syrian Civil War, and it now seems quite simply an attack carried out by insurgents and blamed on the Syrian Army. Rootclaim reached this conclusion by considered all open source evidence publicly available. They analysed the Sarin used in the attack, the weapons used, purported video evidence, location information, rocket trajectories, GPS data, maps, the lack of intelligence reports, and photographic evidence to construct mathematical models in order to determine the probability of responsibility for the attack.

Rootclaim's initial analysis was complete in 2017 and went against the western consensus with an 87% probability that the attack was carried out by opposition militia, Liwa al-Islam, however the analysis was rerun with further evidence in 2021 and was determined to be 96% certain that Liwa al-Islam carried out the attack. In this analysis Rootclaim have taken this complex issue and broken each piece of evidence down using mathematically sound models that can give the likelihood of a given hypothesis as a percentage, without cherry-picking evidence and thus avoiding being led astray by intuition or personal bias. Furthermore Rootclaim is a transparent organisation, that has published all their results and sources [1], and actively encourages input and challenges to their research, even offering a cash reward for anyone who can logically debunk reliability of their probability analysis.

haaretz.com/israel-news/israeli-startup-develops-the-ultimate-truth-machine-1.5457688 rootclaim.com/analysis/Who-carried-out-the-chemical-attack-in-Ghouta-on-August-21-2013 blog.rootclaim.com/new-evidence-2013-sarin-attack-in-ghouta-syria youtube.com/watch?v=picVXQzJXZ8 [1] rootclaim-media.s3.amazonaws.com/syria2013evidence.pdf

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Oct 17
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