Anhar Kochneva: ''The decision to bomb Syria was made not today, not yesterday, but much earlier''

The column of the Middle Eastern journalist about the chemical attack in Syria, American night bombing and breaking the mould

The United States have launched missile strikes on a Syrian army position — at the airfield in Homs province. The strikes claimed people's lives. Earlier, Donald Trump accused Assad of using chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict. A columnist of Realnoe Vremya from the Middle East Anhar Kochneva in today's newspaper column written specially for our online newspaper tells where the Syrian troops ''have'' chemical weapons from, that Tomahawks missiles did not reach their targets and about breaking the mould of American propaganda.

''The Syrian government army has no chemical weapons''

About a month ago, by the order of an organisation, I wrote a report on the situation with chemical weapons in Syria. For the report, I used open data (including publications in the American press) on this topic.

At that moment, the Syrian government army has no chemical weapons: they were destroyed with the participation of the UN international commission for the prohibition of chemical weapons at the end of 2013 according to undertaken obligations. However, the contrary in all respects party did not take any of such obligation, it was not controlled by anyone and, according to available data, has accumulated a huge number of different kinds of toxic substances, as well as substances related to weapons of mass destruction (for example, in Idlib alone there are at least 100 barrels of napalm of the U.S. production delivered to the rebels via Turkey).

It is reported about mustard gas, chlorine and other hazardous substances have fallen into the hands of militants. There are also reports of entire underground storages of chemical weapons, organised by ISIS (organisation banned in Russia — editor's note). What is more, in the last two years this weapon has been used by fighters practically openly. But in the United States (where the press openly publishes data about the real situation in Syria) only the legitimate government of Syria not having chemical weapons traditionally use it.

The chemical attack in the Syrian city of Khan Shaykhun. Photo: Reuters (

''The decision to bomb was made not today''

Fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles were launched from two American ships at the Syrian territory. For those who do not know, each missile weighs about 1,500 kg — if it falls, those found themselves near the place of falling will not find it small. Exactly with the same weapon, the Americans were planning to bomb Damascus back in 2013 (in order to avoid those already approved by the US bombings, Syria signed obligations to destroy its chemical weapons).

Since the moment of the provocation in Idlib, it's been only about two days: all the military experts in one voice are saying that one cannot organise such operations in such a short time: it indirectly suggests that the decision to bomb was made not today, not yesterday, but much earlier. Moreover, in circumvention of approval by the Congress provided by the U.S. Constitution. During the bombing, six aircraft of the Syrian air force, stationed in the hangars, were destroyed.

The events of that night are very similar to the ''mistake'' of the American aviation, which in September last year bombed available at the airfield (surrounded by groups ISIS for many years) military equipment and thus reduced the chances of blocked at the airfield detachment of the Syrian army to hold strategic points and to survive. Some time later, the airfield was undergone attempts of a storm by fighters of ISIS. According to reports of the Russian, Lebanese and Syrian press, this time the militants tried ''on the sly'' to capture the bombed airfield, but the attack — albeit with difficulty — was repulsed. The US actions are painfully reminiscent of the actions of Israel being in a state of war with Syria: similarly, the Israeli Ministry of Defense prefers to attack the army of Syria, unleashing the hands of entrenched on the Golan Heights al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front — the organization banned in Russia — editor's note).

''According to the reports of the Russian, Lebanese and Syrian press, this time the militants tried ''on the sly'' to capture the bombed airfield, but the attack — albeit with difficulty — was repulsed.'' Photo:

''Fighters cannot be the cause of the tragedy by definition''

According to incoming reports, about half of American released missiles did not reach the target and caused no damage. It has given grounds to ridicule the vaunted American military might. However, even more reasons the Americans gave to be ridiculed by their diplomacy. Unfortunately, as it has already been informed, the reasons for aggression against sovereign states went not far from the notorious test tube with the remaining unknown white powder. For some reason, it reminds me how during my stay in captivity my ex-husband ''trolled'' calling him fighters:

— We want to kill her!

— Why?

— She supports the Assad regime!

— But why is it bad?

— He's killing everyone!

— But aren't you no better than Assad if you also want to kill her?..

The Americans behave similarly. In other words, by hook or by crook. Many drew attention to the synchronicity of hysteria gripped Western media: chemical weapons were used by the evil Assad, the insurgents themselves cannot be the cause of the tragedy by definition because Americans have already defined once and for all Assad and his government bad. Why he is worse than bandits, no one really can explain in the American administration. Because there is a breaking the mould taking place. And it hurts.

By Anhar Kochneva

Anhar Kochneva – a journalist, blogger.

  • The author of articles on the Middle East, a member of travel forums. Since 1999 worked as a travel agent in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Made travel guides in Jordan and Cairo. With the beginning of the civil war in Syria, she worked as a coordinator of arrived to the country journalistic groups from the CIS countries.
  • In October 2012, she was captured by militants, she was in captivity for 153 days, then escaped.
  • Later returned to Damascus and continued to work as a journalist.
  • Currently, she is living in Lebanon.

Published on her own website, as well as on, Blog on LiveJournal (