On Sunday, published in the German news outlet Welt, U.S. investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported that Trump “ignored important intelligence reports” when he ordered the launch of 59 cruise missiles on a Syrian government airbase on April 6, two days after after he saw pictures of people dying, including children, from chemical exposure on April 4.

According to Hersh’s reporting, Trump issued the order for the attack “despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.”

Offering a precise timeline, and citing unnamed intelligence sources and real-time transcripts he received detailing the military “deconfliction line” between Russia and U.S. coalition forces ahead of the April 4th attack, Hersh lays out a compelling case that Trump was unconcerned about the reliability or certainty of the narrative of events the led to the massacre in Khan Sheikhoun. According to Hersh’s reporting, the target was a building in the town believed to house a command-and-control center and the crux of the attack was an airstrike carried out by the Syrians, with intelligence—and a sophisticated guided missile—supplied by the Russian military. Importantly, according to Hersh’s account, the Russians had notified the CIA through official channels before the airstrike as a way to prevent any clandestine U.S. intelligence assets from being in the building at the time.

As reports and images began to emerge from the town on the day of the attack, reports Hersh,

Most striking as it relates to the events in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 and the current White House posture, is what one of Hersh’s sources—identified as “senior adviser to the U.S. intelligence community”—told the veteran reporter.

“The issue is, what if there’s another false flag sarin attack credited to hated Syria?” said the adviser. “Trump has upped the ante and painted himself into a corner with his decision to bomb. And do not think these guys are not planning the next faked attack. Trump will have no choice but to bomb again, and harder. He’s incapable of saying he made a mistake.”

“Trump’s claim that he knows of a proposed chemical weapons attack to be carried out by the Assad government, and that he will use military action to prevent this, should also worry everyone who wants peace in the Middle East.”

In the U.K. on Monday, the Stop the War Coalition issued a warning against any further moves by the Trump administration to escalate the war in Syria.

“There can be no justification for the use of chemical weapons, and we condemn any use of them,” the group said in a statement. “Trump’s claim that he knows of a proposed chemical weapons attack to be carried out by the Assad government, and that he will use military action to prevent this, should also worry everyone who wants peace in the Middle East. We do not know what evidence he has, and it is clear that at least some US military sources are skeptical of his claims. But we do know that Trump has built up U.S. support for Saudi Arabia in recent months, and at the same time increased his verbal attacks on Iran, one of Syria’s main allies.”

While condemning the bombing of civilian populations by all sides—the U.S., Russia, Syria, the U.K., and others—Stop the War said ending the war would not be “achieved through further intervention,” but only through ” genuine attempts to win a peace which benefits the people of the region who are suffering so much.”

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