Chemical Weapons Attack in Ghouta as a Pretext for US Intervention

  • Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira


When a chemical weapons attack occurred in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, the American, French and British coalition tried to use it as pretext for an intervention in Syria. Attributing the attacks to the Assad regime was an obvious farce, however, aided and abetted by the corporate media. There was no evidence in support of it. In fact, everything suggested Ghouta was to be blamed on Islamic militants’ intent on lighting the fuse for the western powers’ and Saudi Arabia’s invasion plans. These plans were already underway through the training of troops by mercenaries and the CIA and the deployment of war material to Syria’s vicinity. But the plans were foiled. Despite the drums of war, public opinion was against it and other western countries refused to embark on the adventure. Even the UK parliament ended up voting against intervention. Isolated, the United States was forced to broker a deal with Russia, and Syria accepted inspectors to dismantle its chemical weapons program. And Putin obtained yet another important diplomatic victory by persuading the Ukrainian president to stay out of the EU.

11.1 Corporate Media, the News Produced by NGOs, and the Farce of the Chemical Weapons in Ghouta

Contrary to what President Obama said, what made “America different… exceptional” was neither its humility nor the fact it never lost “sight of that essential truth.” What made “America different… exceptional” was the hypocrisy, the cynicism and the ability to lie of its rulers. The truth of the matter was that both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were simply deceiving public opinion when they said—“strongly and with high confidence”—that the report of the UN inspectors presented “crucial details that confirm that the Assad regime is guilty of carrying out that attack” in Ghouta.1 The “Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascus on 21 August 2013,” released on September 15, 2013, and the final report published on December 12 corroborate the use of chemical weapons in Ghouta and other places in Syria. The inspectors who carried out the investigations in loco, however, never reached any conclusion about the perpetrators of the attack; they didn’t point out the responsibility, much less were they able to blame it, unequivocally, on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, contrary to what Obama said while corrupting the truth.2

President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry must have known of the provocation coordinated by Prince Bandar bin Sultan as a consequence of Saudi Arabia’s support to the rebels in Syria. It was no secret to anyone. Nevertheless they readily accused President Assad, attributing their information to the US intelligence services, just as George W. Bush and Colin Powell had done when they showed films to the UN—with great pomp and circumstance—to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003. And as (r) General Wesley Clark noted, the corporate media, owned by big business, the great American consortia with their commercial and financial interests, was once again an integral part of the campaign against Syria, just as in other modern wars.3 It manipulated the news most of the time by spreading—intensively and extensively—especially those statements by American, French, and British representatives and the news produced by NGOs, without checking it, to misinform and deceive the public.

The French minister of Foreign Affairs during the administration of Prime Minister Laurent Fabius, Roland Dumas (1984–1986), revealed in an interview to La Chaine Parlementaire TV network (LCP) that the British had been planning and organizing the war against Syria 2 years before the protests against the Assad regime broke out in the beginning of 2011. He had heard the information directly from British officers when he was in London in 2009, and “the reason given for this war is the anti-Israeli position of the Syrian government, which has made Syria a target for a regime change supported by the West.”4 This was no doubt one important reason, but as pointed out by Nafeez Ahmed, executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development, oil interests, entwined with the geopolitical competition for control of the Middle East and the pipeline routes, were the real factors driving the intervention plan in Syria.5

What we know for sure about the chemical weapons attacks in Syria is that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry were simply misleading public opinion. They suppressed those passages from the intelligence reports which suggested a group linked to al-Qa’ida had been responsible for the Sarin gas attack in Ghouta, on August 21, 2013.6 Indeed, the outstanding journalist Seymour Hersh revealed in the London Review of Books that, one month before the sarin gas attack, US intelligence services had already produced a series of highly secret and confidential reports culminating in a formal Operations Order—the document preceding a major invasion. These reports pointed to evidence that the Jihadist group al-Nusra Front, affiliated to al-Qa’ida, possessed equipment capable of producing sarin gas in large quantities. When the attack occurred, suspicion could have fallen on this group, but according to Seymour M. Hersh, “ Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August.”7 He, Barack Obama, omitted important intelligencepicked intelligence to justify the strike against Assad—and in other occasions, presented assumptions as facts.8

The physicians who cared for the civilian victims were told that the chemical weapons used in Ghouta and other places had been delivered to the Jihadists by Saudi Arabia through Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who’d been responsible for the transport and trade in preparation of the attack.9 This had been a false flag operation executed by agents of al-Mukhābarāt al-ʿĀmma, the Saudi intelligence service.

There is also another version dealing with the alleged sarin attack: the testimony of a Catholic nun, mother Agnès-Mariam de la Croix, head of the St. James Monastery, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Qara, Syria. Before a hearing of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees attended by Professor Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, the representative of Brazil, she denounced that the incident near Damascus—with many videos surfacing of alleged victims of a chemical weapons attack on August 21—had in fact been staged and manufactured so as to serve as evidence for certain foreign governments that the Syrian government had used sarin gas against its own people and therefore crossed the red line drawn by President Barack Obama.10

In her speech before the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mother Agnès-Mariam de la Croix said there was no truth to the way the wars between the state and opposition forces in the heartland of Syria were being portrayed. And she accused:

The war—which affects my country today—is a war between Syrian civil society on the one hand and Islamic terrorist groups on the other. These terrorists are supported by foreigners from various countries, and funded by various foreign countries, especially Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has acknowledged that these groups belong to terrorist organizations; yet at the same time, Saudi Arabia is training the terrorists and funding them in order to destroy Syria.11

11.2 Obama’s “Red Line” and the “Rat Line” to Introduce Weapons and Ammunition from Libya in Syria

It was no secret to the White House, the Palais d’ Élysée, or 10 Downing Street that Saudi Arabia was funding and transferring armaments and ammunition from Libya, where NATO had dumped huge amounts for the Muslim rebels fighting against the Gaddafi regime. CIA officers, who collaborated with the smuggling of war material, knew Saudi Arabia was thoroughly committed to destroying President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, so much so that King Abdullah had appointed Prince Bandar, the veteran of the diplomatic intrigues of Washington, where he had been ambassador, and veteran of the Arab world, to coordinate operations in Syria. He was able to deliver what the CIA couldn’t, i.e., weapons and money to Jihadists in Syria and under-the-table clout (wasta in Arabic), as an American diplomat remarked.12

At the beginning of 2012, Obama himself had ordered the establishment of what the CIA called the rat line, a channel to bring weapons and ammunition originating from Libya to Syria, through the southern border of Turkey, in order to supply the moderate rebels, many of which—if not most—Jihadists and even al-Qa’ida militants.13 And after February 2013, the United States stepped up its support to such moderate Jihadists, as if it there is such a thing, giving them US$60 million under the pretext of improving the basic services (health and education) of the anti-Assad coalition, while France openly advocated for the shipment of war material in spite of the embargo imposed by the UN.14

11.3 The Training of Jihadists by Blackwater, the CIA, and Navy Seals

Meanwhile, the Department of State had been developing a program to provide military training to Jihadists in camps in Jordan since 2012 or even before, at a cost of US$60 million and using Blackwater mercenaries (Academi) and CIA agents. A large part of the Jihadists from Da’ish, perhaps even most of them, received combat and terrorism instructions there.15 CNN revealed that US assistance went much further and also included training in the use of sophisticated weapons—antitank and antiaircraft—and military organization.16 In early March 2013, approximately 300 Jihadists had already completed the course and crossed the border to Syria.17 Those receiving training from Blackwater contractors, Navy Seals, SOF officers, and agents of the CIA paramilitary force clearly weren’t “Syrian rebels” or “moderates” but Sunni Jihadists and foreign terrorists from various countries, including from Europe.

At that time, June 2013, Abdullah Ensour, prime minister of Jordan, revealed that about 900 American soldiers were already stationed in the country on the border with Syria, 200 of them providing training on chemical weapons, if case they were used, and 700 in charge of managing the Patriot missile defense system and F-16 fighter jets.18 On April 17, 2013, Chuck Hagel, the US Secretary of Defense, admitted in his testimony before the Senate Armed Forces Committee that “the best outcome for Syria—and the region—[…] is a negotiated political transition,” but he asserted that “military intervention is always an option. It should be an option, but an option of last resort.19 He said that the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) would be recognized as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and that President Obama had promised to provide US$17 million in nonlethal aid and medical equipment. He confirmed that the State Department and USAID would also provide assistance to the moderate opposition, which involved the training of 1500 Syrian leaders and activists and more than 100 local advisors.20 If the United States opted for direct military intervention, however, it would necessarily have to employ special forces and regular units to lay the groundwork within Syria through black ops and covert actions, in addition to antiaircraft defense units to protect against retaliatory attacks in Jordan, where 200 soldiers of the 1st Armored Division were already stationed on the border with Syria. The plan, according to Hagel, provided for a rapid increase to 20,000 or more soldiers, awaiting orders from the White House to proceed with the invasion.21

In fact, al-Mukhābarāt al-Ammah from Saudi Arabia and Dairat al-Mukhābarāt al-Ammah (General Intelligence Department—GID), the Jordanian secret service, along with the CIA, selected and trained Jihadists in Jordan to fight and perpetrate attacks against the Bashar al-Assad regime and its allies of Hizballah,22 while Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador in Washington, was lobbying US Congress and President Obama for an expansion of the American efforts against Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, American, British, and French warships were already in the Mediterranean, equipped with Tomahawks missiles to attack Syria and support the Jihadists.23 This fleet included five Destroyers, an amphibious assault ship—the USS San Antonio (LPD-17)—with a hundred marines on board and equipped with a helicopter platform, in addition to the aircraft carriers USS Harry Truman and USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf region.24 The bombing would focus on 50 targets, including air bases where Russian-made helicopters were parked, command places, arsenals, and military barracks, but it would not target the chemical weapons deposits due to the risk of causing an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe and opening the gates for raids by militant Muslims.25

11.4 Putin’s Diplomatic Victories in Syria and Ukraine

The American military intervention, as announced by President François Hollande and his allies, was set to begin on September 4,26 the day President Obama reaffirmed, as global emperor: “I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line.”27 In a fit of paranoia/schizophrenia, he now spoke as if the world had established a red line. President François Hollande was also willing to push the military intervention in Syria, together with the United States. But more than two-thirds of the French population (64%) opposed the idea of a French coalition with the United States for yet another war in the Middle East, according to the public opinion poll performed by the Institut d’Études de Marché & d’Opinion BVA and the information channel i-Télé-CQFD, published by the newspaper Le Parisien.28 In addition, a survey conducted by The Washington Post-ABC News revealed that the vast majority of people in the United States—nearly six in ten Americans (60%), democrats and republicans—was against missile strikes and an intervention in Syria on the pretext of the alleged use of chemical weapons in a suburb of Damascus.29

Despite Washington’s drums of war, the survey revealed people had little appetite for war operations in Syria and a similar result emerged from the survey conducted by NBC News.30 Another study, conducted by CNN a couple of days later, showed that the opposition to the attacks had grown to 70% (seven in ten Americans).31 In such conditions, without authorization from the UN, without support from domestic and international public opinion, the Nobel Peace Prize Barack Obama was forced to retreat from his objective of “punishing” President Bashar al-Assad, as a god on earth, for a crime with no evidence or proof that he had committed it. Neither Obama nor François Hollande were able to accomplish their war designs and thus serve the interests of the oil companies and Israel.

They had no allies. Twelve NATO countries refused to participate in the military initiative against Syria without authorization from the UN Security Council. Even Prime Minister David Cameron, the faithful vassal of President Obama, wasn’t able to lead the United Kingdom into the adventure. The British Parliament rejected the government’s proposal to intervene in Syria by 285 votes against 272.32 The report of the Joint Intelligence Committee confirmed nothing, it merely assumed that it was highly likely that the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical weapons used in the attack of August 21.33 No proof existed. It was mere supposition, a hypothesis, but the members of the Labor Party demanded sufficient evidence. Prime Minister David Cameron had to recognize, before Parliament, that he could not provide this and that, indeed, he was not 100% sure whether Bashar al-Assad had been responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus.34 The German minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle, in turn, manifested himself against an intervention in Syria; and the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, threatened to intervene in the conflict in favor of Assad.

Forewarned by his Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, President Obama understood that Syria was not Libya. It was more heavily armed and possessed a vast stockpile of military ammunition, including chemical weapons and a modern air defense system provided by Russia, and its territory was less accessible to a land assault.35 75,000 to 90,000 soldiers would be needed, as much or more as the United States had in Afghanistan.36 The bombings could destroy, but not modify the strategic situation, because without boots on the ground, there were no conditions for an effective and permanent occupation of the territory.37 And the rebels, actually Jihadists, appeared to be more problematic than in Libya. The conclusion, therefore, was that the war would have a huge cost in American soldiers’ lives.38

Faced with Leon Panetta’s considerations, with whom the military commanders agreed, President Obama, hesitant as always about what to do, forgot about the red line he had so lightly traced to order an intervention in Syria. And Secretary of State John Kerry had no other alternative but to broker a deal with the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, on September 14, 2013, through which Syria allowed for the inspection, control, and elimination of all chemical weapons stored on its territory. President Assad was promptly prepared to point out their location to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and the UN Security Council approved the agreement, frustrating the plan for an invasion of Syria. Barack Obama, the Kriegspräsident39 (war president), so named in Germany and in other countries of Europe, could no longer contest that his intention was merely to “punish” President Assad under the pretext that the Syrian army had used sarin gas against the opposition.40

The deal preventing the bombing of Syria was a great diplomatic victory for President Vladimir Putin. He preserved Russia’s influence and advanced its interests in the Mediterranean. Three months later, SoyuzNefteGaz negotiated and closed an agreement with the General Petroleum Corporation to exploit the oil and gas reserves along the coast of Syria.41 Meanwhile, President Putin persuaded the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych not to sign an association agreement with the European Union, despite the relentless protests from a layer of the population, which NGOs funded by the United States, Germany, and other countries of the West promoted in Maidan Square in Kiev. Putin invited the Ukrainian president in December to come to Moscow and offered a bailout to the Government of Ukraine of US$15 billion, of which he advanced US$3 billion in January with the purchase of Eurobonds and he promised to reduce the price of the gas supplied by Gazprom by one-third, which would drop from about US$400.00 to $268.50 per 1000 m3. This substantial discount would allow Ukraine to save US$7 billion in one year.42 President Putin, who was also giving asylum to Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency (NSA) agent who had revealed the vastness of the electronic espionage carried out by the United States, had won another diplomatic victory, thwarting the agreement between the Ukraine and the European Union.


  1. 1.

    Jake Miller, “Kerry: ‘Definitive’ U.N. report confirms Assad behind chemical attack.” CBS News, September 2013. Available at: <>.

  2. 2.

    “UN Report on Chemical Weapons Use in Syria.” Council on Foreign Relations, December 12, 2013. Available at: <>; “Full text of “U.N. report on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.” United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons the Syrian Arab Republic Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascus on 21 August 2013. Internet Archive. Available at: <>; “Syria profile.” BBC NewsMiddle East, March 19, 2014. Available at: <>; “AI—HRW im Solde der Giftgas Terroristen: Barak Obama: UN Bericht, der Gift Gas Angriff in Syrien, durch die Terroristen.” Geopolitiker’s Blog, December 26, 2013. Available at: <>; Robert Parry, “UN Investigator Undercuts New York Times on Syria. Assad Government not Responsible for August 21 Chemical Attack.” Available at:, accessed: November 28, 2018. Guy Taylor, “ Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, ‘cherry-picked’ intelligence: report.” The Washington Times, December 9, 2013. Available at: <>.

  3. 3.

    Wesley K. Clark, 2004, pp. 64 and 187–188.

  4. 4.

    La raison invoquée pour cette guerre est la position anti-israélienne du gouvernement syrien qui a fait de la Syrie une cible pour un changement de régime soutenu par l’Occident.” “UK planned war on Syria before unrest began: French ex-foreign minister.” Press TV, June 16, 2013. Available at: <>; “ Roland Dumas: deux ans avant le début de la guerre, l’Angleterre préparait l’invasion des rebelles en Syrie.” Wikileaks Actu Francophone. Available at: <>.

  5. 5.

    Nafeez Ahmed, “Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern.” The Guardian, August 30, 2013.

  6. 6.

    Guy Taylor, “ Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, ‘cherry-picked’ intelligence: report.” The Washington Times, December 9, 2013. Available at: <>.

  7. 7.

    Seymour M. Hersh, “Whose sarin?” London Review of Books, December 19, 2013, Vol. 35, No. 24, pp. 9–12.

  8. 8.


  9. 9.

    Dale Gavlak & Yahya Ababneh, “Exclusive: Syrians in Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels behind Chemical Attack. Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group.” MintPress News, August 29, 2013. Available at: <>.

  10. 10.

    M. Klostermayr, “Syria: Mother Agnes on the Chronology of Chemical Attack near Damascus—Mother Agnes speaks about the fabricated videos of the chemical attack near Syria’s capital, Damascus.” SyriaNews, September 26, 2013. Available at: <>; “Mother Superior presents a 50 pages report to the Human Rights Commision regarding the gas attacks.” Available at: <>; “UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria ‘is acting to incite further Massacres’—Hands Off SyriaAustralia, Press Release.” Global Research News, September 15, 2013. Available at: <>.

  11. 11.

    “Syria: Destruction and Murder Funded by Foreign Forces: Mother Agnes Mariam Challenges the UNHRC—Address by Mother Agnes Mariam of the Mussalaha Initiative given at the UNHCR in Geneva by Mother Agnes Mariam.” Global Research, March 16, 2014. Available at: <>; “Syrie: Destruction et assassinats financés par des puissances étrangères. Discours de Mère Agnès pour “l’Initiative Moussalaha” [Réconciliation] en réponse aux déclarations du Haut commissariat aux réfugiés [UNHCR].”, Centre de Recherche sür la Mondialisation, March 24, 2014. Available at: <>.

  12. 12.

    Adam Entous & Nour Malas & Margaret Coker, “A Veteran Saudi Power Player Works To Build Support to Topple Assad.” Wall Street JournalMiddle East News, August 25, 2013. Available at: <>.

  13. 13.

    Seymour M. Hersh, “The Red Line and the Rat Line.” London Review of Books, April 6, 2014. Available at: <>.

  14. 14.

    Michael R. Gordon, “U.S. Steps Up Aid to Syrian Opposition, Pledging $60 Million.” The New York Times, February 28, 2013.

  15. 15.


  16. 16.

    Nick Paton Walsh, “Opposition source: Syrian rebels get U.S.-organized training in Jordan.” CNN, March 15, 2013. Available at: <>.

  17. 17.


  18. 18.

    “Jordan hosts 900 U.S. troops to shield against Syria.” Daily Star (Lebanon)—Associated Press, June 22, 2013. Available at: <>.

  19. 19.

    “Secretary of Defense Testimony—Statement on Syria before the Senate Armed Services Committee as Delivered by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Washington, D.C., April 17, 2013.” U.S. Department of Defense. Available at: <>.

  20. 20.


  21. 21.


  22. 22.

    Bob Dreyfuss, “The CIA Is Training Syria’s Rebels: Uh-Oh, Says a Top Iraqi Leader.” The Nation. March 01, 2013. Available at: <>.

  23. 23.

    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, “Saudis offer Russia secret oil deal if it drops Syria Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria.” The Telegraph, August 27, 2013.

  24. 24.

    “Un navire de débarquement de la marine américaine est arrivé en Méditerranée.” Le Voix de Russe. Available at: <>.

  25. 25.

    Thom Shanker & C. J. Chivers & Michael R. Gordon, “ Obama Weighs ‘Limited’ Strikes against Syrian Forces.” The New York Times, August 27, 2013; Shiv Malik & Tom Mccarthy, “Syria: US sees ‘no avenue forward’ to ‘meaningful action’ by UN—as it happened.” The Guardian, Wednesday, August 28, 2013.

  26. 26.

    “Syrie: l’intervention militaire pourrait débuter le 4 septembre.” La Voix de la Russie, October 30, 2013. Available at: <>.

  27. 27.

    Peter Baker, “ Obama Says ‘World Set a Red Line’ on Chemical Arms.” The New York Times, September 04, 2013; Glenn Kessler, “President Obama and the ‘red line’ on Syria’s chemical weapon.” The Washington Post, September 6, 2013.

  28. 28.

    “Intervention en Syrie: Hollande sous la pression de l’opposition.” Le Parisien, August 31, 2013; “Syrie: Obama veut un vote du Congrès, Hollande sous pression.” Le Parisien, September 1, 2013. Available at: <>.

  29. 29.

    Scott Clement, “Most in U.S. oppose Syria strike, Post-ABC poll finds.” The Washington Post, September 3, 2013; Gary Langer, “Six in 10 Oppose U.S.-Only Strike on Syria; A Closer Division if Allies are Involved.” ABC News, September 3, 2013. Available at: <>.

  30. 30.


  31. 31.

    Paul Steinhauser & John Helton, “CNN poll: Public against Syria strike resolution.” CNN, September 9, 2013. Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT). Available at: <>.

  32. 32.


  33. 33.

    “Syria: reported chemical weapons use—Joint Intelligence Committee letter. From: Cabinet Office—History: Published 29 August 2013. Part of: Working for peace and long-term stability in the Middle East and North Africa and Syria. Letter from Jon Day, the Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), about reported chemical weapons use in Syria.” Gov. UK. Available at: <>.

  34. 34.

    “Syria crisis: David Cameron makes case for military action.” BBC News UK Politics, August 29, 2013. Available at: <>; Andrew Sparrow, “MPs vote down military intervention in Syria: Politics live blog. Government intelligence on Syria. Government legal advice on attacking Syria. MPs vote down plan for military intervention in Syria. Government defeat—What it means.” The Guardian, August 30, 2013; “Syrie: David Cameron contraint par l’opposition d’attendre le rapport des inspecteurs de l’ONU.” Slate Afrique, August 30, 2013. Available at: <>; Haroon Siddique & Tom Mccarthy, “Syria crisis: US isolated as British MPs vote against air strikes—as it happened. Trouble for White House after UK parliamentary revolt. Doubts circulate about case tying Assad to chemical weapons.” The Guardian, August 30, 2013; “Syrie/attaque chimique: ‘pas 100% de certitude’ (Cameron)—Dossier: Situation politique en Syrie.” RIA Novosti, August 29, 2015. Available at: <>.

  35. 35.

    Leon Panetta, 2014, p. 448.

  36. 36.

    Ibidem, p. 448.

  37. 37.

    António Sousa Lara, 2011, p. 134.

  38. 38.

    Leon Panetta, 2014, p. 449–451.

  39. 39.

    Andreas Ross (Nova York), “Kampf gegen IS—Amerikas nächster Kriegspräsident.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Septembe 24, 2014; Beat schmid, “ Obama, der Kriegspräsident.” Schweiz am Sonntag, September 27, 2014. Available at: <>.

  40. 40.

    The removal and destruction of chemical weapons in Syria was completed in June 2014.

  41. 41.

    Nicholas Blanford (Beirut), “The Next Big Lebanon-Israel Flare-Up: Gas.” Time, April 6, 2011. Available at: <,8599,2061187,00.html>.

  42. 42.

    Andrew Mckillop, “Did Natural Gas Debt Trigger the Ukraine Crisis? The Market Oracle.” Politics/Eastern Europe, February 28, 2014. Available at: <>; “ Putin throws Ukraine $15 bn lifeline, slashes gas price—Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday gave Ukraine precious backing by agreeing to buy $15 billion of its debt and slash its gas bill by a third as it battles mass protests over the rejection of a historic EU pact.” Bangkok Post, December 17, 2013. Available at: <>.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira
    • 1
  1. 1.Emeritus professor for HistoryUniversity of BrasíliaSt. Leon-RotGermany

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