'Unidentified “issues” prompted a prestigious scientific journal to withhold publication of a report challenging the mainstream narrative on a 2017 Syrian chemical attack – after ‘citizen investigation’ outlet Bellingcat objected.
The report, authored by MIT professor emeritus Theodore Postol and six other experts, concludes that the Syrian government was not behind the alleged sarin attack which killed more than 80 people at Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017.
Experts warned at the time that responsibility could not be so quickly determined, but that did not stop US President Donald Trump from launching 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase in response. He was widely praised for the swift action, with even liberal media and his usual ‘resistance’ critics fawning over the display of military might.
A new study disputing the findings of US intelligence and UN investigators was due to be published in the Princeton University-based Science & Global Security (SGS) — but is mysteriously being held back following an “independent internal review of the editorial process” which threw up unidentified “issues” with the peer-review and revision process.
It appears that the so-called issues were only discovered after the journal came under a barrage of public criticism for daring to publish an alternative view. In a note on the front page of its website, the journal’s editors said “questions have been asked” of its decision to publish the report, which prompted the review. The Khan Sheikhoun attack — and who was behind it — has been hotly disputed over the last two years, with anyone daring to question the mainstream narrative labelled an “Assad apologist.”
Yet, the “only thing” that should matter is whether the report is “technically correct,” Postol told RT after the journal decided to halt publication. “This is a science based journal, and if there [are] any technical errors in it, they need to point them out," he said, adding the criticisms are coming “from people who have no technical expertise.”'
Read more: Scientific paper arguing Assad not responsible for Syria chemical attack shelved after Bellingcat-led backlash
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