Washington has accused the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack against militant strongholds on August 21, and is preparing for what it calls a retaliatory military response.
“We are not really positive who set off the gas,” Paul, a long-time Republican representative from Texas, said during a Fox News interview filmed Wednesday.
“The group that is most likely to benefit from that is al-Qaeda. They ignite some gas, some people die and blame it on Assad,” he noted.
Paul said that the case for a military intervention in Syria resembles the scenario used prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq when the US accused the Saddam Hussein regime of having an active “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) program. The intelligence was later discredited.
“Just look at how many lies were told us about Saddam Hussein prior to that buildup. More propaganda. It happens all the time,” he stated. “I think it’s a false flag. I think really, indeed,” Paul said, referring to the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria.
The US released an intelligence report on Friday claiming the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical attack. The Syrian government has strongly rejected the allegation.
On Saturday, President Barack Obama, who had previously described the use of chemical weapons as a “red line”, announced that he had decided Washington should attack Syria. The president, however, said he would seek congressional approval for an attack.