Background
This analysis is based on an older version of our inference model which is accurate but more difficult to read

Question

What was found in the crater in Khan Sheikhoun?

What caused the chemical calamity in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, 2017?

Scenariosinfo icon

Calculated Conclusionsinfo icon

Conclusionsinfo icon

1

83%
Projectile north:

Remains of a surface to surface sarin projectile shot from the north.

83%

2

10%
Projectile other:

Remains of a surface to surface sarin projectile shot from the east, west or south.

10%

3

6%
IED:

Remains of a sarin improvised explosive device (IED).

6%

4

0.7%
Aerial sarin:

Remains of an aerial sarin bomb.

0.7%

5

0.2%
Unknown:

Remains of something other than a sarin bomb, projectile or IED.

0.2%
Implied plausibility
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Likelihoods based only on other elements of the analysis, not considering evidence of this sub-topic.
Projectile north
38%
Projectile other
20%
IED
19%
Aerial sarin
2.1%
Unknown
21%
Compatibility with evidence
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Likelihoods based only on evidence of this sub-topic, assuming all hypotheses equally plausible.
Projectile north
83%
Projectile other
10%
IED
6%
Aerial sarin
0.7%
Unknown
0.2%
Conclusion
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Final likelihoods, combining plausibility and evidence.
Projectile north
83%
Projectile other
10%
IED
6%
Aerial sarin
0.7%
Unknown
0.2%

Analysis

Evidence (9 items)

Eyewitnesses from the town claim that the chemical effects began near the crater site.

Sources: The Guardian
The crater in Khan Sheikhoun
The crater in Khan Sheikhoun
www.bellingcat.com
Projectile north
23%
Projectile other
23%
IED
23%
Aerial sarin
23%
Unknown
10%
Projectile north
23%
Projectile other
23%
IED
23%
Aerial sarin
23%
Unknown
10%
The crater site is in the northern part of Khan Sheikhoun
Projectile north
31%
Projectile other
13%
IED
19%
Aerial sarin
19%
Unknown
19%
Projectile north
31%
Projectile other
13%
IED
19%
Aerial sarin
19%
Unknown
19%

The only remains seen in the crater are what appear to be a flattened cylindrical metal piece with some green coloring and a flat circular component resembling a cap measuring 11 cm across.

Weapon remnants found in a crater in Khan Sheikhoun
Weapon remnants found in a crater in Khan Sheikhoun
www.almasdarnews.com
Projectile north
18%
Projectile other
18%
IED
32%
Aerial sarin
11%
Unknown
21%
Projectile north
18%
Projectile other
18%
IED
32%
Aerial sarin
11%
Unknown
21%
The metal piece found in the crater is bent facing south, with debris in the southern part of the crater.
Projectile north
29%
Projectile other
18%
IED
18%
Aerial sarin
18%
Unknown
18%
Projectile north
29%
Projectile other
18%
IED
18%
Aerial sarin
18%
Unknown
18%

Photos of the crater do not match the videos showing the alleged moment of the aerial attack.

Sources: Bellingcat
Alleged attack site
Alleged attack site
www.bellingcat.com
Projectile north
26%
Projectile other
26%
IED
26%
Aerial sarin
13%
Unknown
10%
Projectile north
26%
Projectile other
26%
IED
26%
Aerial sarin
13%
Unknown
10%

Early photos of the crater site from the April 4 show white residue or liquid around the crater not visible in later photos.

Early morning photo of the crater
Early morning photo of the crater
www.facebook.com
Projectile north
23%
Projectile other
23%
IED
23%
Aerial sarin
23%
Unknown
8%
Projectile north
23%
Projectile other
23%
IED
23%
Aerial sarin
23%
Unknown
8%
There is no visible damage in the area surrounding the crater.
Projectile north
21%
Projectile other
21%
IED
21%
Aerial sarin
21%
Unknown
18%
Projectile north
21%
Projectile other
21%
IED
21%
Aerial sarin
21%
Unknown
18%
UN-commissioned expert assessments of photographic and satellite image reported that the crater was most probably caused by a heavy object impacting the ground at high speed.
Sources: JIM Report
Projectile north
27%
Projectile other
27%
IED
6%
Aerial sarin
29%
Unknown
10%
Projectile north
27%
Projectile other
27%
IED
6%
Aerial sarin
29%
Unknown
10%
UN-commissioned expert forensic assessments reported that the remnants found in the crater belonged to a 300-500 mm munition.
Sources: JIM report
Projectile north
20%
Projectile other
20%
IED
20%
Aerial sarin
26%
Unknown
14%
Projectile north
20%
Projectile other
20%
IED
20%
Aerial sarin
26%
Unknown
14%

Discussioninfo icon

This topic is part of a broader analysis. To view the discussion page of the main analysis, click below:
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alwaysrinse
Jun 27, 2021 at 7:50 AM
Your priors on the aerial sarin bomb are very low. Why?
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Rootclaim
Oct 7, 2021 at 11:03 AM
The reasoning behind our numbers are explained in the “starting point” section.