Retired US Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who once served as Secretary of State Colin Powell ' s Chief of Staff, believes that the chemical weapons used in Syria may have been an Israeli " false flag " operation aimed at implicating Bashar Assad ' s regime.

Wilkerson made his astounding assertion in an interview on Current TV, the network once owned by former Vice President Al Gore and recently purchased by Al - Jazeera, Haaretz reported. Wilkerson said that the evidence that it was Assad ' s regime that had used the chemical weapons was " flaky " and that it could very well have been the rebels or Israel who were the perpetrators. Asked why Israel would do such a thing, Wilkerson said, " I think we ' ve got a basically geostrategically, geopolitical inept regime in Tel Aviv right now. " " I think we saw really startling evidence of that, " Wilkerson continued, " in the fact that President Obama had to tell Bibi Netanyahu ' Pick up the phone, you idiot, call Ankara and get yourself out of this strategic isolation you ' re in right now. " A " false flag " operation is a covert attack on foreign or domestic soil carried out by governments or organizations under a false identity, aimed at placing blame on the enemy. It originates with a ruse once used in naval warfare in which ships would hoist the enemy ' s flags in order to infiltrate his ranks. Wilkerson, 63, a former Army helicopter pilot who flew combat missions in Vietnam, served as Colin Powell ' s chief of staff in 2002-2005. He was responsible for reviewing the intelligence information used by Powell in his by now infamous February 2003 United Nations Security Council appearance on Saddam Hussein ' s weapons of mass destruction. After his retirement, Wilkerson described this presentation as " a hoax " and became an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration ' s handling of the Iraq war. He now serves as a professor at Virginia ' s William and Mary College and is a guest commentator on several US television networks. Speaking on the Current ' s Young Turks program, Wilkerson said that because of the instability in the Middle East, Israel ' s current geo - strategic situation is " as dangerous as it ' s been since 1948. " He added that President Obama " has got to be very circumspect about what he does in exacerbating that situation ". " Netanyahu is clueless as to this, " Wilkerson said. " I hope President Obama gave him a lecture in geostrategic realities. "