On 23th of November 2019, Wikileaks published an e-mail, sent by a member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact-finding mission to Syria to his superiors, in which he expressed his gravest concern over intentional bias introduced to a redacted version of the report he co-authored.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons sent a team of experts to investigate allegations that a chemical attack took place in the Syrian city of Douma on the 7th of April 2018. The author of the e-mail was a member of that team and says the redacted preliminary version of the report:
1- Misrepresented the facts – by leaving out key information;
2- Hide the fact that the traces of chlorine found on the site were merely tiny trace elements, in parts per billion, and in forms that could have been found in any household bleach;
3- Contained major deviations from the original report submitted by impartial experts, so that it had “morphed into something quite different to what was originally drafted.”
4- Suppressed a total mismatch between the symptoms allegedly displayed by victims at the scene, and the effects of the chemicals which were actually found. The symptoms seen on harrowing videos shown at the time of the incident simply did not match the symptoms which would have been caused by any material found at the site.
This is said to have been done at the behest of the Office of the Director-General (a post that was held by Turkish diplomat Ahmet Üzümcü at the time, he has since been replaced by Spaniard Fernando Arias).
The attack in question was widely attributed to the Syrian Army, based on reports by the White Helmets and Islam’s Army that were present in Douma at the time, and this assertion was backed up by the United States, British and French governments. These three countries carried out air strikes against Syrian government targets in response, on the 14th of April 2018. This was before the fact-finding team had gained access to the site in Douma.
Upon the arrival of OPCW to Syria, the Islamist militants claimed the gas came from cylinders dropped from aircraft, clearly implicating Syrian government forces who had complete air superiority.
However, the conditions of the cylinders may not be consistent with having been dropped from the air, compared to the damage in the immediate surrounding area. To prove this, a document by the Engineering assessment which was also suppressed by the management of OPCW was leaked in May 2019 which concluded that:
“At this stage, the Fact-Finding Mission engineering sub-team cannot be certain that the cylinders at either location arrived there as a result of being dropped from an aircraft. The dimensions, characteristics and appearances of the cylinders and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder having been delivered from an aircraft. In each case, the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.
In summary, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft.”
So according to this leaked letter, the UN’s poison gas watchdog had butchered and censored a critical report on an alleged chemical attack in Syria, which led to a massive military strike by the US, UK and France without waiting for proof that chemical weapons had actually been used.
In your opinion: is the OPCW still a credible watchdog and should we consider all its previous on Syria null and void?
I’m Kevork Almassian of Syriana Analysis, I hope you will support this work if you appreciate it, your support does keep this working coming, as little as 2 dollars per month through Patreon.com/SyrianaAnalysis make a big difference.